On November 2nd, 2017, the Debunker Club sponsored a one-hour Twitter debate using the hashtag #DebunkDebate. We have a wonderful, cacophonous dialog in typical Twitter-chat fashion.

The file below contains all the tweets from the debate.

Download Great 70-20-10 Debate Tweet Stream


Also, Cara North posted a prettier version here.



18 replies
  1. Barb McDonald
    Barb McDonald says:

    Has anyone run across or have experience with David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theroy and the Learning Style Inventory? I’ve recently run across a LinkedIn post where someone is advertising a class on how to implement it. I did a quick search on Kolb and he’s written quite a few books and articles. Most of his work was done in the early 80s, but I’m also seeing current research being done using both the Experiential Learning Cycles and the Learning Style Inventory. I found an article where he replies to Freedman and Stumpf who apparently criticized his Learning Styles Inventory. I am not able to share it here. Full disclosure, I haven’t read all of it, nor have I been able to dig too deeply into it, which is why I’m bringing the question here. Thanks.

  2. Rick Presley
    Rick Presley says:

    I noticed this eminent Ph.D. and Assistant Dean for Education Innovation providing insight on how to apply Dale’s Cone in learning: http://www.queensu.ca/teachingandlearning/modules/active/documents/Dales_Cone_of_Experience_summary.pdf

    What suddenly struck me was how at odds this “research” is with that of learning styles. If learning styles are a thing, then shouldn’t the percentages vary at each level of the cone depending on the individual’s learning style?

    I’m wondering why I’ve never seen any debate about this inherent contradiction from proponents.

  3. Carolyn Stoll
    Carolyn Stoll says:

    Reading an article in Inside Higher Ed in which our campus was featured for its initiatives to improve accessibility for our online content, I saw this little gem:

    …”accessibility efforts …can even serve students who don’t have learning disabilities but learn better from reading text than hearing it out loud…”.

    I see this all the time. Two problems with it. One, it so obviously assumes that learning styles are legitimate AND that the reader knows that and agrees with it. The term “learning styles” isn’t even used and doesn’t have to be. What’s not said is just as important as what is.

    And two, used in the context of accessibility, this kind of statement means precious resources of time and effort are being taken from REALLY making content accessible to PRETENDING to by addressing learning styles.

    This is why addressing myths about why people learn is so important. Real people with real learning problems don’t get helped when we mess around with junk science.

  4. Will Thalheimer
    Will Thalheimer says:

    Daniel Engbar, writing in Slate Magazine, argued earlier this year that the worries about Debunker were overstated. Here is his article: https://slate.com/health-and-science/2018/01/weve-been-told-were-living-in-a-post-truth-age-dont-believe-it.html

    Today Engbar (on Twitter) pointed us to another article which found evidence that another worry about debunking—that too many persuasion attempts might backfire—has been found to be false. It looks like more debunking efforts are better than fewer debunking efforts! Here’s the pre-publication research article: http://www.emc-lab.org/uploads/1/1/3/6/113627673/ecker.2018ip.jarmac.pdf

    I’m sure there will be more studies to come. We live in a time where fake news, misinformation, deception is rampant. Researchers will want to take a look to see what can be done.

  5. Troy Hudson
    Troy Hudson says:

    I am moderating a webinar teaching litigation support people how to write reports. The lovely slide of Edgar Dale’s cone defiled by percentages appeared with a “University of Texas” at the top as if this was a theory endorsed by them. That led me to a series of searches that ultimately landed me on this website.

  6. Carolyn Stoll
    Carolyn Stoll says:

    This piece from Campus Technology features people from my college who are part of the accessibility initiative at our university. It’s shot through with references to Learning Styles as a justification and argument in favor Universal Design for learning. One of the ways you make your learning “universal” is to attend to different learning styles. It’s maddening.


  7. Dan Topf, CPT
    Dan Topf, CPT says:

    On today’s CBS This Morning, they presented a story on U of Vermont’s efforts to affect positive choices in their incoming first year students. They said the professor and staff are using neuroscience to do so. They aren’t and it’s very odd. They are using behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and other cognitive principles, in my opinion. What do you think? https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/WOopsW_X28BMsNGK2S7pyQBn9nLUmZA4/substance-free-dorms-at-university-of-vermont-encourage-wellness/

  8. kentclizbe
    kentclizbe says:

    Neuroleadership institute.

    While “brain science” and “neuro-” seem to be really hot nowadays, the NLI is at the forefront of pushing this belief system.


    I worked at a large company, in the Sales training group. They totally swallowed the NLI. They did not have a grounded learning program, could not identify what competencies actually were required to be successful in their jobs. They had a pretty LMS, with pretty, flashy elearning, mostly unrelated to the target audience’s actual skills. And they slipped in NLI lingo every chance they could.

    I went to an NLI conference. Every insight NLI offered, while flashing pictures of the brain lighting up in different colors on the screen, came from Adult Learning, Instructional Design, and real learning science.

    I approached the NLI leader at the end of one session, proferred that observation, and asked if he was familiar with real learning research. His eyes sort of glazed over and he muttered “Interesting.” before heading off to engage with his starry-eyes acolytes.

    Will, is there a section devoted to debunking “Neuro-” (fill in the blank) approaches to learning?


    • Carolyn Stoll
      Carolyn Stoll says:

      You’re right, Will, this is an interesting article. We all should be cautioned because words DO matter.

      BUT…we have to be careful to not veer into censorship. I’m always a little leery of the argument that we have to protect people whose critical thinking skills are not very well developed, be they kids or less educated adults, from viewpoints that might “harm” them or lead them to believe falsehoods. That’s a little condescending to me, and taken in a different context, sounds a little like brain washing. That’s not the point of this writer, I don’t think, but it’s an argument I’ve heard before in defense of censorship.

      All voices should be heard, including ones we don’t agree with or that
      are patently false. Don’t believe for a second that not hearing
      falsehoods or myths means nobody believes them. Only by getting them
      out in the air and then addressing them can they be countered. That’s why I appreciate the Debunker Club. We change minds by pointing to those voices and providing the evidence why they’re wrong.

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