Narrowing the dissertation question

I’ve been working on narrowing the question for my dissertation. It’s difficult when one question leads to so many others. So today it’s….

‘How can informal mentoring via on-line social networking enhance the coaching process?

Any relevant research, articles or links for a lit review in this area would be appreciated, although the actual question is likely to change and then change again……….

Creative People

Interesting quote that I picked up on igoogle from Human Resources daily quote re creative people;

“Psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggests that creative people have one trait that most makes them different from other individuals – complexity. Csikszentmihalyi’s summary of exceptionally creative people: smart but naïve, often introverted, both humble and arrogant, more androgynous than others, both conservative and rebellious.”

Learning Technologies 2008. Reflections part 4. Creating e-learning using what you have

Key Messages for me from this session were;

Involve more people in rapid e-learning design to allow Instructional designers the time to fully utilise their experience. Value and support ‘Subject Matter Experts’ to work with Instructional designers in order to maximise the learning experience.

I particularly enjoyed Clive Shepherds session and key things I took away were as follows;

Clive drew attention to the ways in which the lines between being a teacher and a learner are blurring. We can now all be authors using blogs, wikis and self-publish on-line books, as well as teachers via social networking and sharing our expertise. Clive stressed that 72% of training challenges are time critical which led to pressure for e-learning to be produced quickly. Rapid e-learning provides a solution to this need, but only a small number of L&D professionals are using these authoring tools. He suggested that if SMEs and others in the organisation had access to these tools then Instructional designers could focus on other areas in which their expertise could be fully utilised. These areas included; simulations, challenging scenarios, game play, 3D models and virtual worlds. Clive believes that the tools, time and skills should be made available to a larger population in order that they can design user rated e-learning materials.

Hope I’ve captured the key messages Clive.  

Learning Technologies 2008. Reflections part 1. Learning Design.

After reflection, I’d like to share the messages that I came away with after attending learning technologies last week.  Track 2 focussed on effective learning and covered the areas of design, roll out, infrastucture, rapid e-learning and deploying content that works for the business.

The first session ‘great design for great learning’  contained the clear messages of; prototype early and involve users in the design process to ensure that learning solutions meet individual and business needs Patrick Dunn spoke about ‘Re-learning; beyond traditional instructional design’ and stressed the need for more creativity & innovation in the design of learning. He suggested we should be asking “how should we design rather than what should we design”. The traditional engineering & sponsor based approach to design assumes that we can fully understand the problem and can clearly define objectives. Patrick suggested that this design approach was not based on the problems that really matter. We are working in a changing, messy, user focussed world where we have many options, constraints are often unknown and problems are unfamiliar & complex.Patrick outlined some suggestions on how we should be designing to meet the needs of today;

  • Start with a prototype; prototype driven cultures are better able to innovate
  • Involve learners & users; evidence suggests that if learners are involved early in design, it will take less time and money to complete the process.
  • Act first; Design is a conversation in which a spiral design process should be used. It’s important to focus on the big idea and the common vision rather than adopt a parts orientated approach to design.

  Kenny Henderson from Sky spoke about ‘learning design fit for purpose’  Kenny believes that content makes e-learning relevant to learners and the business as well as promoting the brand and ensuring a joined up business and learning strategy.

Sky have developed content that is informative & fun to complete using vehicles such as video, voice over, and the sky handset in their e-learning. Sky developed an early prototype and sought input from learners in the design process. A variety of approaches were used to ensure that the content was engaging. This included learner input & review which although did lead to scope creep, resulted in learning that was relevant to both learners and the business. Kenny stressed the need for strong project management and encouraged us to ‘believe in better’

Off to make some pancakes now and think about the roll out sessions