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Case Studies


In keeping with a great article by Jay Cross and Harold Jarche, I’ve decided to organize the social learning case studies by Emergent and Collaborative descriptors.  While these are reasonably self-evident, I would encourage you to read their post for more.

In previous posts, I have made the point that Marketing and IT professionals are “eating your cheese” in that they are actively working on these approaches while learning professionals are on the outside looking in.  My fear is that learning professionals will get stuck with the crap work, specifically certification & compliance, while IT and Marketing gets to work on the fun stuff, and more importantly, the seriously business-impacting stuff.

During a London keynote last week, though, Jay made a great point:  why not reverse this model, and actively dump certification and compliance on other groups:  certifications could and maybe should go to IT, and compliance initiatives could be run by Compliance Officers or Legal.  This would free learning professionals up to work on the really “big” initiatives like organizational network analysis (ONA) and social learning initiatives to trap emergent and collaborative information flow.  Good ideas worth serious consideration.

Click here for stories of Emergent Learning.

Click here for stories on Collaborative Learning.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2009 8:40 pm

    In many organizations, marketing and communications could handle content development while facilitators (AKA the new training department) ensure that workers have the tools, techniques and support for collaborative work.

    An example of separating compliance from learning: In the military we separated training delivery from testing. The Standards team did the testing and they were not the trainers.

    • dwilkinsnh permalink*
      February 24, 2009 8:53 pm

      Love those ideas Harold. I’ve never understood why trainers and ID folk insist on measuring stuff like whether learners hit all the pages in the course. If there is an assessment, that is the validation of knowledge acquisition and learning, right? But so many times, you see learning and assessing get all munged up like they are one thing. Separating them, as you suggest, provides opportunities for different groups to own different parts of the model.

      I agree completely with the facilitator comment. One of things I’ve been saying is that we should look at the news industry and Wikipedia models for inspiration on new job roles — both were once purely the domain of experts, but now include “non-experts” as content creators. In the transition, some “experts” took on roles as facilitators or producers or vetters. Like on CNN iReport, there is now a set of people who validate and vet news from the public submissions. All of this strikes me as directly analogous to where we need to go.

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