The world of Web 2.0 grows out of the view that learning is a process of active inquiry not passive reception. You reach out to the environment around you to fill knowledge and skill gaps. Training, on the other hand, is something done to you. You submit to someone else’s course of instruction. Courses take too long, don’t produce enough competitive value, and are mostly useful to provide a general framework for ongoing experiential, real time, on-demand learning. Nonetheless, sometimes, in your active inquiry, you choose a course as your way to learn.
Experiential learning puts the emphasis on individual and group learning, not expert teaching. The core of experiential learning is the ability to ask the right questions at the right time to: to clarify the nature of the problem; to identify possible solutions; to take action; and to learn from feedback after taking action. The community replaces the course as people learn through conversation, demonstration, trial and error, collaboration, and discovery. A key theme of the employment brand is learning in an apprenticeship model - learning in context. eLearning’s value is not the automation of the classroom and the student role. It envisions learning in context from a network of collaborators. It enables a continuous development and exchange of information that improves performance.
A learning culture values experience as the primary source of learning, superior to courses, and sets up mechanisms for people to learn from their own and others’ experiences. To take advantage of this juggernaut, businesses need to implement a planned abandonment of the “job and classroom” paradigm and migrate to the “role and informal learning” paradigm. We will be successful when we have accomplished the migration to an autonomous and collaborative workforce that continuously learns how to compete more successfully and operate more productively. So, the Web 2.0 workplace demands excellent “learning design” as a replacement for “instructional design”. What are the principles of excellent learning design? Someone who has spent years thinking and speaking about informal learning is Jay Cross; check out his site, books, and blogs. Another person well known for his work in performance support and informal learning is Dr. Conrad Gottfredson whom you can hear on the 12 minute podcast made on 4/15/08.