Fostering a Learning Culture

A coworker of mine recently watched the replay of Catherine Lombardozzi’s presentation from ATD ICE and suggested that I do the same.  The session was titled Fostering a Learning Culture: Six Strategies for Enabling People to Drive their Own Culture.  I was pleasantly surprised by the topic because I only caught the first part of the title Fostering a Learning Culture.

I really enjoy learning and I’m a self-directed learner.  That’s probably why I eventually found my way into Instructional Design.  I’m always motivated to learn something about ID or Learning and Development but I will admit somedays that motivation is very high and somedays it’s not that high.  There are days when I’m digging through the internet to find an answer to a question.  Sometimes my 5 minute Google search turns into an hour trip down the rabbit hole following shiny things that look interesting.  Of course my shiny distractions have something to do with what I was originally looking for or perhaps a guitar player or something travel related but I digress.

Ms. Lombardozzi states in her lecture that in her opinion that “motivation trumps everything” when it comes to learning and I would happen to agree with her.  The concept of not being motivated to learn something, anything just for the sake of learning is actually foreign to me but there are a lot of people who need motivation.  As IDs we have to motivate learners in the way they want to be motivated.  That’s my big take away from this session.  Find out what learners care about and leverage that.

I also liked her idea of scaffolding.  We provide everything typically – the ILT, the eLearning modules and mandate that learners take what we tell them to.  What about giving people direction and a few options to choose from.  Wouldn’t this motivate them too?  For example, maybe the next time I can’t figure out how to edit a vector image I could go to Grovo for a quick 2 minute tutorial rather than YouTube and oh look there’s a John Mayer video or I could choose from a job aid with instructions.  That’s probably simplifying the concept but I would like to look more into this.  She cites a white paper from the eLearning Guild Learning and Performance Ecosystems – Strategy, Technology, Impact, and Challenges by Marc Rosenberg & Steve Foreman that goes deeper into these concepts.  I think this framework could really benefit learners and I really like that it allows them to “choose their own adventure” when it comes to their learning.


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