Blending Formal & Informal Learning Using New Technologies in the Workplace

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A presentation at the IUCN Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, Aug 30-Sept 1, 2007

A presentation at the IUCN Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, Aug 30-Sept 1, 2007

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  • 1. Blending Formal & Informal Learning: Utilizing New Technologies in the Workplace to Connect, Interact, and Sustain Learning by Buthaina Al-Othman Language Center, Kuwait University, Kuwait “ New Learning for Sustainability in the Arab Region” New Approaches for Informal Learning Alexandria Bibliotheca, Alexandria, Egypt Friday, August 31, 2007 IUCN – CEC - AB
  • 2. Outline
    • Definitions of learning
    • Learning approaches
    • Informal learning
    • Case Study: Phases
    • Case Examples
    • Results of program evaluation & recommendations
    • Barriers
    • Final word
  • 3. What Is Learning? “ Learning can be defined formally as the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skills. In contrast, memory can define the capacity of storing, retrieving, and acting on that knowledge. Learning helps us move from novices to experts and allows us to gain new knowledge and abilities”. (From How Adults Learn, by Marcia L. Conner )
  • 4. What Is Learning?
      • According to Eric R. Kandel, M.D., vice chairman of The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, “learning is how you acquire new information about the world, and memory is how you store that information over time. There is no memory without learning, but there is learning without memory.”
      • We may have trouble recalling details of what we learned in school, unless we’ve used skills from school in our day-to-day life. This is why brain researchers recognize differences between learning and memory. They are closely linked—but they are not the same thing.
      • ( AARP Magazine, August 2007 )
  • 5. Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but is life itself. (John Dewey, 1859-1952)
  • 6. Some Learning Approaches
    • Rote learning : repetition / memorizing
    • Formal learning : learning taking place in school systems
    • Non-formal learning : organized learning outside the formal learning system.
    • Informal learning : learning from life and other people
  • 7. Informal Learning & Formal Learning
      • “ Most of what we learn, we learn from other people –
      • At work we learn more in the break room than in the
      • classroom. We discover how to do our jobs through
      • informal learning -- observing others, asking the person
      • in the next cubicle, calling the help desk, trial-and-error,
      • and simply working with people in the know.
      • Formal learning - classes and workshops and online
      • events - is the source of only 10% to 20% of what we
      • learn at work.”
      • ( Jay Cross, 2003 )
  • 8. http:// www.jaycross.com/informal_book/poster.htm @ 2006 Jay Cross, Internet Time Groups LLC, Berkeley, California The Big Picture Of Informal Learning
  • 9. Push Learning vs Pull Learning
      • Formal learning = Push learning
      • Informal Learning = Pull learning
  • 10. LEARNING:100% FORMAL: 20% INFORMAL: 80% Family Gathering Diwaniyah Coffee Break Courses Online Events Classrooms
  • 11. Blending Formal & Informal learning approaches using new technologies to teach communications skills! Putting Theories into Action In Spring 2006 http://tinyurl.com/2gvprh A pilot ESP program for a group in the financial industry
  • 12. Case Study: A Pilot Blended ESP, (BE) Program for Branch Managers
      • Phases:
        • Needs Assessment
        • Objectives
        • Program Design
        • Syllabus (weekly activities)
        • Logistics
        • Implementation
        • Program evaluation & Recommendations
    http://alothman-b.tripod.com/content-gb.htm
  • 13. Building a Collaborative Learning Community http://alothman-b.tripod.com/content-gb-e-community.htm
  • 14. Connecting to Create a Network for Learning Sustainability & Professional Development
  • 15. Needs Assessment
    • Organizational Needs Assessment, (ONA)
    • Job-Task Needs Assessment, (TNA)
    • Instructional Needs Assessment (INA)
  • 16. Instructional Needs Assessment (INA): Placement / Diagnostic Testing
      • Oral Skills - (interviews)
          • Personal and general questions
      • Writing Skills:
        • Job-task based questions
      • Computer & Internet Skills (online)
  • 17. Program Design
      • Objectives
      • Course plan
      • Syllabus (weekly activities)
      • Materials ( a portal home page with links to syllabus, schedule, weekly activities, resources, printed and online handouts,..)
      • Technology (synchronous & asynchronous social and communication tools)
      • Learning environments (c-lab, equipment, internet café, virtual classrooms)
  • 18. Different Learning Environments for Performance Support convenient for the busy manager Practicing various communication skills at different environments to support informal learning approach and have fun! Learning from one another
  • 19. Syllabus http://alothman-b.tripod.com/content-gb-courseplan.htm
  • 20. Using New Technologies to Create & Support Effective Learning Environments for voice messages and audio activities used as a CMS, for announcements, and to practice email writing, to practice collaborative group-writing for the final project to practice writing through reflection and sharing information
  • 21. Using New Technologies to Create & Support Effective Learning Environments Delicious - social bookmarking, using the tag (gbk) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Videoblog to shareand store video clips Blip.tv For formal and informal activities: lessons, meetings, discussions, presentations for voice & text instant messaging & international conversations
  • 22. Examples of Performance Support Activities formal and informal learning situations: three participants were reflecting and reporting on a seminar using Elluminate
  • 23. Promoting Informal learning through International Conversation Activities Live conversation with international educators using Skype (Venue: Awqaf Arab Development Institute) Barbara Sawhill Abeer Bouftain
  • 24. Simulation Activities at the Virtual Classroom Performance support fun activities-(David Winet as Bill Gates  ) David Winet Bill Gates
  • 25. Summary of Program Evaluation’s Results
  • 26. Some Results of the Program Evaluation
  • 27. Barriers
    • HR team & training management
    • IT challenges ( equipments, support)
    • Training / classroom equipment
    • Miscommunication
  • 28. Recommendations / future plans
    • Improve ONA
    • Suggest the use of social networking for HR and training managers
    • Provide orientation for each technology shortly before it’s used
  • 29. The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. (Carl Rogers) I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated. ( Al MacGuire) Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. ( Plato)
  • 30. One Final Word! Things manage to work themselves out and nature has always confirmed that…. Change is happening; so, let’s let it be Time to Learn how to learn 