All Change for Learning and Development


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Article form e-version of November\'s Inside Learning Technologies Magazine

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All Change for Learning and Development

  1. 1. ALL CHANGE FORLEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT Mobile learning is about more than putting an e-learning course in your pocket, says Ara Ohanian. O rganisational learning is at an completion. And learners enjoyed timely even if the demand had been there, the inflexion point. Things are access to calendar-based, structured systems and technology to support a going to change very learning activities. If this sounds like the different model of learning weren’t. dramatically from the way 19th century, it isn’t. It all applies as Essentially the only way to get people they have been for years, and the reason is equally to training in the past few years as trained was as we had done it in the past – simple. New ways of working, supported by it did to the Victorian era. Delivery albeit perhaps with a slight technical twist new technologies, demand new ways of mechanisms certainly have changed in the added. learning. past few decades or so (with the addition Today things are different. of e-learning and webinars, for example), TOP-DOWN STRUCTURED LEARNING IS The exploding speed of communications in but the centralised, prescriptive model of NO LONGER ENOUGH. today’s world forces organisations in the organisational learning has remained Historically, organisations’ approach to unaltered. public and private sector to keep up with imparting their workforce with knowledge those that consume their services or use was to train them. Typically, learning and Perhaps, until recently, this approach was their products. The old standby of ‘just-in- development departments decided what sufficient and this may have been for two time training’ is no longer adequate. Simply should be taught, who should teach it, and reasons. First, there was no external driver, making more knowledge available faster how workers should be graded after pushing a more effective model. Second, won’t do. Learners need the right November 2009 Inside Learning Technologies 67
  2. 2. ALL CHANGE FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT By 2011, over one billion workers world-wide will be equipped • From curriculum-driven to search-driven with mobile devices connected to the Internet via WIFI and 4G • From lesson-driven to knowledge-driven networks. Enhanced processing power combined with • From employee-centred to audience- centred (including customers) broadband connectivity and GPS is already revolutionising • From teacher-driven to SME-driven many people’s expectations of their mobile phones. • From subject-teaching to knowledge- sharing For FML to be effective, two key These L&D departments recognise that innovations are required. One is the knowledge mobility requires much more development of an intelligent search than simply putting e-learning on a mobile function designed to fetch and deliver device. A mobile learning solution must content to smart phones. The other is a take into consideration the worker’s Categorisation Engine that will aggregate, environment and state of mind. analyse and present the content in a relevant and useful manner on mobile The worker ‘on the go’ has less time to devices and smart phones. learn and more urgent knowledge needs to fulfil. Consequently, the source of Without this, the smart phone user will be knowledge is often not the lesson. Instead, presented with an unmanageable mess of relevant knowledge can be generated from information that he or she can make no a variety of sources in a multitude of sense of, and get no value from. forms. The ability to access knowledge from structured and unstructured sources in multiple formats is an approach that we call the ‘Fluid Model of Learning’ or FML. FLUID MODEL OF LEARNING - FML FML provides the knowledge worker with a knowledge acquisition experience information, delivered in a timely way that where the learner is in control. He or is responsive to them. she is perpetually both a learner and a teacher, as are the other THE RACE FOR SMART MOBILITY members of his or her Globally, knowledge workers are rapidly community. And any person arming themselves with powerful mobile can be a member of devices that deliver capabilities far in multiple communities. excess of mere mobile telephony. And this This learning experience is goes well beyond playing a few games on characterised by the learner’s ability your iPhone. to find precise knowledge in multiple formats, from various sources. By 2011, over one billion workers world- Whatever sources are appropriate, wide will be equipped with mobile devices the learner finds the information connected to the Internet via WIFI and 4G they need to overcome the specific networks. Enhanced processing power knowledge challenge they face. combined with broadband connectivity and GPS is already revolutionising many FML augments traditional learning people’s expectations of their mobile approaches in which learning takes phones. This trend will rapidly reach a place ‘just in case’. The following tipping point, as smart mobile provide examples of areas in which devices/phones permeate every aspect of FML broadens the learning The combination of Intelligent Search and our life – personal and professional. experience to more readily, more rapidly the Categorisation Engine will present access more useful and up-to-date Increasingly, organisations which need to content of multiple types within a knowledge: keep employees always informed and in configurable interface. Not only do users collaborative communication are looking • From formal learning content to now expect to be able to configure the for some method of managing knowledge informal learning content interfaces of devices they use, this user- across the enterprise. Where knowledge driven adaptability is essential. • From structured learning content to management is synonymous with unstructured learning content This enables the user to find the document control, things are not going to information they want in the way they • From individual-based learning to change. In some forward-looking expect, and put it to use immediately. community-based learning organisations, however, the Learning and Different users will want to vary how they Development function is stepping forward • From training-driven to performance- receive information – whether they give to assume this important role. support-driven more emphasis at a particular time to a 68 Inside Learning Technologies November 2009
  3. 3. ALL CHANGE FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT The combination of Intelligent Search and the Categorisation Engine will present content of multiple types within a configurable interface. Not only do users now expect to be able to configure the interfaces of devices they use, this user-driven adaptability is essential. social networking device, for example, to him/her to a relevant SME’s mobile a wiki, a blog or a course. telephone for a live discussion. There is so much information available This approach works to the strengths of that the best filter for it is the user’s own the smart phone, rather than presenting decision, based on the right channel for a users with a cut-down version of elearning. particular occasion. We are now seeing mobile devices evolve based learning presented by most into knowledge-based performance organisational learning systems today. These combined engines will not only support tools, where their very portability serve content based on what is being The reason this form of learning will evolve and connectivity give them an edge over searched but will also find relevant and hi- is simple: people expect it, organisations desktop computers. They can deliver need it and now, finally, the technology value knowledge links and present them to context-sensitive information and exists to supply it. the user. Such links can connect the user connections exactly at the point of need. with content in multiple formats coming Get ready for a mobile, fluid, learning from blogs, wikis, videos, audio, documents This is not some far-off vision of future. libraries, podcasts, or even structured mobile learning in the future. It is a lessons. picture of learning that we can expect to see emerging in 2010. Ara Ohanian is CEO of CERTPOINT Furthermore, since the system will Systems. For more information please recognise which community is most It is fluid, it is ultra-relevant, and it is visit relevant to the user, it can connect dramatically different from the course- Is your organisation achieving its full potential? Identify strengths and weaknesses across your organisation Measure your organisation’s skill levels against national standards Assign learning to specific skills gaps Tailor assessments to fit your organisation’s development strategy Generate powerful reports for moment-of-need talent management Contact us today on 01904 659465 or visit to book a demonstration. Your people are your future See it in action at Learning Technologies 2010 November 2009 Inside Learning Technologies 71