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19 May 2005 / erikduval

Learning for Work

This session was introduced by Damien Watkins started by saying he was a skeptic and reminding us of the “I hear and I forget – I see and I remember – I do and I understand” quote of Confucius. One good question he put to the floor was: can knowledge be packaged and delivered, like we can remove “red eyes” from photos by the press of a button?

Knud Erik Hilding-Haman from the Danish Technological Institute mentioned that content is important and difficult to develop and that context is becoming more important: two observations I agree with. He then focused on interaction, usability and relevance as the most important aspects for success.

David Birchall presented a project on a 20 hour on-line course about “learning to learn” for SME managers. The learning process was summarized as Investigate, Monitor, Plan, Apply, Collaborate and Transfer. The project demonstrated the value of pausing and reflecting. Information flow is a follow-up to this project.

Barbara Kieslinger started with the importance of skills and competencies. She mentioned the investors in people standard as a framework for planning, doing and reviewing learning. “Diversity management” deals with gender, demography, age, religion, culture, knowledge level and disabilities.

Gerhard Rohde works with an international network of trade unions. He observed that statistics on elearning are rare and that, despite considerable investment, real uptake and success and impact are unknown. Because on-the-job learning is so important, we should focus more on informal learning.

A recurrent theme in this session was that learning needs to be relevant, especially in the demanding environment of an SME. Personally, I am not so sure that this is specific to work learning: my students in the university will not really engage in irrelevant learning either!

BTW, it was kind of interesting to experiment with the streaming of the sessions, to try and follow a parallel session at the samee time…

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