Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Reflections on ASTD 2007 Part #1

At ASTD 2007 I attended a couple of sessions focused on e-learning: 'Beyond E-Learning' by Marc Rosenberg and 'eLearning 2.0' by Tony Karrer.

These presentations were in many ways the catalyst for starting this blog - [ Thank you Marc & Tony ! ]

The main points I took from the presentation by Marc Rosenberg were:

  • knowledge management (linking 'information repositories', 'communities & networks' and 'access to experts') should be viewed as being at the heart of building a 'learning and performance architecture'.
  • e-learning is the next layer of the metaphorical onion: providing both 'on-line training' and 'performance support' ('in the moment guidance' eg drop down menu options)
  • Classroom training & coaching are the outer layer

Why is this important ?

Firstly, as we know ... in an organisational context, the proportion of time spent within the job role rather than away from the job is vastly greater.

Secondly, if we accept the need for a learner centred approach (for all the reasons already cited, and yet to be explored on this blog) ... then technology now provides the tools the learner requires to be an empowered knowledge seeker.

This is particularly relevant for learners who are at least competent, or have some mastery of their subject - where the need has moved from 'show me how' & 'help me do better' to 'help me find what I need' and 'I'll create my own learning'

The main points I took from Tony Karrer's presentation were:

  • Key new tools for e-learning are: wikis; social bookmarking; blogging; and RSS readers. Together they for the core of what can be described as e-learning 2.0
  • e-learning 2.0 should not be seen as replacing 'traditional' e-learning (1.0) or 'rapid' e-learning (so-called '1.3'). Rather they are complementary
  • e-learning 1.0 is characterised as LMS based, top-down content with long development times, created by instructional designers and typically 60 mins or more in duration
  • e-learning 1.3 is characterised as intranet based, top-down content with rapid development times, created by subject matter experts and typically 15 mins in duration
  • e-learning 2.0 is characterised as search / RSS feed accessed content, learner driven with no development lead time, created by users and of very short content size (eg 1 minute).

Why is this important ?

These technologies are emerging alternative learning solutions, that the learning consultant will need to understand to (i) enhance their influence on workplace learning ('glass half full' perspective) and/or (ii) avoid the training profession becomings increasingly marginalised as formal training (on-line or instructor-led) becomes an even smaller percentage time commitment by empowered learners ('glass half empty' perspective).

As cited by Marc from 'The World is Flat' by Tomas Friedman: 'being adaptable in a flat worl, knowing how to 'learn how to learn' will be one of the most important assets any worker can have, because job churn will come faster, because innovation will happen faster.'