In my previous post, I mentioned that we needed to start thinking about designing not just formal learning content, or formal learning experiences, but learning experiences in the context of the informal learning resources (job aids, social tools), and moreover, learning in the context of a workflow. I’d sold myself on this, when I realized just where my ITA colleagues would draw me up short: it’s still the thinking that we can design solutions a priori!
Things are moving so fast, and increasingly the work will be solving new problems, designing new solutions/products/services, etc, that we won’t be able to anticipate the actual work needs. What we will need to do, instead, is ensure that a full suite of tools are available, and provide individuals with the ability to work together to create worthwhile working/learning environments.
In short, tying back to my post on collaboratively designing job aids, I think we need to be collaboratively designing workflows. What I mean is that the learning function role will move to facilitating individuals tailoring content and tools to achieve their learning goals. (And not, I should add, to ‘accreditation‘!)
And that’s where I tie back to Explorability and Incremental Advantage: we need easy to use tools that let us build not just pages, but environments. The ‘pods’ that you can drag around and reconfigure interfaces are a part, but there’s a semantic level behind it as well. No one wants to get tied to a) learning a complex system that’s separate from their goals, or b) depending on some department to do it when and where convenient for the department.
Obviously, providing a good default is the starting point, but if people can invest as much as they want to get the power they want to configure the system to work the way they want, with minimal assistance, we’re making progress.
So that, to me, facilitating the development of personal (and group) learning environments is a valuable role for the learning function, and a necessary tool will be an easily configurable environment.