Twelve months ago I didn’t know how to spell PLN, let alone what the term Personal Learning Network meant. At the end of an amazing year of professional development, I’d like to thank everyone in my PLN for connecting with me, sharing expertise and resources, and encouraging me to keep learning, improving and trying out new things. At the risk of omitting someone, there are some people I’d like to specifically thank (don’t read anything into the order in which they are listed below). Each of these people or groups has helped me to try new things and learn, and has been constantly generous.
Jane Hart – You have been my guide to becoming a Social Learning Practitioner. Your SLPP Program has given me a path to follow as I have taken my first steps in online social learning. This has completely changed how I approach my professional development, and helped me to build new skills to apply in my work. I will always look back fondly on our October brunch with a group of Sydney-based learning practitioners.
Harold Jarche – I enjoyed your Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) workshop at the AITD 2014 National Conference and the online PKM in 40 days program. Your Seek-Sense-Share framework has helped me to build regular practices that give me confidence that I can manage my knowledge amidst the deluge of online content. From you I also learned to trust in serendipity to connect me with the people and ideas that make a difference as I need them.
John Stepper - Thank you for the opportunity to review Working Out Loud and your encouragement to set up a WOL Circle. Above all, thank you for role modelling the openness and generosity which you prescribe as essential to build an impactful network.
Charles Jennings – You introduced me to the 702010 framework several years ago, and I have continued to learn from the resources you publish. These resources have also helped me to broaden my organisation’s understanding of 702010 and willingness to try new things to improve workplace learning.
702010 Forum – Thank you Heather Rutherford, Andrew Gerkens, and the Forum team for your ongoing work building the 702010 Forum. Your resources have accelerated improvement of learning in my business. To those forum members who have participated in community activities and webinars, keep it up as it is through those interactions that we learn more. I’m looking forward to the certification program being launched early in 2015.
Jane Bozarth - Show Your Work is a delicious book – so much so that I bought it twice (had to replace it as someone Stole Your Work from my desk!). You were one of the first people to open my eyes to the value of social media for learning when I saw you speak at an AITD Conference several years ago. Thank you for every time you have responded to a mention in my tweets. I look forward to helping out with #lrnbook next year.
Helen Blunden - You inspire me. You role model many things for me – independent learning, collaboration, community-building. Your energy, passion and positive outlook are infectious. I am excited about the work we are doing together on CCA’s Work, Connect and Learn program and look forward to continuing our partnership. Thank you also for founding Third Place – the Meet Ups have been invaluable for me to deepen relationships with Australian learning professionals.
My Ozlearn buddies – Thank you Con Sotidis for founding OzLearn. The monthly Twitter chats have attracted some top global learning leaders. There is a big overlap with the Third Place network and many people I have most contact with online participate in both groups – Ryan Tracey who is always quietly supportive; Tanya Lau who ensures everyone feels welcome, and is authentic and curious; Matt Guyan who works out loud with generosity; and Vanessa North who challenges, extends and amuses me.
Elizabeth Robinson and the AITD team – I appreciated the opportunity to speak and write for the Australian Institute of Training & Development this year. Than you for the good work you are doing to enhance the AITD’s services and events.
Anne Bartlett-Bragg – When I think of innovation I think of you. Thank you for your generosity when I was seeking input on a SharePoint design question earlier in the year. It was the first time I went to my Twitter network with a specific request for help and you responded.
Mark Britz – Gosh I enjoy our little conversations on Twitter. I feel like a kindred spirit, trying to make a difference to performance via social on opposite sides of the globe. I always enjoy reading your blog posts – they are thought-provoking and well-written. You encourage me to keep it real, although your Halloween avatar was a little freaky.
Rachel Burnham – My PKM in 40 days buddy. You are another prodigious sharer, and encourage me to keep reading, learning and tending to my veggie patch. I loved your Seek-Sense-Share drawing.
Rachel Burnham’s diagram of Harold Jarche’ Seek-Sense-Share PKM Model
Sacha Chua – I dip in and out of your blog, always curious about your semi-retirement experiment. Your example of living consciously and creatively inspire me. I love your Sketchnotes and aim to develop the skill to create my own sketch notes in 2015, although I shall give EMACS a miss.
Jeff Maguire – Thank you for your unwavering trust and support as I brought new ideas and approaches to our organisation this year. I appreciate the autonomy, the space to experiment and learn by trying things out, and your confidence in me.
I was given a Jawbone for my birthday five weeks ago (nice 21st gift I hear you say!). A Jawbone consists of a wristband with a motion sensor which gathers data on my activity levels and sleep, and sends it to the UP application on my iPhone. I manually enter mood information – when the mood strikes me to do so… I could also enter information on my food and drink intake if I chose.
My wristband transfers data wirelessly to the UP app. While I don’t fully understand how Jawbone works, I do know that it’s a great example of how micro learning (a series of short learning activities) combined with personalised data-based feedback can enable behavioural change. In this post I’ll focus on how Jawbone has helped me to learn about my well-being and adopt healthier behaviours.
I set goals for daily hours of sleep and number of steps. (I have also set a weight goal, but have not bothered to monitor it.)
When I wake each morning I open UP to check on my sleep. UP has gathered enough data (it keeps 9 months of data) to detect my sleep patterns and gives me personalised feedback and tips. In response to this I have increased my sleep target from 7 to 7.5 hours. Because I enjoy achieving goals, my average sleep has increased in pursuit of the target. Finally, after years of wanting to improve my sleep, I no longer feel lethargic by Thursday. There is still room for improvement – UP recently recommended that my bedtime needs to be consistent, and provided a link to an article on how much sleep is enough.
As I have a big dog that needs to be walked twice a day I rarely miss my 10,000 step target. I like to monitor my step progress during the day, and get a kick out of feedback that I’m doing well. I have have not accepted UP’s suggestions to increase my walking target as I have heard from many sources that 10,000 steps is enough to keep me in good health.
I receive a weekly summary email which reports overall progress, highs and lows of the week, compares my results to the previous week and my historical averages, as well as sometimes to average data for women in my age group. The fact that I often walk over 60 kilometres per week demonstrates the cumulative effect of daily goals.
In addition to goal tracking and customised tips, microlearning also comes in the form of generic well-being tips with links to more detail. I read all 3 to 4 tips daily, and click through perhaps 3 times a week. I find the tips relevant and helpful to making minor adjustments to build a healthier lifestyle.
I’ve not turned on the feed to Twitter or Facebook from UP – I don’t need the public accountability to motivate me, and I don’t want to bore anyone with my statistics.
The experience of building my awareness and changing habits through a powerful combination of an ongoing flow of information, tips and personalised data-based feedback has me thinking about how to apply this in my Learning & Development role. Micro-learning possibilities include:
- breaking down bigger courses or replacing part of a course previously delivered in a single ‘event’ into a series of smaller pieces of information or activities and drip-feeding them to participants. Micro-learning could be used to either replace an entire ‘event’ based course, or as pre- or post-learning.
- asking a group of people a daily or weekly question with responses posted on Enterprise Support Network (ESN)
- encouraging SMEs to post a daily tip or ‘how to’ instruction on our ESN
- sharing a daily link to existing performance support materials
To identify where and how we could readily use performance data to provide an ongoing flow of personalised feedback and improvement tips I need to improve my understanding of data available in my organisation. I’ll post about this when I’ve looked into it.
For a number of months I have been using a strategy of role modelling, encouragement and positive reinforcement to support others in my work team to narrate their work. I have written previously about the Working Out Loud 3 Habits experiment that I tried. This strategy has had mixed results. Three of the ten group members are posting on our ESN at least once a week. On one hand, a 30% online community participation rate is relatively good. However, we are aiming to build online communities and encourage people across the business unit to share their expertise via narrating their work. As the Capability Community are key learning change agents, it’s important to increase their online narration as part of shifting their mindset and skills to enable them to lead and support others.
Recently I’ve been working with support of an external consultant, Helen Blunden of Activate Learning, on analysis and planning of a Community of Practice (COP) for our maintenance and engineering teams. During discussions with team members we have asked them about their view of narrating their work. Their responses have been similar to feedback from the Capability Community.
People don’t necessarily see the point of narrating their work. They’re unsure of the benefit to themselves or others. They can’t see how to fit it into their work flow when they are busy and it just feels like another task to do. They don’t know how to do it – either how to use the online tools or how to talk about their work. There are also psychological barriers – concerns about what others will think of them and read into their motives.
After discovering John Stepper’s Working Out Loud blog I have been thinking that a guided mastery approach could help to address these common barriers. Last week in her Learning@Work keynote address on learning in a social workplace, Jane Hart provided the term I have been looking for to describe the approach that we shall adopt – Guided Social learning. This semi-structured approach ‘scaffolds’ an online social learning process for participants providing them with some content/guidance and activities to get them started connecting with others and narrating their work. The intent is to enable them to transition to continuous, autonomous online social learning either as a team or individuals.
We shall be designing and developing our Guided Social Learning program which we will launch internally in early 2015. Although the program will include curated resources from the internet, it will be customised to our organisation – our tools, people and context. I’m looking forward to working on this as I complete the Guided Social Learning Experience Design Program offered by the Modern Workplace Learning Centre this month.
This post describes the team site we’ve set up on SharePoint 2013 for our internal Capability development team. The purpose of the site is to:
a) Support the work and knowledge sharing of the core Capability Community in our business unit. This is a virtual team consisting of 10 people spread across Australia. This group develop and execute Capability strategy and programs.
b) Publish learning program content other than eLearning which is hosted on other platforms – to which we link from this site. Used by everyone in the Business Unit.
The site front page is a standard template set up when a team site request is approved. We have then designed and setup the site using the standard navigation features and web apps which our IT department has made available to us. Key features and how the site is used are described in the series of labelled screen shots below.
We generally keep all content open for everyone to access, and for all members of the Capability Community to edit. The exception to this is skill assessments and budget information to which we restrict access via permissions.
Front page layout
Front page menu
Academy Training Courses and Assessments
Learning Program Page – Example
What Could We Improve?
A couple of ideas that spring to mind are:
- Adding a Welcome page with a link from front page and moving the Business Unit Director’s welcome message from the National Page to this page. Also linking to the Welcome page from the Academy Training Courses and Assessments page. This would make the Welcome message more accessible to broader audience rather than being tucked away on a page visited almost exclusively by the Capability Community.
- Expanding use of the blog, which is primarily used to communicate regular updates regarding programs we are working on in Capability. We could use it for education about key elements of our Capability strategy, including use of links to internet content. We could also feature people involved in Capability (e.g. operators who are training and assessing others, learners who are completing our programs).
What are your suggestions?