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What do you want from this course?

Commentary by brainysmurf () on link by , What do you want from this course?, Mar 13, 2012.

Hi, Dino. It's delightful for me to hear a trainer acknowledge that he doesn't "live the life" of his learners. I wish more trainers and designers would do the same.

It seems that trainers and training designers try (in vain?) to replicate the lives of their students in formal training in the hope that the training will be 'sticky' or applicable to their real-world experiences. What I've learned through connectivist moocs so far is that this attempt to replicate the real-world inside a separate learning environment is quite limited. We are rarely able to design the learning event to be a close enough approximation to translate easily back on the job. And, even if we did succeed in making a good approximation, the real-life situations change too rapidly for the design process to keep up. We can't cover all of the mutations in one go.

Rather, I think we're better off spending our training design and delivery time offering learners ways to connect with each other and with experts in order to figure out for themselves what they need to know in order to solve the problem at hand. That way the contextual relevance is there, the subtleties and nuances are incorporated and the learners are empowered to seek and apply solutions.

In your example about Twitter and Diigo, you've started to explore what these tools can offer. Perhaps, if you introduced these tools to your learners, they can start to explore (independently and/or together) under which circumstances their needs are met by using these tools. That exploration (comparing, contrasting, analysing, synthesizing, applying, creating) is incredibly important and it belongs to the learner, not the teacher to figure it all out for them.

In the case of Twitter, in particular, Jane Bozarth does a wonderful job of explaining how it can be used in learning in her book Social Media for Trainers.

Hope this helps? :) (Hits Today: 4458 Total: 4458)

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