eLearning 2.0 -> Informal Learning -> learning 2.0 -> web 2.0


Brent Schlenker writes, "... that 80% to 90% of learning occurs informally outside of the classroom. This should be shocking enough to force some sort of change in e-Learning design, but it hasn't ... at least not yet in any significant way."

Schlenker goes on to tie elearning 2.0 to informal learning to learning 2.0 to web 2.0, which is based on consuming content, creating content, and collaborating with others. This leads to the catchy phase of "rip, mix, and feed" (consume, create, and share).

So now we are left with the impression that we are spending all of our resources on the puny 10% to 20% percent of formal learning while we should be spending it on the 80% to 90% of elearning 2.0/informal learning/learning 2.0.

Yet as in the case of most hypes and fads, the proponents play fast and loose with the numbers. First, the proponents pick the numbers that best fit the hype. More conservative estimates put the ratio at 30% formal to 70% informal (I have even seen 40% formal to 60% informal). So lets meet in the middle and put formal learning at 25% and informal learning at 75%.

So now we have 75% of the learning in organizations being accomplished by learners walking around the building or getting on the internet choosing what they want to learn by ripping, mixing, and sharing. Right? Wrong! Because the proponents also fail to mention that the 75% informal learning ratio also includes a large percentage of what I like to call "nonformal" learning -- they are being directed by their managers, supervisors, and more experienced peers, rather than the training department, as to what they need to learn through the use of such techniques as OJT.

Thus we now have the learning being accomplished in organizations as: 25% formal, 35% informal, and 40% nonformal. Of course this will vary greatly among not only organizations but also the individual learners. Indeed, these percentages are also infused with each other because almost no type of learning situation will rely solely on one or the other, but rather various combinations of the three.

Now can the use of "learning 2.0" benefit all three forms of learning (formal, informal, and nonformal)? Yes. But as Will Thalheimer warns us, "Because e-Learning 2.0 is already on the fad upswing, we ought to be especially careful about assuming its benefits. In other words, we ought to measure it early and often, at least at first until our implementations prove to be beneficial investments."

web 2.0

From McKinsey Global Survey Results:

"Companies are coming to understand the difficulty of realizing some of Web 2.0's benefits. Only 21 percent of the respondents say they are satisfied overall with Web 2.0 tools, while 22 percent voice clear dissatisfaction. Further, some disappointed companies have stopped using certain technologies altogether"

"A higher level of usage is found at companies that encourage it by using tactics such as integrating the tools into existing workflows, launching Web 2.0 in conjunction with other strategic initiatives, and getting senior managers to act as role models for adoption."

Web 2.0 is now dropping from Gartner's "Peak of Inflated Expectations" to the "Trough of Disillusionment." However, it is supposed to "reach mainstream status within two years, with an impact rated "transformational."

So what does this mean to the training/learning/knowledge profession? First, we cannot mix one hype (informal learning) with another hype (web 2.0/learning 2.0), and expect to achieve a positive impact on the organization. This is particularly true when one of the hypes is built on bad research (mostly bad numbers in this case).

If informal learning was really all that dominant, then the adaptation and satisfaction rates of web 2.0 would be much higher as the learners would have been absolutely primed for this type of technology, no matter what flaws were in the implementation. It is quite interesting on why companies cited three reasons as the primary reasons for their satisfaction:

  • Integrating the Tools into Existing Workflows: Rather than seeing this tool as only an informal method where users are the primary content fillers, use it more as a nonformal/formal performance support method. Also see Tony Karrer's response and Clark Quinn's response.
  • Launching in Conjunction with Other Strategic Initiatives: Now this could be seen more as an informal learning method that would compliment other initiatives. Think "crowdsourcing."
  • Getting Senior Managers to Act as Role Models for Adoption: More of a nonformal learning method where managers, supervisors, and experienced performers set the stage for the tool's usage. "Is the institution an enabler or is the institution an obstacle?"


Brain-based Learning, Backchannel, Pics. ipods, & Gaming

Leadership Styles

Leadership Style - Authoritarian
I want both of you to. . .

Leadership Style - Delegative
You two take care of the problem while I go. . .

Leadership Style - Participative
Let's work together to solve this. . .

Click pictures for Flickr view (Creative Commons - attribution)

A Fresh Look at Brain-Based Education - PDK

It has been more than 20 years since it was first suggested that there could be connections between brain function and educational practice. In the face of all the evidence that has now accumulated to support this notion, Mr. Jensen advocates that educators take full advantage of the relevant knowledge from a variety of scientific disciplines.

Tuning the backchannel - Dave's Whiteboard

Barry Dahl analyzed the comments from a discussion and determined that only 31% of the posts were on-topic. In the specific instance, he says "the audience treated [the backchannel] like an experiment because we [presenters] treated it like an experiment."

Ken Burns: going inside the photograph - Presentation Zen

When you think about it, often the photo really is more powerful than video at telling the story. The photo captures a moment in time allowing the viewer to slow down and think and wonder and reflect. Photos allow for greater emphasis and may have less distracting elements. They can be livened up with technigues such as the "Ken Burns effect," a technique for adding motion to still photography.

Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod. - New York Times

"We had assumed that the biggest focus of these devices would be consuming the content," said Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Duke. But that is not all that the students did. They began using the iPods to create their own "content," making audio recordings of themselves and presenting them. The students turned what could have been a passive interaction into an active one, Ms. Futhey said.

Study: Serious Gaming Boosts Cognitive Skills - FUTURE-MAKING SERIOUS GAMES

Iowa State University psychologist Douglas Gentile, PhD, and William Stone, BS, described several studies involving high school and college students and laparoscopic surgeons that looked at their video game usage and its effects.

Findings from the student studies confirmed previous research on effects of playing violent games: Those playing violent games were more hostile, less forgiving and believed violence to be normal compared to those who played nonviolent games. Players of "prosocial" games got into fewer fights in school and were more helpful to other students.

Other studies involving students showed that those who played more entertainment games did poorer in school and were at greater risk for obesity.

A study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors compared to those who did not play video games.


Bottom-up Learning, Design, & Learning

Gnomedex Presentation
Click picture for Flickr view

Bottom-up learning - e.learning age

Bottom-up learning occurs because employees want to be able to perform effectively in their jobs. The exact motivation may vary, from achieving job security to earning more money, gaining recognition or obtaining personal fulfilment, but the route to all these is performing well on the job, and employees know as well as their employers that this depends - to some extent at least - on their acquiring the appropriate knowledge and skills.

Is Google Making Our E-Learning Stupid? - The Rapid eLearning Blog

Instructional designers need to consider web surfing habits. Whether it's right or wrong, people who are online have been developing habits that they bring to the elearning course. Design courses to accommodate these power browsing habits. If you don't, chances are you'll lose a connection with the learner which will make the course ineffectual.

The Voice of the Learner: How Employees Learn in 2008 - The MASIE Cente

Employees today are learning how to do their jobs very differently! e-Learning, on-line Video, Social Networks and other Informal methods are now options for learning, in addition to more traditional Classes and On-The-Job Training (OJT). A recent survey by The MASIE Center of 6,100 employees in companies around the world provides a profile of how employees currently learn at work and how their learning preferences are changing. Via Workplace Learning Today.

Working Memory Training Raises IQ of Adults - Improve Your Learning and Memory

A new paper, Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory, describes that while there is a long history of research into cognitive training showing that, although performance on trained tasks can increase dramatically, transfer of this learning to other tasks remains poor. Here, the authors present evidence for transfer from training on a demanding working memory task to measures of Fluid intelligence. Also, see: Help Your Working-memory Capacity and Tests Produce Learning.


Critical Thinking, Course Navigation, & Design

Warehouse Racking Maze

The Thinking Behind Critical Thinking Courses - Washington Post

Critical thinking is not a skill like riding a bike or diagramming a sentence that, once learned, can be applied in many situations. Instead, as your most-hated high school teacher often told you, you have to buckle down and learn the content of a subject--facts, concepts and trends--before the maxims of critical thinking taught in these feverishly-marketed courses will do you much good. The processes of thinking are intertwined with the content of thought (that is, domain knowledge).

Here's Why Unlocking Your Course Navigation Will Create Better Learning - The Rapid eLearning Blog

No one likes wasting time and in the process being treated like a child. However, the organization commits a lot of its resources to the training and they want to make sure that people take the time to learn the information. They definitely don't want the employees skipping through information that might be critical to the organization's success.

Design for Emotion and Flow - Boxes and Arrows

Note: While this article is direced towards web design, most of the concepts can also be used for learning design.

Information architects and designers play a critical role in ensuring the products they design provide users' with a return on their investment of attention. Also see Completing the Zen in Performance Management. Consumers typically need not worry much about the programming plumbing beneath their online applications. But suppose you're the person on the hook for your company's online expense reporting tool or a start-up planning to build an online music mixer for anyone on the Internet. You'll have to place a bet on which technology is best and which programmers to hire or train.

"Even if I were starting from scratch today, I still think I'd bet on JavaScript and Ajax...It's going to be hard to stop the massive momentum we have," Henrikson said. "Flash is seeing a pretty aggressive growth cycle now, (but) I still think JavaScript is going to be (used in) 10 times the number of Flash apps that launch."


Cognition, Synesthesia, Story Telling, Webinars, Strategy, & Six Degrees

The Hospital

How magicians control your mind - Boston Globe

A new model has arisen over the past decade, in which visual cognition is understood not as a camera but something more like a flashlight beam sweeping a twilit landscape. At any particular instant, we can only see detail and color in the small patch we are concentrating on. The rest we fill in through a combination of memory, prediction and a crude peripheral sight. We don't take in our surroundings so much as actively and constantly construct them.

Seeing is Hearing: New Type of Synesthesia Discovered - Scientific American

On the visual trials, nonsynesthetes judgments fell to nearly chance levels, a result that corroborates other research showing that most people are better at judging auditory patterns than assessing visual patterns.

The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn - Scientific American

As researchers continue to investigate storytelling's power and pervasiveness, they are also looking for ways to harness that power. Some such as Green are studying how stories can have applications in promoting positive health messages. "A lot of problems are behaviorally based," Green says, pointing to research documenting the influence of Hollywood films on smoking habits among teens. And Mar and Oatley want to further examine how stories can enhance social skills by acting as simulators for the brain, which may turn the idea of the socially crippled bookworm on its head.

What Stinks About Webinars?

An elegant, focused PowerPoint deck is good, but hardly sufficient, webinars would benefit from some instructional design principles. Webinar disasters can be prevented by applying basic instructional design: selecting content by taking into account the purpose of the presentation, attending to time/space constraints and audience, matching content with delivery strategies, applying document design, storytelling, characterization, worked examples and so on and so forth. It boils down to "telling a story and not lecturing or reading."

Why Organizational Strategy Matters - LeaderValues

Top performing companies successfully leverage their organization more effectively than rivals and derive over 64% more profit per employee than next-tier performers.

Instant-Messagers Really Are About Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon - Washington Post

For the purposes of their experiment, two people were considered to be acquaintances if they had sent one another a text message. The researchers looked at the minimum chain lengths it would take to connect 180 billion different pairs of users in the database. They found that the average length was 6.6 steps and that 78 percent of the pairs could be connected in seven hops or less. Some pairs, however, were separated by as many as 29 hops.


Cognitive Restructuring, Direct Reports, Education, & Wikipedia

At the Beach

Cognitive restructuring and the fist bump terrorists - Mind Hacks

Thoughts on implicit association test (IAT), reductio ad absurdum argument, and cognitive restructuring using the recent satirical New Yorker cover depicting Obama and his wife as fist-bumping Islamic terrorists

The Right Way to Disagree with Direct Reports - Harvard Business

Try not to prove that your direct reports are wrong. Chances are that your direct reports are generally bright and interested in what they are doing - especially the ones that take the initiative to make suggestions. The fact that your ideas differ from their ideas does not always mean that they are wrong. As difficult as it may be to believe, sometimes you are wrong.

Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading? - New York Times

As teenagers' scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading - diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books.

But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write.

The Myth of the Math Gender Gap - Time

According to new data, the researchers say, that gender gap has become a myth - a finding they hope will help shift the very real gender gap in math, science and technology professions, which are currently dominated by men.

WikiGate: A Wakeup Call For Wikipedia - The Kent Lewis Experience

How are companies that are listed on Wikipedia supposed to clarify or correct inaccuracies, or add new content? Not only is writing about ones self a violation of the rules, but paying someone to do so is as well.