Mark - I do too!
However, as I continued to read Mark's post, I realized that he and I may not want the same thing. He says -
Now some folks, notably Jay Cross (along with Harold Jarche and Judy Brown) have been exploring the "unworkshop" and they are to be applauded. But this is not a desire to have the learning/training version of FOO Camp or Bar Camp but something more.Actually, I think that maybe FOO Camp and Bar Camp aren't quite the right format, but having the kind of dialog that occurs at unconferences is definitely needed at corporate learning conferences, e.g., ASTD, Training, etc. I've talked about More Effective Conferences for Learning Professionals but as I explored this, I realized that the real challenge was Better Questions for Learning Professionals. Without having some really interesting questions, then conference organizers default to putting signs on tables with general topics, e.g., healthcare or simulations. We've all seen this. Then you sit around the table with little or no real dialog. But, it's more because we are not prepared with real, interesting questions.
Mark seemed to come to a similar conclusion as he provides examples of questions that he would find really interesting:
I want a thoughtful discussion of what we do. Not about your LMS. Not about your 'issues.' But about why we believe what we do is worthwhile and why anyone should pay any of us to do it. What are the theoretical underpinnings of our industry? Kirkpatrick? Bloom? Piaget? When is the last time you went to a conference, billed as a conference about learning, and heard someone stand up and say the Bloom is full of crap? That Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction is fundamentally flawed? That new breakthroughs in the field of cognitive science or neurobiology are shifting how we think about learning?The good news is that Mark and I have had a little discourse on the definition of informal learning (along with input from George Siemens, Harold Jarche and Dave Lee) and it really help me to understand some of the different definitions of informal learning. So, I would suggest that the discussion occurring today is having some impact, but as Mark suggests it seems few and far between. And I'm not sure why that is. It would seem that we should be the best at this. Cobbler's shoes maybe?
Of course, now the bad news... I pretty much disagree with Mark on what are the important/interesting questions ... I do want to talk about "your issues" ... actually, "your real issues" ... how you can make a true impact on human performance and business performance. I think that the questions about Kirkpatrick, Bloom and Gagne are only going to hit home for me if you put them in context.
But, this does get me to thinking again about Better Questions for Learning Professionals and even more:
What are the controversial questions facing us today in Corporate Learning?