Kinds of learning in Corporate
I roughly classify learning/training in corporates into three types:
- Task Related Support
During the daily operation, e.g. a bank teller, needs a procedural information in order to complete a task at hand. This is either delivered as a help desk (albeit internal) or some kind of dynamic FAQ or just-in-time training. For jobs which have high mobility of employees, a pre-job training package is usually developed to provide the needed training to the new employee.
The nature of the problem is well defined and the user would like to have the answer as soon as possible.
- Compliance Training
Corporate at a certain is required in law to provide certain training to their employees in order to demonstrate compliance to certain law or regulations, such as safety in the workplace, cultural diversity, sexual harrassment and so on. In some way, this is an insurance premium the corporate paid. The trainees are reluntant participants and usually lack the motivation to really understand the subject matter. As an insurance policy, the corporate is also not keen to measure the effectiveness of the learning/training as long as it can demonstrate that it has met its legal obligations.
- Corporate or Personal Development
When a new product is to be launched, or a new procedure to be implemented, some sort of training is usually rolled out to provide training to the affected personel. This is far from development of a personal sense.
Middle management sometimes gets training in team work or leadership development. Higher management may have retreat where they brain-storm and plan for strategies for the company. These are usually conducted under the leadership of an external consultant. Many trainees treat this kind of training as a holiday from work.
Most e-learning companies make their living by selling products or service to meet the first two categories and trainings are delivered by technology. The main selling points have always been the emphasis of Return of Investment (in other words, how to save more money).
The third category is usually delivered face to face by trainers and consultants.
The "digital divide" between the first two categories and the last one is great. I would be interested to find out why
Self directed learning in corporate? You must be kidding
This is a comment on Self directed learning? I don't think so
by Bill Bruck.
Bill opens his exposition by
The term self directed learning is often touted as a principle of adult learning, e.g., "adult learners learn best when that learning is self directed." That principle is great for encounter groups; not so good for training brain surgeons. Yet "adult learning specialists" believe that a great way to conduct organizational learning is to allow employees to choose what they want to study, what goals they want to achieve, and the metrics for achieving them. That's hogwash.
Not that Bill has anything against adult learning theory, it is the application of self-drectedness to employer paid corporate learning being misguided. He continued to write:
In the world of organizational learning that I inhabit, employers decide to make an investment of money and time in developing the skills and knowledge of their employees, because there's a businesss reason for so doing (e.g., increased profit or productivity, decreased risk or time to market).
In the world I inhabit, a lot of this training is focused on skills that the organization (not the individual) deems critical: The ability to conduct a hiring interview in accordance with legal guidelines; to document decisions made on an insurance claim; to effectively execute a solution-selling approach; to customize a new version of the operating system without losing data; to employ critical thinking in analyses; or to make persuasive verbal presentations.
In the world I inhabit, it's not the individual who decides whether they have mastered these skills, it is ultimately their managers, as manifested in their performance evaluations.
That is a significant difference in "informal learning" whereas a person seeks to continue develops his/her interest or growth and "corporate learning" whereas a corporate invests to grow the business. These objectives may and may not align well. For maximum efficiency, this is an issue we need to seek a solution.
I have several blogs already focusing on elearning:
- Random Walk in E-learning - a general elearning blogs cover everything which is not specific to other blogs.
- Learning for 2020 - looking at the job market in year 2020 and trying to second guess how and what we should provide our next generation in order to prepare for the life in the future
- Asynchronous Collaborative Learning Activities - an area which I am passionate about. E-learning technologies have almost blindly focused on solo learning. There are huge potential for tapping the collaborative technology for e-learning.
As a learning technologist and the executive editor of the print magazine (E-learning Magazine
), I, inevitably, encounter many implementation and design issues and experience with the corporate clients. This blog will serve as a space where I share this within the blogosphere.
Musings during my journey into elearning implementations for the corporates