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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No Informal Learning and Blended Learning Mix - CLO Panel Surprises

At the eLearningGuild event, I attended a panel of CLOs from fairly large organizations (including EMC). Most of what they said was pretty much what you'd expect, however, what really surprised me were two things.

First, none of the panelists seemed to focused on finding ways to support informal learning in the organization. EMC owns Documentum (a big document management/content management system) and owns eRoom (a team collaboration tool). Marc Rosenberg, the moderator, asked if he was using these tools as part of his solutions. The answer was roughly - no that's someone else in the organization. Marc pressed him a bit and it seemed that the CLO defined himself in terms of training solutions so these tools really weren't important for him to use to help learners/performers. It was fascinating to see the disconnect.

And it wasn't only the CLO from EMC. Clearly, each of the CLOs saw themselves primarily as providers of formal learning solutions.

Second, when I finally asked a question towards the end of the panel to press each of them on how the mix of their blended learning solutions would be changing (and suggested that they might have to be shorter and available as reference) - they seemed to agree, BUT, within the context of a training, course, courseware kind of model. It was remarkable and extremely old school. I'm still not 100% sure if it was a language thing or what - but this is not what I would have expected.

Isn't it our responsibility to figure out the broader mix of solutions? Are we so caught up in Course and Coursware that we can't see other things?

4 comments:

Harold Jarche said...

I've always seen myself in the performance, not the training business. I guess these CLO's think that they're only in the training business. They'd better hang on to their business cards, as they will soon be collectors' items.

Christy Tucker said...

Harold has a good point; if you define yourself as only about formal training (which is what it sounds like), then nothing else fits into your identity. I'm not sure that formal training is going to completely disappear, but a shift towards performance and learning is certainly coming.

Earlier this month, the Drs. Eide at the Eide Neurolearning blog wrote about why it's hard for us to "unlearn" old concepts. Basically, anything which contradicts our already formed mental schemas just gets ignored.

Tony Karrer said...

I agree Harold.

Christy - I certainly don't claim that formal will disappear. There will still be lots of developmental and compliance stuff to do. In fact, formal training will continue to dominate what we do for quite a long time - but let's make room for other avenues. Let's experiment.

mark said...

Harold...I'd say you're right but the CLOs time will have to expire only after the CEOs who also think this way are themselves gone.

Mark