Monday, December 30, 2013

Influence and Persuasion - resource

Someone sent me this clip as an introduction to some influencing techniques. It makes a good introductory argument for some simple changes. I'd like to see how a group of grads (or similar cohort) would react to trying these techniques in a professional setting. I love the engaging format of the clip, not dissimilar to the Dan Pink & RSAnimate motivation clip, but I think increasingly professionals look for examples that relate directly to their context. This makes sense, if you know anything adult learning principles or the Connectivist theory.

Influence as presented in this clip seems heavily tied to sales activities within businesses, but for learning practitioners I'm seeing more and more need for strong influencing skills to make the case for changing behaviour and embedding learning objectives after the initial formal presentation of new information/procedures/products etc. Working with the learner and their on-the-job context (i.e. peers, managers and internal stakeholders) to influence for the change is more and more a role the learning designer plays. Food for thought.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Summer Reading

Given its the silly season, and most of us south of the equator are taking a well earned break, this summer reading flow chart could come in handy. This is the first solid break I've taken in 15 months and naturally I immediately made a list of all the things I would do to 'be productive' while on my break. Pretty counterintuitive. I digress. This flow chart should help for those like me who have a natural inclination to pick 30 books and assume you'll easily read all of them in addition to doing all the odd jobs and catching up with everyone over a two week period.

The Summer Reading Flowchart

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Recent numbers for global learning [infographic]

A recent infographic presents some handy stats if you're stuck in a conversation about just how many people are using, and how many institutions are adopting some form of online solution:
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Global Online Education

Monday, December 16, 2013

EdTech Startups - how does that happen?

Here in the blogosphere there are a ton of influences and resources and events and companies pushing ideas and *stuff* at the education consumer. It's easy to forget that for those L&D professionals/educators/learning people not normally working online, the edtech idea can be more than a little confusing. How do so many companies get started? Why do they get started? Are the people who make the products and the brands and the campaigns and events and everything else that gets pushed in our faces - are they educators or are they business people? Are they advertisers or are they entrepreneurs? If you've ever asked or been asked these questions, I recommend watching the below presentation by Khalid Smith. Khalid is involved in an event called Startup Weekend that takes the ideas associated with entrepreneurship and design thinking, and brings a whole bunch of people interested in education together to work with those ideas to meet learning needs.

In a rough kinda 'how-to' way, his presentation that seems to be one of the first from the weekend, is a nice introduction into how we got to this entrepreneurial edtech state in the first place.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning and Development as Strategy Execution

After writing about Brinkerhoff's Success Case Method last week, I fell into a vortex wonderment, watching and re-watching his presentation at Learning Technologies 2013. Brinkerhoff spoke about Making L&D Matter. Proving the true worth of L&D is hard to do and requires very deliberate effort. How do we know we're hitting the right goals, using the right measures, telling the right stories to the right people?

Well, to get you thinking, grab a beverage and settle in for this session. It's choc-full of great takeaways about how to think about L&D as a valuable contributor to the organisation, and how this perception has changed over time. My personal favourite however, because it's how I've been telling the story of the value of L&D in my current role, is right up there in the post title: Learning and development as strategy execution. If we're aligning our actions to the most commonly used measure in the organisation, it's hard to not justify a seat at the big kids table come decision-making time.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tangent: Help those affected by Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan is thankfully over. The aftermath will unfortunately continue to affect thousands of people in the Philippines for years to come. This silly season, please consider an act of generosity as you wind down for the year and celebrate health and wealth with those near to you. Most agencies are taking donations and formulating plans, both short and longer term, to respond to this humanitarian disaster.

Some links to easily donate are below.

Compassion facilitate approximately 13,000 child sponsorships in the Philippines. So far, none have been counted among those lost. Compassion's approach to child development is one of cradle-to-grave, involving communities in a big way. I've made donations here, as I'm a sponsor of children through their program, one of which is in the Phils. I'm hoping I get a letter hearing about his family's survival soon.

Red Cross Phlippines

Oxfam Australia

Unicef Australia

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Am I doing a good job? Kirkpatrick v. Success Case Method

I stumbled on this fantastic comparison of two methods of evaluating learning in the workplace. Most of us are already more than familiar with the Kirkpatrick approach: difficult to manage levels, quantitative, isolated to the learning intervention itself, based on a reductionist method exposing 'averages'. Please believe me when I say I'm not against Kirkpatrick in some contexts. It is important to recognise the limitations of one of the most common models being used in the industry however.

Gram compares this with the success case method. We have Robert Brinkerhoff to thank for this alternative. As soon as I started reading about this approach to evaluation I was attracted to it because of the loose links to appreciative inquiry. I'm a big believer in appreciative inquiry, and although the success method is definitely focused on evaluation (and therefore not just observing but placing conclusions on research), I can see connections. The success method places more value on qualitative evidence and recognises that learning as an 'intervention' cannot be isolated from the context it takes place in.

Keen to get a little more detail on the success case method, in case it could help in your organisation? I'm about to start reading The Success Case Method (and maybe follow up with Telling Training's Story).

I still think there is a case for the Kirkpatrick model evaluation. It's still necessary to demonstrate the impact of learning in businesses, and get data in front of decision makers. How we collect that data, present that data and tell the story about that data, is more and more a part of the role of the in-house L&D professional. Just another set of abilities being added to the changing role of the learning practitioner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Edublog 2013 eddies

Nominations are now closed for the 2013 Edublog eddies. These are annual awards that recognise some of the best in the online ed space. Sure, it may be part PR exercise, part popularity contest, but there's a heck of  a lot of content out there and a fair amount of the most decent stuff comes out in the wash with these awards.

Check out past awards here.

What is Edublogs? Check them out. As they say, wordpress for education/educators. (And Aussie!)

I for one am really looking forward to seeing what I can glean/add to my reading list from the nominations and awards.