Sep 2, 2010

Training and Learning using Social Technologies

There's an interesting question that is posted to Julika Barrett who works for Dell Corporation in the newly formed service division as part of an account team that supports health-care clients in its information technology (IT) needs. As a learning and development specialist, she supports the IT associates with skills development, career management, and process improvement. She has held roles designing training, implementing training programs, instructing, coordinating projects, and providing consultation in documentation and training.

Read the full interview here
Who Else Wants to Take Training & Development to “The Next Level” Like Dell?

Q. What are your thoughts on “online learning communities,” especially when proposed as a solution?

The potential is very high to capitalize on social networking. Online learning communities formalize the informal information pipeline that goes on in an organization but I have only seen aspects of these communities in action.

For example, I have seen in companies that employees share ideas and solutions to problems by blogging, Skyping, and texting. Online training, through synchronous web meetings, provided opportunities for networking, problem-solving, and collaboration that transfer back to the workplace.

I still would like to see a plan with a vision of what an organization can become using social networking. These communication tools take time to use and for people to gain confidence in connecting. In a reactive environment, social networking becomes more of a distraction than a positive strategy.
Q. Change is definitely a process. What should corporate trainers expect in the 21st century?

Eventually, we go back to basics—what do we need to do and what do we need to know in order to make it happen. We, as learning professionals, need to develop 360-degree vision, to understand what has passed in an organization, what an organization strives to be, and what we need to do now to get there. We can have the best tools and technology possible, but their use still depend upon solid instructional design principles, learning theory, and performance management. The trick is to be so fluent in our knowledge and performance that we can provide structured design quickly to keep pace with the speed in which organizations operate.