How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
OCTOBER 15, 2009
I’ve just read Practice Made Perfect by Roberto Moretti (published by Robert Salomone, 2009). There’s a lot in this deceptively slim volume. Moretti’s five processes for efficient practice are practical steps to follow to move through the competence model, and as such are invaluable for those managing work-based learning, or anyone who wants to learn a new skill.
Why coaching is misunderstood
SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
John McGurk, CIPD’s Learning, Training and Development Adviser, writes in the August 2009 issue of Impact, Quarterly Update on CIPD Policy and Research, that “if we identify the behaviours of coaching rather than the concept of activity, we find that coaching is already much more embedded through the activities of line managers than might be expected”.
Happy New Year!
DECEMBER 31, 2009
As we draw to the end of what has been (for me at least) an eventful year, and look forward to whatever 2010 will bring, I'd like to wish my family and friends, colleagues and associates, and everyone who reads this blog, a peaceful and prosperous new year
Informal and non-formal learning
DECEMBER 14, 2009
I’ve just returned from an international exchange meeting in the Netherlands, discussing validation of informal and non-formal learning (through volunteering). It’s a big subject, not least because the terms of reference are open to a wide range of interpretation. Informal learning is usually taken to mean learning that takes place inadvertently, even subconsciously, and is rarely planned.
OCTOBER 8, 2009
I'm giving up my consultancy business. began Executive and Professional Development Ltd in 2005, when I left the eLearning Alliance, having undertaken very little consulting work prior to that. It's been varied and enjoyable, I've met many interesting people and undertaken some great projects. But I haven't tackled a learning manager's role for a while, and its lure is irresistible.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
I recently (only about 2,300 years after the event!) came across this quote from Aristotle: "for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." It kind of sums up the problem with experiential learning. As Peter Honey (a couple of millennia more recently) said “learning from experience is tough, you get the test first then the lesson afterwards”.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
I sense some disquiet among techies when we refer to learning platforms: it may be the terminology is not strictly accurate. But I increasingly prefer it to the array of acronyms, none of which is much clearer when spelled out, and which only serve the cause of mystifying e-learning when presented in abbreviated form. These are illustrated in the diagram. hope this post helps
FEBRUARY 5, 2009
It will be available in exactly eight weeks, on 3 April 2009. I’m pleased to announce the publication date of my forthcoming book, Delivering E-learning: a complete strategy for design, application and assessment. You can place an advance order with Amazon, or direct with the publisher, Kogan Page. AmazonLink KoganPageLink And I promise plenty of opportunities to discuss the book here
Performance and potential
AUGUST 18, 2009
Performance management doesn’t get the press it used to. It seems not so long ago that every other article you read about learning and development was addressing a performance agenda. Even some learning and development job roles were being redefined, and renamed, as being about performance improvement. And rightly so. So what’s changed? Potential.
The Apprentice is crap
MAY 4, 2009
One of only two pieces of praise York had was for Gratton’s focus on co-operation: “Businesses actually work better if people share and co-operate and merge their heuristics – a hugely 2009 perspective set against the individualist warfare-for-dummies language of The Apprentice – which is so instantly, hideously dated by events”.
Do learning objects really exist?
JULY 21, 2009
Twenty years ago , learning and development professionals were preoccupied with concerns about not reinventing the wheel. This was the time of the creation of National Standards (NVQs and all that), and the idea was that a lot of work was going into defining generic job roles, and training and assessment routes – work that could be picked up and re-used almost anywhere, with a little tweaking.
JUNE 13, 2009
It’s not often that online learning gets discussed in the mainstream, and I must admit I missed the Governor of California’s most recent pronouncement. caught up with it on primetime TV last night on the BBC, when it was discussed on Have I Got News For You. His actual statements make perfect sense.
Mapping the scope of learning and development
JUNE 11, 2009
CIPD has a new initiative to re-define and re-explain the HR profession, comprising a map of the profession, which is intended to replace the profession’s competence framework. I am convinced this ostensibly administrative activity will lead to many positive new developments, by prompting people to think about HR issues in new ways. The map/diagram shown above is from here
Learning on the move
JUNE 1, 2009
Many learning and development professionals argue that mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) are not useful devices for learning. Their rationale boils down to complaining that the screens are too small. But the real revolution has only started for me in recent weeks, as I have acquired an iPhone. And I can communicate with a tutor or mentor by phone, text and email.
Learning with technology
MAY 12, 2009
The current issue of Managment Today questions the role of HR, and concludes, among other things, “Here’s one way the human resources profession can shatter some of the tired old stereotypes that cling to it: get online”. The article goes on to argue that this is already starting to happen. By coincidence, the current issue of People Management carries a similar message. OK then.
The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University
AUGUST 12, 2013
Thanks to Business Annual for re-publishing my 2009 article, The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University, in July 2013, as part of a feature on corporate universities. You can read the article here: [link
What is e-learning?
APRIL 23, 2009
What is this crazy little thing called e-learning? Self-study courses delivered online? Self-study courses on DVD or CD-ROM? Self-study courses available over a corporate network? Online courses interspersed with face-to-face events? Tools for electronic performance support? Live e-learning events – Webinars? · Use of learning resources made available online? · Use of online discussion forums?
Set learning free
APRIL 2, 2009
I continue to meet quite a few people who are very critical of Wikipedia (WP), and stress its unreliability. Some criticism of the use of WP, as opposed to the intrinsic value of the resource, seems fair. An academic of my acquaintance is surely not alone when he bemoans the laziness of his students who cite WP. WV is "a centre for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities.
APRIL 3, 2009
Today is the official publication date of my new book, Delivering E-Learning: a complete strategy for design, application and assessment. Actually, truth be told, it's been available from Amazon at least for a couple of weeks now. AmazonLink and KoganPageLink. But for the moment, I'm just pleased that it's in the shops
Metaphor in learning and development
MARCH 24, 2009
Have you ever stopped to count the metaphors we use routinely in learning and development and wonder why they come from where they do? suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that many of them derive from the industrial age, and reflect the activities that people seemed to value in an industrial setting. Thus we have portals , platforms and even passwords.
MARCH 12, 2009
Intellectual capital seems to be making a comeback. It features as the cover story of the current issue of People Management , and the expression, dormant for a while, seems to be in use again. For me, this is a welcome development. It first emerged in the 1990s, and was a vogue expression, along with knowledge management, in the most swollen state of the dot com bubble.
The Seven Pillars
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
My latest article, The Seven Pillars of the Corporate University , has just been published on the EPD website. chose the “seven pillars” imagery, a blatant steal from Lawrence of Arabia, because of the happy coincidence of there being seven factors to consider, and because I liked the idea of the factors, or pillars, supporting the edifice. There may be other explanations.
Discussing my book
FEBRUARY 13, 2009
Readers interested in my new book on e-learning may want to know more than the usual publisher’s blurb that appears on Amazon and elsewhere. All of this is relatively straightforward. Identification of five distinct models of e-learning – and there may be more. 3. matrix for considering the impact of different kinds of e-learning. 4. call for more strategic thinking about e-learning. 5.
FEBRUARY 17, 2012
In my 2009 book, Delivering E-Learning, I made a number of forecasts, and as I wrote those three years ago, it seems timely to review them. Arguably, the most glaring omission of the book is its complete lack of reference to Twitter, or micro-blogging. Why should Facebook be any different? Back to my crystal ball. Essentially I made four predictions: Virtual reality. Mobile learning.
Evaluation of learning
JANUARY 31, 2009
I caught the latest of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen nightmares on Channel 4 last night: a “Great British Nightmare”, it seemed like a couple of extreme examples of the genre, including an exposé of a restaurant in Sheffield run by a former recruitment consultant. You could tell the proprietor had picked up some evaluation tips from the world of HR. More in another post
JANUARY 22, 2009
They used to say that training was one of the first things a company would cut in a recession. But that was in the days when many companies carried large numbers of trainers on their staff. The old saw may only be true for organisations that still directly employ a lot of trainers. Still, modern learning and development budget holders are bound to feel under threat in the current climate.
NOVEMBER 16, 2009
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is creating a new subscription-based information resource on the web. HR-inform will hold a vast repository of tips, tools and other resources for HR professionals. I’ve contributed some of the resources, including case studies, policies and model documents. suppose I would say this, but I’m sure it will be a very valuable resource for HR professionals.
Learning more about e-learning
OCTOBER 8, 2009
I've added a new feature to this blog. I’ve joined a community of e-learning bloggers connected via a site called eLearning Learning. Basically, this collates all of the input about e-learning from contributors around the world into one digest. You’ll find a button about eLearning Learning in the sidebar towards the bottom right hand side of this page. All you need to do is click the button and you’ll be taken to the site. You’ll also find a “Best Of” feed. You can subscribe to this, if you wish, and receive regular email updates selected from eLearning Learning. hope you find this useful
My Visual CV
JULY 1, 2009
I have recently discovered, and been very impressed by, a great resource called Visual CV. think a better name would be Online CV or Web-based CV , but the idea is that rich and dynamic content may be added to your CV by placing it on the Web instead of on paper. You can make your CV visible to everyone at its own URL, as I have done at [link]. Or you can restrict access to whoever you want - the private version (not visible at my URL) includes all your personal contact info. Creating my visual CV reminded me that I keep meaning to add video clips to this blog.
JUNE 30, 2009
I am indebted to Richard Wright, Head of Learning for a medium sized global business based in Devon, England, for contributing the following review of my latest book, Delivering E-Learning , on Amazon: “This book has been all of the following: a great read, a toolkit, a handbook and an inspiration. I am extremely happy that I chose this one out of all the other e-learning books. For anyone who needs to understand e-learning at work from a strategic perspective, I cannot recommend this book too highly. The references for further reading and research are excellent”. Thanks, Richard
Digital learning tools
JUNE 15, 2009
There's an excellent resource at the online Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies , which lists and explains digital tools to support learning, many of them free. The list is compiled annually by Jane Hart (left) who runs the centre, and is a compilation of tools recommended by users from all over the world. Each user (134, so far) submits their top ten tools, and these are compiled into a list of the top 100, and the top 25 categories. The top 25 are listed below: 1. Web browser 2. Social bookmarking tool 3. Blogging tool 4. RSS/Feed reader 5. Micro-blogging tool 6. Email 7.
To twit, or not to?
MAY 15, 2009
Lots of interest in Twitter these days, and not just from celebrities like Stephen Fry and Jonathon Ross. Clive Shepherd, e-learning consultant and chair of the eLearning Network , undertook a three month personal trial, detailed in his article in the current issue of e.learning age , but could reach no definitive endorsement. Clive likes it himself, but says, “whether the benefits I have found are universal, I couldn’t possibly say”. Without having undertaken any trial, I have reached a similar conclusion. But how many of us still use instant messaging regularly?
New Year resolutions
DECEMBER 31, 2008
But I promise to try. I’d like to wish all my readers a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2009 One of my New Year resolutions is to try to communicate more clearly, using plain English whenever possible, eschewing jargon, and of course avoiding clichés like the plague. One of those listed at that link (#11) is the new language of Web 2.0.
JUNE 16, 2008
This week also sees me complete my forthcoming book, How to Implement Successful E-learning , which will be published early in 2009. This blog is one year old: yesterday was the first anniversary of my first post - and this is my fortieth post. hope to discuss the ideas in this book, as well as some other stuff, in the months leading up to publication.