Last week I blogged on future online courses in the Diplomatic Academy – The brave new world of online courses – and shared the link in two ways: “externally” via a few tweets, and “internally” in my organisation via the intranet (FCO PeopleFinder).
This was a very small-scale experiment in “working out loud”. I picked a subject which I thought was specific enough to interest FCO colleagues around the world, and general enough to interest other L&D professionals. It is also a subject which is genuinely “live” – ie the pilot is about to be designed. I posed three questions. Would I get any answers or comments? If so, would they be useful?
Well, yes on both counts:
- I got seven comments on WordPress. Most of these were “internal” from FCO L&D colleagues (in Brussels, Canberra and London). But one was external, from David Goddin.
- I had Twitter exchanges with several “external” people – Sukh Pabial, Liam Moore, John Fitzpatrick. John works with the Government Digital Service. I know all three.
- I also had a couple of very useful comments on FCO PeopleFinder from Shane Dillon, whom I don’t know.
So quality rather than quantity, and only a limited exchange of ideas between the “internal” and “external” worlds, but just in the space of some short comments on a 450-word blog I got:
- challenge (have we done market research? how well do we know our learners?)
- creative ideas (action learning and action research, community managers)
- reflection, examples and stories (personal experience of MOOCs, a bonded group)
- further questions (how do we ensure diversity in closed groups?)
- support (just by acknowledging my existence!)
- an introduction to a new contact at GDS
- links to some interesting resources
- a new blog to follow
- wider sharing by others (through retweeting, adding a hashtag)
When I added this all up, I was surprised. That’s real value from a quick blog. I’m encouraged to keep going.
I’ll use Working Out Loud #wol as a category on this blog. (I remember an #ldinsight conversation where some people challenged #wol as another faddy thing – but it’s OK – I’m just using it as shorthand for “reflecting on work challenges in public”.)
So a big THANK YOU to all who commented and contributed. I’ll keep you up to date on progress.. and bring all your comments together in a new post on online courses.