Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ELearn 2005 - Transfer is king

“Never Worry about Transfer Again--Six Strategies for Converging Learning & Work” was Allison Rossett’s keynote this morning. It was interesting because even though it was talking about strategies, it really concentrated tools that can help ensure knowledge transfer. Generally, if I got the idea of the presentation, what she was saying was that in order to optimize transfer, you need to deliver knowledge (canned or live) just in time to the individual in the context that they need it in, preferably with a minimum of “work” on the part of the individual. She talked about job aids as being the first tool/strategy. These are things like shopping lists, or outlines for a paper, that are planned to be used by the individual, but they are prone to the whims of the individual as well. One step up from this are performance support tools, essentially canned lists that are made to be used in situations that are re-occurring. She gave the example of a boarding checklist, before this, Coast Guard officers would take longer to board ships as they would have to remember all the required inspections on their own, but with the aid (on a PDA) they are now able to get their checks done faster and deal with more events related to the boarding as opposed to the administration. These are useful because they match the situation. Next is coaching. This is helpful after training because it provides support from a mentor that understands and is able to anticipate situations as the individual becomes more skilled with the tasks at hand. In this situation, the prediction is still human based. One step up from this is the knowledge base. Using databases would seem to include the first two tools/strategies and the essence of the third, coaching. Individuals would make use of the database to find a wide array of support, needing only to be able to know when to look and where. Being database driven, the system may be able to provide some level of coaching. This tools spins off the next – a community of practice. When based online, they have the ability to provide “deliverables” to a focused group based on the trends of the larger group. Allison’s example was – a community focused on one task with a range of questions and a “seemingly intelligent means of prediction” that provides information based on “universals”. This example shows how things that are learned in pre/post natal classes can be transferred effectively to the “field” though the use of a system that an individual doesn’t have to always request information from. The individual can find things on their own, but they are also prompted with information that they may or may not have been thinking about, but will be relevant to them. The final tool is “nagware” – when used in a voluntary manner, it can bring all the other tools together as it acts as a persistent coach. An interesting start to the morning. Just got out of another session about m-learning and e-Portfolios. Not what I expected, but an interesting system that allows instructors to stream their content to students on a range of devices and based on attendance, see how to shape future delivery. Technorati Tags: ,