Workplace Learning Factors & Considerations

DRAFT Workplace Learning Factors 071016v4I have a task request in my professional work (I work in Training and Knowledge Management), and have been wracking my mind as to how to approach this, that I am at the point I need to get some feedback. Would love some thoughts on this if anybody is so inclined.

There was a request to provide an overview of learning options we can select related to a potential need to develop a learning community. Rather straight-forward, though each time I looked at the breadth of options for this, other options and considerations arose. For example, the notion of build it and they will come is only a nice notion, though those of us who work in workplace learning know it is not quite that simple. In fact, there are so many considerations related to this that thinking about the end result (threaded discussion like a Discourse install, an open, collaborative, knowledge-building learning and sharing experience like CLMOOC, or even through the structured Canvas elements for something like the #HumanMOOC) is premature without considering. Why even daydream about a large system if there is little budget, or consider a mooc if there is not staffing to support it?

Thus, my dilemma. How can I speak about options without first raising the considerations (some needing answers first) that go into the factors leading to the eventual selection? Yes, this is certainly related to a stakeholder analysis and environmental scan, though I oddly could not find much already in place I could reuse. Granted, I can find lists of training modalities, individual learning perspectives in the workplace, learning ecosystems, workplace employee learning needs, and adult learning examples using social media, though nothing that really started the initial discussions around what needs to be considered before we talk about concrete options.

That is what my Workplace Learning: Factors & Considerations Before Selecting a Learning Strategy visualization is trying to capture. While it is something that needs to be developed further (this is a draft) AND is not meant to stand alone (no point in writing verbiage until the visualization is complete), I am very eager to get feedback on it, especially as this will eventually be intended for a non-education professional audience who wants to know the options for a learning community / initiative, though need help thinking through it first. Does the: Who, What, Why, When, Where, How, How much, and To what degree, in addition to general Contextual factors, work as a way of framing this discussion?

Any thoughts are most appreciated.

34 thoughts on “Workplace Learning Factors & Considerations

  1. Jeffrey Keefer, nice work in progress! Under “learner”,” what about attitude or motivation? Is the learner interested and receptive to new ideas? I’d also suggest a connector between “learner” and “context.” Will the learner be encouraged to use new knowledge and skills within the organizational context? Or are there obstacles to implementation?

  2. I am going to pass this on to my husband to see whether he will have any comments on this. He does a lot of workplace training and will likely have something to share. This looks like a great start.

  3. I like the concept map, Jeffrey, am impressed w all u got in there. Haven’t read ur post yet but wanted to capture a thought first. For the tools at the bottom you may need to show where they are on the other things. E.g. MOOCs can be teacher or student centered (cMOOCs) but are informal and time-limited, free, online vs community of practice (f2f or online) is ongoing informal and meets no specific need but has long-term benefits. For the f2f options it might be helpful to differentiate instruction from seminars from workshops from conferences or such. Also a form of prof dev? Just reading (annotation helps). Another? Just reflecting (blogs help). Can we consider seeking mentoring as a form of prof dev?

    What about one-off things like Twitter chats analogous to seminar/forum discussions but quicker? Vs webinars that r u usually instructor-led

    1. Thanks for your comment and thoughts, Maha! I was initially planning on starting with various options, as you suggest, though think that is the challenge when people start with them before they consider the contextual and other situational factors. I then decided that I needed to consider those first, after which some of the other options may be easier to consider. For example, there may be a knee-jerk reaction to want an internal mooc or wiki, though withouth considering the need for ongoing stewardship, they will go nowhere! How many times do people want social media accounts but then abandon them because of a lack of planning to keep them current or fresh!! That is what my mind map turned into, though I think that developing a couple of your ideas into a glimpse into next steps may be a useful addition. Thanks!!

  4. Just a thought – why not have a process where you engage beneficiaries/victims of learning community (and your managers) in shaping what it might be? You could present it as your model or whatever way it might reach people best. Trying it out with a sample might be good.
    Anyway – good luck – it’s a worthwhile project.

  5. What i might be saying is this could turn into an elaborate decision tree that leads the reader to possible formats depending on their answers to questions in the earlier branches. Might get real complex tho

    1. Maha, I have a tendency to want to make a decision tree, though think that may involve programming and levels of gray that will become a full-time job on its own! Just trying to raise the issues and engage in conversation around them may be useful enough. I am hoping we can engage in the decision tree based on this as a discussion starter.

      1. If this is for an interactive session then yes! Asking questions will help ppl just think more clearly and discuss which options work well. I read ur post and i like ur focus on thinking about what’s needed before choosing the strategy. It seems obvious we should do that but ppl actually DON’T