It’s a tenuous time at work as we await the announcement of repoints to roles so the MOOC work outside of work hours has been providing me with the mental stimulation I need.
This week marked the end of the first week of the How To Teach Online cMOOC. Reading some of the blog posts, many of the MOOC participants come from an education or academic background and have written their posts to the exact requirements of the activities. Me, my mind doesn’t work that way. It wanders. Meanders. Goes on tangents. It links to other posts, articles, videos that I have seen on the web that week and then I try to make sense of it using my own workplace situation by asking the following questions:
- How is this relevant to me?
- How can I apply this to my workplace?
- Is this something my clients would be open to? Why? Why not?
- How will this solve business performance problems in our workplace?
We were asked to view this excellent Australian video called “How To Teach Online” on how universities are dealing with the move towards blended learning. They are seeing that the way we learn is changing in society and this impacts the way they have taught for years.
Some of the concerns they voice are similar concerns of many Learning and Development professionals.
However blended learning is not new to our organisation. 70-20-10 is integrated and part of the vernacular and all of our courses in our curricula have been redesigned to reflect the blend of education, coaching and on-the-job experience. Many of these courses are owned by Learning and Development and indeed, we still have facilitators running some face-to-face workshops but who are also dual specialised to run them as live online learning events too. The challenge is not the facilitators (who coincidentally love the live online environment) but it is soon to be something else.
I’m now seeing the increasing trend of business subject matter experts becoming the teachers.
And that’s a good thing (I think so anyway) but this is now changing the control outside of L&D hands and into the business. They are taking charge of their own teaching/coaching/learning in the business but not overtly calling it “training” or “learning” or “courses” or “training events” like L&D do. Instead, they are integrating it with their own work and using the technology such as Webex, Sharepoint and Yammer to connect with others within and external to their business to do business.
The mere fact that they’re talking to each other about work and collaborating on their projects is learning.
Therefore it’s becoming apparently clear to me that in open, shared and collaborative workplaces, coaching, feedback and inquiry skills are becoming critical – as is the need to be savvy with technology. So subject matter experts need to have ‘e-facilitation’ skills so that they can seamlessly share their knowledge and expertise to teach others within the contexts of their work.
I’ve now been in this role for a few months and I’ve been reflecting on the question, “What Have I Taught?” (and not the ‘how have I taught‘ as the MOOC activities asked for). Apart from teaching these subject matter experts to use Webex, podcasting and using Sharepoint and Yammer, much of what I have taught is outside of work hours. I have openly shared my work through my blog, Twitter, Yammer and learning events. Through this sharing, I have met some wonderful people both within (who share my passion for learning) and external to the organisation.
Over the weekend I stumbled upon this gem promoted by a tweet from David Hopkins https://twitter.com/hopkinsdavid). It’s Kid Presidents message to teachers on “What are you teaching the world?”. He’s adorable but his message goes to a wider audience than just school teachers. It can be applied to anyone as he says, “everybody’s a student and everybody’s a teacher” and it’s what resonated with me this week with my work with my business subject matter experts and this MOOC.
What do you think?