About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

Shopping

Looking to purchase something online? Support Caddickisms by going through one of these links:

Caddickisms Store

Amazon.com

Calendar

March 2008
S M T W T F S
« Feb   Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Topics

Posts by month

Around the site

Sodium Party This site is great! Science with a kick. I love it. Sodium metal reacts rather badly with water. That makes for some great videos! The site has the same kind ofSodium: A real blast at pool parties

[caption id="attachment_730" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Dark is Rising sequence"][/caption] When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back; Three from the circle, three from the track; Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone; FiveThe Dark Is Rising, except on film (Review: The Seeker)

The time is shortly upon us. The wait is nearly over. Let the glorious holiday IMAX season BEGIN!!! Wait... let me get my oxygen... Okay. I feel better now. Got a little giddy thereHoliday trailers - Tron: Legacy, Narnia 3, and HP:TDH

John Williams is probably the most well known film composer in history. He owes much of that success to the Star Wars series, but Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of thePre-prequel-era Star Wars music tribute

The Second Chance DVD Steve Taylor is no stranger to controversy. His music in the '80s was unabashedly pointed at issues of hypocrisy and general laziness within Christian communities and itsReview: The Second Chance

GateWorld - Staite talks Atlantis Season Four Stargate Atlantis's newest recurring guest star is ready for the show's fourth season, which enters production this February in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jewel StaitePaging Dr. Kaylee!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars | Star Wars: The Clone Wars In Theaters and on Television in 2008 The Clone Wars animated series is going to start with a theatrical release! ThisSend In The Clones!!!!

I've got a problem. There are multiple layers to this thing. And it's all George Lucas' fault. Well, maybe I have some part to play in it as well. But it'sThe Star Wars Conundrum

Murder in the First, based on a true story, tells the tale of Henry Young (Kevin Bacon) and his attorney (Christian Slater) as they expose the brutality of the AlcatrazReview: Murder in the First

First Stargate: SG-1 went down after 10 years. Now, Stargate: Atlantis has hit the wall after five years. That's all she (they) wrote. Next up... another spin-off (in the fall,Two Stargates down, one set to go

Well, another year has come and gone. In just a few hours it'll be 2009. Lots of people all around the planet are gearing up for some serious, I-can't-remember-what-I-did-last-night celebrations.Mundane New Year's Eve

Apple - Trailers - Spider-Man 3 Oh, man. I can't wait for this. I'm impressed by how many effects shots they already have done, and it's still a year before itSpider-Man 3 Teaser Trailer (w/Superman Returns)

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » The New R2D2 Projector Got a home theater? Don't care about picture quality, but want your own"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi"

“24″ Casulty of Writer’s Strike - Slice of SciFi Due to the Writer's strike, many shows are considering their options. Apparently "24" decided to throw in the towel on this year. Jack's dead - again - but he'll probably be back

» The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Films…Ever! | Geekend | TechRepublic.com Wow, what a loaded topic. The Top Ten Most Quotable Geek Films... hmmm... to be included in my list,The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Films

Limits of Responsibility – ASTD’s Big Question for March

The Learning Circuits Blog: Scope of Learning Responsibility

What is the Scope of our Responsibility as Learning Professionals?

That’s the question of the month, and it’s clarified a bit in the above linked post:

  • Do educational institutions and corporate learning & development departments have responsibility for supporting Long Tail Learning? Do they have responsibility for learning beyond what can be delivered through instruction? If so, what is their responsibility? Where is the edge of responsibility?
  • Similarly, does the instructor have a responsibility to help students make sense of or deal with content he or she did not teach the students? In other words, if a student finds information on the Internet or some other place, how much time and attention should the instructor allow for the discussion of such content? Should it be discussed at all if it is non-conventional or generally thought of as not credible or contradicts the instructor? Who determines credible research? Is all non-referred research questionable?

I’m taking “Long Tail Learning” as meeting the ever expanding niche development needs of ever smaller populations in an organization. For most organizations, the training department is stretched pretty thin and has to concentrate on those development needs that either meet the needs of the largest populations or have the biggest impact on either costs or sales (that’s currently where the line of responsibility is set for most organizations). That means some departments are on their own for development needs – sometimes even their most important needs – because the training department doesn’t have the bandwidth to help. Then you’ve got the training topics that fit into that large group, but have variations for each sub-group within the larger population. Where does the training department’s responsibility fall for these groups? How do you design (and should you design) training that covers those needs?

Ideally, obviously, the answer is that in a perfect world the training department would be able to support the learning needs of everyone in the organization at all times. So I’m taking that as my starting point. Ideally, everything an employee needs to know in an organization, from literacy to how to run a business unit, would be the responsibility of the training department.

Realistically, that’s not going to happen, but that would be my ideal goal.

Now, we need to consider what “responsible” means. To some that might mean the training department directly owns and delivers all the content. That’s not what I mean. I mean that the training department is responsible for enabling the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and abilities through any and all means necessary. That could be as simple as making sure an authoritative source for a given topic is available to someone – a book, a website, a mentor, a trainer, a vendor, etc. – to as complex as training a person or persons to be that authoritative source or creating a new course. If someone has a question about where to get training on something, the training department should be able point to a source for that training, whether they created it or not.

This is where the power of community software (or Web 2.0) comes into play. The training department obviously can’t keep track of all those training needs for themselves. Once you reach a critical mass ratio of training professionals to employees, the job just becomes too much to track for the training department by itself to meet the ideal goal. But if the training department can work with the IT department to create and structure community/networking software to enable those connections to be made with input from other departments, with oversight by the training team, then you’re suddenly much closer to the ideal. It’s important that the individual departments feel empowered to make contributions to this site, otherwise you’re back to the training team needing to come up with everything. If someone has a question, you look it up on the community-driven “solutions” site and either point to the right resource, if it exists, or begin to create the plan for getting it.

Now, how do you make sure the sources/solutions derived from the site are authoritative? To some extent you can probably rely on the community to police that itself, but that’s why the training department has oversight of the community site. They should validate the sources, or have the sources validated by a Subject Matter Expert.

To get to the second bullet of the original questions, how much time do you spend discussing information found on non-approved locations? That’s a pretty hard question, because it could be perfectly valid, and possibly even superior, information. I would say that if you’re in a course, you’re generally on a schedule and are teaching a “standard” practice of some kind that has been vetted and agreed upon. Challenges to that standard should be welcomed, but shouldn’t interfere with class time. If a short discussion isn’t enough to smooth over any discrepancies, I’d drop it into a “parking lot” or into the discussion forum or community software for evaluation and validation. If a change to the standard is warranted based on the new information, it should be implemented with thanks.

The really short version of what I’m saying here is that it’s the training department’s responsibility to enable learning, but it’s the individual departments and employees who truly have the responsibility for learning. The training team should make avenues available, but it’s up to the individuals to use the tools and opportunities provided to take responsibility for their own learning.

I think there’s one other thing implied in the original question: how do you prove that you’re meeting your “responsibility” to provide quality sources? What’s the measurement? It’s certainly not “butts in seats,” which is what many executives ask for. I honestly don’t have a quick answer for this part, though. I’m more in the camp of, “if it’s working, you’ll know” but that’s not generally enough for most executives.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge