Reflections on #lrnchat – Learning in the Workflow

Each week that I am able to participate in #lrnchat discussion I post a summary of the discussion to my blog. I do this both for my personal development as well as sharing with the Learning and Development Profession at large. This summary is based on my own interpretations of the chat; others who participated may have differing opinions or interpretations of the discussion. I welcome those that do to add your ideas to the comments.

The topic of this week’s #lrnchat session was Learning in the Workflow. Jane Hart of the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies (@C4LPT) posted a link to an article she wrote that provided an excellent foundation for the day’s discussions. You can find that article HERE.

I always find looking at the questions that are used to loosely guide the chat as a nice way to see the overall theme of the chat. Here are the five discussion questions that were presented to the group:

Q1)From formal learning for novices we want to move to social for practitioners: how do we get an elegant segue in between?
Q2) Performance support is a major concern, but how is it integrated into formal and social?
Q3) How do we move from discreet components to an integrated workflow environment?
Q4) What new tools or trends are coming along that we should be aware (wary) of?
Q5) What are you hoping to see/needing, to make progress with supporting social workflow learning?

Key Learning Points

Over time, there have been a number of shifts in how learning and support is provided to performers. Research has shown that the traditional learning methodology – formal learning – is not the most effective executed on its own. New methodologies like informal learning and social learning enhance the learning and support process by extending the learning experience and bringing it closer to timely relevance. Much promise has been shown in the effectiveness of processes that blend these different methodologies into cohesive processes.

The learning and development community is similar to any other population in that the majority of individuals are resistant to change. Many practitioners continue to limit themselves to formal practices, and have not yet made strides towards integrating other methods into their learning and performance strategies. Today’s #lrnchat discussions focused on how the early adopters of these additional methodologies can help those that have not yet begun to use these techniques so that the profession as a whole can move forward.

The first step in building a bridge for the formal-only practitioner is to simply build awareness. The awareness, however, is two fold. There must be an awareness not only that these methodologies exist, but also that they exist in conjunction and alignment with formal performance support. Often formal practitioners place focus on creating learning opportunities. Part of the paradigm shift for novice practitioners is realizing that learning is constant and that social and informal methodologies emphasize learners themselves being one of the primary vehicles for performance support.

This also shifts the primary responsibility for performance support away from the learning professional and onto the performer. Learning professionals must be aware of this shift and realize that even if they focus on formal learning only, the shift towards social and informal support on the learner side has likely already started. Learning Professionals that do not embrace these changes risk falling behind as their workplaces continue to evolve.

Throughout the discussion ideas and strategies were shared that can help learning professionals adjust to the shifting landscape of workplace learning and performance. Whether you are a novice learning professional or a more seasoned professional that is looking to help build a bridge for novices, you will find many great ideas shared in the discussion. As always, you can find the full transcripts at

There are always at least a couple of tweets that resonate well with the topic and seem to really strike a chord. Here are a few that stuck out to me from today’s sessions:

On how we move novices practitioners to social practitioners:
@JaneBozarth: What many L&D are missing is that this is happening now WITHOUT THEM…
@mrch0mp3rs: What you don’t ever do is give up on the people struggling to make the change.
@edReformer: Experts shouldn’t teach wisdom. Experts should facilitate a learner’s ability to experience life and develop wisdom.

On how performance support is integrated between formal and social learning:
@britz: Formal often sets the foundation, social extends, expands, and conceptualizes.
@Quinnovator: make performance support resources searchable, shareable, and organize by user goals, not silos
@ThomasStone: Shorten formal event by shifting to Performance Support tools. then spend part of the formal event teaching them to use the Performance Support tools.

On how we shift to an integrated workflow environment:
@charlesjennings: Grasp that learning is a process, not a series of events and that learning IS the work, and that work is learning

On what we need to be wary of:
@C4LPT: Be VERY wary of systems that want to integrate work into learning; learning needs to be integrated into the workflow.

On what we need to progress social workflow learning:
@Quinnovator: go beyond best practices and take on best principles

I think the most thought provoking tweet of the day for me came from @mrch0mp3rs: the bulk of L&D professionals ARE going to accelerate to social & workplace learning. They’ll get there. My question: what then?

I look forward to finding out the answer to that question.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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