Friday, July 4, 2008

Training Scenario ... Possibility?

Carrying on from the previous post, i am trying to build up a training scenario which leverages the emerging un-book concept, and social computing. First question ... why? This question gets more or less answered in the last post i have written. Instead of a static handout (even more of an issue if you are doing technology training), the training material could be something which could offer the following benefits:

1. The training material is up-to-date. As people contribute to blogs and wikis (which could be maintained by a training organization, though preferably not!), there is content which is getting generated every day. This means that the latest thought processes on the topic are incorporated into the content.

2. The training material reflects all opinions. Usually, training material is written by one or two people, and reflects the ideas, thoughts, and opinions of these people. This is one of the things which restricts learning to only the specific things which are covered in the training material. Whereas with the un-book concept, the blogs and wikis students could refer to, are actually representative of a large cross-section of viewpoints.

The scenario could work out something like this ...

When a student enrolls for a training program, the training team could email them a set of intro blogs. Links to these blogs, along with their ratings, and comments from previous students could be maintained as part of a wiki page, which could serve as an aggregator for contents on a particular topic, and could be maintained by the training team itself. The training team could also recommend the students to read the "Intro blogs" (these could be blogs which are classified based on user or training team tagging, as being introductory in nature). These recommendations could also come from the faculty who is conducting the training. This ensures that some amount of background resources are available to students before they come to the training.

During the training, there could be a set of blogs, "Training Material" (which represent the thoughts of a number of folks on the topic being taught), though in the interest of brevity, the list of blogs could be pre-selected by the faculty, or identified by the training team. I would recommend this, otherwise, a plethora of resources being available would only tend to confuse students.

What is most important (and this is an issue which most training organizations face), is that these resources are available to students even once they are through with the training, and back to their day-to-day jobs. This would enable the training team to provide resources to students which would enable them to engage with the topic taught in the training, even post-training. And, maybe ... just maybe ... one or two of the students from each batch might start writing their own blog on the topic, and this would only add to the resources which are available to subsequent resources.

I have tried to create a rough model of how the training organization could leverage social computing to deliver training in the organizational context. This might not work too well outside the organizational context (havent thought this through, to be honest), but could be worth a thought, at least?

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