Big change vs Little change in workplace learning

changeThere’s been a lot of talk recently about the fact that the L&D function needs to change, and a lot has been written about what the future of workplace learning should look like.  I should know because I’ve written about it too!

I’ve also observed in the last few years how some organizations with enlightened learning leaders, who have intuitively recognized the need for change, have been able to flip a switch and move from old traditional training models to newer approaches to learning.  By that I don’t mean just moving from classroom to online courses, but adopting new approaches that value individual informal learning as well as knowledge sharing in teams as key elements of organizational learning. Whereas some of these so-called “early adopters” have often been described as taking “a leap of faith” in their actions, their organizations are clearly benefitting from these flexilble, new learning practices in a times of organisational upheaval.

However, I’ve also encountered many L&D professionals who don’t feel they are in a position to make such changes themselves.  They cite various reasons why this is the case, and most of them are due to the fact that (they believe) that they work in organizations that are still firmly fixated on old models of how people learn, with managers (and/or clients) who see little value in other ways of learning, and where they feel they need overwhelming evidence that deviation from these traditional practices will be successful.

I am frequently questioned therefore about how they can start the process of change inside their organizations – without causing big waves of dissension –  and my answer is to say that they need to change their company culture one step at a time, one conversation at time.  In other words:

  • to start small – and not try to change everything overnight – select small changes that will make a big difference
  • to pick the right battles – and not bang their head against a brick wall with managers and teams who are totally resistant to change
  • to describe their activities as “pilots” – and specify that the objectives are to find out how effecctive a new/different approach is for the organisaiton.  That way whatever the outcome, the project is successful!

So what are the small changes that will make a big difference? That’ll be the topic of my next post.

The C4LPT Learning Store

shop-158317_640At the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) I’ve provided a variety of free resources for many years now on workplace trends, technologies and tools – notably the Directory of Learning Tools and the Top 100 Tools for Learning lists.

But I also produce a number of low cost professional development resources, which includes my recent Social Learning Handbook 2014 as well as a range of workshop and learning materials on new approaches to workplace learning.

Many of these learning resources and materials have previously been scattered around the Internet on different websites that I own, but I have now aggregated them in The Learning Store on the main C4LPT site, and I will be adding more items in due course.

Come and take a look.

Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014

The 8th Annual Survey is now open to find the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014

A learning tool is defined as any software or online tool or service that you use either for your own personal or professional learning, for teaching or training, or for creating e-learning solutions.

This annual list of learning tools has become very popular as it has been compiled from the contributions of learning professionals worldwide.

It has had millions of views both on the website and on Slideshare (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008)

The Top 100 Tools for Learning list has also appeared in the KCPB Internet Trends 2013 slideset (viewed nearly 3 million times).

The annual lists have also become a useful longitudinal study into how the way people learn is changing. See my post, The Web is 25 years old today, so how has it changed the way we learn, for more on this.

Please share your own favourite tools for learning. For voting guidance and a voting form – (your choice won’t be made public unless you want it to) – please visit the Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014 page.

Here are some of the votes cast for the 2014 list.

Modern Learning Skills for the Networked Age (Workshop)

Public online workshop runs: 5 May – 6 June 2014

About the Workshop

The Networked Age demands a new set of learning skills and tools.

In this fast moving age, it is no longer just about acquiring existing knowledge and skills in formal courses but acquiring set of modern learning skills  that includes “learning the new” – constantly discovering new ideas, new thinking, new resources in your industry or profession.

Why are these modern learning skills important?

For individuals

  • The half life of a piece of knowledge is 5 years. A college degree will likely be out of date long before the loan is paid off.
  • There is no such thing as a job for life – only a life of jobs. It is estimated that current students will have more than 10 jobs by the time they are 38. 47% of jobs are likely to be automated in the next 20 years.
  • It’ll be up to every knowledge worker to remain marketable and acquire new knowledege and skills – in order to keep their job or find a new job.

For organisations:

  • Today’s workplace requires that successful employees keep pace and continually learn new procedures, strategies and technologies to stay abreast of developments in their fields. In turn, hiring managers will select employees based on those who have well developed continuous learning skills.
  • Organizations need fresh thinking and fresh ideas. It can’t just be left to one or two people in the organisation to  keep the others up to date; it needs everyone to feed into their teams what they are discovering, to ensure the organisation itself learns continuously.
  • By encouraging and supporting the new skills and tools for people to “learn the new”, organisations will demonstrate an interest in their employees and in this way retain the talent.

For education

  • It is no longer about filling students’ heads with stuff, but preparing them for the new world of work by helping them acquire the skills and toolset to “learn the new”.
  • Although many students are already online and using online services and networks, but they will need guidance and support on the new professional learning skills they will require to find jobs and retain them.

Workshop Agenda

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 15.45.55Each week of this 5-week online workshop focuses on a different set of skills and tools  (as shown in the diagram on the right and explained briefly below)

Week 1: Growing your professional learning network - A knowledge networker knows a lot of people, so in this first week we look at how to grow your  network of colleagues and connections (on diferent social networks and community platforms) as well as review the value that they are bringing you.

Week 2: Building your professional resource base - A knowledgeable networker makes use of a lot of information resources, so in the second week we look at where to discover and search for resources, as well as how to receive a constant drip feed of new ideas and resources  from the Web of relevance to you.

Week 3: Knowledge mining (Extracting Learning), Curation & Storage - A knowledgeable networker applies a range of new skills to deal with the immense amount of information s/he encounters. In third week we look at how to filter out the “signal from the noise”, evaluate the resources  you find, and “join the dots” between random pieces of information in order to extract the learning. We will also look at the range of tools you might use to organise and store what you find – either temporarily or long term, privately or publically. 

Week 4: Recording and evidencing learning, Building your professional brand - A knowledgeable networker records what s/he has learned not only as a personal (reflective) activity but also as a way of evidencing his/her learning. In the fourth week we will look at the tools you can use to do this, as well as how to build you personal/professional brand in order to market and promote yourself to prospective employers.

Week 5: Learning out Loud (Sharing the New) - A knowledgeable networker shares what s/he learns with the appropriate people in the appropriate network. In this final week we will look at how to add value to what you share and how to avoid over-sharing. 

How the workshop runs

Acquiring these new skills takes time and practice;  it’s about making small incremental changes to the way that you learn. So each week a set of resource pages will be made available which contain advice and guidance, tips and tools, readings, activities and conversation items. You are invited to make use of these resources in the best way and at the best time that suits you – nothing is compulsory – and share your thoughts and experiences with the group. (Please note, there are no synchronous activities.)

janehart4The Workshop will be facilitated by Jane Hart, who will be available to answer any  questions you might have.

This workshop is suitable for

Anyone who wants to acquire or refine these modern learning skills for themselves, or for educators and workplace learning professionlas to consider how to help others (students, employees) to do so too.

To book a place on this Workshop

The introductory price for this 5-week workshop is £79.  (For group registration, contact jane.hart@c4lpt.co.uk

For a personal place on the Workshop, click on the Buy Now button below, and you will be taken to a page at the PayPal site to pay.

  • You can pay in two ways:
    • By credit card:  select Don’t have a PayPal account in the right-hand column, and complete the form with your credit card details. You can also print a receipt here too. Note: our merchant name is Tesserae Ltd, and this is the name that will appear on your credit card statement.
    • By PayPal: enter your PayPal details in the box shown.
  • Click Return to Tesserae Ltd to return to this site.
  • You will then receive an email from us to complete your registration.
  • If you do not receive the email within 24 hours, please contact jane.hart@c4lpt.co.uk




Informal Learning in the Workplace Survey

I am working with the E-Learning Guild on a research project about the current state of informal learning in the workplace.

What types of informal learning are going on inside your organization?

Please share your insight by completing the Informal Learning in the Workplace survey.

The results of this survey will be analyzed and shared in a report later this year that will be available to Guild members.

#LearningFlow Saturday Survey No 6

A recent artilce shared by The Learning Flow this week was an article by Bill Brandon that suggested Seven Things eLearning Professionals Must Do Now Which do you do already? Take the Survey below.

MOOCs, Flipped Classrooms – the last gasp of old corporate training?

termination-110301_640 (1)It’s a hardhitting headline – and one that I copied from a recent post I found on THE Journal – Personalized Learning, Flipped Classrooms, Video Watching: Last Gasps of the Old Education,

In that article, the authors argue that  “personalized instruction, flipped classrooms, video watching, etc., etc. are the last gasps of the old, “education as acquiring stuff” model; they are attempts at putting a patina of new on an old, outmoded, broken and ultimately ineffective educational model.”

Like many, they believe that “‘education as acquiring stuff” model is broken, and that the hordes of job hunters are the proof that education is not preparing students for the economic realities of the global marketplace” .

They believe that “social learning, inquiry learning, just-in-time learning, and learning-by-doing, will become the dominant pedagogies. The focus must be on process, must be on skills such as the 4Cs (Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity). Why? Because the kids today need to be prepared to move from job to job — to jobs that haven’t been invented yet.”

So how does this apply to corporate training, well many of us have also argued that the “training as acquiring stuff” model is broken – and that MOOCs and Flipped Classrooms are just adding a new layer onto the old outdated model. Whereas it is social learning (aka knowledge sharing in networks, communities and workgroups), on demand learning and continuous personal learning that need to become the dominant learning activities in the workplace.

And for this to happen there needs to be a focus on the process of learning and  in particular the acquisition of new learning skills  for individuals to continuously “learn the new”.

This is important because  to retain the talent in any organisation, helping  people to develop themselves – in the way that best suits them – in order stay on top of their game will be essential. Not doing so, will mean they will only seek jobs elsewhere. How many organisations can afford to lose their best people?

Jane’s March bookmarks

twitter-245460_150The links to resources and articles I tweeted in my @C4LPT and @TheLearningFlow accounts during February 2014 are in my 2014 Reading List.

Not enough time to review them all? Just select those marked MUST READ.

#LearningFlow Saturday Survey No 5

44 Daily Activities to Enjoy your Work (Infographic)

44 Simple Daily Activities to Enjoy Your WorkInfographic crafted with love by Officevibe, the corporate team building and employee engagement platform.