Clark Quinn

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Organizational Learning Engineering

Clark Quinn

Organizational learning processes – across L&D, Executive Development, Leadership Development, and more of the roles in HR and talent management – are largely still rooted in both industrial era models and myths. We see practices that don’t make sense, and we’re not aligned with what we now know about how we think, work, and learn. Let’s go! strategy

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What’s Your Learning Tool Stack?

Clark Quinn

I woke up this morning thinking about the tools we use at various levels. Yeah, my life is exciting ;). Seriously, this is important, as the tools we use and provide through the organization impact the effectiveness with which people can work. What this represents is people talking about the tools they use to do their jobs, and I reckon it’s important for us to talk about tools for learning.

Ambiguity Denial Syndrome?

Clark Quinn

I was talking with a colleague at an event one of the past weeks, and I noted down the concept of ambiguity denial syndrome. And I’m retrospectively making up what we were talking about, but it’s an interesting idea to me. What we did was explain away the few times it didn’t work. And our learning designs, and organization designs, and our cultures, need to recognize this.

Learning in context

Clark Quinn

In preparation for the upcoming FocusOn Learning Conference, where I’ll be running a workshop about cognitive science for L&D, not just for learning but also for mobile and performance support, I was thinking about how  context can be leveraged to provide more optimal learning  and performance. Naturally, I had to diagram it, so let me talk through it, and you let me know what you think.

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A richer suite of support

Clark Quinn

While it’s easy to talk about how we need to support the transition from novice to expert, it might help to be a little more detailed. While it’s easy to say that the role of formal learning wanes, and the role of informal learning ramps up, what are the types of support we might look to? As they start performing however, their needs change. There are cultural factors as well. Can you?

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Two separate systems?

Clark Quinn

I frequently say that L&D needs to move from just ensuring optimal execution to also supporting continual innovation. Can these co-exist, or are they fundamentally different?  I really don’t know, but it’s worth pondering. On the other hand, there is quite a bit of expression for more flexible systems, a more podular approach. This is what led to our Coherent Organization model.

Mindmapping

Clark Quinn

So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I do mindmaps.  As I’ve recited before, I started doing it as a way to occupy my brain enough so I could listen to keynotes, but occasionally I use it to other purposes, such as representing structure or even planning. Mindmaps are a visual way of representing knowledge. And the links can be plain or directional. design meta-learning

eLearning Process Survey results!

Clark Quinn

So, a few weeks ago I ran a survey asking about elearning processes*, and it’s time to look at the results (I’ve closed it). eLearning process is something I’m suggesting is ripe for change, and I thought it appropriate to see what people thoughts. With those caveats, what did we see? The first question was looking at how we align our efforts with business needs. design strategy

John Black #ICELW Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Professor John Black of Columbia Unveristy gave a fascinating talk about how games can leverage “embodied cognition” to achieve deeper learning. The notion is that by physical enaction, you get richer activation, and sponsor deeper learning.  It obviously triggered lots of thoughts (mine are the ones in the bubbles :). Lots to ponder. design games meta-learning

70:20:10 and the Learning Curve

Clark Quinn

My colleague Charles Jennings recently posted on the value of autonomous learning (worth reading!), sparked by a diagram provided by another ITA colleague, Jane Hart (that I also thought was insightful). In Charles’ post he also included an IBM diagram that triggered some associations. The point was that the closer to the work that learning is, the more value. Hence the revolution. :).

xAPI conceptualized

Clark Quinn

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the xAPI Base Camp, to present on content strategy. While I was there, I remembered that I have some colleagues who don’t see the connection between xAPI and learning. And it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a good diagram that helped explain how this all worked. So So I asked and was confirmed in my suspicion.

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Activities for Integrating Learning

Clark Quinn

I’ve been working on a learning design that integrates developing social media skills with developing specific competencies, aligned with real work.  It’s an interesting integration, and I drafted a pedagogy that I believe accomplishes the task.  It draws heavily on the notion of activity -based learning. For your consideration. As they work on the deliverable, they’re supported.

Coherent Implications

Clark Quinn

One of the things to do with models is use them as the basis to explain and predict. And right now I’m working with the Coherent Organization model and looking at the implications for decisions. How does this model map to choices you make in the organization? At the work team level, you want people to be able to communicate with one another effectively, and collaborate to find answers.

A complex look at task assignments

Clark Quinn

I was thinking (one morning at 4AM, when I was wishing I was asleep) about designing assignment structures that matched my activity-based learning model. And a model emerged that I managed to recall when I finally did get up.  I’ve been workshopping it a bit since, tuning some details. No claim that it’s there yet, by the way. There could even be a model presentation.

Socially Acceptable

Clark Quinn

I was talking with my ITA colleagues, and we were discussing the state of awareness of social learning. And we were somewhat concerned that at least from some evidence, there’re some misconceptions around about social learning. So I thought I’d take another shot at it. First, let me make the case why it’s important. There are number of  reasons to be interested in social learning: it’s more natural : our learning mechanisms were social before they were formal. Then, let’s clarify what it’s  not. So what  is good social learning? social strategy

Top 10 Tools for Learning 2016

Clark Quinn

It’s that time again: Jane Hart is running her 2016 (and 10th!) Top 100 Tools for Learning poll. It’s a valuable service, and points out some interesting things and it’s interesting to see the changes over time.  It’s also a way to see what others are using and maybe find some new ideas. She’s now asking that you categorize them as Education, Training & Performance Support, and/or Personal Learning & Productivity. All of mine fall in the latter category, because my performance support tools are productivity tools! So Books are still a major way I learn.

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Storyboarding for eLearning

Storyboarding is a very important step for creating eLearning courses. But don’t you feel it’s a waste of time to start creating the courses from scratch and copy-paste text and other objects from the storyboard to the eLearning tool for course development.

The Grail of Effective and Engaging Learning Experiences

Clark Quinn

There’s a considerable gap between what we can be doing, and what we are doing. When you look at what’s out there, we see that there are several way in which we fall short of the mark. While there are many dimensions that  could be considered, for the sake of simplicity let’s characterize the two important ones as effectiveness of our learning and the engagement of the experience.

The Quinnovation eLearning Process Survey

Clark Quinn

In the interests of understanding where the market is, I’m looking to benchmark where organizations are. Sure, there are other data points, but I have my own questions I would like to get answered. So I’ve created a quick survey of seven questions (thanks, SurveyMonkey) I’d love for you to fill out. My interest is in finding out about the processes used in designing and delivering elearning. While I’ve my own impressions, I thought it would be nice to bolster it with data. So here we are.  . welcome your comments or questions as well. Thanks! design strategy

Soraya Darabi #FocusOnLearn Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Soraya Dorabi opened the second day of the FocusOn Learning conference with a presentation on how data is changing learning and performance. Hampered by technology hiccups, Soraya talked about the ways in which all digital platforms generate data and how that data could be leveraged to support personalized education. She also raised the issue of the ethical entailments

Working and learning out loud

Clark Quinn

I’ve been thinking about some of the talk around the Future of Work, and in addition to the free flow of information I recently posted about from the Coherent Organization, I think working out loud is another component. Inspired by a post from my colleague Harold Jarche, this is how I see it, in actionable terms.  (And I expect this is also part of Jane Bozarth’s Show Your Work , but I’ve yet to get my mitts on a copy, mea culpa.). The point is to make your work visible. And there are two dimensions: within the organization, and outside the organization. strategy social

Evaluating Training - Capturing the Benefits Aspects of ROI

Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we’ve managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can’t hurt!

Aligning with us

Clark Quinn

One of the realizations I had in writing the Revolutionize L&D book was how badly we’re out of synch with our brains. think alignment is a big thing, both from the Coherent Organization perspective of having our flows of information aligned , and in processes that help us move forward, but with, well, our humanity. First, our thinking isn’t all in our heads.

70:20:10 furor

Clark Quinn

I have to admit that I’m continually flummoxed by those who rail against the 70:20:10 model. Recent posts by Mark Britz and Ryan Tracey both take this on, Ryan’s in particular pointing to a poll where more than half of the respondents said it wasn’t relevant. And there’s been quite some vehement opposition. Really? Really. There’s a chapter in a book about myths by a few academics who claim that it’s not bolstered by academic research! Similarly in a complaint linked off of Ryan’s post. It’s certainly what I see way too often. strategy

Content isn’t a silo

Clark Quinn

I mentioned in my previous post that I was talking at the xAPI camp about content strategy, and on the way in I created a new diagram to convey a concept I wanted to discuss.  Of course one of the things I agitate about for the revolution is that L&D can’t hide away but has to start engaging across the business.   And, let me add, that’s only increasing. Our silos are breaking down.

Scenarios and Conceptual Clarity

Clark Quinn

I recently came across an article ostensibly about branching scenarios, but somehow the discussion largely missed the point.  Ok, so I can be a stickler for conceptual clarity, but I think it’s important to distinguish between different types of scenarios and their relative strengths and weaknesses. These are all approximations to full games, with various tradeoffs. design games

Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

Bill Nye (Science Guy) #LSCon Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Bill Nye gave an entertaining talk on the benefits of science and learning, drawing on his experience. meta-learning

Metacognitive Activity?

Clark Quinn

So, as another outcome of the xAPI base camp a few weeks back, I was wondering about tracking not only learning , but meta-learning. That is, not only what activity might  mean learning, but what mean meta-learning?  I started wondering about a vocabulary, but realized that you’d have to have activity that you could actually detect was evidence of meta-learning. meta-learning technology

Annie Murphy Paul #LSCon Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Annie Murphy Paul closed the Learning Solutions conference with a valuable presentation on the myths in learning. She used a nice structure stating what the problem is and some useful alternate ways to frame the discussion. meta-learning

Heading in the right direction

Clark Quinn

Most of our educational approaches – K12, Higher Ed, and organizational – are fundamentally wrong. What I see in schools, classrooms, and corporations are information presentation and knowledge testing. Which isn’t bad in and of itself, except that it won’t lead to new abilities to  do ! And this bothers me. just was reading and saw some lovely synergistic thoughts that inspire me that there’s hope. haven’t read his book (yet), but in exploring an interview with him, I found out about Expeditionary Learning. design meta-learning

Move Beyond Learning to Applying: A Modern Management Development Program

A better way to develop front-line managers !It’s well documented that people leave managers – not companies. Download this guide to learn how to shift the perspective from event to journey and how to take learners through Proficiency Journeys to get results.

The Human-Centered Organization

Clark Quinn

As I talk about aligning work with how we brains think, work, and learn, I realize I’m talking about something bigger. While I want L&D to lead the way (as those are the folks I know), it’s really about leading the way to an organization that’s aligned with  us , with people. And I think that’s something bigger, and definitely better. The point being, as we reorganize work to tap into the best of us, we’re creating organizations that are humane in a very specific, and hopefully deep, sense. Humane for all employees, and further. adopt a total system approach.

Rethinking Design: Curriculum

Clark Quinn

In addition to yesterday’s post about pedagogy , I also mentioned the need to get deeper on curriculum as well. The notion is that we need to redefine curriculum as a way to get away from a content base, and start moving to an activity base. These tasks can be viewed as competencies that, if the learner possesses them, there is evidence that they are prepared to perform. Fingers crossed ;).

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Work Experiment

Clark Quinn

At a point some days ago, I got the idea to map out different activities by their role as executing versus innovating, and whether it’s in the head or in the world. meta-learning strategy technology

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Social Training?

Clark Quinn

Sparked by the sight of a post about ‘social training’, I jokingly asked my ITA colleagues whether they could train me to be social. And, of course, they’ve posted about it. And it made me think a little bit more too. Jane talks  about being asked “how you make people learn socially”, and mentions that you can’t force people to be social. That’s the point, you can’t  make people engage. Particularly if it’s not safe to share. There are multiple areas that can be addressed, but it’s not to  make people learn socially. social strategy

5 Unknown Ways You're Wasting Your Training Budget

In the US alone, companies spend over $70 billion on corporate training and about $1000 on individual employees according to Bersin by Deloitte. When it comes to training budgets, leaders struggle to pinpoint what impact (if any) their training programs are having. So what's the result? Companies end up wasting millions of dollars each year on ineffective training practices.

Showing my age, er, experience

Clark Quinn

I’ve been reading What the Dormouse Said (How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry), and it’s bringing back some memories.  Ok, so most of this stuff is older than I am, but there are a few connections, so it’s reminiscing time.  I’ve said some of this before, I believe, so feel free to wander on. This is me just thinking aloud. I was taking some computer science classes because I’d found out that biology was rote memorization and cut-throat medical (which I did  not want to do; I was hoping for marine bio), and a buddy was doing it.

Badass

Clark Quinn

That’s the actual title of a book, not me being a bit irreverent.  I’ve been a fan of Kathy Sierra’s since I came across her work, e.g. I regularly refer to how she expresses ‘ incrementalism ‘ She’s on top of usability and learning in very important ways. And she’s got a new book out that I was pleased to read:  Badass : Making Users  Awesome.   So why do I like it? So what’s she doing differently? She’s taking product design beyond marketing and beyond customer desires. It’s an easy read, too. design

Reactivating Learning

Clark Quinn

(I looked because I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but apparently not a full post, so here we go.). If we want our learning to stick, it needs to be spaced out over time. But what sorts of things will accomplish this?  I like to think of three types, all different forms of reactivating learning. Reactivating learning is important. At a neural level, we’re generating patterns of activation in conjunction, which strengthens the relationships between these patterns, increasing the likelihood that they’ll get activated when relevant. design mobile

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Vale Jay Cross

Clark Quinn

It’s too soon, so it’s hard to write this. My friend and colleague, Jay Cross, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He’s had a big impact on the field of elearning, and his insight and enthusiasm will be missed. I had the pleasure to meet him at a lunch arranged by a colleague to introduce learning tech colleagues in the SF East Bay area. He was influential. He will be missed.

Workbook: Gamification and Your Enterprise Learning Strategy

This workbook is a response to your need to understand how to strategically incorporate gamification into your learning strategy, in order to drive real business results. It’s designed to be printed, written in and used as a guide.

Learning in Context

Clark Quinn

In a recent guest post, I wrote about the importance of context in learning. And for a featured session at the upcoming FocusOn Learning event, I’ll be talking about performance support in context. But there was a recent question about how you’d do it in a particular environment, and that got me thinking about the the necessary requirements. As context (ahem), there are already context-sensitive systems. helped lead the design of one where a complex device was instrumented and consequently there were many indicators about the current status of the device. This trend is increasing.

Reading List additions

Clark Quinn

I’ve been reading a few other books, and have written up some book reviews on two of them. For the Revolution Reading List, I  strongly encourage you to read Amy Edmondson’s  Teaming , it’s a great review of the needed changes for organizations to embrace innovation.  My eLearn Mag review is here. For no specific list, but as a book that was really transformational for my thinking, Todd Rose’s  The End of Average   really helped point out the problems with our current obsession with simplistic evaluations of people.  My review for eLearn Mag is here.