As I imagine most of you do, I’m constantly testing and refining my personal theories about how the world works. Recent projects have given me the opportunity to use, and adjust, my Learning Environment Design model, and I’ve updated the slides on the Learning Environment Design page to reflect these changes.
The most important change (and something of an obvious miss in the original model) is the addition of a category to the list of potential components in a learning environment. I added an “In-the-Job Action and Reflection” category to call out the importance of real experience in the whole scheme of things. The category encompasses learning-by-doing, experimenting, and roll-up-your-sleeves collaboration with others as well as the reflection we do to turn that experience into learning. I avoided the “on-the-job” terminology because in my world, OJT is used to describe teaching that happens to occur at the desk, and that’s formal learning in this model.
In-the-job learning is so obvious, you might wonder why it wasn’t in the original model. I was too focused on separating learning from doing, which now seems an odd thing to worry about (Although I haven’t changed my mind about being more concerned about learning (achieving competence) than performance – See Tony Karrer’s recent ruminations on that subject and my comment if you’re interested.) If you’ve studied the model, you’ll also noticed that I removed the descriptions of three “spaces” for learning (learning space, application space, and performance space) – those were just not contributing to the message I wanted to convey.
I’m trying to craft the model so that it can be used to guide the conceptualization of a comprehensive learning space for a role or skill set. It also describes learning writ large, but I’m more interested in helping designers see how they can conceptualize and implement a strategic learning environment to support learning a specific competency. These ideas have been getting some good reaction in my advanced design and constructivist learning environments courses.
At this week’s eLearning Guild seminars in Boston, I’ll be sharing how my organization has been applying similar concepts to tackle the challenge of strategizing informal learning. It’s pretty cool when you take the time to document your theory-in-use and it turns out to be pretty useful! Until I write the book I’ve been considering, you can read more about the model by perusing the LED tag in this blog. You’ll see how my thinking has changed (except, now that I think about it, I’ve removed the previous versions of the model…).
Comments are welcome – they help me to think through ideas.