Friday, February 6, 2009

Learner-focused learning! Elliott Maise

Listened to the CLO webinar with Elliott Maisie yesterday. Our learning systems focus on organizational needs but not the needs of the learner. Elliott was arguing that our learning systems should foster learner engagement, curiosity, social learning and user content/context; e.g., be learner centric. By user content, he proposes that learners can add content to courses as they apply what they learn. Learners should be able to sequence content to meet their needs. Users should be able to go off path and explore the learning concept in practice.

So far I am in agreement although reflecting back in the trenches on how one could implement. Would you want user generated content in business compliance courses: sexual harassment, workplace violence, diversity? Suspect the lawyers would answer NO. I see user generated content content useful in the business skills content including management and leadership.

Elliott cited the use of rogue learning systems in a top company created by the learners to meet a need in certification. This "rogue" system consisted of Google, instant messenger and a bulletin board hosted outside the firewall. My concern with rogue learning systems is integrating that data into talent management. How can you find that talent for projects or product development if they're not in a system? I suspect that performance and talent management (human capital management) is still a work in progress in most organizations and reliant on carbon-based databases as to where the talent is within the organization. Thoughts for another posting.

I did like his concept of "drip" learning, thin intravenous learning, one drip at a time. Elliott asked, who would get a MBA through the "drip" method over seven years?

Anyone out there with rogue learning systems?

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