Remember being a child? Shooting questions at anyone and everyone, nineteen to the dozen? Somewhere along the way of growing up, we let go of these innocent questions and turn into submissive learners under the hierarchical educational system, eventually growing into adults who ask less and depend on ‘training’ by experts to be more productive and/or informed.
These are the very roots of ‘Prescriptive Learning’ or what is called as ‘Learning 1.0’.
A more inclusive model of learning, wherein discussions are encouraged and interactions are more pronounced, but with an inherent expectation that an expert will provide the correct answers, is ‘Learning 2.0’.
Learning 3.0, wherein the learning is no longer defined by experts but is hinged on the concept for ‘sharing’ and ‘self-learning’, is HERE & NOW. Here, learners take the center stage – defining what they want to learn, and instructors turn into facilitators helping them find the answers in their own way.
Figure 1: Defining Learning 3.0(Source: www.learning30.co/why_learning3)
The above figure gives a clearer picture about Learning 3.0. On a closer look, you can see how this model takes the learners back to their childhood, encouraging them to ask questions, share their reasons, debate and find the right answers – it’s self-discovery all over again.
So, how can an LMS play its part in facilitating Learning 3.0? Here are the top 5 tips on utilizing the features of LMSs to be the protagonist of your learning.
Tip #1. Create the Learning Canvas
The learning canvas includes three major roles:
- The Facilitator – anyone who can guide the group towards learning, assist in solving issues that may crop up in between the discussion and maintain the collaboration.
- Asker – anyone who comes up with the point that needs to be discussed, a problem that needs to be solved or any query that becomes the central aspect of the learning session.
- Sharers- a group of people who share experiences, learning around the problems presented.
So, basically an instructor turns into a facilitator, one of the learner turns into the asker and other learners in the group become sharers. The LMS can act as the platform through which these three entities can schedule their discussions, share experiences and learnings, find answers to their questions etc. While ‘Social Learning and Knowledge Collaboration’ tools are at the forefront of enabling this learning canvas, ‘Learner Support’ tools like Ask an Expert, and Chat can be quite assistive too.
Tip #2. Build a Learning Community
An LMS with support for ‘Friending’ i.e. which enables the LMS users to befriend or follow peers and seniors lends itself well to creating a learning community that is the core of Learning 3.0.
Linked to this is another key feature of social networks which enables spontaneous formation of ‘Communities’ around shared interests and concerns. A Learning Management System that gives users the ability to create and participate in such Communities, letting users share their knowledge and expertise with others in their community, is a powerful force that can drive learning in the organization. In the organizational context, knowledge is no longer contained in silos defined by geography, function or domain and can be shared and viewed transparently.
Tip #3. Facilitate Sharing of User Created Content
Sharing is a critical element in the new format of learning. After all, the more you share, the more you learn. Most LMSs allows the learners to upload and share self-generated content, be it short videos, images, or PDFs that can be consumed by be the members of the group, either as a part of the ‘Friending’ concept or ‘Communities’.
Discussion Boards, too, serve as a medium for users to share their opinions and experiences (UGC again!), and for users to interact, ask questions, post queries, get responses and generally share information across the board. This feature usually functions like all standard bulletin board services, allowing users to post topics or respond to existing ones.
Tip #4. Make Social Learning the Norm
Learning 3.0 focuses on community-based learning which is why socio-collaborative tools are a must have if the LMS is to be used. The Askers, the Sharers and even the Facilitators think beyond routine training. Personal development, and learning can be done through Social Learning tools like internal
micro- blogging, Content Sharing and Rating, Live Twitter etc.
Tip #5. Make Learning Accessible Anywhere, and on Any device
Learning 3.0 emphasizes on learning that can take place anywhere. LMS should be in the forefront of making this happen through multi-lingual support, so that learners across the globe can learn together, and being light, responsive enough to deliver learning on any device.
The above 5 tips just scratch the surface of the subject. Learning 3.0 is an entirely new way of ‘learning’. The essence however is in making the learners curious enough to start asking questions (again!).
LMSs are already packed with features that can take learning to the next level; the trick is to utilize the features efficiently. It’s time that learning switched gears. So, create a new learning plan that supports community learning, run pilots to see if it works, make changes if required, and most of all utilize the data in hand, analyze the learning patterns, use LMSs to fill in the gaps by sharing additional videos, or learning materials that the learners can utilize freely, and lead them to the next stage of self-driven learning.