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REN nyhetsbrev nr. 2, 2005

7. februar 2005
1: How to facilitate people learning.
2: Ny LoD Rapport er nå tilgjenglig på våre medlemssider.
3: Ny LoD Bulletin, Fourth Quarter 2004, er nå tilgjengelig på våre medlemssider.
4: Nytt og nyttig
5: På kalenderen

1: How to facilitate people learning.

In a very early column, I talked about social learning, and right now there is an interesting discussion going on in ITFORUM (, led by Patti Schank about the necessary augments to collaborative representations.  Specifically, she created a table tool, but was concerned about how learners could augment such representations with discussions to make it a collaborative effort.
Broadening out, the issue is about how to facilitate people learning.  It’s not just about content and quizzes (I seem to remember seeing the results of a survey for the US Army that  concluded that the traditional training approach was one of the worst ways to achieve long-term retention and transfer), but about creating learning experiences.  Some can and should be done through games, as I’ve argued before (e.g.  However, there is a lot of evidence that learning with other is important (e.g.  It doesn’t happen just through discussion, however, as much as some are fans of Socratic dialog, but instead is facilitated if there’re activities that can then be reflected along.  Ok, so in Socratic dialog there’s a hypothetical you have to work through…
However, in general we need to have an activity we’re engaged in (e.g. a game), and then reflect to cement the learning (e.g. Diana Laurillard’s model, as captured here in a paper by Rob Phillips, and discussed in more depth here.  The notion is we engage in action, and then a facilitator guides that to adjust our understanding.  That’s how, by the way, we can still attend conferences and listen to someone talk, even though it seems contrary to learning theory.  We are engaged in activities, and if we pick relevant talks by practitioners, listening to them is a reflective activity for us.  Then, of course, there’s the discussion in the hall afterwards.  At least for the social learners….
A point made by one of the participants, however, was also apt. This person is an independent learner.  The old Myers-Briggs (well approximated by the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and this version indicated whether a person was an extrovert or an introvert.  One transition is to move that to learning, and indicate whether a learner is an independent learner or a social learner.  Marcia Conner, in her book Learn More Now, goes further and talks about independent, small group, or large group learners.  In a project I worked on several years ago, I stipulated that we should tease apart the binary dimension (social/independent learner), since a person could be independently good or bad at being an independent learner, or being a social learner. 
The point is that learners may differ on many dimensions (my team identified 31 different dimensions we thought relevant, we built nine into the first system).  Consequently, we may need a richer suite of tools (representations, manipulatives, means for communication) than we think, to cope with the different learners we are trying to accommodate (unless we have a very specific audience)
Of course, the learning styles literature is a complete mess.  There are lots of incommensurate measures, and a fair bit of overlap.  Jonassen & Grabowski’s “Handbook of Individual Differences, Learning, and Instruction” is a fairly comprehensive, if not critical, overview of a large number of dimensions.  If we are going on personalizing learning, and are able to start delivering on Wayne Hodgins dream of the “right stuff” (the right information to the right person at the right time in the right way on the right device…; and scroll down to the Standards and Learning Objects), we will also want to understand our learner as a learner, and factor that into the equation (I’ve a new paper out about the models necessary, a PDF at
Bringing this conversation back to tools, one of the outcomes of the discussion at ITFORUM is what are the tools we can and should have?  I asked:
I guess the question is can we provide generic enough, rich enough tool suites to be domain-independent (perhaps with overlays or templates for domains) to help learners both have powerful tools to augment their thinking (and internalize), as well as to generalize and extend.
There was quite a discussion about tools, such as concept mapping /semantic networking tools (e.g. Cmap, and Semantica  It occurs to me that we need open and shared standards for the representation not just of information, but of relationships.  Just as Excel has become the standard for spreadsheets (not the I trust any proprietary company to be appropriately responsible) and MS Project seems to be the format for projects (please let me know if I’m wrong), we may want one for other information representations (and then different applications can chose how they render them).  That’s what I think Topic Maps are bringing, and if we standardize some particular instantiations, we may have a really useful tool.  I still have to learn the relationship between ontologies and topic maps, but I suspect they’re synergistic.  Maybe next time.

2. Ny LoD Rapport er nå tilgjenglig på våre medlemssider

"Learning in Context of Business Processes and Workflows"

In recent years, executives and managers responsible for corporate learning and training have come under increasing pressure to demonstrate their business value in terms of business performance. We expect that this change will continue and help build support for changing learning and training operations toward the new model in which learning aligns more closely and integrates with and even embeds within business processes and workflows.

This report examines key characteristics of workflow learning, and presents case studies that illustrate how organizations are starting to design and deploy workflow learning systems. The report also presents recommendations and action steps for enterprise adopters and vendors as they plan for the emergence of workflow learning.

3: Ny LoD Bulletin, Fourth Quarter 2004, er nå tilgjengelig på våre medlemssider

This Bulletin discusses "Mobile Learning Revisited."

This Bulletin updates and builds on "Mobile Learning:  A Perspective on the Present and the Future" (LoD Bulletin, First Quarter 2003). The almost two years since we addressed mobile learning (or mLearning) is a long time in an area where technology is evolving at a fast and increasing pace. Although applications in most sectors tend to lag considerably behind technology innovations, mLearning has become a more viable and interesting option today than it was two years ago for both corporate and academic adopters.

4: Nytt og nyttig

LoD – ICWE rapport, Learning Outsourcing: Strategic Opportunity
Please find enclosed a report we just completed based on a survey by the LoD team in collaboration with ICWE—the organization behind the Online Educa eLearning conferences in Europe—and sponsored by IBM and Raytheon Professional Services. The report's survey-based analysis follows up the LoD research report Learning Outsourcing: Strategic Opportunity (April 2004) and other work that LoD has done on learning and training outsourcing.

Faldende brug af e-læring ?
Ifølge Institut for Konjunkturanalyse (IFKA) (Nyt om Efteruddannelse, nr. 2, 2005) har "IT-baseret læring - kaldet e-læring - foreløbigt (sic!) toppet i popularitet."
De mest 'populære' kurser i 2003 var mere eller mindre tvungne eller lovpligtige sikkerheds- og miljøkurser. Lovkrav var - sørgerligt nok - den næsthyppigste årsag til efteruddannelse i Danmark i 2003.
Helt konkret påstår IFKA, at "[u]dbredelsen af it-baseret uddannelse [...] er faldet drastisk over de seneste fem år på det private arbejdsmarked. Fra at lidt over halvdelen af landets private arbejdspladser benyttede e-læring i 1999, var det i 2003 under en femtedel der benyttede den digitale undervisningsform."

5: På kalenderen

REN medlemsmøte på Universitet i Oslo, 9. februar 2005
Møtet holdes på Det Utdanningsvitenskaplige Fakultet i Helga Engs hus, på Blinderen. Tema er samarbeid mellom Universitet og Arbeidsliv. Påmelding til

First Tuesday 10. februar: Forskning - en ukjent gullgruve for innovasjon og nyskaping
Birkeland innovasjon AS inviterer 10. februar 2005 til nettverksarrangementet "Forskning - en ukjent gullgruve for innovasjon og nyskaping". Arrangementet finner sted fra kl. 18:00 på Rockefeller i Oslo.    Arrangementet gjennomføres i samarbeid med First Tuesday og er støttet av Norges forskningsråd.
For påmelding og info om First Tuesday - se her:
For å gå rett til påmeldingssiden - klikk

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