Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges

 

        

Organizations with strong informal learning capabilities (Bersin) are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development than organizations without those competencies.  It’s no wonder.  We learn best in context, and using ADDIE or a formal learning course usually does not embed learning in work.   Having short learnings available at point of need, or as performance support, is a way of filling in the gaps of experience.  This can improve not only individual performance, but team and organizational performance as well.  Article by Charles Jennings.

 

“A common finding that has emerged from study after study over the past few years is that learning which is embedded in work seems to be more effective than learning away from work. If people learn as part of the workflow then this learning is more likely to impact performance in a positive way.”

via Charles Jennings | Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges.

The TWO roles for L&D in the modern workplace: Learning Managers & Learning Consultants

 

Learning Consultants, who are a part of the Learning and Development team inside an organization, are ideal for supporting teams and individuals when their learning is self-managed.  Learning Consultants can recommend activities or activity pathways, act as a mentor, or guide a team activity.  Jane Hart expands on the concept in her article.

“Consequently, there are some really interesting new “blended training” initiatives appearing on the scene,  However, the role of L&D has itself not changed; most still see themselves as Learning (or Training) Managers who take on the total responsible for designing, delivering and managing a training solution”.

via The TWO roles for L&D in the modern workplace: Learning Managers & Learning Consultants | Learning in the Social Workplace.

Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology?

Most likely they are not.  If there is one thing I’ve found consistently in both the corporate world and in academia, it’s that you can’t use too many tools.  If the technology becomes a part of the job that must be done, the tool must be used.  Choosing a few tools, and getting the entire organization accustomed to using them, is the best way to ensure adoption.  It is tempting to try to incorporate new ones, but as this article states, focus is often on deployment, not adoption.

This is a very short article but I emphatically agree.  A few key tools are all we can expect in terms of adoption, so transitions must be incorporated into any new decisions.  Investment into something new comes at a cost – and work functions become about the technology instead of the task at hand until the adoption is complete.

 

“Do fewer things better. You can’t jump on every new technology. Focus on ones that will create real value—and that you believe you can execute.

Plan and budget for adoption from the start. Communicate the value of adoption to your employees. Take into account the people, processes, and structural changes, and budget for training.

Lead by example. Model the change you want to see happen. For instance, you can participate on digital platforms and experiment with new ways of collaborating and connecting with employees.

Engage HR early. When relevant, encourage HR to take a leadership role in the transformation. It will be essential for them to adapt management and HR processes so the new practices get institutionalized.”

via Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology? | Exemplarr – e Publishing & e Learning.

Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s….annoying

 

Why do people fear the new?  Is it a product of superficial reaction about cognition that doesn’t allow the mind and human nature to be malleable and adjust to new thinking?  This article by Donald Clark addresses neophobia.  He reminds us of the famous Douglas Adams’ thoughts – 1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal  2)  Anything that gets invented before then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career of it  3)  Anything that gets invented after your thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it has been around for ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright….

I agree with his post, however this is about adults, and how they learn, and how they change.  The are additional dynamics that are introduced when a new process or technology is introduced into the “normalcy” that someone experiences everyday.  Every day tasks become about the technology, and not about the process or goal we are trying to achieve.  It gets in the way, it is like training a new employee (except we are training ourselves.)  It is an investment of time we hope will pay off.

Good food for thought from Donald Clark.

Thomas Kuhn and the evolutionist Wilson, saw neophobia as a brake on human thinking and progress, as individuals and institutions tend to work within paradigms, encouraging ‘groupthink’ which makes people irrationally defensive and unsupportive of new ideas and technologies.

via Donald Clark Plan B: Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s damn annoying.

From Courses to Communities

The long tail of open learning – free online courses of any type, cMOOCs, xMOOCs – is the community that forms around each one.  This has been my personal experience, and one we don’t usually hear discussed.  The course may not ever be completed, but the people we virtually bump into often share common interests and become a part of our PLNs.  In some cases we already know them from other virtual learning environments.  Interests intersect, and we bump into others – nodes in our networks.  This has been so valuable.  This article is from DML Central.

“When I started collaborating with Mitchel Resnick and Natalie Rusk at the MIT Media Lab we set out to design and offer a somewhat different online course. It would be easy to say now that creating an online learning community was our intention from the start, but the truth is, we were a little surprised ourselves, surprised and excited. Learning Creative Learning, the online course we created, became a springboard for learning with family, friends, and colleagues and turned into an ongoing community.”

via From Courses to Communities | DMLcentral.

Our Education System Conflicts With the Science of Learning

 

Our brains are not designed to learn in what we consider a typical setting.  Classrooms and lectures are recent constructs, and in fact the brain is a “forager” well equipped to collect information informally, on the go.  Benedict Carey shares his theory on Big Think, where he explains there no one-size-fits all tactic for learning…

“He explains the importance of sleep, as it’s the brain’s method of consolidating a day’s lessons. He defends the act of forgetting, as it allows for stronger retention after re-learning like the building of a memory muscle. Daydreaming and distraction, in certain contexts, can actually boost your learning ability.”

via Our Education System Conflicts With the Science of Learning | Big Think | IdeaFeed.

Digital Media Plus Teaching Equals Support for Freedom

There is ongoing debate about technology in the classroom, erupting again in the past week when Clay Shirky (NYU) wrote an article about his classroom. He is no longer allowing laptops or devices.  This survey of 10,000 high school students asked if technology made them smarter, not as smart, or if they believed the tool was not important – it’s how we use it.  They chose the last view.  From MediaShift/PBS.

“A new survey of more than 10,000 high school students lends support to that last view. Amid an explosion in social and mobile media – their media – high school students are supporting freedom of expression in record numbers, and are even more likely to do so if they also have had a class in the First Amendment.”

via News for High Schools: Digital Media Plus Teaching Equals Support for Freedom | Mediashift | PBS.