Jay Cross has an eloquent post talking about the history of Performance Support, ending of course calling for considering the learnscape. Tony Karrer comments on it in his own post looking at performance support and learning technology.
Interestingly, what Jay doesn’t really cover in his history is that Gloria came up with Performance Support to cover up bad interface design. The systems were monolithic and essentially impermeable to change, so she wrapped a solution around it. The interaction design field was a little put out about the whole performance support system notion, saying it was really just good interface design. And there’s still too little of that, sad to say (I used to teach interaction design, and it’s a component of the performance ecosystem solution).
What Jay points out, however, is that the learning designer needs to take responsibility for more than just courses, and it’s ok if information is the solution (“‘Information is not instruction.’ …if information gets the job done, it doesn’t matter whether it’s instruction”).
However, Jay starts lumping all of the web 2.0 tools into performance support, which is where Tony gets curious. He thinks some of the tools fall more into the knowledge management category, but admits he may be getting definitional. He is in agreement about the need to look at the larger picture and consider all these tools as playing a role in meeting ePerformance, a term he and I agree upon.
Jay cites Marc Rosenberg, and Marc certainly has been calling for us to include knowledge management, performance support, and eCommunity as part of our tools to go beyond eLearning. Which is where we’re all in agreement. Good reading, good thoughts, good work.