Sep 21, 2010

(As posted on my Homo Competens blog (with links that got lost in this post)- please adjust your bookmarks, this blog will migrate into the Homo Competens blog.)

A week ago I attended the Meet&Greet of Kluwer. The keynote speaker was Manon Ruijters, and she talked on learning trends, and her research/tool on learning styles. You can find her presentation (in Dutch) here.

I know, I also read the end of the learning styles debate on Donald Clark's blog - even if they would exist, no research shows that designing training for it actually produces better results than just ignoring it alltogether. It doesn't stop learning styles from showing up about everywhere you look.
Manon's styles are not about visual or auditive or whatever channels. It's not about anything that comes to you. Her 5 styles are based on the learning behaviour people have when they face a learning need. She distinguishes (in my own rough translation):

  • the copycat : finds out what worked before, and does that - eg pair them with those who successfully done it. eg managers frequently have this preference
  • participating: collaborative, self-steering groups of professionals. eg healthcare personnel
  • knowledge finding: it's all about knowledge and expertise. eg lawyers, technical professions
  • exercising: and learn from mistakes. eg education
  • exploring: creativity, growth, serendipity . eg consultants

She made the exercise for everyone in the audience, and contrasted the Belgian with the Dutch audience. She also keeps score of typical preferences for groups of a certain profession, or for particular companies. For what it is worth, it's a nice exercise to do.
In my 'Homo Competence' thinking, you need to find out how you learn best. If this is a useful tool for you, use it. If you think styles don't matter, ignore it.

Here is a link if you want to score yourself on these dimensions:

Sep 15, 2010

Presentation given at ICL conference today

Earlier today I talked about and demoed my company's examples of immersive learning (serious games) and social learning at the ICL conference in Hasselt. Here is the slideshow with screenshots.

Sep 14, 2010

Mismatch in what training professionals think and the rest of us think

I attended the Kluwer Meet&Greet event some hours ago in Mechelen. They presented their new Learning Indicator, based on surveys amongst HR professionals and just plain professionals in Belgium. Here are some highlights and my reflections:

  • The smaller the company, the more often a strategy for training lacks. Make sense as the smaller the company, the more any policy document lacks, they don't need it as much. But I do hope even the small ones at least think about what it brings them and how they go about it, policy or strategy document or not.
  • But small or big, this vision often plainly lacks (in 36% of cases)
  • The top priority is mapping the (key) competencies with their training plans. Enabling learning technology is only at place 5 of the priority list. That's a good trend. It should always have been about balancing demand and supply of talent/competencies in your organization, aligned with business objectives.
  • Mismatch: the training department thinks it is doing a better job then the employees rate it
  • Mismatch: employees are far more willing to learn (88%), even outside of work (73%), than training folks assume (54%). The reflection I have with this is: employees will probably not take just any training outside of hours. Yes, I mean you, compliance training! Especially if people want to voluntarily take up training to advance their career, it better be effective and time well spent, and engaging etc. I would like to see a study on what the difference is between the learning people consume outside of work, and the learning during hours (and most often enforced)
  • The dominance of classroom is still standing, and of course e-learning is still on the rise, but also a lot of focus on coaching as a learning activity. Gaming isn't mainstream.

Sep 1, 2010

*as posted on *

It's 'back to school' day today in Belgium, so I'd thought I'd make use of the happy occasion to tell you about my first 'HoCo Concept site'. It is a site based on the principles of the book, and this first one targets learning. It has matured in the corner of my head for about two years now, and I finally found the energy and time to start programming it. Now it's ready enough for the first testers to take a look. Do let me know what you think!

The site is:

PS: If you are still on this blog, please update your reader to . This blog on learning will be integrated in the Homo Competens one on competent people.