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  • Writer's pictureshani eliraz

re-think, re-do, re-imagine

In 2014 I wrote a blog post that called for a new type of CPD, one that sat on our social media platform of choice.

Back then, I came back from a learning show in London which – back then – was focused on moving learning away from the traditional concept of “learning in done in a classroom” – virtual or otherwise.

Back then, I was making the point that proposing something radical and left field is not necessarily a risk. It could, in fact, be reducing risk.

It’s now six years since the first time this blog was published, and I reckon it’s time to make that argument again. :)

On-demand Learning, for real.

By removing learning from the desktop, or even the laptop, and into people mobile phones and ipads makes them more contextual and more on-demand than ever.

It’s precisely the kind of learning people engage with when they don’t remember how to do a vlookup in Excel and google it in another tab.

And if you’re thinking “fine for IT skills, but not for leadership. Not for behavioural stuff”, let me tell remind you of all the work that’s been done since 2014 about nudge learning.

Yes, it may be that for the concepts and interactions and some activities, you may need a classroom (virtual or otherwise).

But to embed the learning, to remind people of what they know and get them to use it more in their day-to-day practice – googling it is precisely the way.

Let them find a 5 minutes video about how to prepare for a difficult conversation.

Let them find 3 minute video to job their memory about how to ask for feedback or give it.

Or a 60 second that will remind them about SMART objectives.

Or a 2 minutes about productivity tips.

Or 6 about mentoring.

Because that’s how we learn, right? We watch that YouTube video twice, if it’s something simple, and 5 or 6 times if it’s a bit more complex.

And in those re-watches we find a way to commit what need to know next time to action and memory.

And there.

We’ve learned something

Think Role Playing Games

Now, imagine that for every piece of learning that we’ve nailed we get a badge. Or a skill point. Like they have in role playing games.

And after so many skill points, we level up.

And imagine we can display these badges on your social platform of choice.

Imagine that people who work with you can help verify your badges – they’ve seen you do this. They’ve seen you in action, they’ve experienced you in action.

And lo – your badges follow you around. From one just to the next, evidence that your capabilities are racked up as much as your CV states they have.

And I can hear the muttering in the back, yes, I know some platforms do it, but it’s sporadic and unfocussed.

Imagine that our career paths are lined with missions designed for us to achieve badges that level us up. And imagine that we can exchange badges across different paths and missions, so we can pursue different paths.

Tin Can Do It!

This really isn’t that hard to do, either. Because collecting badges for experiences that we achieve in our jobs is as easy is ticking off a To Do list. Let’s say that we’ve taken part of a client facing meeting, wrote a report, took part in a decision making process --- none of these amount to a skill or a capability. But they marked a milestone. Gave us perspective, they gave us confidence, they opened up a new path for action and learning.

In essence that’s what xAPI is (AKA Experience API, AKA Tin Can API). It feel so old hat to talk about it, because the Tin Can project is almost 10 years old.

And even still, ten years on, we can help our organisations map experiences to learning journeys that win us badges and skill points and level us up.

And all this learning is right there, as we are doing work, while we are doing work.

And learners love it too, because they get tracked recognition for new things that they try, and learning that they do on their own, and they get a BADGE every time the muddle through.

So much more empowering than a certificate of completion…

Now – how to patch all these badges together to a quilt that amounts to capabilities and skills and careers? That’s a good

I think that should be the next blog. Don’t you?

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