My employer is suffering a restructure (sorry, a ‘transformation’), with the result that everyone’s having to demonstrate evidence of competencies. The heart sinks. You not only have competencies, you have sub-competencies under them and, tucked under them suckling away for all they’re worth, behaviours. In other words pages upon pages of nested bullet points. So the question for me is ‘Was that project three years ago a good example of this competence? Well, I seem to remember a lot of that behaviour, which fits under that competence over there. But then I don’t have anything for the first competence, although if I stretch the definition a bit I suppose that ….’ It becomes a game, wherein you waste a couple of hours knowing that across the organisation hundreds of others are doing the same thing with the same degree of scepticism. The prize, however, is a job and yes please, I’d like one of those.
Tony Karrer commented:
I’m at DevLearn right … and your post makes me wonder … if you were here, having coffee with me right now, what would we be talking about? And who else would you want to sit with to have those conversations?
Interesting question. I suppose one thing is a current job I’m working on: a lot of standalone multimedia PCs in my company are being decommissioned, and expensive CD ROMs training modules are being trashed. My team has been given the task of creating web-based ‘versions’ of these in a desperately short time. Sponsors and subject experts aren’t delighted at this turn of events and don’t want to put time into creating something new out of it. They want the ‘content’ (whatever that means) online and available asap and the paradigm they’re thinking of is ‘copy and paste’. We’ve developed our own quick and easy templates for short page turners with a limited number of interactivity types – what some writers call, perhaps disparagingly perhaps not, Power Point Plus. Several of us have been pretty much pasting the text content of these courses into these templates, trying to chunk them better and sneakily reword them into less pompous language as we go.
I started this blog as a learning tool. Inspired by Karyn and some of the others I read – that by writing about what I was doing and how I was doing it, I’d clarify for myself what I understood and didn’t understand, and some of it might be of use to others.
I now find I don’t write here very often. Why? Because I don’t feel I have anything in the way of ‘answers’ and that to write an intelligent question takes time and effort. When it comes up against the deadlines of work due, I think that half an hour should go towards my employer’s demands rather than speculation on the blogosphere. How I envy elearning bloggers who seem able in (and I’m guessing here) half an hour or less to write something that seems to put a new slant on an old idea or introduce a new combination of ideas.
This is indeed part of my learning: learning that I have a lot more to think through before I become a ‘writer’ on elearning. That I feel my previous posts have asked enough questions and now I shouldn’t write until I can deliver something.
I also notice from time to time that bloggers write in fits and starts – daily posts for some time then weeks go by. Perhaps it’s the same combination of work demands, self-censorship and and simply being ‘dry’ of the juice.
But at the same time here I am with a job description and a daily task list that reflect the title ‘elearning’; so even if what I’m doing seems compromised, unoriginal or small fry, it’s still likely that others are doing that kind of thing and I may have done something they haven’t. So my resolve is to make the effort and just describe what I’m doing and any associated thoughts that may be helpful to someone desperate or idle enough to read them!
Stung by Tony Karrer’s Top Ten Reasons to Blog and Not to Blog, I’ve boldly gone forth.
9. Because it forces you to do your homework (Rodolpho Arruda)
8. Because this is how you are going to learn in the future.
is the difference represented in the shift from traditional classroom
based learning and network learning. The idea of the latter is that
learning occurs when the learner immerses him or herself in a community
of practice, learning by performing authentic tasks, learning by
interacting with and becoming a member of the community.” (Stephen
7. Because if you don’t we’ll think you’re lame and don’t know how to do your job.
can you know about a professional who doesn’t blog his or her work? How
do you know they are competent, that they have the respect of their
peers, that they understand the issues, that they practice sound
methodology, that they show consideration for their clients? You cannot
know any of this without the openness blogging (or equivalent)
provides. Which means, once a substantial number begin to share, there
will be increasing pressure on all to share.” (Stephen Downes)
Of course the reasons for NOT blogging were almost equally persuasive, but I’ve learned so much by reading others’ blogs on the subject that I feel I’m allowed to step up here without knowing all the answers, just to add some little questions from my corner of the world..
(I’m not a stranger to blogging, though – in my other life as a musician on normanlamont.com)