Training: The Learning Revolution (Part 1 of 2)

The learning revolution has arrived, and learners are the victors, according to Marc Rosenberg (Beyond E-Learning: Approaches and Technologies to Enhance Organizational Knowledge, Learning and Performance) and Pat McLagan (Change Is Everybody’s Business).
Both consultants, during their ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) webcast on “Future Trends in Training and Development” this week, suggested that learners rather than classrooms and instructors are becoming the center of workplace learning, and this can only work to the benefit of everyone involved in staff development.
The old paradigm, Rosenberg said, had the instructor as the center of all knowledge; assumed that everyone learned the same way; and had the classroom as the place where all knowledge was disseminated by an instructor. The new paradigm, he continued, acknowledges the employee-learner as a knowledge seeker with numerous online and offline resources available. This knowledge seeker directs the learning process by accessing “knowledge repositories” as needed, not just when onsite workshops are offered. These knowledge repositories will (and in many cases already do) include online lessons, webcasts, listservs, and myriad other resources—not much different from what Infopeople already offers through archived lesson plans, archived webcasts, and other resources.
What is happening through the revolution is that training is no longer solely a special event or an interruption in which employees leave their workplace, attend a training, return to the workplace, and repeat the cycle as if there were no visceral connection between the two. Accessing knowledge repositories means that work and learning are intertwined, and training is imbedded directly into the workplace.
The resulting trends include learning which is evolving beyond training, learning becoming more effectively integrated into the workplace (but not completely eliminating the classroom as a place of learning); and learning becoming less “course-centric” and more “knowledge-centric.”
Next: The Learning Revolution and the Inner World of the Learner
(An invitation suggested by a colleague: readers interested in sharing their own experiences in the learning revolution and with workplace knowledge repositories can join the conversation by responding with a comment here on Infoblog. Best training-learning practices may be explored in future postings.)