A Corporate Mini-MOOC on Digital Literacy Skills…An Idea Growing in My Head

I really like this idea of Helen’s, as a lot of you know I struggle with how to utilise 3rd party mooc’s as part of a corporate learning stratagey, however in concept of inhouse style mooc’s I think is a good one.

Activate Learning Solutions

For a while now, I’ve been teasing out an idea in my mind about rolling out a mini-MOOC in our organisation. After reading Ignatia de Waard’s eBook MOOC Yourself , watching the Google Hangout with Jay Cross and Dave Cormier and completing various MOOCs,  I thought that it was high time to start applying this in the corporate context.

For those who have been reading my blog, you may have noticed my fascination for the MOOC but in particularly, eagerly awaiting if any Australian corporate has created their own for their staff and/or customers.

I want our organisation to be the first – but here’s the rub.  Not an xMOOC but a cMOOCI want the experience to be transformative.  

Read on, all will be revealed.

The thought has been playing in my head for months now.  My first experience of an xMOOC was Professor Kevin WerbachGamification Course through Coursera.

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Learning to Change and Changing to Learn or BBQing the scared cows

 Why is it so hard to people to accept change?

 Sorry for the lack of posts recently the world of work was very busy over the last couple of weeks, which has amongst other things prompted my thinking around change in the workplace, changing how we learn and how we deliver learning and change management in general.

Organisational change is a difficult and sometimes messy beast, but there is a lot I think we can learn by changing and by thinking about how to change.  Over the past few months I have been involved heavily in assisting an organisation through a process of change around how a core piece of their training.  This is a total revamp of the package, content packaging, delivery, even the outcomes of the training and its structure to achieve those outcomes.  We really were BBQing sacred cows with this change and there in lies the issues I wanted to touch on today.  The concept of changing something in order to learn and people and organisations learning how to change.

To paint a little bit of a picture, there had been for about 12 months or so prior to this change been a level of discontent in some quarters about the training that was being delivered, particularly around how it was delivered and what the outcomes were, it was frankly, starting to show its age.  That is not to say that it was fatally flawed, just ideas about delivery and content had moved on as had the landscape into which its outcomes fell.

As a result a project was put together to look over the entire package of the training and see what could be done to make it better fit the outcomes that were needed.  Now it was made clear at the start of the project that there really wasn’t any part of the training that was out of scope, if something needed to be changed and there was good justification to change it and it was going to fit the outcomes better, then there was an ongoing commitment to change.

So after about 6 months of consultation and work the team started to talk about and show parts of the new package to stakeholders and this is where an interesting thing happened, a lot of the people who had been critical of the original training program, did not like what they were seeing and we heard things like,

“Why did you change that?”

“That’s not how we do things around here.”

“You have changed everything, it’s not the same course.”

People who had previously complained about the program were now defending it and a lot of the issues seemed to be around the fact that things had actually changed,  the Powerpoint hadn’t just been updated, the actual material, how it was being presented and the outcomes had all be reimagined.  It drove home to me the fact that a lot of the time people don’t actually want change or at least not real change, they want superficial change, so that they can still feel safe and comfortable in what they know.

It really strikes me as a shame though we as individuals and organisations learn so much through change, if everything stayed the same why would we need to learn anything new, how would we grow and become better at what we do.  In fact some of my strongest learning come out of the most confronting of changes.  Now I know that individuals and organisations have vested interests in staying where they are, in not changing, but not changing is an evolutionary dead-end, it goes nowhere.

Both as individuals and os organisations we really need to Learn to change and change to learn.

Manifesto for Learning and Development

First of a big thansk to Simon Ruscoe for pointing out this article by Cathy Moore to me.  This is a fantastic blog post, which should serve to remind us all that sometimes it is the simple things that we should continue to do and to stand our ground on with the business that will make the most difference in the long run.

Manifesto for Learning and Development

 

EduTech 2013 – Some comments and ideas

As  lot of you already know I spent the last two days at EduTech 2013 – Corporate and Government Learning Congress.

and already a couple of people who didn’t attend asked me ‘How was it?’  Well it was good, I enjoyed it, Day one was for me better than day (and I will explain why later) and again for those of you who know me I usually at these things spend a fair bit of time in the exhibition hall talking to vendors and seeing where things are going.  I often joke with people (though in truth it is not a joke) that I learn as much from the exhibition floor as I do from the presentations, that didn’t happen this time and I didn’t really spend all that much time in the exhibition area, why? Well I think because the focus of the entire event has traditionally been Formal Education k-12 and tertiary, and the corporate market is a very different one, there are different vendors and people like me are looking for very different things.

For example; wandering around I spoke with vendors who made an assumption that I worked for school, even though everyone had different coloured lanyards, (though to be completely fair I had a presenter one so I could have been anyone) and seemed confused when I said look sorry I don’t work for a school I work for a large organisation and seemed to continue to talk to me about something I was never going to be interested in, some of the stands even restricted entry into their competitions to people having a valid education institute email address it was little things like that, and that  I am not interest in hardware and servers I have an IT department for that, I am  not interested in school management software, i’m not a school.  I am interested in learning and training aids (and not just ones that involve ipads or technology) for adults, learning content and delivery, not curriculum, things that the corporate side of learning is interested in.

Now this might sound like a criticism, it is not meant to be, but I think there needs to be some work done in how the exhibition hall is set out, maybe segmenting it a little bit, perhaps as two people now have suggested, putting the ‘corporate’ venders in one section of the hall, rather than being spread out, something that makes it more engaging for me.

Now the exhibitors are one thing, the content is something else and it is the content on which a conference will ultimately thrive or fail.  As I said I liked day one much more than day two, why?, well that is simple, day one was much more practical with an array of outstanding  Learning talent, Charles Jennings is always great to listen too, and Natalie Goldman and Helen Blunden are outstanding practitioners with solid practical, hands on experience and wonderful delivery styles that engage and provide the audience with solid outcomes and value.  Day two was very different however, not in the skill or expertise of the presenters, but in the content.  My pick of the day was Ewan Macintosh from NoTosh, who offered some truly interesting insights followed closely by John Stericker who was insightful funny, without a single powerpoint slide to help him along (it was an outstanding job in my opinion as it was his first time presenting at a major conference).  As for the rest of the day, the breakout sessions were solid, but not as engaging as they might have been, and while I like to think about the future of L&D and data and all of those things, but what interests me and I think I lot of us in the game of corporate L&D is how to solve todays problems, how to engage with our learners today and over the next 12-18 months.  Now I know that is short-term thinking  and we need to look to the future and I talk about where we need to be and how to get there constantly at an executive level, but and here is the big but, there are plenty of problems that need fixing now and over the next 3-6 months that are in real terms far more important for us.

So all in all I had a really good time, I want to think Fiona, and Charles and Tony from EduTech, for being so helpful and making the experience a great one.  I hope you decide to continue with the corporate congress in 2014.  I look forward to attending.

New Community on Google+

So I have created a new community on Google+ called Organisational Learning and Development

https://plus.google.com/communities/109783412464520607298?fd=1

It is somewhere where we can all get together and talk about all things learning and development within organisations, be they big small or in the middle.

So if you are on Google + come and join and start chatting and if you are not on plus come and join it and have a conversation.

Four HR Directors walk into a pub…

David, has posed a great little thought experiment here. Have a think about the question for yourself and I think that you might learn something.

People Performance Potential

Four HR Directors enter a pub.

The first HRD says… “Do you know what, I’ve come to realise that my HR function is ineffective. In fact I couldn”t even tell you what our purpose and values are. What should I do?

The second HRD says… “I think my HR function is effective and we’ve defined our purpose & values. However, I’ve no way to evaluate our effectiveness. What should I do?

The third HRD says… “Do you know what, I’m kind of with the second HRD. My biggest trouble is that I’m flying blind much of the time as I don’t even have any decent management information. What should I do?

You are the fourth HRD. What could you do to help?

No Joke

This post was unwittingly inspired by an exchange on Twitter with my friend Simon Heath about the value & usefulness of the…

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