Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
...with me acquiring a brand new skill that will be a tremendously useful addition to my portfolio offering to future clients.
I am in the process of producing TWO eLearning programmes for my current client, one on User Involvement the other on Information for non-information professionals. My usual role is that of Instructional Designer (and it was in this role I produced my first eLearning programme for this client on Benefits Awareness). Instructional Design incorporates, gap analysis, development of content and supporting material, the structural layout of the programme and the formative and summative assessment points, all of which sit within a Learning Management System (LMS).
However, since receiving further training, I can now take the content design that I produce and create the online presence and feel of the whole eLearning product aswell using flash software.
Whereas I cannot put the two finished programmes on this blog, I have uploaded part one of of a two-part film (0:33 secs) that I have written and produced which will be included in the User Involvement eLearning programme.
If you are interested in developing eLearning programmes and wish to utlise my programme development skills, then please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a few moments to look at my new POL Portal to learn about my range of learning interests.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Visiting my blog again after such a long time away made me realise how much has happened that I have not shared here, perhaps too much!
The learning has been extensive and brought me back to a realisation about work/life balance. There are times when you need to preserve what works well, not spend time worrying too much about things you have no control over but invest your time only on things that can make a difference, to you or others.
During my break I have also taken time to revisit some lovely books that put things into perspective. One of my favourites just now was a present from my business partner, it is called 'Wink' by Roger Hamilton, and it is a parable about wealth beyond words.
Without giving away too much of the books' secrets, there is just one part that I do want to share as it links so perfectly with learning and is something that I feel I will be doing for a while as I reflect upon these last five months.
I look forward to posting here again.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Over the last few years there has been a wealth of information written about eLearning. People definitley fall into one of two camps - they either love it and see its huge potential or they hate it, criticising its content and format.
When I talk about eLearning at University to students I have discovered, to my complete surprise, the most critical group that falls within the latter camp are HR professionals and in particular, HR Development professionals.
This is such a shame, as technology can be used in so many ways to enhance traditional classroom based training and facilitation. Perhaps it is seen as competition. Perhaps it is seen as distracting. Maybe, it is seen as something that will negate the need for trainers and facilitators in the future.
The CIPD quotes on its website that from their survey in 2005, which focused on eLearning and its respondents' views on how it is shaping organisational learning as a whole. For the first time, over half of respondents (54%) reported that they use eLearning, and a further 39% said they had plans to introduce it in the coming year. And while eLearning accounted for less than 10% of total training time, in the vast majority of organisations, respondents expected this to rise dramatically to up to 50% in three years time.
I am busy working with one of my clients and developing three new eLearning products for their new Virtual Learning Environment, as a supplement to their traditional face-to-face education programmes. This is exciting and the resulting first product is very warmly received by users who need to find a way to acquire the knowledge they need in a fast and efficient way.
It only leaves me to send a plea to fellow HR professionals - keep your learning options open and maybe get involved in designing eLearning as a valuable tool for the future relationships between the front line and HR.
The POL Experience
Saturday, March 17, 2007
With so much of my work focusing on helping others to learn, whether it be in a traditional classroom environment (University) or at a special management network meeting (Institute of Healthcare Management), I use storytelling in lots of different ways to help participants gain a better understanding of the the subjects we are addressing.
One of my favourite stories at present comes from a lovely book call 'Tales for Trainers' by Margaret Parkin (Kogan Page, 2002)
I hope you enjoy it and can identify with the moral of the story between the lines and the words she uses.
LESSONS FROM THE GEESE
- As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird flying behind. Flying in a 'V' formation adds around 70% greater flying range than if a bird was flying alone.
- Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
- When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose takes the lead.
- The geese at the back of the 'V' honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
- If a goose gets shot down or becomes sick, two others drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is either able to fly again or dies.
We all need support at times, whether it is to do with work or a personal goal.
Have a good month.
The POL Experience
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The learning journey continues...
As we start 2007 and our normal working routines, I find myself back at my part time lecturing at Birkbeck College, University of London with my class of 23. This semester, we are looking at ‘Understanding Organisations’. What underpins this subject is an appreciation of what makes up an organisation - not the bricks and mortar, environment or culture - but the people who work in it.
Communication, as ever, plays a vital role. Some of the work my students handed in just before Christmas, made clear that communication and understanding each other (they had just completed a group presentation project) was the hardest thing to get right. Yet, it was the most rewarding when done effectively and many of them highlighted this personal development in their reflection work afterwards.
Another situation where communication was highlighted as being the vital ‘change factor’ was on television these last few nights (8-10 Jan) featuring a series of programmes charting the progress (?) of a certain business guru, Gerry Robinson, who believes that any organisation can be made to run well. The programmes charted his visits to Rotherham General Hospital, which were to reduce waiting times over a six month period. Each of them seemed to have the same underlying message – lack of communication (and subsequent action) between certain parties within the hospitals themselves. The scenes that I saw showed him getting people together and talking to each other about the problems and how they wanted to see them resolved.
What struck me what not only the simplicity of what he was trying to do, but the fact that getting people to talk to each other is only part of the solution, he needed to somehow help them to listen as well as hear what was being said.
All of this is great if you can hear, but what about those who can’t? Often people who are deaf or hard of hearing, listen better than those of us who have so-called 'good' hearing.
So my three messages from this little mid week reflection?
- If you don't want to know the answer, then don't ask the question
- If you ask the question, then have the good grace to really listen to the answer
- Support those who have difficulties with hearing because they have good ideas and need to be listened to as well