What’s Working and What’s Not in Online Training - GotoMeeting

Today we have a guest post from Harold Jarche. Harold helps create work environments that foster innovation. He has been described as “a keen subversive of the last century’s management and education models.” People have connected with Harold over the past decade, through his blog (www.jarche.com) and professional services, for pragmatic ideas on leadership, social business and collaboration. Harold has held senior positions at the Centre for Learning Technologies and e-Com Inc. He is a co-author of The Working Smarter Fieldbook with his colleagues at the Internet Time Alliance. His preferred workplace is on his bicycle, where he gets his best ideas.

Open online courses, talent management, social collaboration: The training world is changing. Traditional training structures, based on institutions, programs, courses and classes, are under pressure. One of the biggest changes we are seeing in online training is that the content-delivery model is being replaced by social and collaborative frameworks.

Here are just some of things happening now that trainers should be prepared to tackle:

Increasing Complexity

Helping people be more creative and solve complex problems is now a priority. While workers still need to be trained and educated, that alone will not prepare them for a networked workplace that requires continuous learning on the job. Training departments need to add more thought and resources to enable people to learn socially, share cooperatively and work collaboratively.

Nomadic Knowledge Workers

As companies employ or work with more contractual, shorter-term knowledge workers, they will have to deal with people who bring their own learning networks. Training departments must be ready to adapt to these new “knowledge artisans” with a greater emphasis on collaborating and connecting with their external online networks.

Learning Out Loud

Narration is turning one’s tacit knowledge (what you know) into explicit knowledge (what you can share). This is where online activity streams, web conferencing and micro-blogging can help organizational learning. People can see the flow of work in small bits of conversation that, over time, become patterns. Narration of work is a key step in integrating learning into the workflow.

Networked Communities

Effective communities of practice can help solve problems, retain talent and develop new strategies. The job of the community manager is a new and growing role for training and development professionals.

An Expanded Role for Training and Development

Training professionals will need to help create and support social learning networks, moving out of the classroom to where the work is being done. They will also need to promote continuous knowledge sharing by modeling how it is done and setting the example. Trainers will have to become expert learners.

Learning as a Business Imperative

As work becomes more networked and complex, the social aspects of knowledge sharing and collaboration are becoming more important. Learning amongst ourselves is getting to be the real work in many organizations. Training development professionals should be part of that change.