I’m preparing to deliver a program called Building Learning Culture with  Nigel Paine.  We’re running this as a public program, which means we’re putting effort into marketing as well as creating and delivering the program.  Keep an eye out for some posts on the marketing effort in the coming fortnight.

We are determined that everyone who attends has the opportunity to create a practical, customised action plan to build learning culture in their organisation. To support this goal we have designed a self-assessment tool that people can use to identify strengths to leverage and the biggest challenges they need to address. The self-assessment covers the elements contained in the learning culture model (displayed above) that Nigel developed while writing his book Workplace Learning: how to build a culture of continuous employee development.

Assessment Purpose

We’ll run a webinar to guide people through the self-assessment and use polls on the webinar to capture these strengths and challenges.  The purpose of the self-assessment in the context of this program is to:

1. Make participants aware of the elements of learning culture,

2. Help participants identify what elements to focus on in their action plan, and

3. Allow facilitators (Nigel and me) to identify the needs of participants ahead of the workshop.


After completing the first draft of the assessment tool last week we posted on LinkedIn asking for people who wanted to test it.  Nine volunteers completed testing and answered the following questions:

1. Please describe any problems you had downloading the tool.

2. How long did it take you to complete your self-assessment?

3. Were the instructions clear? Please suggest any improvements to instructions.

4. Were there any statements in the assessment that were unclear or ambiguous? Please provide details.

5. Were there any statements that you felt were not related to the element under which they were listed? Please provide details.

6. Was the tool easy to use? Do you have any improvements to suggest that would make it easier to use?

7. On a scale of 1 to 10 how useful was this tool to provide you with insight into the strengths and challenges to building learning culture in your organisation? (Where 1 = no value and 10 = extremely useful)

8. Do you have any other comments about this self-assessment tool / process or improvements to suggest?

Feedback and Next Steps

Nigel prepared a summary of the feedback, which opens as follows:

The overwhelming impression left from reading the comments, is that the tool is both useful and easy-to-use. Many found the analysis interesting and worthy of further discussion. One person got it precisely, and saw it as a great introduction to a workshop discussion and an action plan.  Therefore, we are on the right track. There were some useful comments that we should discuss that could lead to the implementation of some changes.

So pleasing to hear that people found this useful.

Key changes we’re working on:

  • Clarifying purpose and context for use of the tool
  • Rewriting some of the descriptive statements that the user is asked to assess against
  • Changing the 10 point assessment scale to a 5 point scale
  • Creating a rubric (i.e. scoring instructions) to reduce subjectivity in assessment

As our intent is to make the tool freely available for anyone to use (i.e. not just our workshop participants) being clear on the purpose and context for use is particularly important.  We are aiming to release the tool early next week.

Thank you to our testers

A special mention to Bryan West and his team at Fortress Learning.  Bryan had nearly his whole team do the assessment individually and then collated their input. He’s now using it to spark discussion on learning culture with this team – a fantastic use of the tool.

Thanks also to our other testers – Diane Hickman, Urmila DCunha, Kuva Jacobs, Alysha Davis, Paul Marter, Sara Shea, Soundari Mukherjea, Victor Couto Alves and Megan Barrett.

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