Training, and education, are often solutions looking for a problem. But good training and education can have a huge impact on behaviour and performance. Remember that great teacher who inspired you? Did you ever have a coach who got you to a higher level of performance? But throwing content at someone and hoping for learning to happen is not a good strategy. This is how far too many courses are designed and delivered.
“As I’ve been working with the Foundation over the past 6 months I’ve had the occasion to review a wide variety of elearning, more specifically in the vocational and education space, but my experience mirrors that from the corporate space: most of it isn’t very good. I realize that’s a harsh pronouncement, but I fear that it’s all too true; most of the elearning I see will have very little impact.” – Clark Quinn
But if courses are all you know, that’s what gets built. Moving from Training, to Performance, to Social can sum up my professional journey in supporting organizational learning. All are needed, but too often the easiest solution is the course, designed to disseminate the approved content. There are ways to improve course design, support work, and improve collaboration, as Clark Quinn has written about very well in his book, Revolutionize Learning.
Much of workplace performance improvement comes from better designed ways to get things done. People can get help with the right tools at the right time. How to do this is the realm of human performance technology (HPT). It’s often more a case of removing barriers than training people.
Solving problems together is what a lot of us have to do at work. Social learning is a key part of this. It’s about learning with and from our peers.
From Training, to Performance, to Social
I am now offering an online community space on Social Learning. It is focused on nine practices for organizational performance improvement. The community provides examples and exercises to cover more than courses. It addresses three ways to enhance training, three performance support approaches, and three methods to support social learning. It’s hands-on and practical, with a handy job aid provided to all community members. Plus, it’s a place to share ideas.
Here are the nine main themes covered:
- Action Mapping for Designing Instruction
- Flipping the Classroom
- Promoting Personal Learning Networks
- Adopting Enterprise Social Networks
- Working Out Loud
- Supporting Coaching & Mentoring [cognitive apprenticeship]
- Using Social Media
- Learning Out Loud [PKM]
- Engaging Communities of Practice
If you are involved in designing or supporting any aspect of workplace learning, this may be just what you need.