Connected Learning

A recent article in Wired Magazine, Collaboration and Conversation: The next generation of working practices summarises it nicely

“Today’s enterprises are seeing and experiencing the value of both social software and cloud-based content collaboration systems. By connecting people and giving them the means to discuss, unlock and increase knowledge sharing across the workforce, these services are driving productivity and increasing efficiency in organizations across the globe.”

As a result, through this knowledge sharing in the new connected workplace, employees are  learning very differently; they are learning continuously, autonomously and socially – as they carry out their daily work. In consequence, this now means that we need a new generation of “organised” learning practices – ones that are closer to the ways that people are now working and learning in their jobs.

At the Connected Workplace Consultancy we have developed a new approach to designing (organised) learning that is more appropriate for today’s connected workforce, we call it Connected Learning for the Workplace. The following chart summarises some of the key elements in order to show how it fits in between current structured e-learning practices  which focus on information transfer and the unstructured knowledge sharing that takes place in work teams and groups.

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The Connected Learning for the Workplace design approach embodies the following 5 principles – briefly explained below.

  1. scaffolding– rather than packaging up e-learning content, it involves building a framework for learning to take place.  This  framework provides just enough structure, without constraining personal and social learning.
  2. self-governance– it promotes and supports participation in the ways that individuals feel most comfortable and best suits them – and it doing so it helps them take responsibility for their own learning
  3. social first – social interaction lies at the heart of the learning experience – whether it be conversation, knowledge sharing, or collaboration in some other way so that participants can build their understanding together. In other words it is not just about tacking-on  social interaction to content, and (en)forcing it.
  4. content second–   key resources  are provided to get participants thinking, conversing and. doing, but  participants are also encouraged to contribute to the knowledge base of relevant resources.
  5. performance oriented – it is focused on what participants will be able to do as a result It does not track  the (inter)activity to use this as a measure of success. After all activity doesn’t equal learning let alone performance. Performance might be assessed in a number of ways, through self-, peer- or even manager-evaluation, depending on the content and context.

We have been using this design approach for a number of years now – not only for our own public online social workshops  but also for those we run privately for other organisations.

If you want to find out more about Connected Learning in the Workplace, then this will be the topic of my upcoming public online workshop running 11 November – 6 December 2013. By participating you will also experience connected learning as you find out more about it.Interested in signing up?  You can do so  HERE.