7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners Redux

When Helene Blowers first asked me to put together a tutorial to kick off Learning 2.0, I had no idea that it would be seen by so many people. The feedback I’ve received has been amazing.

7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners was actually my first attempt at creating online training. I thought I’d share what I’ve learned as a result.

  1. When you put yourself out there on the Web and ask for feedback, you are going to get feedback! I have received hundreds of emails with comments about the tutorial. 99% of the comments have been positive but I have to admit the negative ones do sting a bit. You have to develop a thick skin because not everyone will offer constructive criticism. Take it with a grain of salt, learn from it, and move on!
  2. Brevity is key! 14-minutes was a little long for this tutorial. 10-minutes is the maximum for any training segment (this goes for face to face training too). If you are going more than 10-minutes you need to break the tutorial up into smaller chunks. In the book The Ten-Minute Trainer Sharon Bowman explains that, “Television has conditioned us to expect fast-paced, attention-getting methods of informational delivery.” Television programs usually have 10-minutes of programming followed by 5-minutes of commercials. We have become conditioned to expect this type of programming. We do more for our learners if we accept and work with this idea rather than try to fight it.
  3. Alternate voices. Ideally alternate between a male and female voice. This keeps the attention of your learners.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so imagine my surprise when I received an email from a teacher who asked if she could recreate the tutorial and gear it towards K-12 educators.Shelley Paul, a teacher from the Atlanta area, has done a marvelous job repurposing this tutorial for her staff’s Learning 2.0 program.

Shelley used a free tool called VoiceThread to create the tutorial. I really like the way VoiceThread lets viewers leave not only written comments but recorded comments as well. I enjoyed listening to all the different voices and reflections that her learners had during the tutorial. I can’t wait to try this tool for my next project! If you have a few minutes check out Shelley’s version below.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.


  1. Very good points, Lori, on how to approach online learning–really, any forum of learning.
    Congratulations on a such a wide great reception for your learning habits vid. I remember the first time I viewed it…wowee, the world has shifted since then!

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