I recently finished a book, called Simpleology, by Mark Joyner and some parts of it resonated with me as an L&D professional. Joyner shares a few simple and straightforward rules of success and happiness that have helped the greatest minds to achieve their goals.
I’m not writing a book review in my post; it’s merely sharing two of the rules that made me think about what we are doing and trying to achieve as IDs, & L&Ds.
To get things we want, we do strange things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. That’s ok! If nobody tried anything new, we’d be stuck with the same old things and that would make life boring.
Last week’s topic of #PKMchat was agile learning. This relatively new buzzword has captured L&D professionals’ attention, as learning agility has become increasingly important for the growth and success of organizations. Companies are bound to go through transitions to keep up with this growingly competitive world. So, the need for individuals to alter their mindset is essential; as I believe learning agility is a mindset not a skill. That is why I tend to think it makes it more difficult to make individuals be agile learners. I say this, because I’ve had ample discussions with colleagues who believe as long as they make ends meet and can pay their bills by having a secure job, there is nothing more they should do. Similarly, managers who believe that change can be chaotic and employees might resist, hence this might jeopardize their position. So the question is, “how do we make individuals change their mindset, readily accept change and innovation, and move away from their comfort zone and their routines?” I’ll share my personal views in the end.
Last year I volunteered for a charitable organization_ ReAct _ whose cause is different from many other NPOs that I have seen or worked with. ReAct aims to empower caregivers and help build essential skills in the orphaned to make them ready for a better future, rather than providing their basic needs only. This is what I have always sought, i.e. educating the underprivileged, or in other words teaching them how to fish. One of the skills that all the kids need to possess is being resilient to problems and hardships. That is why I hopped on an exciting journey to create the Resilience course for them.
Initially, I had an eLearning course in mind, which could be distributed in CDs or online, but having learned about poor conditions of orphanages, this seemed to be very unlikely. So the sole delivery mode was face-to-face followed by ongoing support to help them build their skills in being more resilient, assertive, and optimistic. Obviously, a one-or-two-day workshop will not change their behavior significantly, and they need time to build and master this skill. After I completed content writing and course design using scenario-based learning, we decided to run a pilot to see how the kids find it before conducting it in a large scale. After all, they are the target audience and their reactions and suggestions mean a lot. Besides, it was important for me to receive their feedback as I was not familiar with their culture and lifestyle.
The ongoing debate on making learning stick might make us wonder whether it is the learning design or the learner to make it happen. I’m sure most of you agree that both have a significant impact, so rather than focusing on one, we might want to consider both to help learning stick. I feel we L&D professionals press too much on best approaches that We can use to create an effective course rather than emphasis on techniques that need to be shared with learners.
Those who are in training or teaching might have tried this method, at least during their course orientation. I always highlight to learners I meet face-to-face that their self-regulation, motivation, and perseverance help them achieve the expected outcomes. But how do we do this in an online environment in which we might not see our learners?
It’s been long since I last wrote, as actually this post was supposed to be shared over a month ago, but things got hectic and I wasn’t fully focused or in other words not in a breadth-first mode.
I heard about the idea of breadth-first and depth-first design at a conference. I really liked the concept and searched more about it. That’s when I came across Donald Norman’s articles and videos. What I’d like to share in this post is how to relate and apply it to learning design. You can see Donald Norman’s video here and judge for yourself.