Learning works

A posting to Learning Circuits Blog last week stated that "Training doesn't work. Knowledge Management doesn't work. eLearning doesn't work."

Nonetheless, learning works. Workers in some organizations are learning to perform complex tasks in record time. If traditional training and KM and eLearning don't work, what do we call it when learning works? And who's in charge of that?

At eLearning Producer in San Francisco, Deloitte & Touche presented Creating an Integrated Blended Environment using Simulations, Coaching and Teamwork. Their challenge was to get 6,000 professionals up and running, individually and as teams, on a "methodology," i.e. procedures for a consulting engagement. Deloitte decided early on that the learning context would model the work context, involving teams, performance risks, peer interaction, and mentors. They gave a demo; it was quite engaging.

A primary element of the learning experience was a simulation of a project that was punctuated with decisions to make. After an introduction, all learning was learning by doing. Upon completion, the learners had experience applying the methodology, working with their team, using support services and help lines, and figuring out the best way to get the job done.

Notice that what's working for Deloitte bears scant resemblance to the standard definitions of eLearning. There's no course. You don't need an LMS. You learn with others. The boundary between learning and work is blurred. Deloitte hasn't developed a "program;" they call it an "environment."

In another eLearning Producer session, my friend Marc Rosenberg pointed out that we're learning all the time, not just in a classroom. Learning is formal and informal, explicit and tacit, trial and error, doing and observing, guided and unguided. Our sources are courses, instuctors, the web, experts, books, documents, friends, newspapers, and so on and so on. Sometimes it's appropriate to go after learning; other times it's better for learning to come to us. If you know where to find an answer, you may not need to learn it at all. Success comes from applying the right tools in the right proportions to accomplish the goal.

While Marc was making his eLearning Producer presentation, Conrad Gottfredson was in the next room, making much the same point. He bought a book in London, Learn Scuba Diving in a Weekend. Clearly a mismatch of medium and message. Rather than decry the weaknesses of eLearning, we must compensate for them so that the learning that needs to take place does take place. The toolkit must contain more than "class" and "online." As designers, we must match the learning modality (including animation, video, collaboration, e-labs, telephone, on-job coaching and the like) to the human requirements (rapport, perception, inspiration, prescription and so forth).

You've probably read my thoughts on this before. Give an instructional designer an eLearning hammer, and every analysis points to the need for more eLearning nails.

The new learning embraces such things as:

  • communities of practice
  • active collaboration
  • embedded support
  • simulation
  • informal learning
  • story-telling
  • dynamic portals
  • expert locators
  • social network analysis
  • learning on demand
  • give and take
  • learner control
  • co-creation
  • workflow integration
  • search
  • help desks
  • spontaneity, emergence
  • outsourced mentoring
  • games
  • keeping up
  • personal knowledge management

At the November eLearning Forum, we grappled with what to call ourselves. If eLearning doesn't embrace the items on the above list, we've got to dump the term. So what do we call ourselves? The Learning Forum is not compelling. Someone suggested the Distributed Learning Forum but many things on the list don't have to be distributed.

The Transformation Forum, The Community of Change, The Human Side of Enterprise, The Emergent Learning Network, The Know-How Group?
Part of the dilemma is that the basket of tools and techniques above has no home on the typical business organization structure. Responsibility shared by all forfeits responsibility by any. The effectiveness of our people is too important to hand over to the training department and too humanistic to give to the CIO. The chief learning officer was supposed to tackle this, but CLO has been much more successful as a magazine title than as a position with clout in organizations.

Help me out here.

What business are we in?


Posted by Jay Cross at November 22, 2003 10:41 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Hi Jay. Not sure if these will help at all, but here's a few suggestions/ideas to chew on....

* Chief Discovery Officer

* Chief Collaboration Officer

* Chief Exploration Officer

* Chief Performance Officer

* Chief Productivity Officer

* Chief Capability Officer

* Chief Transformation Officer

* Chief Motivation Officer


Posted by: Andrew Williams at November 22, 2003 10:58 PM

I support a term that directly references performance, e.g. Chief Performance Officer...

A post on my blog kinda intersects with this topic:
http://duskanddawn.blogspot.com/2003_10_19_duskanddawn_archive.html#106691240144092443

So, another approach would be 'Chief Learning Architect' (with lots of little Learning Architects below....)

Cheers,
Sherlock

Posted by: mindful_learner at November 24, 2003 06:48 AM

30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708

1.510.528.3105 (office & cell)



Subscribe to this Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe. We vow never to share your information with anyone. No Spam.

Subscribe Unsubscribe

Reference Pages

Articles
Blogs
Building Community
CSS, Semantic Mark-Up, and codes
Design
First Principles
Glossary
How People Learn
Knowledge Management
Learning Links
Learning Standards
Making It Work (Implementing)
Metrics & ROI
Presentations
Psychology
Social Software
String theory
The eLearning Museum
Time
Visual Learning


Search


Our Infrequent Newsletter
Sign up for our sporadic newsletter.
Email:


Entries by category...

Blogging
Books
Collaboration
Customer care
Design
Emergent Learning
handbook
Jokes
Just Jay
Learning
Meta
Networking
Outbound
Recycled from Blogger
Ref
store
The Industry
Time
Visual
Workflow-based eLearning


Blogroll


Internet Time Group



© 2004 Internet Time Group



Click for Berkeley, California Forecast
Berkeley, California


Recent entries

New Blog
Blogger Experience, Housekeeping, Something New
Loosely Coupled
Above all
Demographics is destiny
Are you setting the bar high enough?
Virtual Apps
Aerobic Learning
Work as Video Game
Oracle and Macromedia, Sitting in a Tree
The Blogosphere
ASTD Silicon Valley
Performance Support
Kingsbridge Conference Center
First Post by Email
Transition
Inactive Blog
RSS Feed for New Site
Comment Spam
Testing ... testing ... 1...2..3
IT Doesn't Matter - Learning Does.
All blogging is political
Mutlimedia Learning
Damn, damn, double damn
Nonverbal impact?
The New Religion
Shhhhh.....
Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!
Business Process Management (2)
Really Big
Business Process Management Conference
WorkFLOW
Don't Lose a Common Sense: LISTEN
It's only natural
Gmail!
Go with the flow
Time Out for the Fair
Informal get-together in SF this Wednesday
Repetition, reverb, and echoes
Who Knows?
Ur-blogging
Cognitive Mapping
Push vs pull
The Big Picture on ROI
Art Break
TDF Finale
New Community of Practice Forming
Dropouts
More TDF04
Training Directors Forum 2004
A Rare One-Liner
PlaNetwork LIVE 2
PlaNetwork LIVE
ASTD 2004 Leftovers
Googlism
Worker Effectiveness Improvement, not KM
Upcoming Events
eLearning Effectiveness?
Jay's Talk at ASTD
Mintzberg & Cooperider
Lest ye forget
ASTD International Conference & Exposition 2004
Knowledge Tips
What is Workflow Learning?
ASTD msg 1 of n
Look out, it's Outlook
Collaboration at ASTD Next Week
Tell me a story
User indifference
Interdependence
The shortest presentation on metrics you will ever hear
Back to Blogger
Windows fixes
The Alchemy of Growth
Grab bag
Very loosely coupled
E-Learning from Practice to Profit
Robin Good kicks off Competitive Edge
China Bloggers
Sonoma Dreaming
Upcoming Events
Emergent Learning Forum: Simulations
'Lanta
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Metrics and Web Services
OpEd: ROI vs. Metrics
e-Merging e-Learning
Loosely Coupled
Search me
Exercise?