Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Micro-Elements (Things) in Social Learning - From the ASTD International Conference

“We have 100,000 members, and we want to jump on board and use Web 2.0 for Learning.”“Top management directed me to see how we can launch Social Networking and Learning to 45,000 of our employees.”These are comments I received during my presentation at the ASTD ICE. I see a pattern, which is both good and bad. There is a misunderstanding about Web 2.0 and Learning 2.0. Many learning leaders tend to focus on the “big stuff” and “big results” and rolling out big initiatives.

This reminds me of the days when companies would say, we will require 30,000 employees to finish this e-learning course using the LMS. Consequently, the rush to do something in a big way necessarily skips asking the important questions: “Is the LMS the right tool?” or “what do we have to do differently to make this work in our business?’

In my experience helping businesses, I struggled with these issues. These are summarized at the ASTD ICE presentation. Please download the PDF version of the PowerPoint.

My learnings led me to focus on:

Micro-Things in Social Learning

  • Micro-Networks
  • Micro-Relationships
  • Micro-Sharing
  • Micro-Coaching and Help
  • Micro-Learning
  • Micro-Interactions
  • Micro-Feedback
  • Micro-Content
  • Micro-Exercises
  • Micro-Writing
  • Micro-Conversations
  • Micro-Learning Systems and
  • Micro-Tools (like Widgets)

This is the essence of my presentation.

Seven-Step Dynamic Process – Web 2.0 to Learning and Performance

1. Inventory and map your environment – on page 27 of the PDF, there are four dimensions of Social and Collaborative Learning; we need to understand where we are and design a strategy. On page 28 and 29, knowing the nature of your participants, your culture, business demands and available facilitators are important.

2. Narrow scope – in businesses, you will be asked for results. So the more specific your Learning 2.0 project the better off you are. I found out that projects with some timeframes and specific application are more sustainable. I love the idea of a “community of practice” – but that’s not always the place to start. It’s hard to sustain. Start with specific applications; Wiki on product ABC to be launched on XX/XX/XXX with this people in them. (Micro-Needs)

3. Find the fit – Find the Intersections between structured learning and business operations and opportunities to use Learning 2.0 and Social Networking tools. Focus on business contributions, rather than the learning and training itself. The more your initiatives relate to aiding a business outcome, the more they become winners. (Micro-Projects)

4. Manage content – Seed content with Micro-Content (please no e-learning lessons) ; be succinct; keep Micro-Conversations going

5. Match implementation - On page 34 and 36, decide how to design and what tools to use. For example, if participants are receivers (Audience type) design Learning 2.0 like the CommonCraft multimedia and maybe do a Wiki for “Creators”. We can not use one solution that fits all. Use Micro-Tools like Widgets

6. Set & track benchmarks – On page 38, try to establish some benchmarks to measure and gauge network value. This helps you decide what to tweak and when to intervene. Manage Micro-Networks and Micro-Results.

7. Facilitation – be a network Weaver. See the checklist at the end of the PDF. Assess your own skills. Micro-Relationships. This is what Social Learning is all about.

PDF Power Point presentation

Ray Jimenez, PhD
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Jimenez,

    My name is Aaron Silvers, and I'm chairing a Program Committee looking at putting together SCORM 2.0, which will be the next version of the E-Learning specification and standards framework.

    Specifically, I'm chairing a program area focused on Interaction, collaboration and community. Based on this entry in your blog, I think your insight would be valuable.

    Would you consider submitting a white paper on Micro-Elements?


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