This post is the first of the 50 small ideas from my session at Learning Live last week. If you’ve not seen about the session, you may wish to have a read of a summary of the event here before continuing. It’s also definitely worth your time reading from a participant perspective too.
Number 11 of the 50 big ideas seems simple:
Make learning resources entirely visible – literally open all your content to everybody
Easy enough – isn’t it just relinquishing control of all the content that you’ve lovingly acquired and crafted over time, taking your slide decks, your handouts, your courses and sessions and giving them away? How much has that content cost? How much would it cost to replace? What is the going rate for content now?
The group on this task were asked to curate 10 small ideas – their ideas are listed below with my comments. My comments aren’t necessarily right or wrong; they’re just my opinions on the viability, desire, interest, ease of adoption etc. Please also be aware that my comments are a stream of consciousness – I’m looking at this session output for the first time as I write this blog post, as I will each of the following posts about the event.
1. Use the intranet to host (internal only)
This is an interesting one – how popular is your intranet? If your organisation has a culture of intranet-centric communications it may work for you. If not, how many pages are looked at on your intranet and by whom? What you’d need to do is create a desire for people to want to seek out that information.
2. Pay expertise for design rather than for intellectual property
I like this. I wrote previously about the value of content in training courses and this strikes right at the heart of the matter. People want well designed, easy to use, responsive and ‘always on’ content – they get that with Youtube, pinterest, et al so why shouldn’t you put that effort into the design? It begs the question, how much do L&D know about effective design? And if we’re giving away IP aren’t we making value harder to judge?
3. Easy to discover through well designed search engine
When you upload digital content to your current platform, how much time do you spend on thinking about how people will find it? I’m not sure we know how to tag the content effectively to make it easily searchable. Just think Google – how many times would you be willing to key a search term into your intranet to find a resource? I used my son to test mine a few years ago when he was 11 – if he couldn’t find it, why would I expect anyone else to?
4. Open up resources to the outside world (even limited numbers)
When we talk about communities I wonder how often we consider the community outside our organisation. I’m fortunate that, being in the public sector, I’m able to tap into and share resources with the wider population. If you worked in a competitive environment, how easy would this be to do? Would it be sensible business practice? How far do communities of practice influence us in the workplace?
5. Discussion Forums
How this fits into making learning resources entirely visible I’m not sure. Is it people sharing their own resources? Is it about showing people ways to share resources of yours with each other? If you were at the session please let me know.
6. Profile staff
In the workplace I’ve created a place where people can share their skills with others. They state what they’re good at and others can tap into people’s knowledge base. I’m not keen on calling people ‘resources’ in these terms so this may be a useful way for people to catalogue what resource they have and this is about creating a space where they can share.
7. Act like an ‘internal publisher’
This is an interesting one. The term publisher still suggests to me a content creation mindset, it still means the L&D function is responsible for the development, acquisition, graphic design, production, hosting, marketing and distribution. Are we still a content creation function?
8. Open source platform development and content
I like this suggestion; working in a sector with limited resources this suits my collaborative values. What is a challenge for this small idea is that there is a lot of business tied up in traditional technology solutions, so much so that on occasion it feels like the tail is wagging the dog. Would this small idea be suitable for everyone? Probably not. Would it suit some? Most certainly.
9. Define your audience
I was in a conversation the other day where someone was asking the best way to share knowledge. I’m not sure that we can share knowledge in simple terms. We can share information and data but until we understand the context that the person is working in, we can’t know if it is knowledge. Knowing the audience is essential if we are to curate relevant, appropriate and timely resources.
10. Ensure accessibility
In a list of 10 this feels like number 10. It features my most hated business word in it – ensure. How can we make sure content is accessible? What form of accessibility are we looking for here – digital, easy to read, video, legibility, etc. If you were in the session help me out…what does this mean?
So, this is the first 10 that the group produced. Reading Sukh Pabial’s experience of the event he was angry – he felt that the groups didn’t fulfil the brief.
What do you think? Are these relevant small ideas? What would you add and replace? What would be in your top 10 to make resources entirely visible? Let me know in the comments so we can continue the discussion.