This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about the Learning Flow.In the first post I discussed the concept of a Learning Flow - as a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities, in the second I talked about the user experience and in the third I considered three types of Learning Flow.
The links to resources and articles I tweeted during February 2014 are in my 2014 Reading List.
In the third of this series of blog posts about Learning Flows, I take a look at three types of Learning Flow and provide some examples of Learning Flows hosted on different activity stream platforms - including our Twitter-daily-learning-news-related based Learning Flow.
Remember, a Learning Flow is not just about delivering bite-sized nuggets of content, but encouraging short social learning experiences.
In my last post I described the concept of a Learning Flow as a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities, and explained how this new learning framework lies between the instructionally designed course and the unstructured knowledge sharing of teams, groups and communities that takes place in public activity streams and enterprise social networks.
But what advantages does a Learning Flow bring to the individual? In this post I compare the user experience with that of the traditional online course (or e-learning) and participation in activity streams.
Learning is a process not an event. Learning is a destination not a journey.
We’ve heard all this for years, and yet the facts remain the same – the way that we help people learn revolves around events in the form of (a defined package of content) aka courses, where the focus still is firmly on the destination - the completion of the course - as a measure of success.
But in the age of Facebook and Twitter, and now Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) like Yammer and Jive - where at the heart lies an activity stream that is used for a continuous stream of knowledge exchange, there is a place for a new learning framework - one that lies between the formal, instructionally designed course and the unstructured knowledge sharing of teams, groups and communities. We call this a Learning Flow.
A Learning Flow is a continuous steady stream of social micro-learning activities - accessible from the web and mobile devices
Let's look at each of the elements of that sentence, that describe a Learning Flow
- continuous – ongoing (ie no end date)
- steady - daily (or probably more likely, weekdaily)
- micro-learning – short – ie taking no longer than 15-20 minutes to undertake
- activities – that involve reading (watching or listening to) something and doing something
- social – that invite and encourage active participation and contribution
- stream - that are organised and structured in the Flow in weekly themes
- accessible from web and mobile devices – to ensure that learning can take place anywhere and at anytime
For individual users being present in a Learning Flow means
- having some help to navigate the turbulent waters of a fast flowing stream of (new) knowledge
- retaining control over how and when they get involved, and how they fit it into their daily workload - autonomy is a key element of participation.
Learning Flows are suitable for:
- Enterprise use - to provide ongoing updating of teams or groups
- Educational use - to provide an extra dimension to academic subjects - probably alongside a formal curriculum
- Professional use - for generic topics of interest in areas like Marketing, Leadership, L&D, etc, where it is vital to keep up with new knowledge and practices.
If you're interested in experiencing a Learning Flow, we've already got a couple of Learning Flows underway for L&D professionals - with more to come:
If you're interested in offering Learning Flows in your own organisation, the beauty is that they require no special learning platforms to set up and deliver. You can use any platform where there is an activity stream, e.g. a platform like Twitter or FB or an ESN like Yammer or Jive. If you want to find out more, we offer a Learning Flow on Setting up and leading a Learning Flow where we have weekly themes on Learning Flow scaffolding and preparation, micro-learning activity design, managing and evaluating a Flow.
However, in a couple of further blog posts on this topic I will take a look at the anatomy of a Learning Flow, as well as consider the User Experience and the role of Learning Professionals in their design and delivery.
There’s a lot of talk about the role of L&D in performance support – which has mainly focused on moving content creation efforts from courses to resources. But dealing with performance improvement is more than creating a lot of job aids.
Read this post about the need for performance audits.
n preparation for a short, Twitter event (#t4sl) I am involved in this afternoon, I’ve updated my (2010) presentation: Social Learning: An explanation using Twitter.
Social Learning - An explanation using Twitter from Jane Hart
People often ask me how did you get into social media? My answer, is to tell them that I didn’t get into social media, social media got into me! Here’s my journey through the last 20 years of the Web, and how it has influenced my thinking about workplace learning.
Here's the THIRD Case Study.
Following Monday’s post, How to break out of the “course is the solution to every problem” mindset: make courses the exception rather than the rule, here is the second of three case studies that shows how courses are not the solution to every learning or performance problem.
Read the first case study here.
How to break out of the “course is the solution to every problem” mindset: make courses the exception rather than the rule
You can read this post HERE.
Here is my pick of the best blog posts from January 2014.
After tweeting yesterday's post, The (new) role of the Workplace Learning Advisor, I was asked the question, "How do you keep up to date with new trends, technologies and tools?". And my (tweeted) response wasQ just in. How do I keep up to date with with what’s new in trends/tech/tools? Easy! By being a resident on the (social) web. — Jane Hart (C4LPT) (@C4LPT) January 29, 2014
I first read about the concept of web residents and web visitors in a First Monday article back in 2011, Visitors and Resident: A new typology for online engagement - which proposed "a continuum of ‘Visitors’ and ‘Residents’ as a replacement for Prensky’s much-criticised Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants" The authors, David White and Alison Cornu, explain the difference as follows Web visitors"We propose that Visitors understand the Web as akin to an untidy garden tool shed. They have defined a goal or task and go into the shed to select an appropriate tool which they use to attain their goal. Task over, the tool is returned to the shed."
Web residents"Residents, on the other hand, see the Web as a place, perhaps like a park or a building in which there are clusters of friends and colleagues whom they can approach and with whom they can share information about their life and work. A proportion of their lives is actually lived out online where the distinction between online and off–line is increasingly blurred."
So, for me, being a Web resident is the ONLY way to keep up to date - by being immersed in what's happening there, by reading about it and talking about it with connections from around the world in my professional network (aka PLN).
Here is where I find out about all the new (frequently free or low cost) tools that NEVER appear on exhibition stands, as well as hear about the amazing (new) work of colleagues around the work that RARELY gets air-time at conferences. Being a resident of the Social Web and keeping up to date is an integral part of my work.
I have already shared how I use my own tools as part of my daily PKM routine, which is now second nature time. But essentially, the invaluable knowledge and experience that is freely and willingly shared on the Social Web helps me to do my own job well. In fact I could no longer do it effectively without being a resident of the Social Web.
Many of you will know that I refer to myself as an independent Workplace Learning & Collaboration Advisor. What does that involve?
I help L&D (as well as other organizational) teams in the following ways:
- I keep them up to date with what’s happening in the world of workplace learning and collaboration trends, technologies and tools, as well as answer their questions on new things they have heard about.
- I offer a range of options (ideas and suggestions) for ways to solve any challenges and problems.
- I help them understand the pros and cons, costs and benefits of different solutions for the particular issues they face.
- I provide support and guidance as they put the option THEY HAVE CHOSEN into practice.
I don’t do their work for them. I don’t sell them (nor tell them to use) a particular methodology, product or system. I help them make informed decisions.
As L&D departments evolve in this new world of working and learning, there is a growing need for Workplace Learning Advisers who can help their own organizations in the same way – both proactively and reactively.
- Proactively keeping work teams up to date with new ways to improve productivity and supporting knowledge sharing and collaboration.
- Reactively helping work teams, groups and individuals understand the range of possibilities to address their job, team or business performance problems, and then supporting them as they put their chosen option into practice.
The role of Workplace Learning Advisor is therefore about helping individuals and teams make informed decisions - rather than telling them what to do or learn - or how to do it.
Is the role of Workplace Learning Advisor one that you would like to take on - or maybe even already take on in your organisation?
The PDF edition of the 2014 edition of the Social Learning Handbook is now available for personal use by registered users. Price: £15.
Site licences can also be obtained by organisations for multiple readers.
Social Learning Handbook 2014:
The Next Generation of Workplace Learning Practices in the Age of Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration
Although social learning is something that we have always done, it has often been ignored or misunderstood by the training industry. Now, however, the proliferation of social tools makes this a powerful way to improve workplace performance. When we consider what social learning means inside an organization, it’s not just adding social media to instructional programmes or letting people interact with one another. It’s more about helping people learn from one another as they work together – enhanced by collaborative enterprise social tools. Learning in today’s networked workplace is not just being trained to do a task, but about learning with and from one another as we face new challenges. In the connected enterprise there is a new role for HR, OD, and L&D departments. This book looks at some of the key ways that organizations can start to support social workplace learning.
Here are full details of how to become a registered user, or obtain a site licence for the PDF version of the Social Learning Handbook 2014.
A Social Learning Practitioner is a learning professional who encourages, enables and supports knowledge sharing and collaboration across their organisation – not just in training. He/she is a role model, leading the way by showing the business what it is to be social, and modelling the new knowledge sharing and collaboration practices that are required for the modern business to operate effectively in the modern world.
Before you can help your organisation become social, you need to “walk the social talk” yourself. This first part of the new Social Learning Practitioners Programme (SLPP) offered by The Connected Workplace will help you do that.
Available for on-demand, self-paced use by individuals, this programme consists of 25 practical activities for you to do on your own or with your work team to develop your own personal social learning skills as well as work (and learn) collaboratively with your team. These activities promote network thinking, the use of social tools for self-organised professional learning, and help to develop knowledge sharing and collaboration skills. [You can view the list of 25 activities by logging into the SLPP Programme on the The Connected Workplace site with username guest and password guest]
The two core texts for the Programme are the Social Learning Handbook 2014 and The Practical Guide to the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 although additional online materials and readings are provided.
Participants on the SLPP will be supported by Jane Hart and Harold Jarche through the Social Learning Practitioners Network (SLPN), where they will also share links to further relevant resources as they become available.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement when they have shown evidence of completion of the activities.
PROGRAMME FEE (Part 1): £95 This price includes PDF copies of the Handbook and the Practical Guide plus 6 months access to the materials on the Connected Worker site. However, participants can remain as a member of the Social Learning Practitioner Network for as long as they wish.
SIGN UP for Part 1 of the Programme HERE.
Note: Part 2 of the Programme: Putting Social into Practice will become available in February 2014.
Find out more in my post on my Learning in the Social Workplace blog