Sunday, June 17, 2012

Considering 70:20:10 in a Curriculum Framework

Over the last few months, we have hired several Curriculum Managers in my company to focus on curating learning content for key topics that have been identified as being closely aligned with learning needs in our business.  This new group of learning professionals provides us with awesome capabilities. If they help us to use available information strategically, it will truly enable us to drive growth.   Right now, they are engaged in hammering out our curriculum framework and I am advising them on governance issues.

One of the key things I want them to consider is the 70:20:10 learning model based on research from the Center for Creative Leadership. It states that the breakdown of how we actually learn to do our jobs effectively is as follows:  about 70% from on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving; about 20% from conversations and feedback from people we work with; and about 10% from formal learning sources such as ILT or e-learning courses.  The concept is stated very clearly in this brief video clip from Internet Time Alliance member, Charles Jennings:

As the Curriculum Managers work together to develop our framework, I am asking them to consider how to structure our offerings so a motivated learner will have appropriate choices.  Learners must be able to pull learning to get what they need, rather than have us prescribe and push "courses" out to them.   We have the tools and technology to allow our learners to connect to experts and peers, to join communities of practice  - or to create their own.  We need to help them gain the right experiences for their development, not just train and test them as we may have done in the past.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Extending Learning through Yammer

Take a look at the two machine parts in this picture.  They are Vacuum Deck Blower Motors.  When presented next to each other side by side, it is pretty easy to see that they are not the same.  The one on the left is slightly taller.  If you were to go inside the housing you would see that they have different constructions and different controllers.  That is because they are made for different machines and they are not interchangeable.  But if you didn’t have them standing right next to each other, you might easily mistake one for the other and place the wrong one in the wrong machine during maintenance or while making repairs.  Some of our service representatives have made that mistake.

Of course, when they go through training they are instructed on the differences in usage and labeling so they can recognize and install the right part into the right machine.   Fortunately our equipment is pretty reliable which means there might be a long interval between the time service reps receive this training and the time they might actually have to make this repair.   It is easy to see how they might forget what they’ve learned and install the wrong part.

That is one of the frustrations expressed by the Technical Training Instructor who leads the class in which this is covered.   He is an excellent instructor.  He covers everything the reps need to know, gives them a chance to practice doing it, and provides appropriate feedback before sending them out into the field.  He had been doing this for years and hoping for the best, until he discovered Yammer.   Now he extends the learning beyond the classroom by sharing tips and tricks that the service reps can easily access off of their laptops or mobile devices at the point of need.   The picture of the vacuum deck blowers is actually part of a job aid he attached to a post in the Yammer group he recently created.  In the short time since this group has been up and running, he has been able to share pictures, videos, and job aids -  and generally give the service reps the benefit of his expertise at the point of need.  At the same time, he is learning from them.  He is learning about the challenges and the most common problems they face in the field.  This information allows him to incrementally improve his classroom training approach and materials.