Six areas of change for learning and development: quick-fire links

Martin Couzins continues his weekly collection of what caught his eye this week in learning and development (L&D).

Martin Couzins

Starting off this week’s coverage, we have a video from leading e-learning thinker Clive Shepherd, in which he outlines the various ways in which L&D is changing. Shepherd says that the six areas of change for L&D are around whether or not learning is:

  • aligned;
  • economical;
  • scalable;
  • flexible;
  • engaging; and
  • powerful.

As well as learning, the changing face of online productivity has been mapped out by the Open University’s Jonathan Vernon. The online communications and social media manager at the Open University Business School shares this interesting graph that plots the way to web 4.0.

Once again, social learning has been much discussed. The Twitter chat stream “chat2learn” examined the benefits that social technologies can bring but discussed how these are dependent on our willingness to embrace the mentality behind the technologies.

Prompted by that discussion, L&D manager Dave Havis provided his thoughts on how organisations can support informal learning among employees. He has started to build an inventory of the types of things an organisation would need to know about how employees learn in order for the organisation to support that learning.

Boyd Glover, head of skills at Dixons Retail, gave a talk at Learning Technologies 2012 on how Dixons introduced social learning tools into the business, captured here on YouTube. He started his talk with this quote from Walt Disney: “It is kind of fun to do the impossible.” He went on to talk about what they have learnt and are learning at Dixons through trying out new tools. Guess how many people access learning materials after midnight?

In Short Is Sweet in Learning, Mike Prokopeak has a look at the pros and cons of bite-sized pieces of learning. This approach has its place, but there are limitations, he argues.

Switching back to more prosaic matters, David Kelly, the director of training at Carver Federal Savings Bank in the US, provides insights into how L&D professionals can filter information in Twitter to avoid total information overload. And, for filtering of another kind, Mark Fenner describes how his company, cloud-computing supplier VMware, uses Google’s Search Appliance to help employees find experts in the company.

Multiple limitations

If you use multiple-choice questions in any of your learning materials then you will be aware of the limitations of the format, the main one being that if you can see all the answers, how can you be sure the learner has mastered the objective?

Over at Learning Solutions Magazine, Mike Dickinson, an instructional designer at Texas State University in the US, provides some tips on how to make the multiple-choice format more effective.

Last week, I mentioned that Redtray was creating a wish list for learning management systems. Here it publishes the 10 least popular elements for a learning management system.

The recent 2012 Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Summit looked at how organisations can develop successful leadership behaviours. L&D manager Sukh Pabial provides his review of the one-day event, while blogger and HR/OD consultant Jon Ingham provides a review of Paul Ekman’s keynote.

And finally, if you are in search of good books to read on learning and development then check out this list of 37 books crowd-sourced from L&D professionals on Twitter by Donald H Taylor, chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute. Time to stock up on your summer reading!

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