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CLO Magazine January 2008 Issue on Motivation, Innovation, Googlization, and the Future of E-Learning
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I try to keep up on e-learning in all sectors—K-12, higher education, corporate training, military, etc., but it is not easy. I spend most of my time in the higher education space, but enjoy those moments in the other areas; especially since I used to be a corporate controller and CPA and my master’s thesis and dissertation were in the K-12 schools. It is always difficult to straddle all sectors.

Below are some articles I just read in Chief Learning Officer (CLO) Magazine (see which came in the mail yesterday. I have an article in here about collaborative tools a few years back and always like reading it. I normally do not find much useful stuff in other corporate training magazines which I subscribe to (especially the ones from ASTD—T&D Magazine this month was all about “learning” but I found none if it worthwhile so I disappointingly tossed it out—lots of promise but far too fluffy). Fortunately, CLO is different and usually has a couple articles of value each month. And it is free! This month there are articles related to motivation, innovation, creativity, relevant learning, and the future of e-learning. I review 7 of the articles below.

CLO Magazine, January 2008 issue (see

1. The Power of Pull (Idea of article—this one is about motivating people online. Charlie Gillette has a powerful story of his own college days that we can all relate to. Here he notes how free and fun college learning can be yet there is always that threat of a bad grade or, worse yet, failure. Instead of the fear of failure learning (i.e., push learning) such as experienced in college and many training settings, learning needs to be irresistible and help learning unconsciously acquire information. In effect, learning should be interesting, fun, interactive, collaborative, cool, compelling, exciting, social or friendly, challenging, authentic (simulations for instance), flexible (learn when want to learn), user generated, captivating (draw learners into it—learning is a perk not a terrible experience), and, simply stated, an alternative to the regular classroom):

2. E-Learning Is Dead. Long Live E-Learning! (Idea of article—I love this title since it is highly accurate; E-learning—wanted dead or alive? No, I just want it alive!!! In effect, do not push technology and fancy e-learning on to learners and expect them to complete it; instead, think about learner needs and provide content on demand or just in time. There was a ton of e-learning terms we were told were important 5 or 10 years ago (e.g., LMS, LCMS, WBT, CBT, VCT, ILT, KMS, CMS, VLE, etc.) that basically no longer apply. The focus is now once again more squarely on the learner instead of the technology. E-learning is dead (I mean the old electronic page turning versions of e-learning), but e-learning, as is all learning, is very much alive as well.

3. Innovation: Nature and Nurture (Idea of article—I appreciated this article as well since I have a recent keynote talk about the nature (i.e., technology) and nurture (i.e., pedagogy) of e-learning. Here, Corrine Miller argues that we need a culture of innovation and management support for innovation is helpful for innovation to occur since innovation CAN be taught (nurture) and some people are born with ability to be creative and generate new ideas (i.e., nature). Need a problem-solving approach which involves creating ideas, evaluating ideas, and action plans for such ideas. Need real goals, challenges, problem statements, inquiry, question banks or guides for such inquiry and investigations, and activities which lead from divergent or creative thinking exercises to convergent or critical thinking ones and this has to be done in a team. Sure sounds like this course! You need the motivational environment and the methods for problem solving and innovation.):

4. On Demand: The Googlization of Learning (Idea of article—learning from classroom training is forgotten quickly so need access to information (i.e., information must be available on demand); it is blended learning that combines face-to-face and online learning plus resources online that is best. More than 70 percent of corporate learning is informal so need to provide access to information on demand. Accessible knowledge is highly important but so need to not just spend our days searching for content but actually finding the content we need (in small, understandable chunks, on-demand, and ranked by relevancy of the search). Learning is no longer just teacher-directed but is now increasingly self-directed. It is not discrete knowledge or facts learned at a specific event. Instead, our learning might come from online or face-to-face meetings with mentors; from collaborative teams; from online access to information; from instructors; from life experiences; etc. Google and other search tools are simply fueling a trend toward making learning available on demand for learners and learner-centered learning. The author of this article, John Ambrose is right on target.):

5. Learning Transparency and Assumptions by Elliott Massie (Idea of article—This article is short at 1 page but Elliott Masie is always interesting to read. Here, Masie notes that too often training and education lists objectives and stops at that; unfortunately, such an approach is missing out on many things that are important to the learners and ultimate learning performance; in particular, with greater self-selected learning and e-learning, it is missing the learning assumptions, such as the how much will learners need to memorize in the course, what facts and skills (or prior knowledge) is assumed, what is the philosophy of teaching this course (i.e., exploratory of drill and kill, behavioral), how difficult will different content be (might you color code content with different difficulty levels), how have previous learners succeeded or failed (what have they done to succeed, how have they studied, what tasks did they choose, what worked best), how much classroom discussion and dialogue will be expected, who should NOT take this course, and how current is the knowledge of this course?):

6. Three Learning Trends to Watch in 2008 by Jeannie C. Meister (Idea of article—Here is another 1 page article with three trends outlined: (1) college classes are going paperless by building content in wikis, using RSS feeds of online news, podcasts, blogs, etc., and other things to delete textbooks and make learning more relevant and designed for the new generations of learners; (2) corporations need to change too by creating Wikipedia-like knowledge bases designed by employees as well as using more Web 2.0 tools like blogs, podcasts, instant messaging, text messaging, and Facebook posts to network, learn, and communicate; and (3) the free online class portals and open educational resources like the MIT courses are soon going to be prevalent in corporate learning portals such as the Free Management Library with 650 topics and 5,000 links; in effect, social software is helping learning become more collaborative and interactive and the corporate world better keep pace):

7. Five Trends in the LMS Market by Brandon Hall (Idea of article—A final 1 page article from my friend Brandon Hall notes the following five trends related to the learning management system (LMS) market in corporate training: (1) need to look at software as a service (SaaS) and use hosted software thereby reducing personnel needed; (2) focus on supporting internal talent from prehire days to when they retire and even after (i.e., build talent rather than ignore it or assume it just happens); (3) learning should come to the learner when needed using emerging technologies such as mobile technologies, blogging, and collaborative Web 2.0 tools instead of forcing the learner to attend a specific training event and location; (4) with nearly 3 billion mobile phones deployed worldwide, anywhere, anytime mobile learning is growing at an unprecedented rate ; and (5) tools for SHARING knowledge and information and social networking (e.g., Facebook) are on the rise):

Hope you find some of these articles valuable. Despite being a former accountant and CPA, I spend roughly 15-20 percent of my time on corporate related learning research but I thought these were unique and valuable. Thanks CLO!
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 10:42 AM  
  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger tim tay said…

    I see you are still very busy...I really like your article on E-learning...Keep up the good work Dr. Bonk!

    Tim Taylor

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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