OOPS I designed it again – how to avoid reinventing the wheel in learning design
Would you like to make design of learning interventions easy? Would you like to be able to reuse activities so that design becomes much more modular? Would you like to design multiple programmes quickly and tailor for specific groups of performers? So in this article I will introduce to you a methodology not dissimilar to something used in programming, which helps you to achieve this.
Some of you may already know this but my first degree was in Chemical Engineering and Fuel Technology. As part of my degree we learnt how to program in Fortran and basic. This was to be very helpful when 6 years later I made a career change and became an IT trainer.
Just lately I have been making connections with a certain type of programming and how I have been developing the Learning Loop, a brand new way to do Train-the-trainer. When I first launched the Learning Loop Programme, I promised it to be:
Tailored to the individuals attending
Activity led and not content driven
Suitable for L&D people of any level of skill or experience
Creative and business focused
Object Oriented Programming (OOP) requires a different mind set. Instead of using the traditional approach to programming, where you start at the beginning and work your way through to writing the (sometimes unwieldy) programme, you start to recognize parts that are reusable and generic. Thus coding becomes more about using those generic parts and then adding the odd bit of customized code. This principal can also be applied to designing learning interventions.
When creating a new Learning Loop for an open workshop or a new client, it always starts with the objectives- making sure they are SMART using Robert Magers’ PCS framework. Once the objectives have been outlined then the design can begin. Initially there would be more design, but now every time I run a new workshop, after writing the objectives I can then reuse a good deal of the activities. The key is in determining the correct level and scope of the learning – whether it is skills, knowledge or attitudinal. Not designing too broadly is also key, then you can mix and match activities from the library you create over time.
This can be applied to designing multiple leadership programmes for different levels of leader. Write clear learning outcomes from the organisational ones. Select from your library the generic activities you can use at each level. Select for the higher levels additional learning activities and maybe then also design some new additional ones required to tailor at each level.
If you would like help to use this approach, then get in touch for a free 30 minute telephone consultation today: firstname.lastname@example.org
So today I had a lovely phone call from Samuel Passow, from the University of Kent and also MD of the Negotiation Lab, who wanted to cite one of my free resources around learning the Thomas-Kilmann conflict model. So in the spirit of sharing and collaboration I thought I would make it available to all – so click here to download.
Please feel free to use this activity and share it with others and if it has been useful, I would love to hear your story!
From the age of 5 until round about 60 we become less creative, according to research. So is this inevitable or is there something we can do about it?
Dr. Robert Epstein talked about the four creative competences and even has suggested that we can improve each one of them. So what are they?
Capturing- creative people have ways to capture their ideas wherever they might be
Broadening- learning new things outside your comfort zone exposes you to new ways of thinking and can boost creativity.
Challenging- taking on new hobbies, responsibilities, doing things that may fail, challenges old ways if thinking
Surroundings – what can you do to make your surroundings stimulating?
As a facilitator, if you improve these four areas it will impact your role in a a very positive way. So let us look at some ways of developing these competencies:
Capturing: use your smartphone to take pictures of your ideas, or record memos of your thoughts, carry a notebook or use post-its and an ideas board, write a blog or tweet about your ideas
Broadening: talk to people you have nothing in common with and be interested in how they go about their job/hobbies etc, join a forum on LinkedIn on a subject you know very little about, subscribe to a newsletter from a company whose services you may or may not use.
Challenging: volunteer to chair a meeting, take on a new role within your team for which you have little experience – learn from your mistakes!
Surroundings: walk and talk with a colleague, meet colleagues in a cafe, put up inspirational quotes around your desk, put up holiday photos around your workspace