Learning 3.0

I am considering ways to make learning in libraries more meaningful.


The Serious e-Learning Manifesto published in March 2014 sparks both thought and action. It is the brainchild of Michael Allen, Julie Dirksen, Clark Quinn, and Will Thalheimer, national e-learning gurus. One truth discussed in the manifesto is that most e-learning fails to live up to its promise.

There are 22 principles in the Manifesto and the question is, where are we in relation to them?

Principles that I am most comfortable with are:

  1. Do Not Assume that Learning is the Solution. We do not assume that a learning intervention is always the best means to helping people perform better.
  2. Do Not Assume that e-Learning is the Answer. When learning is required, we do not assume that e-learning is the only (or the best) solution.
  3. Enlist Authentic Contexts. We will provide learners with sufficient experience in making decisions in authentic contexts.
  4. Provide Guidance and Feedback. We will provide learners with guidance and feedback to correct their misconceptions, reinforce their comprehension, and build effective performance skills.
  5. Provide Realistic Consequences. When providing performance feedback during learning, we will provide learners with a sense of the real-world consequences.
  6. Diagnose Root Causes. When given training requests, we will determine whether training is likely to produce benefits and whether other factors should be targeted for improvement. We will also endeavor to be proactive in assessing organizational performance factors–not waiting for requests from organizational stakeholders.
  7. Iterate in Design, Development, and Deployment. We won’t assume that our first pass is right, but we will evaluate and refine until we have achieved our design goals.
  8. Use Rich Examples and Counterexamples. We will present examples and counterexamples, together with the underlying thinking.
  9. Enable Learners to Learn from Mistakes. Failure is an option. We will, where appropriate, let learners make mistakes so they can learn from them. In addition, where appropriate, we will model mistake-making and mistake-fixing.
  10. Respect Learners. We will acknowledge and leverage the knowledge and skills learners bring to the learning environment through their past experience and individual contexts

Principles that I must further develop are:

  1. Target Improved Performance. We will help our learners achieve performance excellence; enabling them to have improved abilities, skills, confidence, and readiness to perform.
  2. Provide Realistic Practice. We will provide learners sufficient levels of realistic practice; for example, simulations, scenario-based decision making, case-based evaluations, and authentic exercises.
  3. Provide Realistic Consequences. When providing performance feedback during learning, we will provide learners with a sense of the real-world consequences.
  4. Adapt to Learner Needs. We can and should utilize e-learning’s capability to create learning environments that are flexible or adaptive to learner needs.
  5. Motivate Meaningful Involvement. We will provide learners with learning experiences that are relevant to their current goals and/or that motivate them to engage deeply in the process of learning.
  6. Aim for Long-term Impact. We will create learning experiences that have long-term impact–well beyond the end of instructional events–to times when the learning is needed for performance.
  7. Use Interactivity to Prompt Deep Engagement. We will use e-learning’s unique interactive capabilities to support reflection, application, rehearsal, elaboration, contextualization, debate, evaluation, synthesization, et cetera—not just in navigation, page turning, rollovers, and information search.
  8. Provide Support for Post-Training Follow-Through. We will support instruction with the appropriate mix of after-training follow-through, providing learning events that: reinforce key learning points, marshal supervisory and management support for learning application, and create mechanisms that enable further on-the-job learning.
  9. Use Performance Support. We will consider providing job aids, checklists, wizards, sidekicks, planners, and other performance support tools in addition to–and as a potential replacement for–standard e-learning interactions.
  10. Measure Effectiveness. Good learning cannot be assured without measurement, which includes the following:
    1. Measure Outcomes. Ideally, we will measure whether the learning has led to benefits for the individual and/or the organization.
    2. Measure Actual Performance Results. Ideally, an appropriate time after the learning (for example, two to six weeks later), we will measure whether the learner has applied the learning, the level of success, the success factors and obstacles encountered, and the level of supervisor support where warranted.
    3. Measure Learning Comprehension and Decision Making During Learning. At a minimum, during the learning, we will measure both learner comprehension and decision-making ability. Ideally, we would also measure these at least a week after the learning.
    4. Measure Meaningful Learner Perceptions. When we measure learners’ perceptions, we will measure their perceptions of the following: their ability to apply what they’ve learned, their level of motivation, and the support they will receive in implementing the learning.
  11. Support Performance Preparation. We will prepare learners during the elearning event to be motivated to apply what they’ve learned, inoculated against obstacles, and prepared to deal with specific situations.
  12. Support Learner Understanding with Conceptual Models. We believe that performance should be based upon conceptual models to guide decisions, and that such models should be presented, linked to steps in examples, practiced with, and used in feedback.

It feels that I am getting some realistic ideas that can springboard library learning in Utah.

Published by

Colleen Eggett

Colleen Eggett is the Library Resources Program Manager for the Utah State Library in Salt Lake City UT.