In my previous blog post I explained how I recognized it is difficult for a lot of organisations to support informal and social learning in their organisations, because they are unable to jump the two mindset hurdles of (a) thinking that learning only happens in training courses, and (b) that all organisational learning needs to be controlled by Training/L&D departments
Although there is undoubtedly still a need for organized structured learning initiatives in an organisation, it also becoming clear that an increasing number of organisations do realize that the traditional “course” model has become an outdated way of learning for many people, and that they now need to offer more creative and appealing learning opportunities – with similar features, if you like, to those that informal, social learners have now become used to.
So one approach that I have been promoting is, instead of thinking of Formal and Informal Leaning as polar opposites, rather to think in terms of a Social Workplace Learning Continuum (as shown diagrammatically in the image on the right).
But in order to support the full SWL Continuum, there are 5 points to take on board.
1 – Think “learning spaces/places” not “training rooms”
2 – Think “social technologies” not “training/learning technologies”
3 – Think “activities” not “courses”
4 – Think “lite design” not “instructional design” – for organized activities
5 – Think “continuous flow of activities” not just “response to need”
Want to find out more?
When working with clients I use my Social Learning Centre to demonstrate how to put these 5 points into action, and for examples of the different types of activities that can be organised or supported, I’ll be talking more about how I’ve done this in some upcoming webinars – firstly the eLearning Guild Thought Leaders webinar on 12 June and then in a webinar for the L&SG Online Conference on 26 June (no link as yet). Additionally, from September I’ll be running an online workshop on Supporting the Social Workplace Learning Continuum at the Social Leaning Centre– but more about that in due course.