What I Learned in June 2019 covers working with a developer as a Subject Matter Expert, searching on a Padlet board and the anti-clotting medication Warfarin.

Data Analytics – Working with a Developer

In What I Learned in March 2019 I spoke about data analytics.  Data analytics continues to arise as a key capability development need in the learning teams that I’m working with.  I’ve been working with an Excel developer on improving the tool that’s used to analyse capability data.  I compare data on current capability with a target capability level for the team.  We’ve worked on expanding the range of data cuts and how the data is visually represented to identify and communicate strengths that can be leveraged and gaps that need to be closed.

My Excel skills are rudimentary.  However, as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) I realised I needed to understand how the developer was interpreting the data to ensure that it was being used correctly.  If you are the SME you are the one who understands the data – as opposed to understanding how to manipulate the data.  There was one graph that didn’t look quite right but I couldn’t figure out whether my sense of this was right.  With the guidance of the developer I learned how the graph was being calculated.  I was able to advise the developer on what to adjust to ensure that the graph was representing what it should have been.

Searching on a Padlet Board

I’ve been using Padlet to curate resources related to the development of capability for learning teams this year.  One of the things I really like about Padlet is that I can co-curate.  I do this by setting the Padlet board to allow others to edit (but not to delete posts). Once I’ve selected the right settings for a board  I invite people to add resources, like and comment on resources on the Padlet board.  For example, when I speak about the learning profession at conferences or other events I invite people to add their favourite professional development resources. I maintain the board monthly.

However, I couldn’t find a way for people to search on a Padlet board. I tweeted about this as a shortfall and I included a notification to the Padlet account.  They replied with a suggestion to use the page search functionality in my browser.  I tested it and found it worked – I was able to search all content on a web page, including a Padlet board.  Not only was the ‘missing functionality’ located, this example also demonstrates the power of Twitter to get input on problems.

Warfarin – an Anti-Clotting Medication

On a personal note, I stayed with my 93 year old grandmother in Sydney during June while my parents went on a holiday.  Warfarin is one of the medications she takes on an ongoing basis.  People commonly refer to warfarin as a blood thinner.  A test called the INR (International Normalised Ratio – could refer to a test for anything right!) is used to determine whether to adjust the warfarin dose. The INR indicates how long a person’s blood takes to clot.  If clotting is too slow blood loss is a health risk. If clotting is too quick blood clots may occur.  My grandmother’s INR level had been fluctuating, in part due to the impact of antibiotics.  She needed frequent INR tests to monitor clotting and inform adjustment of warfarin dosage.  The doctor provided a very helpful booklet that educated me on the target INR range and described the purpose of warfarin – anti-clotting!

How about you – what have you learned recently?

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