Thursday, 27 May 2010

Context and the 4 Cs of corporate learning

Great post over at VMG looking at the 4 Cs of corporate learning: control, content, collaboration, context.

Particularly worth noting what John Hathaway has to say about context . . . and I quote in full here:

Providing context for the learner has become the most important element in a growing majority of learning and performance initiatives. Unfortunately, it’s also the one at which learning professionals usually do the worst job. I see examples every day of companies with LMSs and portals overflowing with content and learners who have no idea where to start.

In the internal corporate training world we approach this problem by doing things like aligning content to job roles and competency models. Maybe this is a good place to start when we control those job roles and hire to those competencies, but this gets shaky in the partner world and totally breaks down when we’re talking about customers.

Taxonomies, user generated tags, ratings, reviews, personalized recommendations: all of these things help, but few of these features appear in the systems currently used to manage learning. (Or, if they appear, it’s often in a bolted-on, check-the-box kind of implementation rather than truly integrated throughout the system.)

Providing this element of context needs to be a major focus for innovation in the learning and performance improvement world. There are some early consumer-focused Web 3.0 products that are starting to point the way. I’m pretty excited by how we can take those ideas and apply them to learning.

I'm sure this chimes with many organisations - there is plenty of content, much of which has been produced at a price, which employees simply do not know is there and do not know how to access it.

We had a great example in our business. The IS team kept a list of free software available to the business - which included really useful tools - but did not publicise this fact. Once we learned of the list we put on one of our informal training sessions about the list and followed up with a post on our internal blog.

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