DOIs and learning curation

By John Helmer

Logo of doi.orgWhat exactly is a DOI and why should you care?

Well, DOIs (or digital object identifiers) are very handy to know about if you’re doing digital learning content curation. Articles and talks about learning curation tend to focus on social media, but at its heart, this type of curation is about finding, filtering, organising and sharing valuable learning content.

In her post about the skills of learning curation on this blog, Lumesse Learning’s Carole Bower encourages a healthy scepticism about any content found on the web. She encourages curators to ask: ‘who wrote this piece? Why did they write it? Did they have an agenda? Is it a primary source?’ An important function of of curation, she says is to ‘build a library of trusted sources’.

Clearly, establishing the value and trustworthiness of a piece of learning content is important for curators, and as we know, that is often a problem on the web. But there his another big problem with web content, too.

It moves around. Websites come and go, or are redesigned, content libraries change ownership; all of which leads to broken links, and 404 messages – a phenomenon often referred to as ‘link rot’.

So as a curator, once you’ve found a piece of content and deemed it trustworthy, how can you make sure when you share it that it will still be accessible on that link in six month’s time, next year, or the year after that?

DOIs can help with both these problems.

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Hi-vis learning: how to do elearning without computers

By John Helmer

Two men on a hardhat site consulting a tablet computerHow do you do online learning when the workforce isn’t online? Sounds like an impossible brief? Well I’ve been talking to the account team at Lumesse Learning who are increasingly taking on just such briefs – and this is definitely not the non-starter it might sound like at first hearing.

In certain parts of industry – within the fast-growing service sector, for instance – large swathes of the workforce don’t come into contact with any sort of computer from one week to the next – let alone a computer with internet access. Think of the vast managed services industry, which supplies legions of cleaners, drivers, security guards and traffic wardens. Or Transport, or Energy – or the building trade: industries that employ legions of people in hi-vis tabards who are very much ‘in the field’ and don’t sit down at a desk to work.

Large companies that do this kind of work need the power and scale offered by digital learning at its best as much, if not more than, organisations where staff are plugged into their desktops all day long. Many have strong compliance drivers and large workforces. But sometimes it seems that the learning technologies crowd simply don’t see this problem.

Too often it seems that, so far as the elearning community is concerned, digital learning is just for people who measure out their days with coffee cups and post-it notes, sat at desktop computer and plugged into the corporate network.

However, we at Lumesse Learning love nothing more than a challenge. And more and more, it seems, we are rising to this particular challenge of creating learning programmes for staff who don’t work in offices – online learning for people who aren’t online.

Here’s how we’re doing it.

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5 key considerations in using mobile for learning

By Steve George

Business woman checking mobile in airport loungeMobile is proving to be more and more significant as a platform for learning. Here are five key key issues you need to consider in making it work for your learners.

1. Competition

With the average mobile user now having more than 36 apps on their device (according to Google), anything delivered by mobile is fighting for attention alongside a multitude of other distractions. Facebook, Twitter, email, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans – they are all pushing out constant notifications. Competition for user attention is fierce and mobile learning needs to stand in line with the rest.

That said, in lots of ways the very multi-tasking nature of a mobile is a positive thing for learning. To drive adoption of learning you have to drive engagement. With such reliance on our mobile devices these days the average user is probably more engaged with their mobile than with any other piece of tech they use. You are effectively trying to engage someone with a medium that both supports and promotes multi-tasking, so you’re probably on to a winner.

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Why search changes everything

By John Helmer

Man touching search bar on a virtual screen

Courses are getting shorter – pared down to their essentials, and atomised into stand-along chunks for easy access. Learning is getting ‘nuggetised’. We hear it from every conference platform, in white papers, blog posts and magazine articles. But why is it happening?

Nobody is giving strong, instructionally based reasons for why it should be. And interestingly, the impetus to do it is coming from learning departments, from organisations – and not from the vendor community, by and large (who probably have a vested interest in course being as long as possible).

So why is nuggetization happening? Surely it is worth asking the question, since a worry must lurk that less isn’t always more; that what we are producing are performance prompts rather than real learning, and that L&D is exposing itself to the charge of ‘dumbing down’.

An interesting possible explanation comes out of our recent research into millennials and leadership.

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