Anticipation, the perfect description of my feelings while heading down to the eLearning Network’s one day conference in Manchester. A solitary day to spend with other learning and development professionals to discuss and share common successes and frustrations, would it be enough time?
The day itself surpassed my high expectations. I chatted to a wide range of learning and development (L&D) staff who were trying to better their practice, just like me. I was able to rub shoulders with other learning and development names, who have extensive experience and were willing to share their expertise. Also, I engaged an even larger audience of L&D professionals through light back-channel tweets and opened up conversations to an even bigger community (check out #elnevent or @eCom_Bethany).
You would be reading this for days if I were to include all of the interesting insights that I gained, but one clear theme emerged from the day. In L&D, we have a vast and supportive community who are all striving to make things better for our learners. This day, with the eLearning Network, is just one of many available to increase our conversations.
In L&D, we have a vast and supportive community who are all striving to make things better for our learners.
For those who missed this day, here are my highlights:
Secret online learning lives of UK managers
The first session of the day, by speaker James McLuckie, summarised the report carried out by Towards Maturity, where they spoke to UK-based managers to investigate what they do when seeking out further learning (using the terms ‘overcoming challenges’). The report came to quite a few conclusions, but the main conclusion was that our UK managers are consistently turning to Google for ‘overcoming challenges’ at work. As L&D, can we prepare our managers to find good quality content via Google and help them share that knowledge internally.
Turbocharging the learning experience
The second session of the day had Stella Collins compelling us to make sure our learners are learning better, using the fundamentals of neuroscience. She concludes that our learners feel incapable of learning effectively after undertaking the existing resources and our managers have limited knowledge on how to support learning. I won’t go into the neuroscience methods (you’ll have to read her book!), but I did highlight a key way we can support learning in our organisations:
Encourage better learning from the bottom of the organisation to the top
Content curation: the new learning superpower
The third session of the day, with Ben Betts, had us looking at various popular web-based platforms to consider what constituted as curation. Is an article bringing together ‘15 photos of animals dressed as Thor’ an example of digital curation? Ben Betts concludes that ‘15 photos of animals dressed as Thor’ is indeed digital curation as long as the digital resources are transformed to fit into a personal narrative.
Curators don't keep things perfect - they are not collectors
How to make the perfect learning recommendation
For the last speaker session of the day, Chris Littlewood walked us through the use of algorithms to provide personalised recommendations of curated learning content, just like Spotify does for personal music. He concludes that since our learners come from a diverse background of requirements and motivations for learning, then we need to provide this same diversity in our learning resources. To connect learners with solutions. A successful algorithm will mirror the quality of the choices and suggestions that would be shaped by L&D professionals.
Facilitated discussion: Unlocking learning innovation in organisations
We even had a facilitated discussion with Phil Reddall, asking us to explore how we can drive learning innovation in our organisations (or in our clients’ organisations). During the discussion, different examples and answers came to the forefront, but I could not help to highlight eCom’s consistent practice in this.
eCom consistently work to unlock innovation in learning with clients
Ultimately, we can drive innovation in learning by providing support, guidance and ideas to your organisation. At eCom, this sits at the heart of our values. With the help of further conversations and the sharing of expertise, at events like this day in Manchester with the eLearning Network, we can continue to make things better for learners.
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