Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter of “Emerging Technologies for the Classroom”

In October, I posted some recommended reading that complemented one of my classes on gamification.  I’ve since started writing chapter summaries (here is the last article) so people can “preview” some of the great books out there and hopefully end up reading them!

Below is this month’s chapter summary.  Google Scholar features most of the chapter for free.  For the full text, here’s a Springer Link, which is free with subscription, or you can purchase the chapter or book.

Chapter 9: “Like, Comment, Share: Collaboration and Civic Engagement Within Social Network Sites,” by Greenhow and Lee, in Emerging Technologies for the Classroom: A Learning Sciences Perspective.

Social media and social networking sites allow individuals and groups to collaborate and learn together.  Social media has a different impact on the learning experience, compared to technology that is often utilized in the learning environment.  Students often use technology in the classroom for independent study or for research purposes.  Social media on the other hand supports research while also encouraging a learning process that is rich with peer to peer interaction.  Teaching and learning practices benefit from the collective knowledge that social technology provides.

Social media practices can facilitate new forms of collaborative knowledge construction.  It encourages civic engagement in broader communities of practice.  And social media can encourage an environment of trust, where individuals share information about themselves and their interests.  Establishing a level of trust within a social group can make the learning process more effective.  And cultivating a professional network can lead to opportunities above and beyond the learning experience.

A social networking site (SNS) is a web-enabled service through which individuals can maintain existing ties and develop new social ties with people outside their network.  Other examples of social media include media-sharing services like YouTube and Flickr, collaborative knowledge development through wikis, and creative works like blogs and microblogging.

There are opportunities to use social networking in both formal and informal learning settings – meaning social networking can be used regardless of whether learning objectives are determined for an experience.  Cultural and technological trends have sharply increased the amount of interest in social media, and access to technology is increasing as well.  Social network sites can bridge the gap between the formal learning environment of the classroom, and informal environments like afterschool programs or communities of practice.  They can also help instructors better understand the interests and backgrounds of their students, making it easier for them to cater to the students as individuals.

Social media can facilitate learning experiences through debate, allowing students to compare their opinions against those of a broader community.  It can also allow students more direct access to communities outside of their familiarity, such as people in other countries or industries.  This access can provide students with context and a better understanding of how the information they are learning applies to the world as a whole.

Students can use social media sites they are familiar with outside of school – Twitter and Facebook for example – to discuss what they are learning and gather information.  Using familiar social media tools may allow students a greater level of comfort during the learning process.  Instructors can also use specialized applications, such as learning management systems, to provide a more structured environment.  Instructors can use students’ activity feeds to monitor levels of engagement and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

The use of social media and social networking sites to facilitate learning aligns with the constructivism approach to learning design.  Students, teachers, and other parties take a flexible role within the social media space, often acting as mentors and mentees within the same setting.  All participants are encouraged to express interests and creativity, and collaborate to reach a collective goal.

Social media supports the exploration of realistic, complex problems because learning is taking place in the real world.  Learners can provide feedback through multiple channels and post questions or comments whenever they feel the need.  Research can be self driven and may incorporate multiple social media platforms if the learning environment allows it.

Using social media to facilitate a learning process comes with obstacles that educators should address in order to ensure the learning experience is successful.  It’s important that social media be applied with intention and vision, if it is meant to facilitate specific learning objectives.  Administrative vision and planning are critical.

Also critical is addressing online privacy and security concerns that relate to student usage.  Students may need to be taught how to responsibly and ethically use social media platforms.  The school culture must be accepting of collaboration and group activities in order for social media usage to be effective.  The evaluative environment in particular should emphasize digital literacies and competencies that align with the use of social media.

Instructors may choose to overcome challenges by partnering with library media specialists who have a greater familiarity with technology integration and information technologies.  It may also be beneficial to involve youth workers and other adults who can assist in extending instruction into the community.  Instructors may need to persuade school administrators to change policies involving social media – or instructors may choose to have students only use technologies outside of school hours.

Instructors may find it useful to prove the effectiveness of social media by collecting data related to learner engagement and the effect on desired outcomes.  Results can be shared with administrators and other parties in order to generate discussion about how a school’s policies and educational approaches should evolve to accommodate changes in technology.

If you need a learning technology platform that encourages social learning, check out Adobe Captivate Prime, which you can try for free.

The post Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter of “Emerging Technologies for the Classroom” appeared first on eLearning.

Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter from “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School”

I recently posted some recommended reading that relates to a virtual class I recently taught on gamification.  (Here is the recording.)

This is my own summary of the first chapter on the list.  I highly recommend the entire book, which is available for free from the National Academies Press.  It was written in 2000 but it contains some great foundational information.

Chapter 1: “Learning: From Speculation to Science,” from How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking.

The current methods we use to deliver learning have been shaped by research within the field of education, as well as related fields.  In recent decades, teachers and researchers have discovered approaches that assist the learner in understanding and retaining new information.  Learning professionals now design curricula from a perspective that is more focused on the learner’s needs.  Research related to child development, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience has molded the current approach to early education, and has influenced how emerging technology is incorporated into the learning experience.

In the past, there was less focus on the teaching of critical thinking skills, as well as the abilities to express concepts persuasively, and solve problems requiring complex thought.  Learning experiences were focused on developing basic literacy in fields such as reading and mathematics.  Today, humanity’s knowledge is increasing at a faster rate due to globalization and rapid development of technology.  It is still important that learners develop fundamental understanding of certain subjects, but that is not enough.  Learners must be taught to self-sustain, meaning they must learn on their own by asking meaningful questions.  Using new teaching methods will help instructors connect with those who were once considered “difficult” students.  New teaching methods will also provide a deeper knowledge of complex subjects to the majority of learners.

There has been extensive research regarding how to teach traditional subjects, such as writing skills, with a non-traditional approach.  These research efforts date back to the nineteenth century and have influenced a new school of behaviorism, which in turn led to changes in how psychological research is performed.

Learning is now thought of as a process to form connections between stimuli and responses.  For instance, hunger may drive an animal or person to learn the tasks or skills necessary to relieve hunger.  Even if complex trial and error is required to learn a skill, we will perform whatever process is necessary, as long as the reward we seek is desirable enough to warrant the effort.

Cognitive science approaches the study of learning in a multi-disciplinary fashion, incorporating research from many fields and using many tools and methodologies to further research.  Qualitative research methods complement and expand earlier experimental research efforts.  An important objective within this research is to better understand what it means to understand a topic.  Traditionally, the learner’s ability to memorize is assessed in order to determine competency.  While knowledge is necessary in order to solve problems, facts must be connected to each other in order for the learner to draw conclusions.  An organized framework of concepts and ideas will give the learner the context necessary to solve problems and establish long-term retention.

Our prior knowledge, skills, beliefs, and concepts influence how we organize and interpret new information.  We exist in an environment that consists of competing stimuli, and we must choose which stimuli to focus on based on what has been important or meaningful to us in the past.  Therefore, it’s important that our foundational knowledge be accurate.  Incomplete and inaccurate thinking needs to be challenged and corrected early so that the learner doesn’t build upon which is essentially a weak foundation of knowledge.  For example, it’s common to believe our personal experience of physical or biological phenomena represents a complete and correct knowledge of that phenomena, when in fact we need more information in order to understand what we’ve experienced.

It’s important that learners have some control over their learning process so they have the opportunity to gauge their own understanding of the topics being taught.  The ability to self-assess and reflect on areas of improvement leads to metacognition, which is the ability of a person to predict their own performance on various tasks and monitor current levels of mastery and understanding.  Learning can be reinforced through internal dialog, meaning a learner may choose to compare new information with old information, explain information to themselves, and look for areas where they fail to comprehend what has been taught.  Teaching a learner how to monitor their own learning is therefore a worthwhile investment in the building of deep knowledge.  An active learner is more able to transfer skills to new problems and challenges.

The difference between a novice and an expert within a subject matter is the depth of knowledge commanded by the expert.  Depth of knowledge allows a person to recognize patterns, relationships, and discrepancies that a less experienced or knowledgeable person might miss.  An expert has a better conceptual framework, and is able to better analyze what information they need to draw forward in their memory to solve a problem.  Understanding what information is relevant to a problem is key, because it allows a person to focus only on the information they need at that moment.  This makes the problem less complex.

In order to build understanding within a subject, a teacher may provide in-depth understanding of a few specific topics, rather than giving a superficial overview of many topics.  This allows learners to better digest defining concepts.  Assessments must reinforce this model by providing instructors with an understanding of the learner’s thought processes and testing in-depth, rather than superficial, knowledge.

Learners should be encouraged to reflect on what has been learned before going on to additional topics in order to support metacognition.  Teachers should be encouraged to consider the many tools and methodologies available to present new information, and select what is best for the learner and topic.  Building a community of learners who work together and accept failure will allow individuals to take risks and challenge themselves in the classroom.  There is no one “right” way to design a classroom environment – but there are ways that are more effective than others depending on the learner’s culture and expectations, and how competence is defined.


The post Recommended Reading Summary: A Chapter from “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School” appeared first on eLearning.

Rerun of a Popular Webinar: Social Learning & LMS Gamification

In July, we offered a webinar called Beyond The Buzz Phrase: Social Learning & LMS Gamification In Real Life. The webinar was attended by over 170 people from all over the world who contributed a ton of great ideas. And the discussion continued on social media even after the session!

Given the interest in this topic, we are going to rerun the webinar. Training Magazine will host our session on August 23 at 9AM Pacific. You can register here. The description and slides are below. Hope to see you – a second time!


They are the two of the most popular buzz phrases in the Learning and Development industry—social learning and gamification. You’ve likely heard about the benefits of both in terms of learner engagement and retention. This webinar goes beyond theory and focuses on what gamification and social learning LMS features can do for your training program.

Join Katrina Marie Baker and explore how to:

  • Effectively blend social learning into existing courses using an LMS
  • Align gamification initiatives with business objectives so they contribute to your organization’s goals
  • Use learning technology to drive engagement using badges, leaderboards, and rewards

This webinar includes examples of gamification and social learning features found within Adobe Captivate Prime.

Look forward to seeing you!

The post Rerun of a Popular Webinar: Social Learning & LMS Gamification appeared first on eLearning.

Beyond the Buzz Phrase: Social Learning & LMS Gamification in Real Life (Recording & Slides Included)

If you were busy last Thursday, you may have missed a fun webinar about social learning and gamification.  We had over 170 audience members who contributed great ideas and feedback.  You can take a look at:

  1. The webinar recording courtesy of eLearning Industry, and
  2. The slide deck with images courtesy of Adobe Stock

Below is the session description.  Have an awesome week!

They are the two of the most popular buzz phrases in the Learning and Development industry—social learning and gamification. You’ve likely heard about the benefits of both in terms of learner engagement and retention. This webinar goes beyond theory and focuses on what gamification and social learning LMS features can do for your training program.

Join Katrina Marie Baker and explore how to:

  • Effectively blend social learning into existing courses using an LMS
  • Align gamification initiatives with business objectives so they contribute to your organization’s goals
  • Use learning technology to drive engagement using badges, leaderboards, and rewards

This webinar includes examples of gamification and social learning features found within Adobe Captivate Prime.

The post Beyond the Buzz Phrase: Social Learning & LMS Gamification in Real Life (Recording & Slides Included) appeared first on eLearning.

Prediction 5: The integration between work and learning will need to be seamless

Die HR Experten von Bersin by Deloitte haben am 15. Januar mit einer Reihe täglicher Trendartikel begonnen. Die fünfte Prognose bezieht sich unmittelbar auf Corporate Learning, wenn es heißt, dass die weitere Integration von Arbeiten und Lernen 2018 ins Zentrum vieler Lernstrategien und -aktivitäten rücken wird. Integration, das heisst für die Bersin-Autorin, „the focus shifts from programs and courses to creating a seamless experience for employees“. An drei Punkten kann diese Entwicklung festgemacht werden:

„1. New technology helps people learn as they work.“
Hier werden verschiedene neue Plattformen und Systeme genannt, „learning engagement platforms“, aber auch Plattformen, die nicht EdTech sind, aber auf das Lernen einzahlen.
„2. Learning organizations are getting better at using data.“
Big Data und Learning Analytics machen personalisiertes Lernen und die unmittelbare Verbindung von „learning and performance“ möglich. Vielleicht ist man in den USA schon weiter, aber aus heutiger Sicht ist das für die meisten Organisationen noch Zukunftsmusik.
„3. Learning organizations realize that learning and development can be its own reward.“
Hier geht es um exklusive Lern- und Entwicklungsangebote, um neue Mitarbeiter anzuziehen. Diese Trauben sind erreichbar …

Wie gesagt, der Beitrag bildet nur einen Ausschnitt der kommenden HR Agenda ab. Aber er nimmt die Digitalisierung als treibende Kraft in Unternehmen ernst und deutet an, was an Chancen oder Herausforderungen, je nach Perspektive, auf uns zukommt.
Dani Johnson, Bersin by Deloitte, 18. Januar 2018

Bildquelle: NordWood Themes (Unsplash)

Global Human Capital Trends 2016

Deloitte hat wieder weltweit Daten zusammengetragen und ausgewertet, im vierten Jahr jetzt. Einleitend heißt es: “The Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report, “The new organization: Different by design,” explores 10 talent-related issues that are having a profound impact on the way organizations approach people management.”

deloitte_201603.jpgEine Fülle an Informationen, die es als kompletten Report, als Videos, Infografiken oder kapitelweise gibt. Ein Standardwerk für jeden, der in HR beschäftigt ist oder mit Personalthemen zu tun hat. Natürlich, das darf man bei der Lektüre nicht vergessen, sind die geschilderten Trends der Wirklichkeit “vor Ort” um Jahre voraus. Wie auch immer: Wenn etwas auf den ersten Blick auffällt, dann ist es die Betonung von “Design” und “Design Thinking”, die diesen Report durchzieht und ins Auge springt. “Design thinking is emerging as a major new trend in HR”, heißt es. Als Trend steht es heute neben “Leadership”, “Culture”, “Engagement”, “Learning” und anderen Themen.

Natürlich ist auch “Learning” wieder ein zentraler Baustein dieses Reports, dieses Mal mit dem wegweisenden Hinweis “Employees take charge”. Doch die einleitenden Statements dieses Kapitels lesen sich bereits etwas nüchterner:
“- More than eight in ten executives (84 percent) in this year’s survey view learning as an important (40 percent) or very important (44 percent) issue.
- Employees at all levels expect dynamic, self-directed, continuous learning opportunities from
their employers.
- Despite the strong shift toward employee-centric learning, many learning and development
organizations are still struggling with internally focused and outdated platforms and static
learning approaches.”

Deloitte, März 2016

Lernermotivation beim Digitalen Lernen. Herausforderungen und Ziele

Im Rahmen eines Webinars, veranstaltet von Haufe Akademie und CrossKnowledge, habe ich mich auf das Thema “Lernmotivation” etwas näher eingelassen. Es wird übrigens, das nur am Rande, in den Handbüchern zur Mediendidaktik so gut wie gar nicht behandelt. Ich habe mich schwer getan, Struktur in das Thema zu bringen und mich schließlich, fast aus Verlegenheit, für “10 Tipps” entschieden. Die Nachfragen der Teilnehmenden haben dann gezeigt, dass Lernmotivation viele vor allem in Verbindung mit Compliance-Schulungen  beschäftigt. Was vielleicht auch noch ein schönes Thema wäre …
Jochen Robes, SlideShare, 23. Februar 2016

Lernermotivation beim Digitalen Lernen. Herausforderungen und Ziele from Jochen Robes

HR Technology for 2016: 10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon

bersin_201510.jpgDiese jährliche Übersicht bzw. Voraussicht des Experten Josh Bersin zählt dieses Mal auffällig viele Anbieter und Tools auf. Viele sind vor allem auf dem amerikanischen Markt aktiv und werden uns wahrscheinlich nie erreichen. Abgesehen davon, habe ich auch keine “big disruptions” erkennen können, die 2016 auf Unternehmen warten, eher eine Reihe von Trends, die sich fortschreiben bzw. bestätigen. Hier die wichtigsten:

  • HR Systeme und Applikationen werden attraktiver und benutzerfreundlicher. Sie rücken aus der zweiten Reihe nach vorne. Auch Mitarbeiter wollen angesprochen und begeistert werden. Die Stichworte lauten: “consumerization of HR technology”,  “experience” und “engagement”. Oder: “Today’s HR applications should be fun, gamelike, and designed to help improve our productivity at work.”
  • HR Systeme und Applikationen müssen “mobile” sein. “There’s a good chance that mobile will become the predominant platform for most information applications during the next few years, …”
  • “Feedback Management”: “I believe “feedback management” is destined to become a new software category.”
  • Die Integration von Lerninhalten aus verschiedenen Plattformen und Quellen wird zur neuen Aufgabe von Learning Professionals. Die “learning experience” der Mitarbeiter rückt in den Vordergrund. “Buyers can now find “expert-authored” courses in any number of places.”

Abschließend bringt Josh Bersin alles in einen Satz: “As discussed, we are in the “third wave” of HR technology (moving from licensed software to cloud to mobile), and this new wave is all about engaging employees in a simple, compelling way.”
Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte, 20. Oktober 2015 (Registrierung erforderlich)

Talk less, listen more

Meetings. Does anyone ‘like’ them?

Well, I do. I have had some amazingly productive and informative ones over the years. Sometimes their held in offices, sometimes in dedicated meeting rooms, sometimes over a cuppa in the campus cafe, and occasionally over lunch off-site. But what makes a ‘good’ meeting? For me a ‘good’ meeting is:

  • Needed – sometimes emails or phone calls aren’t enough to gauge progress, cover what’s needed, etc.
  • Short – not too short that you end up needing another one to cover what you missed (see later) but not too long that you end up going off topic and wasting time.
  • Purpose – everyone present knows the meaning and reason for the meeting, and sticks to the agenda and gets on with it, in the time allocated.
  • Equal – no one dominates the discussion or agenda unnecessarily.
  • Prepared – Everyone present should be there, no unnecessary invitees, and everyone is prepared for it.
  • Closed – clearly defined actions, if they’re needed, on who does what from here, and by when. if further follow up is needed then this is agreed in advance and timescales set.

The common theme above is ‘necessary’. What gets in the way of a good / successful meeting, for me, is when the discussion or agenda or use of time or list of invitees or other aspects of the meeting are ‘unnecessary’. If the meeting sticks to the purpose, it those invited should be and need to be there, and that you are able to conclude business in the allotted time (without straying) then you’ve all worked well and efficiently together.

It’s not always possible to effect the changes needed to improve meetings, so here’s a few things I / you can do to get the process underway:

  • Listen – not only say less, but listen more to others and help pull thoughts, ideas, plans, etc. together to further the meeting. This is not always easy to do, especially if others dominate the time, but listening is often overlooked in order to have your voice or opinions heard.
  • Opinions – let others have their opinions, especially if they’re similar to your own. You don’t have to highlight that someone else has said what you were going to, it’s enough to know you think in a similar way. the key here is to build on it, not dwell on it.
  • Quiet – you can still be engaged and involved in the meeting / project without being vocal. But when you do say something others will take more notice.
    * Modified from Saying Less In Meetings
  • Record – arrange for someone to make a record of actions, timescales, etc. and have these sent to those present afterwards.
    * Modified from Tips for running effective meetings

What about you – do your meetings work? Do they finish on time with an agreed action plan for progress? If they do, then massive high-five. If not, what are you going to do about it?

As always, I like videos, and TED Talks usually has one for every occasion:

Image source: Richard Rutter (CC BY 2.0)

50 Most Influential HE Professionals Using Social Media #Jisc50social

For a month or two JISC has been asking for names and nominations to a new list they’ve been producing – 50 Most Influential HE Professionals Using Social Media. Well, the time has come and the final list has been announced.

There are some wonderful people on this list I am proud to know and call friends, and some I’m not previously aware of and will be looking at (hmm, sounds a bit stalker’ish, sorry) to learn about what they do, why, and how.

“The final line-up – chosen by a panel of social media experts, including award-winning social media editor for Times Higher Education Chris Parr, Insider Higher Ed journalist and blogger Eric Stoller, and Teacher Training Videos founder Russell Stannard, as well as Jisc’s David Kernohan and Sarah Knight – features an impressive mix of academics alongside vice-chancellors, librarians and IT and support staff.”

The final 50 features outstanding cases of social media use that others could benefit from, and we will be looking to highlight some of this excellent practice in the weeks to come.”

Even more helpful than the list is also the Twitter list, making it easier to follow the work of all those on the list.

Again, it’s an honour to be on the list, and I’d just like to sat how much I enjoy being ‘social’, talking about and sharing ideas and experiences, and above all hearing all about the wonderful things people are doing with students, learning, engagement, collaboration, technology, communication, and each other.