Thursday, February 08, 2007

What Can a Learning Programme Do For You?

Imagine that you were going to develop a new Learning Programme for your organization - what would be its purpose? What features would it have? Who would it target and what would it like to help them achieve? (Is it all about Them or is it all about Us? Or maybe we want to learn together?)

Learning needs to be owned by the individual or the organization (which in fact is made up of individuals.) It is the people side of knowledge and education. It is through the learner's lens and experience that knowledge becomes useful or not. If you consider yourself a knowledge producer, and want to change the world, how can you find out more about what learners want and need in order to do things differently? And how can you find out more about their learning preferences - the ways they like to learn?

There is a fundamental transaction between knowledge and action that is all about learning. We know that it is not enough to get the information out there to see change in the world. The knowledge exists in libraries, universities, and the minds of our great thinkers. However, the path between the sources of knowledge and information, and the people who need to use it to do something differently, is an interesting process to explore. How do people gain understanding that helps them modify their attitudes and behaviours?

Whether this is learning within an institution, or between an institution and its chosen constituency, this is what a Learning Programme can contribute - the people side of knowledge. The side of the transaction that puts knowledge to work.