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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Learning

Saw a tweet this morning from @willrich45 (Will Richardson):
Reading: "Why Most Twitter Users Give Up" Interesting how edTwitterers use it for learning, unlike most, it seems.
This is a big meme right now based on a Nielsen study that resulted in the blog post: Twitter Quitters Post Roadblock to Long-Term Growth.

I'm not surprised to see that there are lots of people who sign up and then leave. Contrary to what Will implies in his tweet, I'm not sure that among edTwitterers there's really that much of a difference in the effect for people who use it as a learning tool.

I enrolled about a year ago (Twitter Status) and I've personally struggled a bit with the purpose, value, etc. If you look across a broader set of eLearning bloggers discussing twitter you likely will find similar challenges. A big part of this directly relates to my recent post Learning Goals -
Twitter is more for flow learning than directed learning.

The bigger challenge and my claim in Twitter as Personal Learning and Work Tool:

Twitter is Not for People New to Social Learning

Considering what I saw when I looked at following Twitter Learning Professionals - quickly I decided Twitter Mass Follow - Never Mind. My concern about twitter is that it will be too random for most people, especially those who have not established any relationships / understanding of the people they are following. Thus, my opinion is: Twitter is not a tool for people who are new to social media and the use of social media for personal learning and work.

There is one exception to this. If you are going to a conference or evening event where attendees will be using Twitter in a group fashion, then that's likely a good opportunity to try out the tool.
I would guess that among edTwitterers, you likely will also get high drop out rates. Maybe it's less than other audiences - but I'm not so sure.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Learning Goals

In talking with Jay Cross about the recent Learn Trends session and through experience in the #lrnchat, I've come to realize that there are easier personal disconnects for me with informal, social learning experiences and my personal learning goals.

Let me provide some context …

I'm an Infovore (sometimes called an Information Addict). As such, I have to be careful about not oversubscribing or falling prey to the myth of keeping up. I have various techniques that I use as part of my Information Radar where I specifically control the flow and try to improve filtering.

I've worked a bit with Stedman Graham and a phrase he uses really sticks with me:

We all have 24 hours in a day. What makes us different is how we choose to spend it.

When you combine these two thoughts, I am conscious about making smart use of my time (my learning time). I try to make sure that the time I spend is directed towards my personal learning goals. This aligns with the concept of having a To Learn List.

So, going back to the discussion that Jay and I were having around Learn Trends - we seem to have a difference in base philosophy about Learning Goals.

Are we directed in our specific learning goals – I want to learn more about X that will help me solve Y?

Or are we open to learning about just about anything within the overall topic?

I'm sure there's language about this kind of difference in learning styles (?) somewhere. But just so I can refer to it in this post, let's call these:

  • Directed Learning Goals – specific focus
  • Flow Learning Goals – nonspecific, exploratory

Each has it's place an purpose. There's not a right or wrong here. But I believe that it's important to be aware of this from both a learning design, learning style and learning comfort standpoint.

Learning Goals, Expectation and Comfort

Okay, so let me be candid. I generally seek out almost exclusively directed learning goal opportunities. In fact, take a look at my Top Down Strategy. It's a road map for turning almost everything into a directed learning goal. Do you actually have directed learning goals when you are reading the Sunday paper or visiting a museum? For me, it's okay if I don't, but I somewhat am aware of that. Yes, I know that's probably not the healthiest, but I still do read the Sunday paper and I recently spent a lot of time in DC at the wonderful museums.

Now, when you take someone like me who's fairly far on the directed learning goal side of things and you put me into a learning event where it's primarily dialog and aimed at people who have more of a flow learning goal slant, I start to feel uncomfortable.

I find myself trying to translate from the flow learning experience into a directed learning experience. I'm trying to figure out how it relates to my directed learning goals. I become frustrated if I can't connect it back to some of my directed learning goals. The bottom line is somewhat …

That's great, but how am I going to use this?

As long as someone is clear at the start of a learning experience that they plan to let things flow, then I guess I don't have much of a complaint. But …

I will wonder if it was a good use of time, even though I probably will have learned a lot.

Informal Learning and Directed Learning Goals

I believe that this same issue plays out more broadly for learning organizations around informal learning.

In Social Learning Measurement, I discuss various ways we can go about measuring the outcomes from social learning. My general suggestion was that we should be measuring the outcomes (business impacts or intermediate impacts). I generally moved away from talking about measuring specific learning outcomes. And it's going to be hard to deal with things like Online CEU Credits where those are based on time equivalents.

Unlike formal learning, informal learning is generally not going to ensure that specific knowledge will be transferred. Instead, people will learn what they need in order to accomplish the ultimate objectives. We aren't sure what they will learn.

You would think that someone like me, with a strong directed learning goals slant, would be uncomfortable with social learning solutions. Well it really depends.

I rather like it when we can create systems that focus on the real business outcomes (see Data Driven) and allow the mechanisms to be figured out within it. Social learning (informal learning) within the context of directed learning goals feels very comfortable to me.

I think there's something very important here to help make informal learning comfortable to people like me. You are still defining a purpose or direction for the learning. We may not agree on how we will get there or the specific topics or even the form. But we define what we believe we will be able to accomplish as an outcome.

As a specific example, one of the sessions at the Learn Trends April Session, was - "Making informal learning concrete". Jay got me to be a time cop – i.e., keep the conversation moving. I learned something out of the experience. Jay and I should have established what the goals were for the session. I was thinking of concrete as a sidewalk. Jay was thinking of it inside a big truck, still wet and getting continually mixed. I have no idea what people in the session expected – and Jay and I didn't do much to set expectations. We could have likely made the session more comfortable for people with my slant by doing a better job setting a bit of context.

I am very curious to hear thoughts around this. I hope you will comment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Twitter VLE Conversation - Best of eLearning Last Week

In case you missed any of these great posts last week - here's a recap of what the top stuff was from eLearning Learning.

Top Posts

The following are the top posts from featured sources based on social signals.

  1. Twitter Cheat Sheet version 1.1 is up- Adventures in Corporate Education, April 18, 2009
  2. European training survey shows HR and training holding back change- Clive on Learning, April 22, 2009
  3. Social Learning Designer- eLearning Technology, April 22, 2009
  4. Overcoming Top 10 Objections to Social Learning- Social Enterprise Blog, April 24, 2009
  5. Love The Conversation- Blogger in Middle-earth, April 17, 2009
  6. Learning With A Webcam- Blogger in Middle-earth, April 22, 2009
  7. Who Needs to Be on Your 3D Development Team?- Kapp Notes, April 20, 2009
  8. Fantastic File Converter- eLearning Acupuncture, April 24, 2009
  9. Throw away your powerponits, simply use Prezi- Ignatia Webs, April 21, 2009
  10. Learning Tools: for the Educator/Teacher- Don't Waste Your Time, April 20, 2009

Top Other Items

The following are the top other items based on social signals.

  1. Enterprise: List of 40 Social Media Staff Guidelines, April 23, 2009
  2. Twitter As a Learning Tool. Really. - 2009 - ASTD, April 21, 2009
  3. The Web: Design for Active Learning, April 17, 2009
  4. Do Learning Styles exist? - Home, April 22, 2009
  5. How to make e-learning work!, April 23, 2009
  6. The (changed) information cycle, April 17, 2009
  7. The Semantic Web and E-learning, April 18, 2009
  8. Weblogg-ed " New Reading, New Writing, April 23, 2009
  9. Leveraging the human network, April 17, 2009
  10. cathellis13: Ten Commandments of eLearning, April 21, 2009

Top Keywords

New Free Online Learn Trend Events

Over on Learn Trends, we've posted the days/times for the next two online sessions.

May Learn Trends
  • May 21 - 9AM - Noon US Pacific Time
  • I'll be organizing this one and the specific topic and speakers will be getting announced in about a week. It should be good.
June Learn Trends - Networked and Social Learning
  • June 18 & 19 - Times TBD
  • George Siemens will be organizing a two day session on Networked and Social Learning. For example, I will be doing a session on Social Learning Measurement and ROI.
If you are interested in these, please click the links above to go to the Learn Trends site and sign up.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Online CEU Credits

It's very common for organizations to require completion of some number of hours of learning as part of a certification, continuing education or compliance.  There are many, many examples out there. 

The International Association for Continuing Education and Training defines CEUs purely in terms of "contact hours"

Continuing Education Units

One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

The recent California AB 1825 requires two hours of "effective interactive training" on sexual harassment for all supervisors.  They include the following definition (which is at least a bit better than most CEU definitions):

“Effective interactive training” includes any of the following:

(A) “Classroom” training is in-person, trainer-instruction, whose content is created by a trainer and provided to a supervisor by a trainer, in a setting removed from the supervisor’s daily duties.

(B) “E-learning” training is individualized, interactive, computer-based training created by a trainer and an instructional designer. An e-learning training shall provide a link or directions on how to contact a trainer who shall be available to answer questions and to provide guidance and assistance about the training within a reasonable period of time after the supervisor asks the question, but no more than two business days after the question is asked.

(C) “Webinar” training is an internet-based seminar whose content is created and taught by a trainer and transmitted over the internet or intranet in real time. An employer utilizing a webinar for its supervisors must document and demonstrate that each supervisor who was not physically present in the same room as the trainer nonetheless attended the entire training and actively participated with the training’s interactive content, discussion questions, hypothetical scenarios, quizzes or tests, and activities. The webinar must provide the supervisors an opportunity to ask questions, to have them answered and otherwise to seek guidance and assistance.

(D) Other “effective interactive training” and education includes the use of audio, video or computer technology in conjunction with classroom, webinar and/or e-learning training.

(E) For any of the above training methods, the instruction shall include questions that assess learning, skill-building activities that assess the supervisor’s application and understanding of content learned, and numerous hypothetical scenarios about harassment, each with one or more discussion questions so that supervisors remain engaged in the training.

They also include:

“Two hours” of training is two hours of classroom training or two hours of webinar training or, in the case of an e-learning training, a program that takes the supervisor no less than two hours to complete.

When it comes to online learning / eLearning, commonly this requirement for some number of hours translates to some amount of time spent in the online course. 

Someone just asked me questions about this and it's a problem that I've faced many times myself.  I'm hoping that you will chime in with your thoughts.  And I think we would all love to see pointers to influential resources that we could use in the future to help argue our case.

Problem 1 – Measure time equivalence?

I'm sure you've been through the design discussion where you figure out how you will show that people spent at least ten hours in the online course so they get their online CEU credits.  You've probably also sat through discussions about what to do if someone manages to finish in less than ten hours.  And you may have experienced this effect when you went through online traffic school.  Many of them force you to be online for some amount of time.

Most often the simple answer is to make sure that you have enough audio or video to ensure seat time is met.  Oh, and you disable the next button.  In other words, you ensure that the design of online learning enforces CEU credits based on seat time.  But what if you don't want to do that?  What if you have something that is text-based?  Or exploratory?

Are there common measures for time equivalence not based on time online or seat time?

Problem 2 – Reduced Time for Online?

I know that many of you reading this want to jump to the part where we convince the organization that they are wrong to base their standards on number of hours.  However, most of us are well aware that in most cases it will not be possible to get a large complex organization to change it's standards, so we have to work within the standards. 

At the same time, we know that:

  • We can do things like speeding up the audio without loss of comprehension.
  • Variability of learner pace means that many learners can learn the same amount in less time.
  • We can often teach the same concepts faster in online Learning / eLearning.

So …

How can we convince the organization that our variable length eLearning is worth X CEU Credits even when seat time may not come out to the set amount of time?

Problem 3 – Collaborative, Informal, Social Learning?

Now the hard part.  We know that forcing someone through 10 hours of courseware is probably not the best idea, especially if we want them to learn a lot and have a good experience.  We can certainly bring in a social element through a webinar (and these have the nice property that there are time lengths).  But what about using other kinds of social learning.

Can we effectively measure the time equivalence of collaborative, informal, social learning?

How can we convince an organization that participation in collaborative, informal, social learning experiences equates to some amount of time equivalence?

Problem 4 – Influencing the Organization?

Again, in most cases, we won't be able to actually change how the organization measures these things.  And when you look at from their perspective, they don't want to write up the specific content that must be covered, because it's too broad and will change.  Thus, they are really just saying – you need to go through X amount of learning.

Are there other good ways to define X amount of learning?

What have you seen that are good ways to handle online CEU credits?

What influential examples exist that might help us influence the organization?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Online Conference Formats

We've just seen an interesting experience with Jay Cross having pulled together a 24 hour, worldwide discussion on the future of learning at Learn Trends. You can find some of the recordings here.

There's a discussion thread with feedback, and you can read some of Jay's thoughts on doing this. It had very good attendance and the quality of people was very high.

We encouraged people to drop by whenever they were free. They could join in for half an hour, then bail out. Participants did not need to register to attend.

This revolving door of attendance makes measurement tough, but I’ll guess that 250-300 people were involved at least part of the time. On Tuesday morning, we had 125 listening in. On Wednesday morning, we had 50-60. In between, some sessions had 30-40 people, others dwindled to one.

We are deciding what we will do going forward. We plan to hold sessions in May and June. Topics are TBD. And likely the topic will partly decide what format we use.

But I very much would like your help in brainstorming what else we might consider doing with the format?

Please help with ideas or pointers to examples.

Also, if you are interested in future conferences, please go sign up on the Learn Trends Ning Group. We will make sure we notify you of dates and topics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Social Learning Designer

Out of the conversation in Learn Trends around making informal learning concrete, Cammy Bean asked:
Cammy Bean: So is there a market for Social Media Instructional Designing Consultants?
Jane Hart suggested that we use the term Social Learning Designer to describe the role. But what was fantastic is how well this crystallized the central question in my mind. Be it as an individual or as a function in an organization, we need to define what the whole business of social learning or informal learning is all about.

Using a common marketing template, I thought it would be a great exercise to have people define our:
  • Buyers
  • Benefits
  • Services
  • Differentiation
Here's the template ...

For _________ (buyers) we help in their desire to __________ (benefits)
by ________ (services) unlike others we _____________ (differentiation).

How do we fill this in for a social learning designer or a social learning organization?

I would very much like to hear your answers.

Here are a couple of examples from the chat to maybe help you get started:

Jane Hart: i work with learning depts to help them create more participatory, collaborative approaches to learning - rather than just shoving content at people

Colleen Carmean: for learning orgs, we help in their desire to increase knowledge within the org by shaping systems that make info needed availalble to anyone at anytime. Unlike others, we do this by creating distributed spaces, places and tools for sharing, finding and creating knowledge.

Blog Post Updates - Effective Pattern?

As part of the Tools Set 2009 series, my first post was Browser Keyboard Shortcut Basics. I was a little surprised that this didn't come up as one of the more popular items recently when I did my Top 20 Posts for Q1 2009.

Now I've got a couple of additional things to add to this information, and it raises a question that I often face:

What do you do when you have an update to a prior post?

I feel like each of my options have drawbacks:

1. Update the original post and create a new post with a link back

Originally, I was going to do this. Just go back and update the original post with the additional information and create a post to say to go look at that for the information.

The advantage of this is that the original post becomes an increasingly rich source of content on the topic. If you want information on that there's only one place to go.

The disadvantage is that people who subscribe to my blog will not see the information in their RSS feed or in the daily email. They have to click. And my belief is that they will not click unless the information is really valuable. Thus, it somewhat gets lost.

The other disadvantage that is completely self-serving is that each post I create has a chance to serve as bait for organic search traffic in the future. I'm pretty sure, but not 100% sure, that long term traffic would be higher by having two posts with different titles than a single post with more links to it – but it only has one title. There are a lot of variables, but since the title and URL are so important for Long Tail Search Engine Optimization, I think having more titles is generally better.

2. Update the original post and create a new post with the additional content and a link back

This is a variation of the above. I would do the same thing, but would also include the new information in the new post as well as in the original post.

The advantage of this approach is that subscribers will get the new content in their feed or email.

The disadvantage is that if I later need to update the topic, then I probably should update both posts – the original and the update post. Otherwise, update posts will be wrong.

Likely, the update post will not be as good for SEO since links will probably go back to the original. However, this is probably in the middle.

3. Put the new information in the update post and add a link to the original post

In this case, I only put the new information in the update post and I edit the original post with a link to the new post.

The advantages here are that subscribers get the new content in their feed or email and that I only have one copy of the new information running around.

The disadvantage is that content on a topic will be scattered around on my blog. If you want to find browser keyboard tricks, you likely will have to visit several posts. My gut tells me that this is not nearly as satisfying for search visitors. It also means that there's additional work to keep track of all the different posts on a topic.

What do you think? Is there another Effective Pattern? Which option would you say is best for me (not too much work) and my subscribers and my search visitors?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Posts from Last Week

While there is a little bit of controversy about posting these lists, I'm continuing to use the capability of using social signals to make sure I'm finding good stuff. So here's what came up via eLearning Learning from last week. But I'm keeping it to a bare minimum. And I must say that these are pretty good - it would be a shame if you missed them.

Top Posts

The following are the top posts from featured sources based on social signals.

  1. Twitter Job Aid - work in progress- Adventures in Corporate Education, April 12, 2009
  2. Reduce Searching Start Talking- eLearning Technology, April 14, 2009
  3. Solve problems with screencasting- eLearning Acupuncture, April 14, 2009
  4. Augmented Reality in Learning- Upside Learning Blog, April 15, 2009

Top Other Items

The following are the top other items based on social signals.

  1. Determining the ROI of Enterprise 2.0 | Enterprise Web 2.0 |, April 15, 2009
  2. The Web: Design for Active Learning, April 17, 2009
  3. The (changed) information cycle, April 17, 2009
  4. 3 Things to Consider When Building Your E-Learning Courses, April 14, 2009
  5. Effective knowledge sharing, April 15, 2009
  6. conversation matters: What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way?, April 14, 2009

Top Keywords

Conversation on Conversations

Through blog comments and blog posts, an interesting conversation is emerging around – Conversations as Part of Concept Work.   It somewhat started with my post Reduce Searching Start Talking where I suggest that there are points in our concept work where we need to be ready to move from search to conversation.  In the comments there …

Maria H tells us - I think there is time and purpose for all types of information transfer (for lack of a better phrase) and helping people learn when to use the right one is our challenge.

Ken Allan really somewhat crystallizes it as a question of "Knowing WHEN to switch?"  Or more broadly, when is each kind of method appropriate given a specific concept work need.

In Conversation Questions, I pushed this a bit further based on Nancy Dixon - What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way? – looking at the areas of value, but also left it with the challenging question of not only knowing when to switch, but also knowing who to ask and how to ask the right questions.

In Love the Conversation – Ken Allan discusses the complexity of helping concept workers with the skills around this:

The question here is where to start. It is likely too complex for a practical guiding taxonomy to be drawn up and be of any use. Drafting a program to teach adults to use the right means of knowledge transfer is probably at least as difficult as teaching children to be discerning about information accessible on the Internet. There are no hard and fast rules for this. Yet there is no doubt that discernment forms a large part of selecting efficient and effective means for knowledge transfer.

While this is complex, it's very important.  There are very specific limits to using codified knowledge and that Conversation Learning is essential.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that we really are doing much to address this important Knowledge Worker Skill Gap

What's nice is that Ken has helped me to get to these core questions:

  • When
  • Who
  • How

Part of the Who and How question, we've discussed before in the Big Question – Network Feedback – where we discussed different places to reach out for help from your networks.  There was certainly no clear answer and some suggestion that we should be aggressive about reaching out to many of your networks.  I've also discussed it in I've talked about it in Leveraging Networks Skill and Networks and Communities.

Codified Conversations

Separately, Harold Jarche provided some interesting thoughts around issues of codified knowledge, individuals and conversations.  He reminded me of Dave Pollard experience with knowledge management (and it's a conversation I've had directly with Dave):

So my conclusion this time around was that the centralized stuff we spent so much time and money maintaining was simply not very useful to most practitioners. The practitioners I talked to about PPI [Personal Productivity Improvement] said they would love to participate in PPI coaching, provided it was focused on the content on their own desktops and hard drives, and not the stuff in the central repositories.

Dave basically went through a transition from looking at KM as big central codified knowledge bases to going out to individuals and work teams in the organization to figure out how they could be helped on a tactical level. 

Dave provides a very interesting picture of information flows in 2025.


While his focus still seems to be more on codified knowledge, look at what his first item is: conversations.  There is, of course, a really interesting question of how that conversation is captured.  Dave certainly looks at that in his post – the scattered electronic conversation that occurs today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Social Experience

Interesting image from post by Dave White – Eventedness that relates to our social experience with different tools.


It looks at how each technology relates to feeling of being present with others and whether that presence is felt beyond a specific limit of an event.

Co-presence comes from being embodied as avatars this definition includes what is experienced when an individual is certain that their contribution (usually in text form) will be read and responded to by others. For example it is possible to get a strong sense of the presence of others when microblogging because the exchanges are often frequent, they often reference each other and the response time can be a matter of seconds. Messages are linked to the particular point in time and their value erodes over time. There is a relationship between the speed in which the value of nodes of communication erode within a technology and the potential for Co-presence. In addition the individuals’ level of trust that their contribution will be understood and responded to within a particular technology has a large bearing on both Co-presence and Eventedness. It is of note that there is very little latent social presence in MUVEs. When you log-off your presence all but evaporates leaving almost no trace of your identity or that fact that you were in the MUVE.

He also points out something quite interesting that I had not really considered the same way is that part of the value of social networking sites and microblogging is that you feel connected to the person even though they are not real-time online at that point. In other words, the social experience extends beyond the specific event.

I'm not 100% sure I fully grasp the implications and meanings of the terms he uses and their importance to the social experience. But, I think the part that really is interesting here is better captured in his post - That Was an Interesting Experience -

“Teaching and learning in virtual worlds is an experience.”

Taking part of a teaching session in a Multiuser Virtual Environment (MUVE) is more than simply using a tool or achieving a task, it feels like an event, a particular moment in time when you have the chance to interact with others at a level of intensity which is rarely felt in other online spaces.

There is definitely something different about "getting together" with other people and the social experience using these different tools. How much you feel connected to them varies greatly.

Pictures and Connection

I need to do a full post on this, but I receive quite a few LinkedIn Connection requests - My LinkedIn Open Connection Approach – and it's surprising how often I will get them from people who briefly met me somewhere and they don't have a picture on their profile. That's really a bad move from a social experience standpoint:

  • I have trouble associating names with faces and you are making it really hard to remember you.
  • It says - "I'm not serious" – and makes it less likely that I will connect with you.
  • Most importantly, it hurts the effect that Dave White is describing – the connection. Without that picture I simply won't feel as connected to you.

But it's also surprising to me that we don't use pictures elsewhere. Way back in Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008, I predicted

Virtual Classroom Tools - Meeting Tool + Second Life Lite

A medium size Virtual Classroom / Meeting Tool will announce features in 2008 that are not 3D immersive, but that are more like Mii characters in a 2.5D world. This will allow more natural kinds of interactions in classroom settings, especially for things like breakout activities.

I got this horribly wrong in that it hasn't happened, but I still think that this will happen. As I look at Dave White's posts, I believe this is an important fundamental part of the social experience that should be happening.

When I watch how my kids play with games, if there's an avatar tool, they often fail to ever play the game because they run out of time having spent so much time creating a good avatar. Yesterday, I was at a bowling alley / arcade and several of the games at an arcade had customizing my ride kids of features. Why? Because it makes us feel more connected to the experience? It goes from a game to a social experience.

Why the heck doesn't each tool – WebEx, Adobe Connect, Elluminate, etc. ask for a bit more profile information in order to try to make it have a better social experience? A picture and a link to their LinkedIn profile (or other profile page)? Sure the pictures would be hard to fit in the tiny space, but I guarantee you would feel more connected. Heck – on most blogs that show who are recent visitors, they don't show a list of text names. They show a list of pictures.

These tools also should have a view that gives you a 2.5D representation of what's going on. They should allow a natural placement breakout into rooms.

These tools should hire some Mac designers to create something that's not 3D, but that gives a greater feeling of presence.

In the meantime, I think it's likely up to us to define how we can use the existing capabilities in ways that make it a better social experience. I cannot claim to be good at this myself, but I want to thank Dave for reminding me of the importance of social experience.

I'd very much welcome thoughts on this.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

24 Hour Conversation on Learning in Organizations - Free

I'm not quite sure what Jay was thinking when he decided to do this, but I'm curious to see what happens.  He's pulled together a 24 Hour Continuous Learning Event:

Conversations about Learning in Organizations

He's got folks from around the world who are going to help participate over the course of 24 hours.  Here's the FAQ.

He's pulled in quite a few people who's names you will know:

  • Marcia Conner
  • Connie Green
  • Stuart Henshall
  • Michelle Lentz
  • Christopher Peri
  • Harold Jarche
  • Clark Quinn
  • Nancy White
  • Rob Paterson
  • Mark Sylvester
  • Ellen Wagner
  • Curt Bonk
  • Charles Jennings
  • Jon Husband
  • Dave Wilkins
  • Brent Schlenker
  • Barry Shields
  • George Siemens
  • Luis Suarez

and many more. 

They will be discussing topics that include:

  • Learning in an era of networked intelligence
  • Show me the money: examples of the payback of social/networked learning
  • New roles for learning professionals
  • Changing corporate culture to accommodate the new learning
  • Making informal learning concrete
  • Twitter and the march toward real-time learning
  • How can we get learners to take responsibility for their own learning?
  • CGI: Bringing the internet inside for informal learning & transformation
  • Case examples of informal learning in corporations.
  • Measuring the results of informal learning
  • Personal learning environments: you show me yours, I'll show you mine

and more.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Valuable Content - Views and Social Signals

I just saw two posts by a couple of the nicest people out there:
Both posts look at page views of posts and use that as a proxy for what is good / interesting / valuable.

I've talked about the questionable nature of page views vs. other signals in posts such as: An Aha Moment - as Indicator of Valuable Content - Importantly My Content

Since my aha moment, I've always been skeptical of using page views. However, I've also come to realize that there are some limits with each different kind of social signal (e.g., delicious links, click throughs, page views, time on page, etc.).

Because both Nancy and Bill contribute to the Communities and Networks Connection and both have the keyword widget installed, I was able to see ...

Nancy's top ten posts for Q1 according to various social signals were:
  1. Tom Vander Wall Nails My Sharepoint Experience- Full Circle, March 23, 2009
  2. CoP Series #6: Community Leadership in Learning- Full Circle, March 10, 2009
  3. Twitter as Search Engine or Community Seed- Full Circle, March 6, 2009
  4. CoP Series #5: Is my community a community of practice?- Full Circle, March 5, 2009
  5. CoP Series #4: Practice Makes Perfect- Full Circle, March 3, 2009
  6. CoP Series #9: Community Heartbeats- Full Circle, March 19, 2009
  7. CoP Series #8: Content and Community- Full Circle, March 17, 2009
  8. Tinkering and Playing with Knowledge- Full Circle, March 8, 2009
  9. A humorous presentation of Blogs vs. Wikis- Full Circle, January 12, 2009
  10. Red-Tails in Love: Birdwatchers as a community of practice- Full Circle, March 26, 2009
Bill's top ten posts for Q1 according to various social signals were:
  1. Ten Ways to Track Your Online Reputation- Portals and KM, January 27, 2009
  2. Enterprise 2.0 for an Enterprise of One – Part Two - Content Monitoring- Portals and KM, March 10, 2009
  3. McKinsey on Making Enterprise 2.0 Work is Reminder of Process Centric KM in Early 90s. - Portals and KM, March 18, 2009
  4. Enterprise 2.0 for an Enterprise of One – Part Four - Content Collecting, Assembling, and Creation – Potential New Approaches - Portals and KM, March 12, 2009
  5. Enterprise 2.0 for an Enterprise of One – Introduction- Portals and KM, March 9, 2009
  6. Enterprise 2.0 for an Enterprise of One – Part Five - Content Publishing and Archiving- Portals and KM, March 13, 2009
  7. Enterprise 2.0 for an Enterprise of One – Part Three - Content Collecting, Assembling, and Creation – Current Approach- Portals and KM, March 11, 2009
  8. Business Blogs Trump Social Networking Sites as New Business Drivers - Portals and KM, March 4, 2009
  9. Central Desktop Using Twitter for Sales, Service, and Brand Monitoring Conversations- Portals and KM, February 23, 2009
  10. Knowledge Management Twitterers- Portals and KM, March 31, 2009
While there is overlap with the most viewed, I think that the above lists represent a more accurate picture of what users found valuable.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Conversation Questions

A couple days ago I posted Reduce Searching Start Talking and I just saw a very interesting post by Nancy Dixon - What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way? The list of what you can get through conversation:
  • Answers
  • Meta Knowledge
  • Problem Reformulation
  • Validation
  • Legitimizing
Then she tells us ...

The greatest benefit of conversation is that it produces five categories of responses, not just the answer. We get so much more from conversation, e.g. an unexpected insight, a sense of affirmation that inspires us to new heights or, equally useful, having to confront a realization that we've been trying to avoid; deepening the relationship with a colleague or the introduction to a collaborator we would never have discovered on our own; and on and on.

The multiplicity of benefits addresses the very real problem of not knowing what we don’t know. A problem that is so frequent when the issues we are addressing are ambiguous and complex.

Ambiguous and complex - pretty much defines concept work.

Search's Limit

The limit of search and need for conversation is a common topic here and as part of Work Literacy. In Value from Social Media, I looked at a scenario where I'm evaluating a particular solution for my company / organization. Through Google, I find a lot of information. But in many cases, I will still be left feeling uncomfortable ...
  • What’s really going to happen?
  • Did I miss something important?
  • How important are the various issues?
  • Is my answer reasonable?
These are the questions that represent search's limit. It's difficult to use search to address:
  • Experience - What have been the experiences of other organizations (not the canned case studies) when they’ve used this solution.
  • Boundaries / Existence - I’ve got a particular issue and I’m not sure if answers to that issue exist out there, I’ve not found it in my searching.
  • Confirmation - I’m beginning to have an answer, but I’d like to get confirmation of the answer based on my particular situation based on experience.
  • Importance - Some of the issues I see, I’m not sure how important they are in practice, should I be concerned.
However, each of these can be directly addressed through conversation.

Conversation Questions

With Nancy's categories and looking the the limit of search, it suggests to me that there is opportunity to better define the conversation questions that are important for concept work. I'm not quite sure that I quite know what these are, but it feels like there are a set of questions that we should commonly ask as part of these conversations that are central to our work.

In other words, I believe there are likely patterns for good questions to be asking to help address the limits of search and ensure that we surface each of the categories that Nancy defines:
  • Answers
  • Meta Knowledge
  • Problem Reformulation
  • Validation
  • Legitimizing
This is a topic that I intend to revisit. I certainly would welcome any thoughts or pointers around it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Participation in Social Networking and KM

Mike Gotta tells us -
A common thread between social networking and KM that strategists should acknowledge is the principle that volunteered participation and resulting contributions are a daily decision employees make – and one that they essentially control."
I largely think of KM as a failure exactly because of the level of effort required for participation and it worries me that Mike sees such a close parallel:
Ultimately, people still make choices on sharing what they know. How do we influence them (if possible) to make choices that directly help co-workers and indirectly help the organization overall when they are not compelled to do so by the structure of their role/task? How do you instill a sense of volunteerism (if that's even the right phrase)? We find ourselves shifting from tooling into the realm of attitude and behavior change (some might include culture change) which are better understood through the lens of psychology, sociology, etc. I agree with Kate that changing culture is difficult but not impossible. Enabling an environment where people are more willing to volunteer above that which they feel is necessary has been one of the intractable challenges faced by industrial-age organizations.
My gut tells me there is something different here now. That participation is different when it's a natural part of how we work, network, etc. But, I do worry about the 90-9-1 Rule and the resulting perception about participation. Much of what works outside of an organization does so because of scale and with 90-9-1, you still have enough participation. Inside an organization, 90-9-1 can be seen as a failure.

What do you think? Is there something different here?

Social Learning Measurement

It's been a while since I looked at: ROI and Metrics in eLearning and in this case, I was more looking at traditional content delivery and their impact.  I've recently been more interested in measures around social learning.  And I think I need real help here understanding how to measure this stuff.

And, I just saw a post Measuring Networked (or Social) Learning that discusses how we could go about measuring social learning.  In this, Eric suggests the following minimum measures:

    • Networking patterns - the relationship between people and content categories, the network make up or profile (business unit, job, level, etc), key brokers and influencers by content category, and the degree of networking across silos.
    • Learning efficiency - time lag between posting content and when content is viewed,  amount of time spent producing content for others to view, amount of redundant or significantly overlapping content, the degree to which “informal” content is reused in “formal” content (and perhaps reducing formal content development costs and effort).
    • Learning needs - differences between the learning needs or demand between “formal” and “social” learning (are some skills best learnt formally?), most popular learning needs by job, level, business unit, etc.
    • Contribution patterns - most active contributors and methods of contribution, busiest days and times for contributing, frequency and amount of contributions by job, level, business unit, etc. 
    • Content usage patterns - preferred ways to consume various content topics, busiest days and times for viewing content,  amount of time spent viewing content and participating in discussion threads and blogs, and preferred way to “find” content.
    • Content quality - ratings by content category, contributor, and medium, amount of “inappropriate” or “wrong” content reported by users, and the amount and type of content with very few or a lot of hits or views.

I'm not sure I buy how much real impact any of this will have on bottom line measures.  The recent MIT Study that showed that more highly networked individuals were more productive (see Workplace Productivity).  So, size and access of networks might be a proxy, but what about all the rest of these suggested measures.  Do we really believe they will be proxies for effectiveness?

I like what Kevin Jones talked about in Objection #13: How Do You Measure ROI?

How do you know that it is producing bottom line results? …

Rachel Happe suggested some measurements of ROI. A lot of them are for environments that face the customer, but some are for internal. Among those were:

# Number of new product ideas
# Idea to development initiation cycle time
# Retention/Employee turn over
# Time to hire
# Prospect identification cost
# Prospect to hire conversion rate
# Hiring cost
# Training cost
# Time to acclimation for new employees

Remember, we are looking at the final outcome, not necessarily “did they learn”. Because, honestly, we don’t care if they learn if they don’t use it for the benefit of the company. So the benefit is what we measure.  Other’s measurements might be:

# How large one’s network is
# Number of meetings taking place (or, more intuitively, are NOT taking place)
# Number of travel arrangements made (or, again, NOT made).

I always like to work on project where there are clear metrics that are the focus at the end of day (see Data Driven).  But in many cases, we need to define Intermediate Factors in Learning (see also Intermediate Factors).  As an example, we might be focusing on Customer Loyalty.  However, this metric is far too hard to directly measure and impact and thus we might say that there are intermediate factors such as customer satisfaction (based on surveys), recent contact, staff knowledge, etc.  We often know that these factors are contributors to the end measure.  Thus, we can define these as the actual goal.

What is particularly challenging about social learning measurement is understanding what these intermediate factors are going to be?  If you have really good support for networks, communities, social learning, etc. – how would we expect that to impact (in a measurable way) the above factors?  Why?  Why would this impact something like engagement or turnover?  Is there any proof?  What does that suggest about the intermediate measures?  Any pointers to good resources on this?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reduce Searching Start Talking

I just saw When Knowledge Management Hurts

Professors Martine Haas from the Wharton School and Morten Hansen from INSEAD, for example, examined the use of internal knowledge systems by teams of consultants in one of the big four accountancy firms trying to win sales bids. They measured to what extent these teams accessed electronic documents and how much they sought personal advice from other consultants in the firm. They figured that, surely, accessing more knowledge must be helpful, right?

But they proved themselves wrong; to their surprise they found that the more internal electronic databases were consulted by these teams the more likely they were to lose the bid!

So I naturally looked at the citation to read the details … Does Knowledge Sharing Deliver on Its Promises?

In a study of 182 sales teams that were bidding for new client contracts in a management consulting company, Haas and Hansen found that using personal advice from experienced colleagues can improve work quality.

"We find that using codified knowledge in the form of electronic documents saved time during the task, but did not improve work quality or signal competence to clients, whereas in contrast, sharing personal advice improved work quality and signaled competence, but did not save time," Haas says. "This is interesting because managers often believe that capturing and sharing knowledge via document databases can substitute for getting personal advice, and that sharing advice through personal networks can save time. But our findings dispute the claim that different types of knowledge are substitutes for each other. Instead, we show that appropriately matching the type of knowledge used to the requirements of the task at hand -- quality, signaling or speed -- is critical if a firm's knowledge capabilities are to translate into improved performance of its projects."

There is considerably more detail here, but this certainly calls into question the idea of creating large knowledge bases. It may even call into question sharing of Effective Patterns. However, my findings indicate that using Data Driven approaches ensures that you arrive at effective sharing, but it's certainly different to share patterns as opposed to sharing additional codified knowledge.

What is hugely important out of this is the reminder of the limits of codified knowledge and that Conversation Learning is essential but that there are limits to what should be shared and how effective that sharing can be. Still, I've come to believe the most important Knowledge Worker Skill Gap is the Leveraging Networks Skill. I've discussed this many times in Value from Social Media and Networks and Communities.

The research would seem to suggest that it's more than just an uneasy feeling after searching, but the reality is that you likely are missing things. You really do need to have that conversation.

The bottom line is to reduce the amount of time you spend search and spend more time talking.

This does make me wonder what this means for professions that focus on helping to create codified knowledge?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hot List - April 1, 2009 to April 11, 2009

Coming back after a week of being mostly disconnected I'm woefully behind on email and even more so on my reading. Luckily, I have a short cut to seeing the stuff that is generating interest across most of the top eLearning bloggers. So, here's the hot list for April 1 - April 11 via eLearning Learning ...

Top Posts

The following are the top posts from featured sources based on social signals.

  1. Top 100 eLearning Items- eLearning Technology, April 7, 2009
    Interesting that my own post got the top spot.

  2. My top ten tips for getting started with eLearning:- Ignatia Webs, April 6, 2009
    It ain’t always easy to dive into eLearning. It always looks much easier than it is. Although everyone learns most from their mistakes, it does save a lot of money if you keep some tips in the back of your mind. If you are indeed considering to start with an eLearning project, you might want to demystify some eLearning myths...

  3. Building Better Learning Games- Learning Visions, April 9, 2009
    Interested in building casual games for your learners? Read on for notes from a webinar today, April 9, 2009: Building Better Learning Games: Leveraging Game Design and User Testing for Results Our hosts today: Enspire Learning (Ben Katz) Doorways to Dreams D2D -- financial entertainment. Work with and for consumers how to better manage their money. Focus on casual video games. (Nick Maynard) Skillpoint Alliance (Kristy Bowden) Partnership of profit and non-profit organizations.

  4. Communities, PLEs, small groups, & power- Adventures in Corporate Education, March 31, 2009
    My mom loves telling the following story about me, to emphasize the fact that I have always been bossy. I am the oldest, and I have one brother who is 16 months younger than me and another who is 3 and a half years younger (there are seven of us in all). Apparently, we all played together very nicely until my brothers discovered that they didn’t have to play exactly they way I told them to play. Once they figured this out, they would let me play with them as long as I didn’t try and dictate the rules.

  5. Solar power for your small and big mobile devices!- Ignatia Webs, April 7, 2009
    While trying out different types of solar panels, I began to like the set of solar panels mentioned below. Just imagine having to go abroad and no longer having to worry about electricity... ah, what bliss! With solar powered technology you will get all the workspace and electrical independence you need, even in your back garden. This sounds a bit like a sale pitch, so I have to warn you in advance, there are a lot of other solar panels for different equipments out there.

  6. Brain rules #3- Clive on Learning, April 1, 2009
    Rule 3: Every brain is wired differently In this chapter, John Medina explains how every brain is different from every other: "When you learn something, the wiring in your brain changes." "What you do in life physically changes what your brain looks like." "Our brains are so sensitive to external inputs that their physical wiring depends upon the culture in which they find themselves." "Learning results in physical changes to the brain and these changes are unique to each individual.

  7. Why mobile learning is on the rise and benefits diverse populations- Ignatia Webs, April 3, 2009
    In January 2009 Carly Shuler (a fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center ) came out with a fabulous paper on the benefits of mobile learning entitled: pockets of potential - Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning . Although the document focuses on mobile learning for children, you can easily deduct the benefits for all learner groups. Carly Shuler recently graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation and Education, where she studied how new media and emerging technologies can be used to effectively educate children.

  8. US surveys show e-learning on the rise as training budgets fall- Clive on Learning, April 2, 2009
    Thanks to Kineo for pointing me to the Market Update recently released by Ambient Insight which forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16.3% from 2008 to 2013 for learning technology products and services. The report notes that "the market is favorable for learning technology suppliers, despite, or perhaps because of, the recession." The report forecasts especially rapid growth for collaborative e-learning, mobile learning, self-paced learning, and simulations and games.

  9. Informal Workplace Learning: paradigm changes - more- The E-Learning Curve, April 2, 2009
    I'm looking at some influences which are contributing to the emergence of informal and non-formal learning in the workplace. In my previous post on this topic, I outlined five change factors: ... The E-learning Curve blog shares thought-provoking commentary and practical knowledge for e-learning professionals. Find out more... ...Tags: nonformal learning workplace learning organizational learning non-formal learning definition of learning organizational development informal learning.

  10. Working With Online Learning Communities- Blogger in Middle-earth, April 1, 2009
    This article was first published on Futurelab in January 2008. I've reproduced the text of the article here. Some links to resources are now no longer current. What is an online learning community? Since the end of last century, government initiatives throughout the world have sponsored the development of online learning communities in schools and other learning institutions. A community can be classified as a group of people, each with different expertise and with access to diverse resources, in which a sharing occurs so that individuals within the group can benefit from each other.

  11. Why call it ‘eLearning’ when it is clearly NOT eLearning?- Don't Waste Your Time, April 1, 2009
    This has been brewing for some time now. I don’t apologies in advance if you see yourself in what I’m about to say. You know what really gets my goat? It’s when people keep talking about eLearning when they actually mean ‘distance’ learning, or ‘online delivery’, or computer-based training (CBT). In the same way that everything has [...] ...Tags: eLearning Academia Academia 2.0 Blog CBT Distance Learning University 2.0 Web 2.0 Wiki.

  12. Book: Mobile Communication Studies, edited by James E. Katz- Ignatia Webs, April 9, 2009
    Before jumping into the Easter holidays: another informative book. If you are into communication, culture and mobiles, this book will be a good buy. The Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies was released by MIT Press in 2008, it covers 485 pages and the book is edited by James E. Katz. ISBN: 9780262113120. The variety of researchers and topics make this into a worthwhile book if you are looking to get a deeper understanding of what mobile roads are being explored right now and all over the world.

  13. Top 9 Posts You May Have Missed- eLearning Technology, April 8, 2009
    Since I'm out, I'm thinking this is a good time to point you to some past posts. The last post was what I've been writing this year that social signals say is good reading. Today, I want to point you to some posts that you may have missed along the way and a bit about why it might be worth reading. #1 Social Learning Models and LMS and Social Learning I've changed the title of the first post to make it more enticing. While it talks in terms of SharePoint, really the patterns described relate to all different types of tools.

  14. Big Question: get your innovative eLearning ideas out no matter what others think!- Ignatia Webs, April 2, 2009
    Big question of April launched by Tony Karrer via the Learning Circuits Blog is: stuck/unstuck or how to cope with old-school learning when your head buzzes with new eLearning methods and ideas. eLearning is fun, great, innovative, wonderful…. up until the moment you meet – most of – the clients (corporate or educational) feedback. While talking with a teacher-centered drilled client, your initial eLearning models and suggestions can be downsized in a way that leave you feeling bewildered.

  15. Systems approach of designing instruction- Adventures in Corporate Education, April 8, 2009
    I’ve posted before about the Dick & Carey method of instructional design - while I was taking a class based on the Dick & Carey method. This method of instructional design is very popular because it represents a systems method of designing instruction. Click on the image below to see a diagram of how this method works: But what does a systems method of designing instruction actually mean? The definition of system is: A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. from thefreedictionary.

  16. Top Ten Annoying Tech Phrases- Kapp Notes, April 7, 2009
    This post is inspired by Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Phrases and Wayne and Garth. I thought and thought but still came up two me out with the last two annoying tech phrases, please add. 10. No, no move your mouse to the left (or right or anywhere "Back-seat computer driving") 9. Are you a Mac or a PC Person 8. I thought I sent you an email about that! 7. No, I didn't get that email, can you resend? 6. Didn't you read my Tweet? 5. Sent from my Blackberry (or iPhone) 4. That's so old, I blogged about it last week. 3. Are you on Facebook? 2.

  17. Prezi goes live- Clive on Learning, April 6, 2009
    Prezi is the most exciting new presentation aid I've seen in ages and today sees its formal launch. Prezi is a Flash-based tool that does away with the traditional slide show metaphor. Instead you arrange your images, text, audio, video and PDF files on one great canvas that you navigate throughout your presentation. What makes Prezi exciting is the way you pan and zoom from object to object, either on a pre-defined navigational path or at will. Until now, all editing was conducted online, but the release version now includes a desktop editor, which synchs up to your online account.

  18. Top 20 Posts for Q1 2009- eLearning Technology, April 6, 2009
    One of the best things about having kids is getting a Spring Break with them. I'm fortunate enough to be doing that this week. So, rather than doing my normal posts, what I decided to do was to go back and do a couple of best of posts during the week. Of course, I cheated and used eLearning Learning to help me come up with these.

  19. Rapid Performance Analysis- Blender - Training Solutions, April 4, 2009
    Rapid performance analysis, is there such a thing? In a discussion with a LinkedIn connection, the topic of a quicker way to complete an effective performance analysis came up. His company frowns on spending time up front completing an analysis and wants him to dive into course development to "Save Time.

  20. New Webinar: Overcoming the Top 10 Objections to Social Learning- Engaged Learning, April 3, 2009
    photo credit: youngthousands ( WEBINAR REGISTRATION LINK ) This one is going to be good! (As if the others have not been….) But I am particularly excited about this one. It is based on a topic I love AND there is more audience participation. Let me explain… At DevLearn08 I presented this live session. But what made it even more fantabulous is that earlier in the week I attended Dave Wilkins’ session on social learning. We talked afterward and were SO on the same page.

  21. Can Your People Pass the Banana Test?- Bozarthzone , April 2, 2009
    I'm researching an upcoming live-online session, "Tips for the Positive Deviant" and just ran into this anecdote: During a positive deviance workshop designed to surface strategies for curtailing the spread of AIDS/HIV in Myanmar, "The group consisted of prostitutes -- nearly all of whom insisted she faithfully made her clients use condoms. The moment of truth occurred when each participant was asked to apply a condom to a banana. Varying degrees of dexterity quickly differentiated the pretenders from the practitioners...

  22. The Power of a Network in Action- Engaged Learning, April 1, 2009
    Remember this? I originally created and posted this a few weeks ago . It shows the possibilities of having a strong social network. Notice the happy face on the right in the middle? Ya - that’s me. The difference between the right and the left is something I talk about in the conference sessions, webinars, keynotes and trainings I do, what I write about on this blog and talk about in the webinar. This power of the network has been valuable to me in many instances.

  23. April 2009 - Getting Unstuck- The Learning Circuits Blog, April 1, 2009
    Last month's big question got quite a great response. I'm very much looking forward to the response this month. The inspiration for this question comes straight from Gina Minks' post - I think grad school is making me crazy . She is in a graduate school program and is a great self-directed learner: I’m learning about things like instructional theories, learning theories, how to tie learning to performance, how to tie learning to business requirements, and ways to measure all these things. I’m learning that my technical skills are important as learning moves to a web 2.0 platform.

Top Other Items

The following are the top other items based on social signals.

  1. Steve Hargadon: Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education, April 3, 2009
    web2.0 education technology learning collaboration elearning trends nscc_learn.

  2. SMBs and Social Learning Technologies, April 2, 2009
    Here are slides from the presentation I did yesterday. The session was hosted by SumTotal Systems. SMBs & Social Media (Sum Total) View more presentations from Janet Clarey . Some notes: Polls: Most attending work in L&D with some HR, IT, and learning services providers Most attending work in organization with 2000+ ee’s but several were SMBs (under 2K ee’s for this presentation) Current learning delivery channels primarily ILT classroom and ILT online as well as a fair amount of self-paced e-learning.

  3. Top Tools for Learning 2009, April 4, 2009
    As mentioned in earlier posting, this year I am building two lists - Top Tools for Learners and Top Tools for Learning Professionals based on contributions received. Although this year's activity has only been open for a few weeks we are seeing some clear leaders.

  4. Beware of Social Learning Backlash, April 11, 2009
    I’m finding out that the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” has some major significance when it comes to introducing social learning (specifically, social learning tools) at an organization. In fact, even worse things can happen if you don’t market your offerings correctly… When introducing social learning tools and concepts, it’s easy to get excited and anxious to share our findings.

  5. Build a Learning Portal Using WordPress, April 3, 2009
    I’ve written before about learning portals and how they can be a great way to improve access to learning materials for users. I wanted to provide a more in-depth post that shows how you can create your own learning portal using the freely available content management system, WordPress . So, let’s get started… Refresher: What is a portal? (This paragraph is from a previous post .) A learning portal is a web site that contains links to all different types of learning and training materials for employees at an organization.

  6. Here’s An Easy Way to Create Whiteboard Lectures for Your E-Learning Courses, April 7, 2009
    I’m a doodler. It helps me think. When I present or talk to people I like to use a whiteboard. I feel like I’m better able to get my ideas across as I map them out visually. Not only does this help me express my ideas, it kind of forces me to lay them out in a manner that’s easier to understand. Dan Roam talks about this in his book The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures . He shares his ideas on how to tell your story visually.

  7. How to Find Pictures for Your eLearning " Engaged Training, April 2, 2009
    Engaged Training My Ramblings about Training, Leadership, and Learning Home Subscribe Entries (RSS) Comments (RSS) Recent Posts How to Find Pictures for Your eLearning Social Learning: A Heart Issue What Are Some Good Survey Questions for Social Learning Adoption? Does Certification Mean One Is Qualified?

  8. The Twitterprise - 2009 is about our Corporate Cultures, NOT the Technology, April 9, 2009
    I follow @marciamarcia on twitter...and have done so for a while. Totally forgot that she also writes for FastCompany . Sorry, Marcia ;-( She wrote an EXCELLENT article titled "Twitterprise: Bringing Whole Selves to Work" . So much great stuff in it that you must follow the link to get it all in. The reason I like the article so much is that it truly gets to the heart of all this 2.0 stuff. After the honeymoon buzz of new technologies wears off, we are still left with the realies of dealing with the people in our organizations.

  9. Learning Twitter Chat!, April 6, 2009
    Blame it on Marcia Conner (@marciamarcia), who’d been participating in Twitter chats for journalists and editors. She found them educational, and prodded a couple of us that maybe we should create the same sort of thing to talk about learning. We visited a few other chats, and it seemed worth experimenting with (it’s our duty, after all!). One thing led to another, and here we are: The first learn chat happens *this* Thursday , 5PM - 7PM PT, 8-10 PM ET. What do you have to do?

  10. Changing how people and organizations interact, April 5, 2009
    Jon Husband has recently published a paper, What is wirearchy? In case this is a new term, the definition of wirearchy is posted on the top right of my site. In the paper, Jon starts with the origin of the framework: In that context of ubiquitous impact, reams have been written about the erosion of the effectiveness of command-and control as the dominant model for leading and managing purposeful organized activities in business, education, government and governance, politics, culture and the arts … all the areas in which humans act together to create and get things done.

  11. My Prerequisites for IDs, April 6, 2009
    Ellen Wagner is a learning industry analyst with a passion for sustaining innovation and accelerating enterprise adoption of technologies for education, training and performance support. This is her blog. My interests in this ongoing discussion about instructional design competencies are both professional and personal. I have always been drawn to the way that one can structure, direct and produce a learning experience very much in the way that one can construct a museum exhibit, or art-direct a photograph, or write a screen play.

  12. Social Media Goals, April 2, 2009
    I spent yesterday touring the Web 2.0 expo (part of the time with fellow miscreant Jay Cross ), and it led me to think a bit more about social media tools and approaches. After touring the floor, having lunch, and touring the floor some more before the keynotes, my reflections have to do with hybrids and implementation. We were prompted to visit Blue Kiwi , which is probably the leading European social media platform. Talking to them, and the others there (Vignette & Lithium) has me reflecting more broadly.

  13. ScreenCastle, April 6, 2009
    Here's another online screencasting tool, that caught my eye. The reason it headlines with "One click screencasting" To launch the screencast recorder and record a screencast directly from you browser, just click the button on the right of the screen here : ScreenCastle [67 other screen capture or screencasting tools on this page of the Directory of Learning Tools] ...Tags: Tools.

  14. Here’s What You Need to Know About Mobile Learning, April 1, 2009
    Every few years it seems that there’s some hot new trend in the world of training. Right now it appears that mobile learning is all the rage. The world of mobile gadgets is converging with an always available wifi network. This gives us instant access to all sorts of information which fits in well with on-demand training. Since this part of the industry is so new to many of you, I thought it might be best to hook up with an expert in the industry to learn more. So I called one of my mentors and a real pioneer in the elearning industry, Dr. Werner Oppelbaumer, to pick his brain.

  15. Chatting, April 10, 2009
    Last night we held the first #lrnchat , a Twitter learning chat. As mentioned before, it was an idea from Marcia Conner based upon her previous experience with other chats and enthusiasm for Twitter. It was an interesting experience, with it’s plusses and minuses. There were great topics, and some interesting technical issues. The latter first: I finally ‘graduated’ from TwitterFox (a plugin for Firefox , and a great way to start Twittering) to TweetDeck, an AIR application.

  16. Conceptualizing the Performance Ecosystem, April 9, 2009
    So I’ve been playing with rethinking my Performance Ecosystem conceptualization and visualization. The original had very discrete components, and an almost linear path, and that doesn’t quite convey the reality of how things are tied together. I believe it’s useful to help people see the components, but it doesn’t capture the goal of an integrated system. I’ve been wrestling with my diagramming application (OmniGraffle) to rethink it. My notion is that systems, e.g.

  17. Climbing the collaboration curve, April 8, 2009
    Jon Husband sent me the link to short post by John Seely Brown, John Hagel, and Lang Davison on The Collaboration Curve. Everybody knows about network effects: the value of a network increases exponentially with the addition of each new node. ( Metcalfe’s Law .) Imagine what can happen if those nodes are people. Each new node gives them more opportunities to learn and to perform better. When people are actively pulling in learning resources rather than taking what’s pushed at them, the value of the network goes turbo, an effect the authors call the collaboration curve .

  18. Model learning, April 8, 2009
    On Monday, a hearty Twitter exchange emerged when Jane Bozarth quoted Roger Schank “ Why do we assume that theories of things must be taught to practitioners of those things?” I stood up for theory, Cammy Bean and Dave Ferguson chimed in and next thing you know, we’re having a lively discussion in 140 characters. With all the names to include, Dave pointed out we had even less space! One side was stoutly defending that what SMEs thought was important wasn’t necessarily what practitioners needed.

  19. Push the Reset Button, April 11, 2009
    Charles Jennings made a comment on Corporate Learning Trends that got me thinking about the need for a reset of the whole training function: Baldwin, Ford and Weissbein’s research (20 and 10 years ago, respectively) showed that the USA spends around $100 billion on training every year, but only about 10% of the expenditures result in transfer to the job. I’m sure if the research was re-run today the results would be similar, whether in the US, in Western Europe or anywhere else, for that matter.

  20. Community Portals, April 3, 2009
    Looking back at lessons learned from community portals (2005) I would say that the transactional portal is the only one that still makes any sense to me: Transactional: sites which are accessible, complete, thoughtful, and coherent; and with more than one type of on-line interaction (e.g. payment, application, consultation, bookings). RSS has blown up the content-only portal funded through advertising but the wide adoption of Twitter is giving content publishers a new push mechanism to get eyeballs to their sites.

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