Posts Categorized: SocialLearning

Social Learning – Highlights

We released our first white paper, on Social Learning, at the Collaborative Enterprise last week. For me, the essence of social learning is that as our work becomes more complex, we need faster feedback loops to stay on top of it. Courses, with their long development cycle, are inadequate to meet the learning and performance… Read more »

PKM: our part of the social learning contract

Why is social learning important? It is becoming more difficult to make sense of the world by ourselves. Understanding issues that affect our lives takes significant time and effort, whether it be public education, universal health care or climate change. Even the selection of a mobile phone plan requires more than mere numeracy and literacy. … Read more »

Social tools for networks

Effective knowledge sharing is what many organizations do not do well, or as Lew Platt past-CEO of Hewlett-Packard said, “if only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive”. But HP will never know what the employees of HP know, so wouldn’t it be better to let the workers share what… Read more »


Yesterday, I attended Martin Weller’s presentation on SocialLearn, hosted by George Siemens, with the recording now available online. SocialLearn is a project of The Open University and takes Weinberger’s concept of small pieces loosely joined and applies it to higher education. I wrote about Small (learning) pieces loosely joined three ago and have long been… Read more »

New work, new attitude

Nine Shift has a series of posts on the changing nature of work and how the idea of responsibility usurped morals during the industrial age (See Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3). “In the Industrial Age of the 20th century, you didn’t have to be of good moral character to work in the… Read more »

From e-Learning to s-Learning

James Farmer has started an excellent conversation on learning management systems and how new systems can be developed on a looser configuration of individual controlled nodes by using blogging software. The general theme is that less management is better, and that individual learners could write all of their posts, assignments and papers from their own site, and these could be directed to each class as web feeds. The classes would aggregate the feeds from all the students and instructors. The beauty of this kind of system is that each student keeps all of his/her content, and it does not get locked away in an inaccessible archive of a centrally controlled LMS.

Boris Mann and Will Pate add their comments, especially from the Drupal perspective, with Will pushing for a move away from electronic learning to social learning. I think that a shift of focus (and development effort) away from the management aspects of learning and more on the social aspects of learning can only be positive for the learner.

We have the technology to do this, and Drupal only needs a few more functions in order to be a "learning community in a box". It’s exciting to know that we are getting to the point of having a real alternative to the LMS. I have tried in the past year to convince some organisations to move away from the LMS model, but the alternatives have been a bit messy, especially for the IT department. Rob Paterson’s course at UPEI showed that an online course could work without an LMS. The development of an "off-the-shelf" social software tool, designed for formal learning interventions, could really kick-start a new direction for learning technologies.

Update – and the Drupal development community has begun to discuss the creation of a module for educational sites, starting with quizzes, but ending who knows where.