These are my live-blogged notes from the webinar Emerging Trends in Collaborative Learning from the WebEx/eLearning Guild Online eLearning Summit. My comments are in italics.


  • Heidi Fisk, Co-Founder, The eLearning Guild
  • Brent Schlenker, the Emerging Technologies Analyst, The eLearning Guild

How do you define “collaborative learning”?

Brent showed his online profile in different places

I’m impressed that he’s a level 40 orc in WOW. The fact that I’m impressed by that probably makes me a g33k…

Heidi Fisk noted that she isn’t involved with so many new technologies b/c she has difficulty typing. Good example of why mobility is part of the accessibility considerations and why we should think about that more.

New technologies are all about connecting people-that’s the underlying theme of all these new innovations

The focus on “You” (Time magazine, personal branding)

YOUniverse-what does your digital presence look like?

  • Consume
  • Connect/Collaborate
  • Create

Maybe the “editable” from Brent’s earlier list should be “collaboratable”-not that it’s a real word…Hmmm…I still am not quite happy with that.

Looked at generational trends for technology

eLearning Guild technology usage

  • Synchronous e-Learning: 65%
  • Wikis: 31%
  • Blogs: 22%
  • Chat rooms: 24%
  • Mobile Learning: 19%
  • Podcasts: 17%

eLearning Guild is an example of collaborative data sharing, pulled dynamically

Synchronous Learning trends (although new engine in 2005, so data isn’t directly comparable)

  • 2001: 13%
  • 2002: 18%
  • 2004: 25%
  • 2005: 38%
  • 2007: 65%

Learning 0.1: Physical classroom in 1941, chalkboard, no

Learning 1.0: standard info (expert content, one direction, static, centralized). Few content creators, many content consumers

Learning 2.0: Dynamic, decentralized, loosely joined networks, learners create & enhance content; rip, mix, feed

“Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy”

Five Ables from before:

  • Searchable
  • Editable
  • Linkable
  • Tagable
  • Feedable

First 3 “ables” are from the Cluetrain Manifesto

Informal Learning

New hires need more formal, structured courses, less informal

Company gurus use more informal support & conversations, less formal classrooms

Brent is showing this as very low informal at the beginning, but I’m not sure I agree with that. I think there is a lot of informal learning for new hires too

Google Trends shows searches for “instructional design” dropping over time

What does that mean? Are there fewer learning professionals using instructional design? Perhaps the old ideas of what instructional design is aren’t working anymore. We need to find new ways to be of value.

Blogs, Wikis, RSS

Got a phone call-darn, I missed what Brent said about blogs, wikis, and RSS. I’ll have to catch it in the recording. (Unless Brent would be so nice as to summarize what he said here in the comments…)

Internal Wikis: Intel as the example

  • 6000+ articles
  • Intel Acronyms to help people
  • Intel History created by the employees-better than what any single group of people could have done

Blogs let you share ideas and get feedback from all over the world

Text messaging took off much faster in other countries where the infrastructure was better for that than in the US.

Where to start using new technology? Feed reader/aggregator, start learning RSS

Feed readers are a good way to get a high level scan of a lot of the information

Showed iGoogle, Netvibes, etc.-learning dashboards

“Nobody can tell you what the matrix is. You have to experience it for yourself.” Morpheus, The Matrix

You have to go out and experience it, engage with others, create and share

Several questions in the chat about accuracy in wikis-people seem to be very worried about that. The moderator suggests lots of self-policing

Find the grassroots people to start trying something and encourage them to share what they are doing. You can’t just tell people “this is what we’re doing” like a new accounting system-you have to build from the bottom, not from the top down. Even if it fails, what have you lost if the tool is free?

Collaborative Immersive 3-D Environments

Games vs. Virtual Spaces

“You can learn more about a man in one hour of play than in one year of conversation.” Plato

Immersive 3-D environments require you to work together, be engaged, solve problems

Most kids play games, lots of adults do too

MMORPG is a virtual team

Screenshot of 40 people in a WOW raiding party-this is 40 people from around the world with different skills working to accomplish something. Lots of logistics even though it’s a game.

Second Life is a virtual space without specific game objectives like WOW. Watched NASA shuttle launch video within virtual world–a “matrix” moment for Brent

Example of Second Life training: Crowd control training where there’s no danger of people getting hurt. It’s easy for learners to figure out how to “game the system” if it’s non-player characters. If real people are the ones playing the role of disrupters in the crowd, it’s harder to game the system.

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1 thought on “Collaborative Learning Trends

  1. Again. This is great! I need to clarify that it has taken me 2 years to get to level 40. 30mins here and 30 mins there is not how you should play the game, but its all I have.
    Oh to be a college student and have 24 hours to grind out a high level character all in one sitting.

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