The role of the Guide in a Learning Flow

rafting-168007_640This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about the Learning Flow. In the first post I discussed the concept of a Learning Flow – as a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities, in the second I talked about the user experience and in the third I considered three types of Learning Flow. Today I want to look at the role of the Guide in a Learning Flow.

“From sage on the stage to guide on the side.”

This is a well-known phrase that recommends that in the 21st century a teacher should move from delivery (instructor mode) to supporting learning.  Using the analogy from my second post, the role of the Guide in a Learning Flow is therefore someone who steers participants on their daily journey through the fast-flowing stream of learning.  This requires a number of skills.

  • S/he needs to be a knowledgeable expert in the relevant domain.
  • S/he needs to be a curator – but more than a curator.
  • S/he needs to able to pick out key resources and materials from the mass of material shared online. In other words s/he needs to be able to extract the “signal from the noise”.
  • S/he needs to be able to “join the dots” between resources – and show how one relates to the other.
  • S/he needs to be able to contextualize resources and make them relevant to the participants – drawing out the salient point(s) of the resources s/he shares.
  • S/he needs to be able to model good knowledge sharing skills.
  • S/he needs to “think small” – and create short manageable micro-learning activities.
  • S/he needs to “think social”- and inspire and encourage short social learning experiences.
  • S/he needs to “think flexible”  – and how to support autonomy and choice in users’ participation.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Learning Flows, you can do so here: Creating and guiding a learning flow

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Jane Hart

Founder at C4LPT
Jane Hart is an independent workplace learning advisor, writer and international speaker, and is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. She focuses on helping organisations with Modern Workplace Learning and individuals with Modern Professional Learning workshops. Find out more about Jane at