Access = Learning

Learning is about access to information. The more information people have available to them, the more likely they are to learn. Sounds pretty obvious, right? After all, Google has turned into the greatest job support/learning tool ever created because it gives us instant access to the information we need, when we need it. Why should we treat learning in our organizations any differently?

Learning resources should be freely available to the people that need them without forcing them to jump through hoops.  The learning landscape is moving beyond the concept of a course. Times are changing, people are growing up with Google, Digg, Facebook, Del.icio.us, RSS feeds, and Twitter. The way we provide information and training must match the way people consume it.

Remember the newspaper? It got delivered to your door every morning and you sat down to read it over breakfast. That’s how you learned what was going on in the world. How many people under the age of 40 still do that? How many ever did that? The idea that courses are the pinnacle of eLearning is as archaic as the idea of getting news only from the morning paper. Newspapers are scrambling to change their business model, and so should course developers.

Why not just let learners view the resources they need? Web server statistics will give us a lot of information about what resources people are using. We can build simple tracking or feedback mechanisms without a lot of overhead.

If we want people to learn we need to be less concerned about how many pages they view or which quizzes they pass, and more concerned about providing the right information in the right way. Access to information does equate to learning. We know that 80% of learning is informal. We should focus at least 80% of our effort in that direction.

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4 Responses to Access = Learning

  1. Steve Flowers says:

    Hey, Gary –

    Been a long time:) I totally agree. We’ve been having similar creative discourse surrounding issues that border what you’re talking about.

    It seems like, as an industry, we’ve become so cookie cutter process obsessed that we have forgotten the whole reason that we do what we do. We are obsessed with measurement (regardless of the value of the measurement). We are so obsessed with design rigors that we carry this scaffolding INTO our courses.

    Why, in the name of my brothers cat, would we ever think that the learner cares an iota about a properly structured three part objective so much that it would be placed as the prime opener for everything that follows?

    I think that learning is very much like fire. There are several components that make the chemical learning reaction work. You’ve touched on one of those elements. Without the opportunity of discovery… the learning fire simply cannot burn.

    And in many cases, given the opportunity of discovery, the learner can provide the other components to get the fire going.

    I gain more respect for the professional community every day. It looks like we are finally starting to catch on / latch on to a really meaningful and senseful set of principles that might one day smash our recent history into small bits:) The majority of what I’ve seen close peers (and have been begrudgingly involved in) design and build has been ePoo.

    Ciao.

  2. Thanks for this, the article was good but the comment from Steve about ePoo was great, best laugh I’ve had all day.

    D

  3. Steve,
    Yes, it has been a while. I’m glad you stumbled on the blog. Excellent, excellent comment. The fire analogy is great, I might borrow that one. There are a lot of old school ISD types (we’ve worked with them in the past) that like the process and measurement. More and more people, especially the upcoming generation of training pros, understand that learners just want to learn. It truly is a great time to be in this field.

  4. IT elearning says:

    thanks for this post… we know that learning is a process from zero to be (able) or ability to collect some informations to make a knowledge.

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