Voices and Views: August
Event Garde is committed to professional development, for ourselves and for our industry. As such, we’re avid readers of industry news. We’d like to share these must-reads with you.
Companies are increasingly turning to e-learning to educate their employees. But most likely, not everyone will embrace it.
So before introducing e-learning, it’s important to know the audience, writes Karla Gutierrez, from SHIFT eLearning. There will be learning gaps among your employees, so it’s critical to understand strengths and weaknesses. And pain points, she says.
“To fully understand and appreciate your learners, you should try to put yourself in their shoes,” Gutierrez says. “Try to anticipate and comprehend the learner’s need of, expectations from and outcome derived from the learning solutions that you present. When you empathize, you help the learner become a willing participant in the entire learning experience, rather than a passive receiver.”
Networking works well as long as one or two people don’t dominate the conversation.
That’s according to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, which found that when everyone contributes equally in a network, there’s a strong social-learning effect, which makes everyone smarter.
In an equal setting, people can work together to fix mistakes, which in turn improves the intelligence of the group, the study’s authors say.
“It’s much better to have people talk to each other and argue for their points of view than to have opinion leaders rule the crowd,” the authors write. “By designing informational systems where everyone’s voices can be heard, we can improve the judgment of the entire group. It’s as important for science as it is for democracy.”
Conversation is the heart of knowledge transfer, says Common Knowledge Associates. Simply writing a report with takeaways – that’s likely to be forgotten among thousands of other files – doesn’t do the trick.
“Experts and groups that have the knowledge are reluctant to spend their time writing it up, perhaps because they have learned that it’s not going to be used,” says Common Knowledge Associates. “Regrettably knowledge repositories have earned a reputation for being a waste of time in many organizations.”
So during meetings, it’s important to allow conversation among attendees to allow the building of relationships. This way, people can continue to learn from each other post-meeting or post-event.
According to Common Knowledge Associates, two design principles especially make knowledge transfer effective: designing for mutual learning, so both the assisters and the receivers benefit from the experience; and giving the assisters enough understanding of the receiver’s situation so they can adapt their knowledge to a new context.