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The E-coach Blog
By Alison Bickford on April 14, 2013
Below is a 3 part recording of a webinar I presented on behalf of Redback Conferencing in March 2013, entitled “Video is King: Top tips in designing and using video for online training”. This recording is also available from our YouTube playlist, Video for Organisational Learning.
Should you have amy questions or thoughts, please leave a comment. Thank you.
By Alison Bickford on February 21, 2013
E-Learning courseware is not the panacea of staff training. It can play a very important role in supporting staff to acquire foundation (black and white) content. But it cannot guarantee staff will perform the intended course outcomes. Building and implementing e-learning courseware does not guarantee learners will apply content into the workplace.
There are several reasons for this:
- Unclear instructional design
- Poorly contextualised content
- Learners rushing through content
- Learners who don’t learn well online
…and so on
The limitation of multiple choice assessment feedback
One important cause of e-learning not effectively supporting performance outcomes is generalised feedback. As e-learning instructional designers, we can make an assumption that the multiple choice asessment questions and feedback we write will make sense to the individual working in specific contexts. However, generalised questions and feedback can be difficult for learners to assimilate to their context. They may not understand exactly what they need to stop or continue doing in their context. Additionally, the point becomes meaningless as the feedback is written for the massses and not for the individual.
Example: Providing feedback for a Code of Conduct e-learning assessment. A generalised scenario-based question can help reinforce that staff should not name call. However, this feedback barely makes a ripple in the conscience of many learners if it is not contextual to something which happened last wee, last month or last year in their own workplace.
To ensure behavioural change, staff need to receive specific feedback. Only feedback which relates to their action or inaction will reinforce or change a behaviour.
The role of manager in behavioural change
Of course, we can’t write 200 assessment questions to suit every possible scenario. But we can educate managers on the role they play in reinforce learning outcomes. Their role is to coach staff on the topic before or, at the very least, after they complete the e-learning.
Example coaching debrief from a manager:
“So Sue, you’ve completed the Code of Conduct e-learning course. I’d love to talk with you about what the Code means to you and what you learnt. Got a minute?”
- “Why do you think we have a Code?”
- “How do you think the Code applies to our workplace?”
- “Can you give me an example when the Code has been lived by the team?”
- “Have you seen an example when the intention of the Code has been broken?”
- ” What do you think happens when the Code is broken? How does it affect the team?”
- “What do you think we need to do as a team to ensure we work in a safe and harmonious environment?”
You get the picture! We cannot assume that learners are able to understand and apply e-learning outcomes to their workplace. And we cannot rely on e-learning and assessment feedback alone to change staff behaviour.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment.
By Alison Bickford on September 30, 2012
Last week I wrote about content management and content access for on-demand learning, as described by Mark Vickers of Bersin and Associates. As a subset of this, I’d like to raise the role of content curator in workplace learning.
Who is a content curator?
A good content curator is someone who:
- Is keeny interested in a niche topic and is willing to share with others the information they gather
- Has formidable skills in information search, retrieval, synthesis and management
Content curation is often a role taken up voluntarily by an individual for altruistic or other reasons. The curator scours the web, including social media, for breaking news, discoveries and opinions. They gather the information and make it accessible, helping time poor people stay on top of what’s going on in their field of interest or expertise. It’s important the curator remains consistent in the quality and specificity of the content they gather and disseminate.
What tools are needed?
Generally speaking, the content curator requires access to the internet and all social media platforms, including Twitter. They also require a platform to aggregate and distribute the content they gather and even critique. Click here for a comparison table of curation platforms.
In most instances, content curator platforms utilise RSS feeds to aggregate information from reputable sources. Examples of the popular Scoop.it platform include E-Learning and Online Teaching and Instructional Design for eLearning, mLearning and Games. My favourite e-learning curator is Tony Karrer of E-Learning Learning. Tony gathers the posts of tens of e-learning blogs into one easy to search platform that people can subscribe to.
Curators who critique information provide an additional service to simply gathering RSS feeds of reputable websites. Such curators do well with a blog platform to journal their reflections and opinions.
What’s content curation got to do with workplace learning?
Well, have a look at the examples above and you will soon see the relevance. What an advantage it would be to have a curator gathering quality information about specific topics into one platform for staff to access and build their knowledge. How wonderful it would be for an expert to have the opportunity to critique current news for it’s relevance to your organisation.
All your organisation needs to provide a budding curator is a suitable platform, unrestricted internet access and a culture of reward for sharing and learning.
By Alison Bickford on September 23, 2012
We are all consumers, and most of us use the internet without fuss to find the information we need to make decisions, and to keep abreast of our interests and friends. As consumers, we inherently know the power of information to help our problem-solving. So, why do most of us not engage with information in the same way at work? Why is ‘Infolust’ felt so little by our staff?
I’m sure the answer to this question is complex; linked to culture and climate, motivation and so on. But some of the answer lies in the way we ‘do’ information management in organisations.
Last week in my Connect Thinking blog I explored what we can learn from content marketing about information writing and distribution. Below is my attempt at examining the differences between online content at home and at work.
If we start to write and treat online content as if we were internet marketers, it would go a long way to ‘enabling’ staff to use information to make informed decisions, problem solve and develop mastery.
Some organisations do this well; in particular IT-based organisations and R&D organisations who have understood the value or accessible content for a long time. But many are so far behind in content management that it’s a significant impairment to staff capability development. One way to ‘litmus test’ where organisations place the value of accessible content is by taking a look at their intranet.
Seven years ago I developed a synchronising searchable job-aid app for field laptops, long before smartphone apps were invented. As a learning practitioner I was criticised for introducing content management to my role. I think learning practitioners have every reason to be at the forefront of content management. Let’s see if we can build the ‘Infolust’ felt by our staff. Let’s empower our staff with accessible content. This would be a significant contribution to workplace learning.