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Every once in a while you read a book that smacks you in the head with inspiration and ideas that can seem so clear, but are also hard to firmly grasp. Creativity Inc, by Ed Catmull (with Amy Wallace), is one such book. If you lead creative people or work in a creative field, it should definitely be at the top of your reading list.

The book is full of interesting stories and important lessons, and you’ll get a real inside view of Pixar and the decisions and accidents that led to its amazing success. But more importantly, you’ll get a terrific how-to manual for managing creative teams.

For me, Catmull’s reflection gave clear voice to some of my own emerging philosophy, helped clarify things that have been nagging me, and occasionally laid bare wrongheadedness that I had not yet seen. My copy is full of highlighted sections and scribbled margin notes, and I looked forward to writing this post so I could process just a few of them into articulate insights. I’m hoping my reflections here might start a cyber conversation among other L&D people who have read the book.

Here are just three major take-aways from my perspective.

The importance of cultivating true collaboration

Catmull shared three related ideas: First, greatness is born of collaboration. And real collaboration is evidenced by the day-to-day behaviors of teams that work together, not occasional events. Most importantly, candid critique is a critical component of healthy collaboration, so we need to work hard to ensure people can effectively give and receive feedback.

Here’s Ed Catmull on the subject:

“Too many of us think of ideas as being singular, as if they float on the ether, fully formed and independent of the people who wrestle with them. Ideas, though, are not singular. They are forged through tens of thousands of decisions, often made by dozens of people.” (p. 75)

“Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right. It is easy to say you want talented people, and you do, but the way those people interact with one another is the real key.”  (p.74)

“A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms.” (p. 86)

What strikes me when looking at L&D processes and cultures is that don’t often imagine processes that allow for creative ideas to emerge from good tries and critiques.

We sometimes don’t even imagine processes that rely on collaboration, but instead assign projects to individual designers and developers. There is real magic in collaboration, as Pixar’s success can attest. Since I now have a one-person consulting practice, I am very jealous of people who are surrounded by other talented L&D colleagues with whom they can easily collaborate – and I am sad to realize that we don’t actually take advantage of that very often. I know I have to find more collaborators myself, and “working out loud” can make a difference.

We have to find more ways to draw on the talents of our teams to work together toward an outcome rather than working serially to just do their part. We have to be open to hearing critique of our work and be willing to share candid feedback with our peers, and that can be hard.

The good news is that the agile* and successive approximation** design processes that seem to be coming to the fore in our field are more amenable to a collaborative process. We need to be careful that we don’t eliminate the collaborative features of these processes when we implement those design models.

 

The need to trust the people, not the process.

“We should trust in people, I told them, not processes. The error we’d made was forgetting that “the process” has no agenda and doesn’t have taste. It is just a tool – a framework.” (p. 79)

So true! “The process” can’t tell good work from bad! Our people, on the other hand, are often very astute at sensing or judging what works.

Catmull talks quite a bit about how important it is to trust creative people to do what they do. We can give parameters and get out of the way, and many creative people will be able to work within limits. It strikes me that too many creative teams in L&D are locked down by process, artificial deadlines, and defined roles and responsibilities.

“Making the process better, easier, and cheaper is an important aspiration, something we continually work on – but it is not the goal. Making something great is the goal.” (p. 134)

L&D has a love-hate relationship with process, I think. We have dozens of models that sketch out the steps that result in instructional products, performance support products, and other outcomes. Many organizations have worked hard to improve process efficiency. But the truth is that our process emerges with the needs of individual projects, outcomes, and clients. I used to joke that we needed to date-stamp our process maps, because they needed to be adjusted so often to account for changing circumstances and new recommendations for improvement.

It’s the people we should trust will get the job done, not the process.

Catmull describes processes that actually allow for (and encourage if needed) a complete re-envisioning of  the project – including the entire premise and the flow of the story from which Pixar movies are developed.

Nailing down the outcome too soon is a mistake – creative ideas need room to iterate and find their footing. We think that we can sketch a design immediately after assessment, and that design can be solidified for approval before we begin development. But maybe we shouldn’t push so hard for that flow.

I admit that I have been one who has insisted on final objectives and fleshed out designs before development begins – and that idea sounds smart. It’s now quite clear to me that isn’t how it works. We can agree on initial design ideas, but we have to have room to iterate, change our minds, get brilliant ideas, while we are in the process of developing. And collaboration and candid critiques are important parts of that process.

Pixar has the advantage of working on a closed set while ideas get massaged into shape. We have clients that need to be involved, and a loose creative processes can look pretty messy to them. But Michael Allen’s successive approximation method and others like it demonstrate that there are ways to have clients be completely engaged in an iterative process and still be more than satisfied with the outcome.

 

How to manage with humility

“I’ve spent nearly forty years thinking about how to help smart, ambitious people work effectively with one another. the way I see it, my job as a manager is to create a fertile environment, keep it healthy, and watch for the things that undermine it.” (p. xv)

Aside from being a terrific how-to manual for managing creative work groups and processes, Creativity, Inc. is a book-length reflection by a senior leader describing his process of growth as a manager – a process that includes significant self-monitoring, deliberate reflection, peer discussion, and planned action. It’s about how to be a humble and thoughtful leader – how to focus relentlessly on one’s self, on what “I” can do to be better rather than on pointing out the flaws in processes, people, and outcomes. Ed Catmull has acted quite generously in letting us into his mind and his meditations on creativity, leadership, and leading creative people.

I love his commitment to leaders as teachers:

“Are we thoughtful about how people learn and grow? As leaders, we should think of ourselves as teachers and try to create companies in which teaching is seen as a valued way to contribute to the success of the whole. Do we think of most activities as teaching opportunities and experiences as ways of learning? One of the most crucial responsibilities of leadership is creating a culture that rewards those who lift not just our stock prices but our aspirations as well.” (p. 123)

I no longer have the privilege of leading others in my day-to-day work, but I am often working with learning professionals who see me as an experienced practitioner and potential mentor.  I love my generative role as learning facilitator for learning professionals. I recognize that my job is not to tell others what to do and how to do it, but to facilitate an ongoing conversation about how past successes and current innovations can be leveraged for what’s next in L&D. I don’t see my role as consultant and professor as me teaching “them” – my approach is much more facilitative. Catmull gave me a great deal to consider about how to create a positive culture for learning in the engagements I pursue.

 

At the very beginning of the book, Ed Catmull says that Creativity, Inc. “is an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible” (p. xvi). The book helps us understand how to bolster creativity, aspire to excellence, and create a successful, profitable business through great results. there are many more gems than what I tried to capture here, some very personal to my own work and experience; I an sure you will find the same. Highly recommended.

But wear headgear because it might smack you on the head, too.

 

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. By Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace. (Random House, 2014)

* For more on Agile methodology, look here.
** For more on the successive approximation method, go here.

Journal articles and blog posts related to L&D seem fairly uniform in their advice that L&D departments should find non-training ways to support learning. Here’s some of what we’re hearing: use the power of social learning; show your work; give performance support; leverage internet resources; design “courses” only as a last resort.

All of this is good advice, but workable only if underlying assumptions are true. And one of the underlying assumptions here is that people are ready to engage with these kinds of learning strategies if we will just get out of the way. Some people surely are. But many are not, and they need something more from us.

Ryan Tracey, in a blog post a few months ago, called out this “inconvenient truth” by saying, “they are not like us.” His point was that we know from our experience that many employees do not participate in these new venues; they are not exporing MOOCs, building a network on Twitter, or developing their internet search skills. Many don’t have the time or inclination; some prefer formal training; but many more are just not quite sure how to engage this way.

The 2014 learning culture study* from the Corporate Executive Board’s Learning & Development arm underscores the issue with the provocative finding that only 20% of employees are effective learners. So just getting employees to participate in new venues isn’t enough; we need to help them engage effectively.

CEB recommends that learning leaders focus on creating a productive learning culture, and their advice dovetails quite nicely with the learning environment design framework that I have been advocating. Among their conclusions, CEB researchers suggest that L&D should focus on narrowing the resources available to the most relevant few (curate), building learning capability, and promoting a supportive environment in which people share and help one another to learn.

L&D professionals too often feel on the sidelines when it comes to fostering a learning culture. “Culture” is a tough nut to crack, strongly influenced by long history and difficult to counter if a shift in culture is needed.

But I would submit that designers and learning leaders already have in their skill sets the raw tools needed to build the learning capability necessary for a strong learning culture. The key is to turn our talents taward quietly helping people in our organizations to learn new ways to learn – to develop personal learning habits that may not have been a part of their education or learning strategies to this point.

Here are six tools we can turn to the task of developing leanring culture:

Curation – Studies have shown that too much choice often leads to frustration and decision paralysis. We can help to point out the best resources for our learners.

Contextualization – If the relevance and usefulness of resources isn’t obvious, we can help to show the way by providing additional background and advice along with links.

Relationship-building – We can work to ensure that formal training efforts build employees’ developmental networks at the same time. Helping learners to connect with experts, with like-minded peers, and with others who can support their growth and development is one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

Scaffolding – We can help people learn to use tools by scaffolding the learning process both within formal events and beyond. We’ve been doing this with blended solutions for years; we can take it to the next level by consistently walking people through a learning process that includes accessing resources, learning, reflection, practice, feedback, and more.

Mapping – Even with good curation, learners often need a lttle guidance in organizing a developmental plan. We can apply our skill at sequencing to give simple direction on which resouces and activities to tackle first and how to effectively build knowledge and skill over time.

Assembling – As a final contribution, we can make resources and activities accessible in a visually pleasing and intuitively useful portal. That way, employees aren’t spending so much time wading through a mess of links and files.

Lest you think that your design skills will be going to waste in 21st century learning cultures, rest assured that they are more valuable than ever. In our history as a field of practice, L&D professionals have learned quite a bit about how to support learning, and this knowledge can be applied to support our learners in new ways.

If you find these ideas intriguing, you may be interested in reading more about Learning Environment Design, or in attending my online Learning Ecosystems course, coming up in the Guild Academy beginning September 9. Or plan to attend the blended version of the course in advance of the Learning Solutions conference in Orlando in March of 2015.

* You can access information about the 2014 Corporate Executive Board study by downloading the 3Q Learning Quarterly, or checking out these blog posts:
> Three Shifts Every Company Should Make to Shape its Learning Culture
> More Learning Through Less Learning: Reframing Learning Culture.
Of course, if you are lucky enough to have CEB membership, you can get a copy of the entire study.

 

This post is the first in an occasional series in which I will share my book recommendations on a variety of topics. Stephen King has said, “when you stack up the years we are allowed against all there is to read, time is very short indeed.” In these Bibliophile’s Bookshelf posts, I’ll be offering a short list of books for people with limited time – books that I think get to the heart of the matter and offer great advice. Enjoy!

ON CONSULTING

The role of a consultant varies widely, and the competencies necessary to be effective also constitute a long list. Learning to be an effective consultant requires gaining expertise, strategizing a process that works, becoming skilled at data gathering and analysis,  developing a wide range of communication and influence skills, and more. Of course, having one’s own consulting practice requires yet another set of skills in business development and marketing – but that’s a subject for another post. For now, here are my picks for consulting books to have on your bookshelf, whether physical or virtual.


Consulting in Uncertainty: The power of inquiry
Ann K. Brooks and Kathy Edwards
Routledge, 2014.  On Amazon here.

This book takes a unique – and thoroughly modern – look at consulting as an action learning project instead of as an advice-giving enterprise. Brooks and Edwards suggest that the best outcomes will come from a collaboration between consultants and clients with each bringing their areas of expertise to the table and engaging together to define questions and seek answers. They also advocate experimentation along the way – testing theories and validating approaches before going all-in on a particular response to an organizational opportunity or issue. Consulting in Uncertainty is a small book, but it covers all the bases: a consulting model (the inquiry model), methods, needed skills, and consulting challenges.

“Consulting as inquiry assumes that (a) consulting must be outcome oriented rather than problem oriented; (b) consulting must be focused on the co-creation of new knowledge rather than expert knowledge; (c) consulting and client relationships are personal rather than just professional; and (d) dynamic rather than static knowledge is needed in a diverse and uncertain world.”

~ Ann K. Brooks and Kathy Edwards, Consulting in Uncertainty


The Trusted Advisor
David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford
Touchstone, 2000.  On Amazon here.

And:
The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A comprehensive toolkit for leading with trust
Charles H. Green and Andrea P. Howe
John Wiley & Sons, 2012.  On Amazon here.

The Trusted Advisor provides practical advice on building trusting relationships with clients – the kinds of relationships in which you can truly be a valued collaborator, sought-after advisor, and business partner. Maister, Green and Galford do a great job laying out different levels of relationships (service-based, needs-based, relationship-based, and trust-based) and readers can imagine when each level might be appropriate. If you want to reach the trusted advisor level, the book offers a trust equation and a trust development process that provide guidance on how to engage with clients to build deeper relationships. There is also plenty of advice on practical skills. The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook supplements these ideas with helpful checklists and spotlights on specific aspects of consulting engagements (e.g. pitching ideas, managing risk, communicating at the C-suite level).

“While outstanding technical competence (or content) is a nonnegotiable, essential ingredient for success, it is not sufficient. Trust is a lot richer than logic alone, and it is a significant component of success.”

~ Charles H. Green and Andrea P. Howe, The Trusted Advisor


Consulting on the Inside: A practical guide for internal consultants
Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes
ASTD, 2011 (2nd Edition).  On Amazon here.

Many people who work in learning and development roles are employees of the organizations they support – that is, they consult from the inside. Scott and Barnes’ book speaks to the dynamics of that particular role, and readers will recognize the joys and the challenges inherent therein. This book offers a take on the consulting process that is more traditional, although Scott and Barnes take pains to point out that it is an iterative and complex one. There is solid advice on all of the typical process activities – contracting, gathering data and giving clients feedback, strategizing change, implementing, and evaluating. You’ll also find several chapters dedicated to exploring the skills needed to be effective. In addition, Consulting on the Inside is very readable, with many sidebars, bulleted lists, and summaries.

“Becoming a master consultant is the result of a long journey. No matter how well educated or intelligent you may be, mastery is not given, but rather earned through courageous action, thoughtful reflection, and the discipline of learning from both success and failure.”

~ Beverly Scott and Kim Barnes, Consulting on the Inside


Additional books on the topic of consulting abound, and I welcome suggestions as to your favorites if you want to comment below. Nearby on the same bookshelf are books on consulting as a business, performance consulting, and assessing needs. But those are posts for another day.

I read some really interesting work from one of my favorite authors over the weekend. Brandon Sanderson, who writes amazing fantasy novels and stories, just published an anthology with three colleagues that demonstrates how they supported one another in developing a set of short stories. The book is called  Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology, and in addition to the final piece, the anthology contains transcripts from brainstorming and critique sessions as well as “track changes” documents that show the differences between the first draft and final version.

From what I’ve seen, many novelists have strong writing groups that they rely on as first readers and candid critics for draft material; the writing groups point out flaws and help authors think through writers block. They help each other to learn the craft. Brandon Sanderson has said that he has a reliable group of fellow authors and prime readers who know his writing, his characters, and his complex world-building as well as he does, and they help him shape his work. The involvement of this group doesn’t diminish Brandon’s brilliance, or make his novels co-authored works.

Reading Shadows Beneath got me wishing intently that we did more of that kind of workshopping in our own field. Even in organizations that have large learning and development teams, I haven’t often heard of practices that include regular sharing of works-in-progress. And it can be very difficult to get deep reviews and critiques when you are relatively independent in your work.

The idea of workshopping our work is in alignment with the “working out loud” mantra (see Jane Bozarth’s Show Your Work) and advice offered by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace in Creativity, Inc. (longer discussions of each forthcoming).

Working out loud (often by posting about projects in social venues) gives others the opportunity to support our work and opens the door to collaboration on areas of mutual interest. Just as importantly, it exposes the thought process – the why of work – so that others may learn from (or influence) that as well.

In Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull shares the “brain trust” practice at Pixar where emerging material is screened and discussed at length, often dramatically changing films from original concept to final project. These discussions are not seen as “slowing down” the process or as interfering with a director’s creative vision, but they are largely responsible for the exceptional quality and innovation of Pixar’s products.

The value of this kind of critique is well-known. Back in 1987, Donald Schon advocated for a practicum approach to teaching professional practice in Educating the Reflective Practitioner:

“Perhaps, then, learning all forms of professional artistry depends, at least in part, on conditions similar to those created in the studios and conservatories: freedom to learn by doing in a setting relatively low in risk, with access to coaches who initiate students into the “traditions of the calling” and help them, by “the right kind of telling” to see on their own behalf and in their own way what they need most to see” (p. 17).

Schon’s advice might be directed at those who teach graduate programs in our field, but Ed Catmull shows us that the same kind of environment can be created in the workplace. In truth, we need both – our graduate programs often need more embedded practice and critique, and our workplaces need to have safe avenues for collaborative creative discussions.

While we might agree a workshopping process would be beneficial, there are actually a lot of headwinds. Most professionals in our field are rewarded for their individual efforts, and are working in environments characterized by tight deadlines and scant resources. Graduate courses educate people with a wide range of backgrounds and practice areas in the same course, so defining projects and scoping them within the confines of a term can be tricky.

I can see the barriers that need to be overcome in my own work… the fact that I have a solo consulting practice, the particulars around some of my course design work, and the time constraints I am under (and that potential collaborators are under as well).

Nonetheless, it’s worth considering how we might workshop our designs and our writings more often and more thoroughly. The practice would support the development of professionals in our field , improve the quality of our outcomes, and accelerate adoption of new techniques and tools. I’d love to hear how you find ways to workshop your work.

We can do more, I think, to help each other learn our craft.

 

 

The last set of readings in my emerging technology class was on the “maker movement.” The Horizon Report subtitled that as “shift from students and consumers to students as creators.” Those of us in learning and development are usually appreciative of ways to engender active, hands-on learning, so “making” is a trend we should watch.

Online, we had a lot of discussion about whether people who created intellectual products (e.g. writing, plans, designs) were included as “makers,” and we discussed whether we had to see “making” as usually about new ways to make money. I liked Hagel, Brown & Kulasooriya’s definition of maker as “someone who derives identity and meaning from the act of creation.” I can tell you that I certainly feel that way about all the slide decks I create!

There is a lot of interesting material on this trend – enjoy these readings.  And please share other references if you like.

If you’ve been following along, this post is the final one in a series which reading lists for the overview of emerging technologies, social media, MOOCs, and learning analytics. Thanks for following along.

Introduction

When you first start looking into the “maker movement,” you might think that it is especially important for modern day entrepreneurs and not necessarily of interest to corporate learning and development strategists. But the movement at its core is about the freedom to create, and from a learning perspective, the depths of learning that comes out of that creation.  (See the Maker Manifesto, under recommended readings, and notice that making, learning, and playing go hand-in-hand.)

There is a lot of discussion about “making” in the education arena, and it will, I think, eventually come to the T&D space as well. Corporations already try to encourage innovation by giving employees a chunk of time to do their own projects – they know that the employees will come up with great ideas that the company might never have developed otherwise.

The constructivist and constructionist learning theories would strongly endorse this approach, and some of your readings dig into those theories a bit more deeply. I would encourage you to pull out your adult learning texts and remind yourself of constructivist theories as a way of understanding how learners as creators makes a great deal of sense.

In T&D, we should look at how making can be an important learning and teaching technique – and consider what hands-on projects might really help our learners to more fully understand key concepts and approaches. Some of our existing techniques, like problem-based-learning, action learning, and other “hands on” strategies fall in alignment with the spirit of “making” I think. But I’ll be interested to hear how you see it.

Required

A Movement in the Making. By John Hagel, John Seely Brown, & Deleesha Kulasooriya. (Deloitte University Press, 2014)

What Is the Maker Movement and Why Should You Care? By Brit Morin (Huffington Post, May 2, 2013)

What’s the Maker Movement and Why Should I Care? By Gary Stager (Scholastic Web Site, Winter 2014)

The Maker Movement and the Rebirth of Constructionism. By Jonan Donaldson. (Hybrid Pedagogy, January 23, 2014)

How the Maker Movement is Transforming Education. By Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager. (We Are Teachers web site, nd).  See also the links provided to the left of the article.

Recommended

What We’re Reading.  (Making Things Happen, Agency by Design project, Harvard Graduate School of Education)  This post lists quick reviews of a variety of books on the subject of “making” – great for bibliophiles! The Agency by Design web site is worth exploring.

The Maker Movement Manifesto. (Sample chapter PDF available here) By Mark Hatch.

A Defense of Constructionism: Philosophy as conceptual engineering. By Luciano Flroidi (Metaphilosophy, 2011) Available through Penn State’s databases – Wiley Online Journal Library.

Mapping Digital Makers: A review exploring everyday creativity, learning lives and the digital. (PDF) By Julian Sefton-Green

Learning Creative Learning (MOOC-like course). By MIT Media Lab and P2PU, supported by the MacArthur Foundation. March-May 2014, materials still available.

 

This is the fourth in my series of posts sharing the reading list from my summer emerging technologies course. So far, I’ve posted the overview, social media readings, and MOOC readings - and up this time is BIG DATA.

The conversation online focused quite a bit on privacy issues, and students were surprised about how much data is already collected and how it is being used. We didn’t reach any conclusions, of course, but several of the students have chosen topics for the final white paper, and I’ll be interested in seeing what they have to say in that context.

Enjoy these links, and feel free to share additional ones if you have recommendations.

Introduction

Evaluation has always been an important part of the process in training and development; the ubiquitous Kirkpatrick model was proposed in the 1950s. Many training and development organizations, however, have a difficult time identifying, capturing, analyzing, and acting on the kind of data that can measure outcomes and prove value.

Enter big data. In the last several years, the business world has been clamoring for the power of “big data” – the practice of analyzing huge data sets and mining them for information about customers, human behaviors, correlations, and other valuable insights. HR and training and development organizations have been responding to this trend by thinking about the ways we might use big data to provide insights on learning and performance. Educators at all levels (K-12 through university) are analyzing data to discover ways to improve outcomes as well.

While some analytics have been spectacularly successful (notably in sports and politics), talent data is just beginning to get attention, and the industry is sorting out possibilities. The readings this week will give you both an introduction to key concepts related to “big data” and an overview of where the training and development industry may be heading.

Required

Big Data in Corporate Training and Development / Talent Management

The Age of Big Data: A progress report for organizations and HR (preview edition). (PDF)  (i4cp, 2013) here

Talent analytics in practice: Go from talking to delivering on big data. By Josh Bersin, John Houston & Boy Kester. (Deloitte University Press, March 2014)

Introduction to Talent Data Reporting (PDF). By Dave Vance and Peggy Parskey (Center for Talent Reporting, 2012)

The Growth of Learning Analytics: Five identifiable stages of learning analytics in the learning reporting market. By Stacey Harris and David Grebow, Brandon Hall Group. (Training, August 2013)

New Learning Analytics for a New Workplace. By Reuben Tozman. (T+D, February 2012)

Big Data in the Education Sector

Improving the Quality and Productivity of the Higher Education Sector: Policy and Strategy for Systems-Level Deployment of Learning Analytics. (PDF) By George Siemens, Shane Dawson, and Grace Lynch. (Society for Learning Analytics Research, December 2013)

The Rise of Big Data in Higher Education. Webinar by Louis Soures. (EDUCAUSE, 2012) Summary available.

inBloom to Shut Down Amid Growing Data-Privacy Concerns. By Benjamin Herold (Digital Education, April 2014)

The Future of Ed-Tech is a Reclamation Project. By Audrey Watters (Keynote at the Alberta Digital Learning Forum May, 2014)

Recommended

Big Learning Data. Edited by Elliott Masie.  (ASTD & The Maise Center, 2014) – this is a short book that does a terrific job giving an overview for training and development professionals, and it contains a number of case studies. Highly Recommended.  On Amazon here.

Big Data: Seizing opportunities, preserving values. (PDF) (web site)  A report from the office of the President of the U.S. (Executive Office of the President, May, 2014)

From invisible to visible . . . to measurable: Social analytics extends enterprise performance improvement. By Eric Openshaw, John Hagel & John Seely Brown. (Deloitte University Press, March 2014)

8 Realities Learning Professionals Need to Know About Analytics. By Ellen Wagner. (T+D, August 2012) ASTD members can view online here.

What’s the Big Deal About Big Data? By Gail Dutton. (Training, Mar/Apr 2014)

The Role and Function of a Learning Analytics Leader (PDF). White paper by Knowledge Advisors (2013)

Web Sites

Center for Talent Reporting

Society for Learning Analytics Research

The Journal of Learning Analytics

IBM’s Big Data web pages (the conversations page has links to a number of articles and reports)

McKinsey & Company’s Big Data and Advanced Analytics web pages.

 

I’ve been sharing the reading list from my Emerging Technologies course. So far, you’ve seen the overview and the social media lists. Here’s the reading list about MOOCs, which was our next topic of conversation. The students debated the relative merits of xMOOCs and cMOOCs and the “vote” at the end of the week favored the cMOOC variety, primarily because the students felt there was more opportunity for interaction.  Here’s the (very long) list that got us started.  Enjoy!

Required

Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility  (PDF). By Sir John Daniel (Journal of Interactive Media and Education, 2012) – solid review of xMOOCs, without much attention to cMOOCs (see Stephen Downes critique in comments here).

The MOOC Model for Digital Practice (PDF). By Alexander McAuley, Bonnie Stewart, George Siemens and Dave Cormier (2010) – long article; read the executive summary and skim other parts.

MOOCs: Expectations and Reality. (PDF) By Fiona M. Hollands and Devayani Tirthali. (Columbia University, 2014)) – Read executive summary, Introduction, and Conclusions and Recommendations.

The Scoop on MOOCs. By Catherine Lombardozzi (4 Your Development, 2013) – this brief describes the important distinctions between cMOOCs and xMOOCs.

What is and what is not a MOOC: A picture of family resemblance (working undefinition) #moocmooc. By Dominik Lukeš (blog post, August 2012)

xMOOC Communities Should Learn from cMOOCs. By Michael Caulfied (Educause blog, July 2013)

Multiple pathways: Blending xMOOCs & cMOOCs. By George Seimens (Blog post, May 2014)

RE: Corporate MOOCs (or why those of you in corporate T&D should care about an academic phenomenon)

How MOOCs Will Revolutionize Corporate Learning and Development. By Jeanne Meister. (Forbes, August 2013)

Putting MOOCs to Work. By Josh Bersin and Todd Tauber (Slideshare. December 2013)

10 big reasons for rise of corporate MOOCs. By Donald Clark. (Blog post, December 2013)

 

Recommended

What is a MOOC?

Terrific “explainer” videos by Dave Cormier:
What is a MOOC?
Success in a MOOC
Knowledge in a MOOC

Theoretical Base

A pedagogy of abundance. (PDF) By Martin Weller (Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 2011).

Rhizomatic Learning by Dave Cormier (2012) – video recommended!      Rhizomatic Education : Community as Curriculum by Dave Cormier (From Innovate – Journal of Online Education 2008)      Rhizomatic Learning – Why we teach? By Dave Cromier (blog, 2011)      See also materials from Dave’s 2014 P2PU open course, Rhizomatic Learning – The community is the curriculum

What is the theory that underpins our moocs? (connectivist) By George Siemens (blog post, June 2012)

On the “blogosphere” (primarily about xMOOC phenomenon)

What is a MOOC? By Cathy Davidson (HASTAC Blog, August 2012)

If We Profs Don’t Reform Higher Ed, We’ll Be Re-Formed (and we won’t like it). By Cathy Davidson, HASTAC Blog, January 2013)

If MOOCs are the answer, then what is the question? By Cathy Davidson (HASTAC Blog, Februarly 2013)

Let Them Eat MOOCs. By Gianpiero Petriglieri (HBR Blog Network, October 2013)

Some things MOOCs are good for. By Dave Cormier (Blog post, October 2013)

The Spectrum of Opinion About MOOCs – A MOOC Round-Up by Doug Holton as of November 2013

Also Recommended

Open Univerisity’s course on Open Education (free standing content). Materials found here.

Educause coverage of MOOCs: Search results here.

Chronicle of Higher Education coverage of MOOCs. Search results here.

MOOC News and Reviews online magazine

MOOC Platforms

MITx:  http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mitx-related-courseware/

EdX:  https://www.edx.org/

Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/

Udacity: https://www.udacity.com/

P2PU: https://p2pu.org/en/

Intrepid Agile Corporate MOOC product: http://intrepidlearning.com/what-we-do/learning-technology/corporate-mooc/

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