Monday, January 15, 2018

Poll results: Which books come next?

Last week I asked people on Twitter to help me decide which book to write next by answering a simple poll question. (And many of you retweeted... thank you!) I posted a question listing six books. Respondents could select any or all of the books. Here are the results:
Survey question and results
I received 39 completed responses. And that leads to my dilemma: Should I write the learnable eLearning book next? The results suggest that this is a good idea. But in survey analysis terms, these results are not necessarily significant. When doing surveys for decision making, you want to know that your data is "representative" and not chance. Representative means that it accurately represents the answers of the entire group. My "entire group" is everyone who reads or will read my books.

There are many reasons why this information may NOT be representative (biased).

  • There aren't a lot of responses and data from fewer people is less likely to be representative than responses from a lot of people
  • I only asked people on Twitter and my extended audience is unlikely to all be on Twitter
  • People who didn't answer may have different opinions from people who did answer

So what should I do? The truth is, I'm not sure. I wrote the first two books, Write and Organize for Deeper Learning and Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning based on what I thought were needed. And they are doing well!

Am leaning towards starting on the learnable eLearning book next because I know this information will be super helpful. For example, what does research specifically tell us to do differently when writing for mobile? I spent time finding the applicable research on this topic during the recent holiday break. And the research is fascinating and actionable.

Writing a book, especially one based solely on research, is a heavy undertaking. That's because it takes a lot of time to search for widely applicable (generalizable, in research terms) research. This is made even more difficult when searching for training research rather than the more widely available learning research ( which is typically K-12 and higher education).

If you have advice, please let me know. I hope to have the next book ready by May.  If you are one of my readers, THANK YOU. I absolutely love doing this.

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