See how the MSLOC program at Northwestern University goes beyond the traditional LMS and classroom-based teaching using Jive to form a fluid learning community with students, faculty, staff and alumni.
The Internet and Higher Education, April 2016
cc: Jeff Merrell, Associate Director of MSLOC
My take is that technology and communications are happening so quickly that you cannot uncouple collaboration and learning. Things are moving too fast to formally document knowledge and so organizations must provide JIT (Just In Time) learning, the same way traditional supply chains moved toward JIT inventory control in the 90s. Knowledge, in this case, is the inventory and it must be provided in the flow of work and for the same reason, it can't be centrally mediated or controlled. We have a big technology client where this was the key motivation for investing in communities - they simply could not provide more traditional training in a way that allowed their engineers to keep up.
Heck yeah, there is a correlation between collaboration and learning. When you think about the times you've had truly deep learning throughout your lifetime, it probably hasn't been watching an elearning or sitting in a classroom. It's likely been through mentoring, peer-to-peer conversations and experiences. Tools like Jive help us extend those conversations outside of the classroom, connect people, and share best practices. That's all learning, right?
I love the term "social learning." As a former classroom teacher, I found having my students work together and discover solutions together deepened their engagement and solidified their learning. As awesome as instructors and trainers can be in delivering content, they can't be everything to everyone. Giving learners an opportunity to learn from each other, to support each other, especially after the "former" training ends, should be part of any and all training programs. Yeah, social learning!!
If we aren't learning every day, we're pretty much dead. I don't mean we spend every day in an LMS. I mean we absorb knowledge every moment we are awake, and much of that subtly influences how we behave. One of the largest challenges we are faced with is changing the construct/paradigm/model that many of the non-learning people I have supported in my career have when someone says "learning".
I feel most people of certain generations view training as traditionally skill focused. Formal training is too often skill or compliance based. But what we as humans do about 90% of our lives is informal, social, and collaborative learning that is behavior based. While I have spent the better part of the last 20 years helping organizations move toward affecting enduring behavior change, I have felt that until Jive I have not been able to quickly implement they type of communities that open people up to "the other 90%".
I learn constantly. It's part of why I get up every morning. And it never gets old.
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Every question that gets asked is a learning opportunity. And if it gets asked in a social platform, it is visible for more people to learn from. There are so many things that happen in JiveWorks, The Community RoundTable and my own community that I didn't purposely set out to learn, but see because I'm there. That is the real power of community - learning happens without people realizing that is what is going on. The community itself helps shift the behavior from exploitation to exploration; from tweaking what we've already made to learning ways to reinvent. Your community is an integral part of creating a learning culture.