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Elliott Masie & Josh Bersin: Learning Trends

Learning 2006 – Josh Bersin & Elliott Masie Dialogue

Josh and Elliot, two “thought leaders” in the learning industry, get together and talk about the things they’re seeing in the learning industry. It’s at least partially a teaser for Josh’s presentation at Elliott’s Learning 2006 conference, but there are some good things being said.

For example, Elliott, not for the first time, makes the beginning of a case to make a job in the learning field a part of a larger business career, not a career unto itself. There’s also a discussion about ROI and how it’s not really a sufficient, or even possible, metric to collect. Rather they’d like to concentrate on impact.

An underlying thought to much of what is said, is that learning is not necessarily tied to a “course” model, where you have content, test, content, test, etc. They argue that delivery should be more piece-meal, just-in-time, searchable, nuggets of content, with more of a performance support structure.

That concept is supported by new technologies like podcasts, blogs, wiki’s, RSS, and the like. Personally, I’m all for doing things that way. I’m trying to gently push my company into venturing into these territories (and let me tell you, that rudder is gonna be tough to move). That doesn’t mean abandoning formal classrooms and/or instructional design completely, but their point is a good one – sometimes you just gotta get it out there. They use their own discussion as an example of content that clearly has learning value, but was put together quickly and informally, with no slick interface and no instructional design.

Lest someone read into this that I am advocating dropping ID work, I’m not. I do think, though, that we need to start taking more advantage of technologies that support nuggets of content, and providing a way for the user/student to get directly to the piece they are looking for, rather than concentrating solely on full-blown training events, which is where many training organizations focus.

For a more in-depth look at that concept, listen to Elliott’s podcast on “Fingertip Knowledge“.

[tags]Josh Bersin, Elliott Masie, Learning in a Flatter World, industry trends[/tags]

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