Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, and Peer-Driven Learning

Through an Infoblog posting late last week, we explored ways that effective learning could be integrated into a learner’s workplace. Seattle-based NetSpeed Learning Solutions continued the journey this morning through a “Web 2.0, Learning 2.0 and the Emergence of Peer-Driven Learning” webcast, adding yet another voice to the growing group of trainer-teacher-learners who are moving toward blended learning models which produce measurable results.
What we are seeing here is a combination of onsite workshops, online follow-ups, and employees and supervisors trained to work collaboratively in establishing cohesive and effective learning environments with formal and informal components. This continual-learning model is becoming increasingly familiar to those of us who are looking beyond library training programs to see what our colleagues in the commercial and nonprofit sectors are doing. Examples include leadership training sessions with pre- and post-workshop activities including those offered by Fort Hill Company (Wilmington, Delaware) and a move toward making learners rather than classrooms and instructors the center of the learning process.
NetSpeed Founder Cynthia Clay moved right into these topics during her webcast by summarizing changes in how training is presented. “Learning 1.0,” she suggested, was based on a “one-to-one apprentice model” or a “one-to-many” system whereby trainers trained and learners learned. “Learning 1.5” moved us into a world where training reaches students in multiple locations through webcasts, webinars, and other online courses. “Learning 2.0,” she said, involves abundant learner-to-learner connections and goes hand-in-hand with the Web 2.0 world of social connections established online.
Procedures established through NetSpeed’s leadership and customer-service projects are being incorporated into the company’s latest offerings. They include classroom instruction combined with “electronic reinforcement”: online resources including electronic magazines with case studies, role-model interviews, learner-to-learner blogs—libraries saw this through Helene Blowers 23 Things/Learning 2.0 project at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, where learners tracked their progress through in-house blogs—and “other features crafted to reinforce the face-to-face training.” Web-based tools which help participants to create and use their own workplace action plans are the natural next step in the process. The final component includes tracking and measurement to document the impact the training has in the workplace.
“About a year and a half ago, I got really interested in Web 2.0 and how it affects training,” Clay said in a brief conversation we had after the webcast ended. “I think more and more people have embraced the idea that you need blended learning; more and more organizations accept that.”
And more and more trainers, along with library administrators, appear to be looking for ways to use these ideas and tools to the benefit of employees, organizations, and the customers they serve.