Archive for the ‘e-learning’ category

E-Learning = Innovation = Science

10 June 2014

Have you ever been to a conference where the presenter asks the audience, “Who’s implemented a mobile learning strategy?”, and only 2 or 3 people raise their hand?

Forgive me: it’s a rhetorical question. I know you have. Because everyone has.

Of course the question might not revolve around mobile learning, but rather gamification, or enterprise social networking, or flipped classrooms, or whatever the hot topic may be.

While a lot of talk is bandied around about e-learning, it’s evident that relatively few of us are actually doing it.

The e-learning panel at AITD2014

To help bridge the gap, I was honoured to moderate a panel session at last month’s AITD National Conference. I was even more honoured to share the stage with Helen Blunden, Matthew Guyan, Anne Bartlett-Bragg and Simon Crook.

The session was entitled E-Learning: Transforming Talk into Action, and the panellists were hand-picked from multiple sectors to share their insights and expertise with us. And that they did.

Simon explained how his science students are using their iPads in class to enrich their learning experience: “Engage me or enrage me”; Matt described his use of Articulate Storyline to develop online courses in-house; Helen shared her experience in using Yammer to cultivate a collaborative culture in a conservative corporate environment; while Anne dove head-first into MOOCs and ruffled a few feathers along the way.

Regardless of the specific technology or pedagogy discussed by the panellists, the overarching advice provided by each one was to give it a go and see what happens.

In other words, e-learning is innovation.

Graph

Now I realise that many of my peers will balk at this assertion. After all, e-learning is decades old, and today’s L&D pro’s are tech savvy and digitally invested.

So let’s take the “e” out of “e-learning” already – I’ve argued that myself in the past. However I put it to you that a great many among us still haven’t put the “e” into e-learning, let alone take it out again.

For these people, e-learning represents making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. And when you think about it, e-learning is that for the rest of us too – it’s just we’re more comfortable with it; or, in fact, excited by it.

For all of us then, viewing e-learning through the lens of innovation offers us a crucial advantage: it reframes failure.

You see, innovators don’t think of failure as most people do. Rather than see it as something to be ashamed of, avoided at all costs, and certainly not to be aired in public, innovators embrace failure, they actively seek it out – and most importantly of all, they learn from it.

They appreciate the fact that if you never try, you never know. A failure isn’t an error or a mistake, but a beautiful piece of intelligence that informs your next move.

The trick of course is to ensure that when you fail, you do so quickly and cheaply. You don’t want to bring the roof crashing down upon you, so protect yourself by taking baby steps. Pilot your innovation and if it doesn’t quite work, modify it and try again; if it tanks miserably, cut your losses and abandon it; but if it does work, scale it up, keep an eye on it, continue to modify it where necessary, and enjoy your “overnight success”.

Scientist

And still I wish to take this line of thinking further. Beyond innovation, e-learning is science.

My definition of science is “systematic knowledge”. If you want to obtain deep, scientific insight, get systematic.

Scientists frame failure in much the same way as innovators do. Again, rather than seeing it as something to be ashamed of, they see it simply as a result. It’s not good or bad, right or wrong. It just is.

The advantage of viewing e-learning through the lens of science is embedded in its methodology. Classic experimental design is based on two hypotheses: the null hypothesis, in which the treatment has no effect; and the alternative hypothesis, in which the treatment has an effect. By running an experiment, the scientist will either accept or reject the null hypothesis.

For example, suppose a scientist in a soda company is charged with testing whether honey-flavoured cola will be popular. He might set up two sample groups drawn from the target market: one group tastes the regular cola, the other group tastes the honey-flavoured cola, and both rate their satisfaction. After crunching the numbers, the scientist may find no significant difference between the colas – so he accepts the null hypothesis. Or he may find that the honey-flavoured cola tastes significantly better (or worse!) than the regular cola – so he rejects the null hypothesis. Whether the null hypothesis is accepted or rejected, it’s a useful result. The concept of failure is redundant.

The parallel with e-learning is readily apparent. Consider the teacher who allows her students to bring their mobile devices into class; or the trainer who delivers part of her program online; or the manager who sets up a team site on SharePoint; or the L&D consultant who supports a group of employees through a MOOC. In each case, the null hypothesis is that her new method, idea or product has no effect – on what? that depends on the context – while the alternative is that is has. Either way, the result informs her next move.

A baby taking a step forward

So my advice to anyone who has never raised their hand at a conference is that you don’t need to don a white coat and safety goggles to transform talk into action. Rather, change your mindset and take a baby step forward.

MOOCs, open badges & the future of e-learning

10 December 2013

Another year of blogging draws to a close, this time dominated by the themes of MOOCs, open badges and the future of e-learning.

This year my blog enjoyed more robust discussion, and I thank everyone who cared enough to comment. Comments are the lifeblood of bloggers, so cheers!

It would be remiss of me not to call out three commenters in particular – Crispin Weston, Chris Taylor and Matt Guyan. Thanks so much for your thoughtful, supportive and challenging comments: you improved my thinking.

I invite everyone to review my posts for 2013 – and yes, please comment!

Collage of blog images

MOOCs

Open badges

The future of e-learning

Miscellaneous

Merry Christmas, and here’s to a provocative 2014!

E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 3

13 November 2013

Hooray! My E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 3 is now available.

This volume comprises my latest collation of articles from this blog. As in the earlier volumes, my intent is to provoke deeper thinking across a range of e‑learning related themes in the workplace, including:

E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 3•   Mobile learning
•   Informal learning
•   MOOCs
•   Flipped classrooms
•   Social intranets
•   Open badges
•   Self publishing
•   Augmented reality
•   The future of e-learning

E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 3 is available in both paperback and Kindle formats.

If you enjoy it, please review it on Amazon!

33 e-learning posts

2 December 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, I reflect upon another big year of blogging.

In case you missed any of my 33 posts about e-learning (or something vaguely related), I have listed them below for your convenience.

Thanks for reading!

Tag cloud

  1. E-Learning events in the Asia-Pacific region 2012
  2. Bad Apple
  3. Aus-e-learning
  4. Tips & tricks for self publishers – Part 1
  5. Tips & tricks for self publishers – Part 2
  6. Tips & tricks for self publishers – Part 3
  7. Tips & tricks for self publishers – Part 4
  8. The 10 Commandments of Microblogging
  9. The hardworking woodcutter
  10. The black hole of adult education
  11. E-Learning? Ja!
  12. Bern, baby, Bern
  13. Something all learning pro’s should do
  14. My 15 favourite Australian e-learning bloggers
  15. Playing by numbers
  16. What exactly does an E-Learning Manager do?
  17. Ode to stress management
  18. The nature of digital influence
  19. Informal first
  20. A defence of the “Next” button
  21. Drivers of Yammer use in the corporate sector
  22. Introducing the Social Intranet Index
  23. How social are our intranets?
  24. Everyone is an SME
  25. See the wood for the SMEs
  26. I’ve been bot-bombed!
  27. E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 2
  28. The power of one
  29. Take the law out of compliance training
  30. The browser you loved to hate
  31. Porn, weed and fireworks
  32. The classroom option you should not ignore
  33. The future of MOOCs

Aus-e-learning

24 January 2012

Last year, Jeff Goldman published Free US History eLearning in honour of Independence Day.

I thought it was such a wonderful idea, I have decided to do something similar in honour of Australia Day.

I hope you find the following Aussie-flavoured e-learning resources to be informative, fun and “bonza”…

Australian outback on the iPad

Facts and figures

Come To Australia. It’s nice here. You’ll like it.
Where we live in Australia
ABS Spotlight
Australia, a nation transformed

Tourism

There’s Nothing Like Australia in an App
AusWiki

Photos and images

Picture Australia

Great Australians

Australian Dictionary of Biography
Australia’s Nobel Laureates
On the Money
Heroes of the Air

Aboriginal culture

A History of the World in 100 Objects: Australian bark shield
Indigenous Language Map
Mystery object: Torres Strait Islands
Happytribe’s Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories
Australian History by La Trobe University

European settlement

Cook’s Endeavour Journal
DigiMacq
Gold rush
Augmented Reality browsing of Powerhouse Museum around Sydney
The Great Depression
Australian History by La Trobe University

Military history

Make your own conscription poster
Gallipoli: The First Day
The Story of the AE2
The Bombing of Darwin
The Petrov Affair Webquest

The Arts

Design and Art Australia Online
NationalGalleryAus
Music Australia
Australia Dancing
Sydney Opera House: Education
Sydney Symphony: Learn and Explore

Science and Technology

Australia Innovates
Australian Geographic
CSIRO
Science Image

Mobile and Social Media

Statistics about mobile phone usage
Asia-Pacific Social Media Statistics
State of Australian Social Media 2011
Social media use by Australians

Sport

The first golden age of cricket
AUS Olympic Champions

Language

Aussie English for the Beginner
World Nomads Australian Language Guide


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