Phenomenal Learning


I made this podcast in Dec 2008 in order to describe a “vision” for the future of learning in a business setting.  The podcast is 7 minutes long and arguably not delivered in a “phenomenal” way.   I recommend this podcast to individuals who are very interested in “social learning” and who have a desire to get a bit deeper into the subject.  This podcast is not suitable for individuals who want a 1 or 2 minute “elevator speech” or who have little patience for detail.

In this podcast I describe how to incorporate Web 2.0 and Social Media technologies and approaches into a “learning journey” that is historically “delivered” in a formal way.  There are two basic mottos that motivate my thinking.  1) learning is continuous and 2) learning and work should take place at the same time.

I would appreciate hearing your comments and feedback – and hearing about your experiences using social media to enable learning in your organization.

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4 responses to “Phenomenal Learning

  1. Eric, I agree with your desired future for learning and am working to accomplish many of your suggestions within my organization. Our challenge is in moving towards your vision while remaining a viable entity within our organization who requires the metrics to validate our costs. I’d prefer to truely focus on the learning environment and offerings and move away from efforts to track, measure, and defend the outcomes of our expenditures. I would welcome other comments on how these two views might merge and co-exist in an organization.

  2. Eric. You will not be too surprised to hear that I, too, agree with your basic approach.

    All learning is a construction of knowledge as a result of interaction with the world. In a social context that is far more likely to happen productively if all participants are peers in the process rather than in the power relationship set up by “traditional” training scenarios.

    To Row4it’s points above – if we continue to look at “input” measures as guidance as to the effectiveness of the L&D function then we will be stuck in the old paradigm that uses old delivery techniques since this is what those metrics measure.

    The critical equation must be based on “output”. There are several good ways of achieving this but so far, most of the L&D industry has failed to step up to the challenge of changing it’s ways. The measurement of outcomes is not dependent on the delivery paradigm but does require a far greater maturity on the part of the L&D function – including the maturity to let go of the control of the learning environment and become more of a consultant/facilitator with a keen business acumen and ability to present the business related advantages of a different approach.

    David Vachell

  3. daretoshare

    David. You make some very good points. I especially like how you “justify” social learning and explain why it is likely to produce better outcomes (for certain learning needs) than traditional training scenarios.

    I know you have a particular interest in and experience with measurement and I appreciate your viewpoint on how to measure and evaluate social learning. I posted a blog about social learning measurement and would like to see some comments from you on that post.

    I also believe that learning and development professionals need to become more consultants and facilitators and have read some interesting research / articles on this subject.

    Thank you for your comments.

  4. daretoshare

    Row4it. I believe we will have to continue to satisfy “business leaders” and “stakeholders” by proving that social learning will deliver (or has delivered) business benefits. We will need to continue to “defend’ and “justify” our budgets.

    I believe social learning will produce a great deal of business benefit and that we might need to measure different “things” and perhaps not simply follow the “level 4” evaluation model.

    For example, I believe social learning will help us identify the “real” way in which people collaborate and network – and discover the people in the organization that others depend on for guidance and support, that help other people quickly make decisions, that are responsible for influencing the attitudes and opinions of “stakeholders”, etc.

    With this understanding we can help organizations reduce the time spent making decisions, make sure they do not loose good talent, more quickly disseminate new ideas and techniques, etc.

    The benefits from this type of insight and action has nothing to do with how much people learn and transfer to the job.

    What do you think?

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