LearnTrends: Extending Learning to the Edges of Organizations

Live blogged notes from Extending Learning to the Edges of Organizations with Charles Jennings & Andy McGovern. My side comments are in italics. Update: The recording of this session (and the rest of LearnTrends) is now available.

Official description:

Thomson Reuters meets the challenge of supporting the learning and development of its employees across the world through the innovative use of technology and a strategy based on the 70:20:10 model. The firm has recently deployed learning solutions using 2.0 technologies including a ‘Learning Exchange’ based on Sun technology, a virtual Technology Institute and other global immersive eLearning solutions including a virtual world collaboration environment.

Charles Jennings

70-20-10 model–not original to them, others have adopted it since

  • 70% learn and develop thru experience
  • 20% learn & develop thru others
  • 10% learn & develop through structured courses & programs

90% experiential learning & development

What’s in the 70 +20?

  • social learning — sharing experiences
  • workplace learning & perf support
  • LiveLabs & scenarios — “day in the life”
  • learnscapes — immersive simulations

“What’s the difference between learning physics and being a physicist?” –Jerome Bruner

Having the theoretical knowedge doesn’t make you a physicist. We teach not to create little living libraries on the subject, but practitioners.

Aspects of learning

  • Experience
  • Practice
  • Conversation
  • Reflection

Performance support–business process guidance & JIT learning

Difference between a map & GPS. GPS provides incremental instruction. A map lays out the whole journey, but you can’t remember the whole journey at once so you end up using it incrementally anyway.

We should be doing incremental instruction for process and procedure, not formal learning

LiveLabs: not simulations, using the actual network tools & hardware. Hands on practice with actual tools, but in a safe environment

Andy McGovern

Working with Sun for Thomson Reuters Social Learning Exchange (SLX)

A cross between YouTube & iTunes. Doesn’t replace the LMS. Focus on the tacit knowledge that is usually hard to share. Get experts to share, make it easy for them.

Not a lot of instructional design, just getting people to share content

Tried to show video of Meet Charlotte, but video doesn’t work well over Elluminate

Public version from Sun: https://slx.sun.com/, site about the product here: SLX

This is not a synchronous platform–experts can use a webcam and easily record and upload content. More like an intranet YouTube. Support communities of practice around domains

Virtual Collaborative Environment–prebuilt auditorium, conference rooms. They are using this with a group that has been outsourced. Works for them to collectively get together across time zones. They use it asynchronously too

Virtual World: Teleplace

Institute of Technology: Information shared with a heavily modified version of Sharepoint. Integrates JIT learning from their Books 24X7 site

None of these tools will work if you don’t spend significant time engaging with the business–engaging learners, change management. If you don’t engage them, they won’t use it and will find something else.


How do you measure value? Business results?

  • One answer in chat: money saved by meeting in VW instead of F2F
  • Teleplace VW is about cost reduction in travel
  • Broader is about enhancing collaboration–how you measure that depends on the tool. Harder to measure with general teams than specific ones with specific goals. Still working on that.
  • Business results: for SLX, they are looking at how expert knowledge is transferred to others & applied
  • ROI $3 Million for one project based on time saved finding solutions to problems. Metric is reducing time to competence

SLX makes it easy to attribute who contributes, comments, uses content. Attribution makes it not smart to be inappropriate.

Community ratings help judge what’s valuable–self regulating

They expect some people to record videos, but also asking people to record WebEx sessions and share those. Sounds like this is also about collecting things that may be happening anyway and just making it easier to share. Video won’t be the primary content in the long run

Most work gets done based on trust–you trust that your manager won’t undermine you, your manager trusts you to do your job. Relationships are important and matter for the learning. Important to get the ear of senior managers so they see the value of this and not just formal learning.

In chat: Christy Confetti Higgins: FYI – from Outsell Inc. – corporate high tech workers spend on average of 6.2 hours finding information vs. 5.4 hours applying it – anything we can do to save people time looking for business information (like Books24x7), the better and higher ROI

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