Tag Archive for 'social capital'

Some scrapbook thinking on social learning

Last week I was sitting in my backyard garden, enjoying the spring sun. I suddenly felt the inspiration of combining two models that i lately have been using a lot with the framework from my social learning study with Robin Yap.

I was taking notes in a scrapbook and i drawed the two models such as the figure below. The one on the left is model that I’ve come to use a couple of weeks ago that addresses differences in organizations on strategic, tactic and operational level. This is a sort of upstanding pyramid with on the top the value that you want to create, in the middle there are the solutions that you have found to create this value and on the bottom the products that you need for this. The one on the right is a totally different one, it displays the 4 phases from the appreciative inquiry process, a model for facilitating change in organizations. Normally these phases are drawn in a circle, but I’ve now put them in an upside pyramid that tells you that during discovery and dream you can be very broad in your discussion, there is a broad horizon. But the further you come to your destiny, you have to make choices in what you do in order to stay focused in the pursuit of your dreams. Displaying the models like this, i could see that the different levels have some connections in them as well. What you do in the discovery and dream phase is that your values and try to work toward a shared vision of all individual values. In the design phase you create the (boundaries) of the solutions and with the products you are your destiny.

How does this interrelate with the social learning model?

Value (discover & dream):

  • Improve and innovate business
  • creating a culture for learning, with trust as a dominant factor
  • Building the organizations social capital in order to become knowledge productive

Solutions (design):

  • learning in general, networked learning.
  • more specific: building communities of practice
    • profile – connect – share

Products (destiny):

  • community/ social web technology
  • (community) activities
  • tools such as elgg – twitter – blogs – forums – discussions

I’m aware that combining these in such a strict matter is a rather blunt exercise, but it helped me in defining what comes first in the chain. Using the two models helps to see things in a broader perspective and not to get to the tools right away. Ask yourself the value question first. Why are we doing this, what do we think is valuable in our work? What is my passion? How can we relate all this to the goals of the organization as a whole.

Paper accepted for #NLC2010

Yesterday i got the big news:

“I am pleased to inform you that your paper “A model for leveraging social learning technologies in corporate environments”, reference 0053 has been accepted for NLC2010. “

I’m so glad that this paper, which i wrote with Robin Yap, got accepted! It is the first time I will be attending an academic conference after my graduation. In 2007 I presented a working paper as part of my master thesis together with Ida Wognum on the AHRD Int. Conference on HRD Research and Practice across Europe in Oxford, UK. At the time I was used to go to conferences for commercial purposes and I was really attracted by the constructive feedback and atmosphere among all participants in the academic conference. In Oxford I also met Jeffrey Keefer and Robin Yap for the first time, I’m glad we kept in touch online since then.

After my studies (HRD at University of Twente) I kept looking for new possibilities to keep researching aside my job as consultant. In my opinion being a consultant is a highly knowledge intense job. To keep ahead of the competition you need to be able to create new knowledge from patterns of changes you see in the field of expertise and to be able to use that knowledge effectively in your job as a consultant. In else, -to be knowledge productive. In order to be knowledge productive I believe it is important to keep questioning what you see in the world and reflect on that what it means for your work practices. Also, i believe that at times you need to be able to get in “a step further”. Take the time to really study a specific topic and see what the changes mean for practice in relation to the current body of knowledge. So I’m really glad to be having this opportunity now with support from my employer and with the ability to do this research with a great friend who also works from this practice oriented perspective.

The Networked Learning Conference will be held in Aalborg, Denmark at the 3th and 4th of May 2010. It features Etienne Wenger and Yrjö Engeström in the keynotes.

New paper on leveraging social learning technologies

Over the last time, I’ve been working on the startup of a new research project. I’m doing this together with Robin Yap from Toronto, Canada. We’ve met two years ago during an AHRD conference in Oxford and stayed in touch ever since (off course through the use of web technologies).

The research we are working on concerns the issues that we have encountered as (organizational) learning consultants which is the often technology centered focus during implementations of social web technologies. Our aim with this study is to develop a model that could assist in determining how social learning technologies in the workplace can be leveraged to engage, build relationships, and enhance the learning of individuals in corporate environments.

Last week we have finished our first draft of a paper which is submitted as a proposal to the Networked Learning conference in Aalborg next year. From the literature review, we have noticed the importance of trust for leveraging social learning. The model we propose in this paper explores trust as a foundation for the development of social capital in organization and explored how HRD can contribute to that with the use of webtechnologies.

We would appreciate your feedback on this research in progress.

Download the paper: A model for leveraging social learning technologies in corporate environments