Tuesday, March 06, 2012

eLearning: Buy or Build?

So often I see organizations struggling to develop eLearning in-house when, really, outsourcing would result in  a better product that's really less expensive in the long run. This month's "Nuts and Bolts" column for Learning Solutions Magazine explores this: Buy or Build? 

Saturday, March 03, 2012

What Does Learning Look Like? This.

3 Birds, One Stone

Bird 1: I do lots of workshops on using social media for learning, and I struggle to help participants see the possibilities of using images rather than text-based approaches in their work. Thanks to email and discussion boards, we tend to fall into "comment here, post there, respond to that" kinds of interactions. But now, with so many workers armed with cell phones, nearly all of which have decent cameras, there are so many more possibilities for using images and video in our work. A plus: This can level the playing field for people with low-literacy or second-language issues.

Bird 2: I struggle with helping learners recognize when they are learning. They think of it instead as "solving a problem" or "getting an answer". They don't say, "Gee, I'm a motivated, self-directed adult learner, and I think I'll become more mindful of that." They instead say, "I'll just Google 'spreadsheet tutorial' and see what I find." And if they don't recognize when they're learning, it may just not occur to them to share their new learning with others, or mention it to the boss, or include it in their weekly status report. 

Bird 3: My whole career I have struggled to help managers and HR Directors and supervisors and workers understand that "learning" rarely looks like "school". Because of their experience with education, they believe learning happens at tables (or in front of a computer) while an expert talks. 

One Stone: 
This morning (thanks to Dan Pontefract @dpontefract sharing something via Valerie Irvine @_valeriei, who were posting this, the brainchild of Jeffery Heil  -- that's how Twitter works, see?) I ran across the most wonderful big stone that hits squarely on all 3 birds: being mindful about learning, while showing what it really looks like, all done via sharing photos on Pinterest on a board called "What Does Learning Look Like?"  

Fabulous answer to a fabulous question. And worth much more than 1,000 words. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

From Traditional ID to ID 2.0

I have an article in the new issue of ASTD's T+D, "From Traditional Instruction to Instructional Design 2.0". It's excerpted here if you'd like to take  look. Some highlights:

Social learning is learning with and from others by moving within one’s culture, workplace, and world. It’s often unconscious and unintentional, and it often looks more like solving a problem or working together to make sense of something. Social learning is how most of us learn most things: through living in our cultures and interacting with others there. It’s how babies learn to talk and how we learn the basic rules of getting along on the playground. It’s all around us every day, from water cooler conversations to asking a co-worker for an opinion.

What are some ways to help support the new learning as people work to implement it? Some ideas include
  • an online leadership book club to sustain learning beyond the confines of the organization’s structured leadership academy
  • a networking group for graduates of a particular course, which can be a great way to support transfer of new learning from the classroom event
  • a dynamic, evolving frequently-asked-questions webpage for new hires, created by new hires, or a webpage with tips from top sales staff
  • a wiki for group projects
  • a site for “critical incident” discussions related to training topics such as customer service or ethics
  • a microblog-based live chat for all the leaders in your organization, or all leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, or all leaders everywhere
  • a Twitter hashtag assigned to your training sessions so participants can tweet key points and takeaways to those who were unable to attend.
Check here for the excerpt, and the actual publication for the full text. 

Social Learning and Etc.: In Conversation with Jane Hart

Jane Hart and I got together to talk about social learning, social media, change management, and measuring engagement in online communities. Here's the recording: Her audio's not great so she let me do most of the talking. I didn't do anything to cause that-- I promise.