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More on Workplace Learning 1.0

Manishphoto_2 In response to my musings this week on why educators seem to have more readily embraced Web 2.0 for learning, Manish Mohan has written an excellent post.  You should read the entire thing, but in a nutshell:

  • "In the field of education, the onus of learning is on the learner. In workplace, the onus of training is on the organization and training department. If I don’t learn in university, it is my shortcoming. If I don’t learn in the workplace, it is the training department or functional head’s shortcoming."
  • Spending time on social networking sites is considered "wasting time" in most organizations.
  • Learning with social media can't be "measured."
  • Training is easier because specific time can be allocated to it--learning is too amorphous.

He concludes:

With most companies struggling to find talent, struggling with attrition and shortened employment span of employees in a single organization, organizations are spending more on “training” and less on “learning”. Training is measurable; learning doesn’t quite seem to be so easily measureable. Can the organizations afford to take a chance that employees will “learn” on their own? Isn’t it easier that they just be “trained”?

Check out the entire post here--well worth the read.


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Michele - Thanks for pointing this out and for inspiring Manish's post in the first place. I've visited, read, and commented - and there were already some great comments there. I think the "wasting" time perception will fade over time, with generational changes, if nothing else, but the measurement issue is a big one - both in terms of time allocated to training, but probably more importantly in terms of outcomes. In a lot of instances corporate training is aligned to compliance or to assessment and certification of hard skills. And most corporations are not Google. In fact, the vast majority of corporations are small-to-mid-sized businesses, and time and financial resources are very tight. Rightly or wrongly, managers understandably gravitate towards solutions that seem readily understandable and quantifiable. I think it will be a long time before we see that change. --Jeff

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