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

Hometime - How-To - Project Help - Preventive Home Maintenance This is a great list. Excellent reminders. I am terrible at home maintenance so I actually need these kinds of reminders—otherwiseHow to keep your house from collapsing around you

It's over. For four years of my life (which, oddly enough, took six years), I've been watching Battlestar Galactica weekly. This redesigned joy from my childhood became an engaging, exciting, andReview: Battlestar Galactica finale

Created on Toonlet.comCartoon Caddick

Why Collaborative Storyboard Technology Is Mission Critical This is an excellent article extolling the virtues of collaboration for storyboarding your courses (and a little push for storyboarding itself). It doesn't specificallyCollaborative Storyboarding

When this movie came out I saw it in the theater and was blown away. I still remember the feeling of exhilaration I had during the launch sequence, and theReview: Apollo 13

There really isn't much I can say about this... it's one of those painful things that happens at sci-fi conventions. But you gotta see the third act. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/UkTQwP2gFxU" width="425" height="350"Vader is thrilling

No, I haven't read the entire series in the last 12 hours. I have, however, read an excellent article that explains how much of my disappointment in the finale ofReview Addendum: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt 2 - book comparison

Quick rant here... I'm currently pretty steamed at our medical benefits provider. We're in our Annual Enrollment period right now. Only 3 days left to decide which of 3 options isQuality Control Rant

[This post was scheduled to go up last week, and I just realized it never posted. Anyone know how that could happen with WordPress' schedule function? I'm not waiting anotherMake a silent noise unto the Lord - Tuesday TubeWatch

Movies.com: Industry buzz and movie information on the most talked-about upcoming movies Here's a movie rumor. 24 Bewitching Prediction Here's a TV spinoff that should actually make a decent movie. Of course, I24: the movie?

Okay, look, here's the thing: Doctor Who travelling to some alternate reality where he meets Bugs Bunny would be incredibly cool in a very strange, and possibly acid-induced way. It'sTuesday TubeWatch Two-fer! Doctor Who meets Bugs Bunny!

Hi-tech escape from Tower of London | Reuters.com This is a very cool, [tag]interactive[/tag], [tag]technology-enabled teaching[/tag] method. Visitors to the [tag]Tower of London[/tag] can participate in a [tag]game[/tag]—powered by GPS, aHi-tech escape from Tower of London

Last night, my wife and I watched Star Trek: Nemesis on Syfy (I can't type that without thinking "dumbest name ever"). For those who are a bit forgetful, I'll remind youMy marriage's "Nemesis"

(Well, I assume that the cost of internet access is taxed everywhere, but maybe not. If you don't get taxed for that... congratulations.) I was doing my taxes this weekend, soTuesday TubeWatch: You are being taxed to watch this

There is nothing more perfect than the punch line of this Dilbert strip. Who among us cannot relate? I actually considered making that my new theme on this site. There areWhat futility doesn't feel like

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