Archive for August, 2006

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Learning for Design 2006 Blog which includes my portfolio work and thoughts and ideas on training development and related topics.

Generational Learning Styles and Methods

Hi there, if you’re using my images and content for your presentations and work, please link back to my site. It’s listed under a Creative Commons license.

Thank you :)!!!!

You are so Gen X!

At least that’s what some people have remarked (including many people of my parent’s generation). What kind of learner does this make me? I do remember getting lost in the Toronto Science Center as a child, and I do remember loving going to museums where I could touch and play with the exhibits. This may explain my Learning Style characteristics (Kolb): I’m more or less an active experimenter with reflective overtones. These hands-on type museum exhibits were largely a product of efforts to reach out to children during the late seventies and after.

As there are multiple learning styles and each learning style has its preferences when it comes to working and learning, there are different preferences for learning. I created the slide here as part of an educational presentation on addressing the learning needs and preferences of the four main generations in the workforce: Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials (Gen Y and Echo Boomers). The main goal of this slide was to show the spectrum of learning methods and media that all of the current workplace generations and to emphasize the importance of making all of these media available to students when appropriate to the task or content being taught.

Recently a colleague and myself discussed the tendency of most companies to rely on powerpoint as a teaching medium. “It’s easy,” I said, “accessible and anyone can add content. Plus most of the generation in charge or in management is highly familiar with the format.” However, my colleague argued that there are more possibilities for using different media and that there’s the need to engage the younger generations using both media that they are familiar with and styles of learning that they enjoy and do well with.

One Example – Mixing Media and Presentation Styles Using Breeze

Powerpoint presentations alone are great, but they are limited in the sense that they can present mainly conceptual information on a high level. Also to be effectively used as learning materials they require the guidance of instructors. I believe that Powerpoint converted to Breeze and enhanced with Captivate Simulations/Interactivity can provide a more robust alternative to just straight lecture given in Powerpoint. This type of output can be used both as a stand-alone e-learning or within the context of a face to face classroom.

In my upcoming posts I plan to provide an example of this usage of Breeze and Captivate as well as describe how it can be implemented in a corporate learning environment.

Click on the image to view a larger pdf image of this slide



On Kolb’s Learning Styles:

More reading on Generations at Work:

Knowledge Management – Connecting employees to implicit knowledge

Problem: We can’t keep tribal knowledge or connect our employees to it

Have you ever faced a problem learning quick tips and tricks in a software application you’re unfamiliar with? Did you just want to find a person who could show you the ropes? Did you just want to know who in your organization might have information on how to work with a challenging set of customers?  These are examples of common knowledge connection challenges faced by many employees.  The slide below illustrates two types of knowledge typically focused on in a Knowledge Management (KM) System. It also emphasizes the importance of including a strategy for providing employees greater access to more “Implicit” or undocumented and fluid types of knowledge. The simplest KM systems focus only on providing tangible documentation which can take the form of job aids, training, desktop procedures, presentations, etc.

Implicit knowledge includes expert and tribal knowledge as well as unstated knowledge that exists only in the ‘heads’ of employees. Implicit knowledge can also include undocumented strategies past and present as well as organization and project histories. This type of information far more telling and helpful in developing strategies for project planning, and in most situation the only way to find this is to ‘pick the brains’ of other or more experienced employees. It’s unreasonable to believe that all knowledge should be documented. It’s more realistic to value employees as living resources.

Solution: Build expert maps and encourage networking amongst your employees

A more expansive and holistic KM model would naturally attempt to build networks and bridges amongst it’s employees to facilitate better sharing of “Implicit” knowledge.  A simple and cheap solution to doing this is building an “Expert Map.”  This can be a simple chart in an html web page or even a wiki page that lists each of the org units employees. Each employee has their own personal profile or wiki page which they are responsible for updating with relatively current project information and areas of their expertise.

But providing a map of experts is only the first step. Establishing a real collaborative network amongst employees requires a re-examination of organizational culture and an org-wide strategy for changing or adapting it.

Tacit Implicit

Welcome and introductions

My name is Natalie Laderas-Kilkenny.  I currently work as an instructional designer, but I have a strong interest in using collaborative technology for sharing and learning.  If you would like to view a copy of my resume please let me know:

Lately, I have been doing a great deal of work with Audio Enabled Presentations and Podcasting. I hope to be able to share much of this work as well as post a bi-weekly podcast capturing a summary of my learning in audio format.

I’d like to use this blog as a portfolio of my work as well as documentation of my own learning experiences with new technology, concepts, and methodologies in training and instructional design.

Thanks for stopping by.



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