What is a posterLab

“The mind does not need to be filled like a vase, but rather, like firewood, it needs a spark to light it up and give you the impulse to perform a search and an ardent love for the truth”. Plutarco An original format A posterLab is an original format that we conceived for our “exploring eLearning” event held in Milan on 1 and 2 December. It regarded a series of mini workshops with an overall duration of 40 minutes each, with a maximum of 30 participants per section, organised in 5 steps. Questions, a shopping list for better learning The posterLab reverses the usual classic workshop structure: we started from the questions! Starting with essential questions means opening up to learning. It’s what we do when we go to the grocery store: with a proper list we are more effective and faster and go directly to the goods we wish to purchase. We’ll write the answers together! After getting the participants going with the questions, videos summarising the contents are projected in each posterLab and the participants are asked to interact using an APP. The posterLab is above all this: a laboratory of ideas, a time for discussion and exchange to make the needs emerge and start providing the answers together. It is not a classroom, not an event. It’s a posterLab! Nothing that happens in the different steps is the same as a normal classroom experience. A posterLab is, in itself, a “blended” approach, consisting in moments where people meet, an on-line community and materials to take home and study. 45 minutes of concentrated learning that mix different methodologies. The main characteristic is the multiplicity of languages, multimedia videos, face to face conversations, visual thinking and interaction via an APP … a new way of training people! PosterLab – work in progress The posterLab model is an experiment, which we like to improve together with the participants! It is an evolving format that people can replicate in their corporate training experiences, customising them according to the company’s own situation and training needs. There are no experts, it’s the Practice Community speaking! People and organisations are immersed in increasingly complex situations, in which no one is “enough of an expert” there are different practice communities that have to find the answers you need, replacing the traditional role of experts. A posterLab is one of the moments in which these practice communities meet, designed to develop over time. These communities are not composed of a group of occasional participants, but by experts who learn by doing. It’s a new way to get trained and is the only possible response to the growing complexity of current systems. HOW IS A POSTERLAB ORGANISED? Let’s see the various steps for the organisation of a posterLab in detail. STEP 1: AGREEMENT ON THE QUESTIONS We had an interactive screen with which the participants could interact using an APP. We invited everyone to post questions only knowing the title of the topic and not its contents. Why are the questions asked before the theory? How can questions be asked if nothing has been heard? The questions are important to bring out what we know and what we would like to know. To clarify doubts, perplexity, to focus on the tacit and implicit know-how each of us has. By asking questions with respect to the subject under consideration, we express our training needs and increase awareness of the need to learn. As mentioned above, the questions are a guide to learning. Doubts make us open up to new knowledge, they make us receptive, breaking the barrier that is often created by prejudices, beliefs or laziness. The questions phase in any design project guides its evolution and development. We use an approach based on the problems, i.e. one that is “problem oriented” instead of “solution-oriented.” This is precisely our goal: making the problem to be focused on and understood the starting point of the training. An APP for live inter-action We were equipped with an application as support, to keep track of our thoughts, to give as much time as possible for doubts, concerns, challenges, so as not to miss anything in relation to the elements that emerged… technology helps us do this! The application that all the participants were asked to use during the session was a communication aid, is not a filter, but a multiplier. During the posterLab, the interventions by the participants were in real-time, with coloured post-it notes placed on a blackboard divided into three columns: the first dedicated to questions, the second to ideas and insights, and the third to practical steps that can be taken once the participants return to their companies. STEP 2: VIDEO PROJECTION A summary prepared by us, from our vantage point on the subject. This is the result of a many-handed collaborative session, that happened in the event’s preparatory phase, which lasted about a year. Its goal was to indicate which direction “the world” was moving in relation to the subject, a stimulus to bring the innovations proposed by the participants back to their companies. As well as giving our point of view on the subject, the video was food for thought to start the discussion. STEP 3: TIME FOR TESTIMONIALS The testimony of a successful case, practical experimentation. The following was the objective of this phase: listening to best practices and discussing the difficulties and strategies. We assumed that ourselves as the organisers, together with the testimonial and participants, are a practice community that shares professional activities and the goal of achieving, through training, the development and growth of people. Each of us has a specific point of view, some more technical and methodological, some more experiential and focused on the needs, as in the case of the testimonial, and this can make a fundamental contribution to the overall project. STEP 4: DISCUSSIONS AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING This step is the heart of posterLab: it’s the phase that starts the discussion. The video provided a theoretical model, an overview of ongoing experimentation. The testimonial was a successful case study. Now, for the group, the time has come to develop the answers to the questions together, trying to make the debate practical. Ideas and experiences are put forward, allowing time for specific operational proposals. STEP 5: FINAL SUMMARY This is the phase in which the results come in it sums up everything that emerges and where ideas and practical steps “to take home” are collected. PosterLab and Gamification, a formula that works. The interventions posted via the APP were the protagonists of a contest aimed at rewarding the message that was:

  • more creative, original and that stood out from the others due to its innovation
  • more engaging, which triggered a constructive dialogue among the session’s participants
  • more useful, that created and will create added value within organisations, a tangible and easy to implement element

WHAT TOPICS WERE ADDRESSED? Here are the 36 topics addressed:

  1. choose an eLearning platform
  2. from Power Point to a multimedia tutorial
  3. mandatory eLearning training
  4. from the development of the e-book to the management of editorial collections
  5. design and beauty of eLearning
  6. training of internal digital trainers
  7. training with webinar
  8. real blended training
  9. self-learning
  10. communicating and engaging participants in eLearning courses
  11. eLearning for the induction of newly recruited staff
  12. eLearning for performance management
  13. eLearning for the quality of the front-line
  14. eLearning for training salesmen
  15. coaching and eLearning for leadership development
  16. eLearning on intercultural and diversity management
  17. eLearning for change management
  18. eLearning for project management
  19. eLearning on company processes and procedures
  20. eLearning to accompany the introduction of new software
  21. eLearning on products
  22. minimum digital skills standards
  23. reverse mentoring
  24. gamification
  25. digital social learning
  26. certifications and open badges
  27. visual thinking and dynamic infographics
  28. company library with internal and external resources. MOOCs.
  29. independently developing eLearning courses
  30. intranet and web TV as training environments
  31. from SCORM to the TIN CAN
  32. artificial intelligence and big data, future eLearning opportunities
  33. digital storytelling
  34. digital learning ecosystems

Staff skilla

written by: Staff skilla , 25 January 2016

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