Sunday, November 1, 2009
Web 2.0 Learning Shift
Remote, Mobile and/or Agile Workers – Offering training in “the office” doesn’t have the same meaning anymore. The number of people working from home, from the road, or from other remote locations continues to increase each year. For these people virtual learning is a natural extension of the virtual workplace.
Social Media Explosion – Like it or not, employees are using social media tools. They are connecting to people outside of their companies and sharing information freely on facebook, twitter, and personal blogs. User created content has become a powerful source of information through these tools.
So where does that leave us?
Well, providing solid content that meets our learners’ needs will always be important, but instead of “courses” or “programs” being central to what we do, we need to think in terms of “environments” and “enablement.” We need to help learners connect to the right resources quickly when they need them – and to each other. Instructional designers and course developers have to make the leap from producing instructor-led training and elearning courseware to embracing a new platform, one on which they can create virtual collaborative learning environments that allow their company’s employees to learn both formally and informally. Learning needs to combine real world experiences with opportunities for reflection, sharing, questioning and refining. Improvements to virtual classroom tools in recent years now allow this to be done effectively.
For many, it is a struggle to make the leap. Creating an environment that enables informal learning requires giving up some control over objectives and measures. By its very nature informal learning will produce its own unintended outcomes. But isn’t it a good thing if people learn more from our design efforts than we put into them?