Up-hill with the HILL-model?

YouKnow goes to Next Learning 2017: you could say, the most important event in the Netherlands in the field of learning and innovating. In addition to themes such as ‘personalized learning’ and ‘VUCA and learning’, one of the themes of 2017 is ‘changing learning design’, in which the term ‘HILL-model’ by Filip Dochy (2015) regularly cycles on the website. Maybe I should be a bit ashamed as a Learning Specialist, but I can confess that I had not heard of this model before! I hope you didn’t either! In this blog I explain what that HILL-model entails, and of course I give my own opinion about the model.

The term HILL stands for High Impact Learning that Lasts. The model was developed as a result of research into how the impact of learning in an organization can be strengthened. The HILL-model comprises seven building blocks for high-impact learning. The more building blocks, the stronger the building, says Dochy.

  1. Urgency. According to Dochy, learning must start from a sense of urgency: with an experienced problem or gap. Learning is not an end in itself, but a means to increase performance.
    2. Leaner agency. The learner must experience sufficient ‘learner control’. This ensures confidence in one’s own abilities and ensures lasting motivation for the learner. There must be room for making mistakes and for reflection.
    3. Collaboration and coaching. Learning takes place in a network with social interactions: collaboration in communities, and coaching by experts. The condition is that the learner feels safe and has a shared responsibility for the results.
    4. Hybrid learning. To be able to learn maximally, combinations of didactic methods and learning activities are necessary: ​​for example, integration of online and face-to-face learning, and a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities.
    5. Action and knowledge sharing. The learner should mainly apply his knowledge in authentic situations. The sharing of knowledge is reciprocal and should take place just-in-time.
    6. Formal and informal learning. Learning often takes place spontaneously, informally. A learning environment should stimulate this.
    7. Assessment as learning. Assessments should be part of the learning process, should be more formative. Summative tests create extrinsic motivation and stress moments instead of learning moments.

My exploration of this HILL-model went pretty down-hill: We have known all the principles / building blocks for a long time! I also miss the latest insights in learning and innovation, such as learning analytics. So, this model is anything but innovative. But the most important thing is that the model with its building blocks can offer people insight. And of course it is nice that, with this gained knowledge, I will not look bad on Next Learning :-)

Do I meet you there?

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