Let’s put the learner back into the learning system

Elliott and Cushing Anderson recently floated an email about 12 things they wanted to see in a learning system. The first was focus on the learner.  What I want to see is a convergence between the way I learn, the way I work collaboratively with others – in other words, I want my online environment to map to my physical one.

I learn in three ways, and I want my learning system to support all of them. Sometimes I learn by being taught; sometimes I learn by going out and finding information I need; and sometimes I learn by asking a colleague. Probably only 5% of my learning is from being taught and unfortunately, that’s the only piece that most learning systems excel at.

Moreover, I don’t distinguish learning from a couple other things I do in my job. I produce knowledge – intellectual property – for my organization, and I produce deliverables for our customers. Most often I do both of these in collaboration with others.
I want my online environment to support all these things, because in my job, they are all connected: work, learning, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

We may as well call what I want a “learning system” because no one else is looking at providing this – but truly what I want is for this system to recognize and support the fundamental convergence of learning with the rest of my life.
And launching eLearning modules or scheduling me for classes is the least part of it.