Visioning a Learning Process and System

Learning Process and VisionI think about learning.  A lot. I look at learning as a process.  I think about the system that is needed to be in place to make learning happen.  The sketchnote is my attempt to visualize how I am currently thinking about learning. (Yes, I drew it.)

All the pieces of the vision exist not a holistic system.  Let me explain.  I look at the process and system in three main areas: content, system and data.

Nos. 1 and 2 are about content.
Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 are about the system.
Nos. 7, 8, 9 about data.

CONTENT 1, 2
1. Creating content for all devices
People have access to desktops, laptops, smartphones tablets or feature phones.  Although we know how fast the use of smartphones is growing, the majority of people that we work with and need the most access to information have feature phones.  As we develop learning materials and adapt print and face to face materials, we have to adapt them to use on multiple devices.  It is a tremendous amount of work, but if we want to reach the greatest population at this point in time, we have to do that.

Content is developed and adapted for different devices and then…

2. Loading content onto the system
Learning platforms to disseminate materials exist for each device. But is there one system that connects all of them?  If you are working with the same group that have different devices, wouldn’t it be great to load the content and disseminate the course to everyone even if they are accessing it on different devices?

Content is loaded onto a Learning Management System and then…

SYSTEM 3, 4, 5, 6
A system is needed to manage the content and track learnings.  It is what a Learning Management System (LMS) does.  I am calling it a LMS  because it is common terminology.  It may be another type of system.  It doesn’t really matter what it is called.

3. Accessing the content
The content is disseminated through one platform.  Learners receive the content and access activities through the different devices as described in No. 1.

The learner accesses and does activities and then…

4. Tracking the learner
We want to capture the experiences of the learner for a number of reasons. We first want to see how people are doing, if people are doing anything, where there are stumbling blocks, where people need help.  Second, on the learners’ side people love to see what they got right.  Third, everyone else besides the educators and learners these days wants to track learning.

How do you track if learning is happening? An assessment, yes.   It can also be in gathering information, interacting on social media, watching a video, achieving milestones in games and simulations, performed work tasks and outputs, participating.  Tracking these experiences that are part of learning adds more value in looking at how learning is taking place.

The system has the capability of tracking learning experiences and then…

5.  Storing learner’s experiences: Learning Record Store
The learner performed an action.  “I did this.”  An event took place.  These events can be as simple as “accessed a resource”, “watched a movie”, “played a game”, “passed a test” or “visited a location”.   These actions are collected into a Learning Record Store (LRS).  A LRS is essentially a database where each learner’s experiences.  It provides an overview about what and how people have developed their knowledge, skills and competences.

The system captures and stores the learning experiences and then…

6. Awarding open badges
Once the learner completes the course, the LMS has a record of completing the course. Certificates are important.  We know that. What can digitally represent those pieces of paper?  They are called open badges.  They recognize the skills, knowledge and competencies that the learner has achieved.

Badge has been issued, then…

Data
7.  Interacting with other health data systems
We now would like to tell other health systems that the health worker has received a badge for meeting certain competencies or other job-related tasks that they have done.  It can be the national association or ministry, for example, who gives licensure for health workers.  We want to inform them that the health worker has completed the training.

The LMS will inform other health systems…

8. Sending data: Health Interoperability Layer
How does that institution receive that information?  Think of a badge now as data.  Data can be transferred and exchanged from one system to another.  Open HIE is the architecture which data is exchanged between health systems.  Each system has to build a layer, the health interoperability layer, within in their own system that allows the system to then exchange data with other systems.

The LMS has a layer built into the system to share and exchange data with other health systems and then…

9.  Receiving learning data
Each country has a different system that registers health workers and/or keeps track of in-service training and/or provides licensure or certification.  It may be the health worker registry or a ministry or a national association.  If the Health Worker Registry, for example, had a field for education, it would be shared with the Health Worker Registry.  Under education, the badge would indicate that health worker has the necessary competencies.

The health worker has completed their learning, and it has been recorded at the national health system level.

And that’s my vision of a learning system and process.

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