October 24, 2012

Social...Social...Social...if you say it enough people will believe it.

It has been all about social learning this year. The thing is...nobody is really doing it. I have heard from many companies/peers and while there is some social aspect to what everyone is doing, there appears to be no real social learning happening out there.

Well...let me rephrase that...there is no "designed" social learning out there. Tons of folks are learning via social networks, peer groups, communities, informal networking...etc. but none if it seems to be orchestrated by companies or learning departments.

I went to a session where Masie was saying that we are barely at the beginning of chapter 1 whenever it comes to social learning. I tend to believe this analysis. I think that we in our field focus too much energy on trying to push social learning that we forget to reflect on what the learner really wants...content and context in the format they choose.

Personally, I think it is too early to try and ram social learning down the throats staff. I think that we need to step back and even (dare I say this) put on our instructional design hats and focus our attentions on analysis of learner needs and also on how they use technology to support their learning.

Lots has been discussed about communities of practice, but communities can only live if the learner wants them. We talk about incentives to spur participation in communities, but is this really what we want.
Do we want false participation in a community or a social learning platform because someone wants a chunk of chocolate or a gift card? The WIIFM with social learning and communities is not a badge or some reward. The WIIFM needs to be related to some sort of intrinsic reward that the learner benefits from...not some extrinsic token.

All that said...how do we move forward with social learning. My answer is that I think we wait. Or...at least we do lots of analysis before we make any steps into this.

Nothing I have seen, here, this week has knocked my socks of. Nobody is doing anything revolutionary or interesting in the field of social learning. There is definitely a huge opportunity out there, but we need the learners to drive this.

All we can do is keep both eyes open, follow trends and then jump in when the learner seems ready to have us.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by rasober at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2012


Went to a session that TGI Fridays was doing on using video. The good thing to know is that the type of video we are shooting is pretty much on target with best practices out there. The days of high quality professional video are pretty much relegated to television now. Fridays uses Sony Bloggie cameras for their internal video. No special lighting, no actors...nothing, good to see

Waiting for the morning keynote to start, looking forward to seeing Josh Bersin...hopefully he wont be as boring as I am thinking. Maybe the format will help out,

Taking off for now

Posted by rasober at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2012

Social/Collaborative Learning and MOOCs

Elliott did one of his dump/rants just before lunch.

The graphic I sen to folks at work was what he used as his presentation template. Some really interesting insights from him. Here they go...

- Social and collaborative learning are not the same thing, they are strange cousins of each other. He said that "people learn together when they feel the need to do so"...again, this hits on the build it and they won't come type of thought process. People will learn socially and collaboratively, but only if they feel the need to do so. We can't really force people into it.

- "People need content from the organization, but they also need context and field truth." Content is the physical content...context is supplied by the instructor (or the instruction) and field truth comes from peers. Learners need the ability to learn from other learners...this will supply the field truth.

- Learners will maximize their learning by having the opportunity to teach someone else

Question about this last point...
- Is there some way that we can leverage this in our organization? What if we taught classes and then gave the participants the ability to teach snippets of what they learned to others. We could make use of cTools to capture these little snippets of learning. How about we then post them out there (for free) for people at the U to read. People will learn from them...the participants will also have their learning solidified and validated by doing this small amount of teaching. We would also have some free marketing for the class the attendee went to along with content that we can then mine and cycle back to the classes to make them better.

- this concept interested me. I am going to go to a session this afternoon about it. Basically, it is a giant open class that anyone can attend and anyone can contribute to.

I also think of this in terms of what we are doing. What if we offered a MOOC about competencies. Nothing specific, but more of a general knowledge session about competencies..what they are...etc. We also introduce the concept of organizational competencies (even our own). We encourage participation and even ask people about the University culture and what competencies would work. This could be some foundation work for a project to re-look at the Org competencies. It would also engage people in what competencies are...we would create some champions of competencies and even some change agents.

I think this is worth looking at.

Posted by rasober at 01:02 PM | Comments (3)

Starting out

First thing, excuse the typing. I am using my iPad for the, so who knows what type of words are going to pop up here

Been an interesting day so far. I thought I was going to focusing on video, but the social aspect of learning seems to be taking over. Som interesting points...

If you tell people that they must collaborate, the often stop altogether. The truth is that if you build it they will not come, This seems to be the overwhelming experience of those doing social learning. Also, the social learning I am seeing is really just about supporting communities of practice...not what I would call real social learning.

A tip is to find what activities drive people together and then leverage these activities to give social learning some direction,

One. Many here is tying social kearning to the organizational competences. I found this very interesting and think that this may be a good entry point for social learning at Michigan. Do someing like this.

- here are the competences
- here is some info about them
- support the communities
- keep the conversation about the org competencies open
- ask people to comment
- minimally moderate it
- mine for content

Also learned about MOOCs (massive open online courses)

I think these are something we need to look at...more about this later...a session starting.

Posted by rasober at 11:02 AM | Comments (2)