Workplace (Professional) Learning: Factors & Considerations (Decision Support Tool)

** This image file was slightly revised and updated on 8/4/16. It is now titled: Professional Learning: Factors & Considerations Before  Selecting a Learning Strategy.

I wanted to share my revised version of the Workplace Learning: Factors & Considerations Before Selecting a Learning Strategy Decision Support Tool I developed to help frame questions and organizational considerations before selecting a learning strategy. It is easy to determine we need eLearning or a MOOC or video-based training before conducting an organizational environmental scan (related to a learner gap analysis, but different in that it considers and focuses on organizational strategies and other factors that will ultimately determine the direction learning in the workplace will take. This was created to start conversations early in the process, and while Continue reading “Workplace (Professional) Learning: Factors & Considerations (Decision Support Tool)”

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 Continue reading “Workplace Learning Factors & Considerations”

To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education to enhance the student’s experience – An Article Summary

office-605503_1280I am working with some of my nursing students (and learners in general) on using Twitter as extra credit to promote professional development and presence, and suggested this article as a wonderful study for how to use Twitter within nursing education. Thus, today’s #5Papers:

1/ I read Sinclair, McLoughlin, & Warne (2015) To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education… #NURS761 #NURS840

2/ … to enhance the student’s experience Continue reading “To Twitter to Woo: Harnessing the power of social media (SoMe) in nurse education to enhance the student’s experience – An Article Summary”

Liminal Roles as a Source of Creative Agency in Management: An Article Summary

liminal-fieldI was attracted to this article because it links my work in liminality (that in-between period, as in a rite of passage) with organizational studies, specifically via creative knowledge-sharing. What could be better than that for #5Papers?

1/ Today I read Swan, Scarbrough, & Ziebro (2015) Liminal roles as a source of creative agency in management: Continue reading “Liminal Roles as a Source of Creative Agency in Management: An Article Summary”

Making Sense of Complexity – Engaging Others in #change11

I just attended an interesting webinar that George Siemens facilitated during an Open Access Week session at Athabasca, Making Sense of Complexity in Open Information Environments. While his work got increasingly theoretical, there is one thing he mentioned that caused me to stop and think about my current involvement in #change11, the MOOC that I have been discussing for a few weeks now.

In this iteration of a massive open online course, there is not an established form of scaffolding for participant focus (there is not a central Moodle platform, or course home where we all come to gather around). Instead, we blog or Tweet or whatever as we work through the course, and we are encouraged (invited? forced?) to devise our own mechanisms for processing and engaging with our content. I have decided to use my blog and Twitter to process this experience and what I learn in it, and while this generally works for me, it also relates to some ideas that Dave Cormier mentioned in his post earlier this week, and which we developed a little more in George’s webinar today. All this freedom comes at a cost — I am continually struggling to address my 3rd course goal, Revise my network to be wider and more inclusive. Without a central focus or location, it can be quite a challenge to develop a sense of community, or networked learning perspective. Yes, I am begining to comment on more blogs of other participants, as well as increase my Tweeting, though I am still struggling to be able to connect with others in more than a passing way.

While I prefer online communication as a mode of social connection, I am increasingly disoriented by the sheer scope of participation in the MOOC, and thus am really struggling to find a small (or any!) social connections of more than a passing or very focused interest. I know, this certainly does not happen naturally in a centralized course location, though it is an Internet-sized challenge to find this in the wider Web. Yes, it is relatively easy to locate Tweets and blogs and such through the use of the #change11 tag, but even with all that information, it is still a challenge to navigate through everything.

As networked learning is something that is increasingly important in my thinking, I am hoping that some of my efforts in this area will begin to develop in some way. I am reminded of what Dave said:

I’ve also had a difficult time trying to track the responses to the given weeks

and this for me resonated.

I really like the openness and ability to process our thinking in our own ways, though echoing Dave’s comment, finding the information can be a challenge, and then engaging around it enough that community begins to develop, even in small ways (once again, as George hinted at in the webinar today). Somehow, I have not located any of this yet, and while I will put more effort into my processes, I am increasingly recognizing that my goal #3 is very important for my sustained involvement.

I wonder if a sense of community or belonging or valuing plays a role in any online endeavor, especially a 35 week one where we develop and monitor and work toward our own goals?

Does Collective Learning = Organizational Exploitation? #change11

I had a really interesting comment from Allison Littlejohn in reaction to the Week 4 #change11 MOOC discussion on Collective Learning we are having this week. In her examples about collective learning in organizations or the workplace (or even academia), they all involve crowdsourcing or wisdom of crowds or greater learning by the collective than individually. That is wonderful for the development of large ideas or to solve seemingly inflexible problems, but what happens in the process to the individual?

Sure, the individual can relish in the personal learning, the sense of being part of something much larger, and the experience. However, who owns the product, or the solution? Whose value increases as a result of all that individual work? Yes, the organization or the corporation or the government. Perhaps the shareholders or owners or leadership? Ultimately, the collective benefits those who control it, while the individual components to the collective get swept up into the final product with the individual having little to tangibly show for the efforts. Without a vested interest on the individual level, the collective could probably not be effective.

Now, I have worked in nonprofits and academic institutions for years, and believe in the mission and vision of those organizations where I spend much of my time. I know that when I contribute to the collective, some aspect of society (and not shareholders) get the value of those efforts. However, can’t collective learning be leveraged to exploit the individual members by not giving them credit, or reward, or acknowledgment for their contributions? Can “doing thing for the common good” be said for the benefit of the few, and not necessarily of the many? Thinking in the context of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?), what is my WIIFM for participating in any formal or organized collective learning experience, if I will not in some way benefit from all my efforts?

Outside of my personal and informal reasons for engaging in collective learning, what is my WIIFM for doing it when others will leverage (exploit?) the results? I am not asking this in a greedy or selfish way, but there is only so much time and energy, and I have to wonder how easily (cf. hegemony) it is to work together, with only a few reaping the significant benefits. Are individuals exploited under the guise of corporate or organizational collective learning?

Goodness, I am now wondering about a potential connection between collective learning and critical management studies!

To Pilot, or Not to Pilot; THAT is the question + 52 Answers

As I am preparing to begin my search for participants for my doctoral thesis research, I received a suggestion last week to consider a pilot. Not sure why I had not thought about this before, but that is what having active supervisors and a supportive community of doctoral colleagues is for–help point out things when we miss them ourselves. Seemed like a good idea, though I wanted to get some feedback as to the processes.

Let me be clear, it was suggested (and I agreed) to pilot my semi-structured interview questions, not my research purpose and research questions (I have research evidence from the past 2 years and some literature that suggests this is a real issue that we do not know much about). If I pilot my questions, it can help me determine if they are the right questions (they will give me answers to my research questions and link to my problem and purpose). Nothing like having the opportunity to ask the interview questions and then discuss / debrief them with some people. I think I wrote interview questions that will get me what I want to know, though piloting the interview questions may just be the best way to find out.

Yes, I do follow the suggestions and recommendations of my supervisors, but how about the larger community of doctoral learners (some of whom may even ultimately participate in my study!!) who may have some suggestions for piloting these questions? With this in mind I asked my online doctoral community, #phdchat:

I then received a number of responses, and followed up with one more direct request for thoughts and suggestions and help and support:

The result is there is general consensus that piloting my semi-structured interview questions is useful, though that is not the only thing I learned in this process. I learned that there is power in community, as my two initial posts, along with my individual responses to what others suggested, resulted in 52 responses to me from a number of my doctoral colleagues. They shared their stories, what worked, what did not, what they learned, who to read for more information, and so on. Overall, I am amazed at how generous this network of fellow doctoral colleagues, most of whom I have never met face-to-face though with whom I have established various levels of relationship with, is when there is a need and sharing with one another is just the support that is needed. Can this indeed be a component of a community of practice?

Yes, my supervisors are wonderful, though my fellow colleagues cannot be underestimated!