Milan, 1 December 2016, 9:00 am: back on the exploring eLearning train track, ready to go, as excited as we were the first year. For this new edition I was given the responsibility to edit the content and manage “the learningPath method” posterLab. The core question was: “how to make blended training truly effective?” We knew that having an extensive catalogue and mixing methods and languages ??was not enough, we needed more! We embarked upon a journey through 5 stages (sessions) in order to provide a complete answer, focussing on the key concepts of the learningPath method, in the knowledge that the best answers would emerge from the contributions of the participants and the experiences of the testimonials that decided to join us. What follows is a brief diary of our trip that provides a brief account of that which emerged during each stage. Stage 1 We started with some thoughts on the common problems and the solutions available regarding blended paths in the company. Some of the topics that presented problems: the costs of design, discontinuity, difficulties in getting people to understand the benefits. In terms of solutions, however, one thing to emerge was the importance of clear and engaging communication that allows people early on to see the path of the variety of methodologies and the deployment of internal expertise, including through the creation of a network of supporters to help launch and disseminate new methods and tools. Stage 2 The time came to give free rein to imagination and dreams: a focus on narrative learning and metaphors, viewed as essential steps for the design of a learningPath. Stories have always been the way we convey and acquire knowledge stories involves us, allow us to identify with the main characters of the stories we hear, they help us organise and communicate our experience. Stage 3 We dwelt on the issue of involvement, an area that was especially dear to our participants and we pondered the strategies needed to achieve three progressive goals:
- consult, the minimum goal, requiring users to make the most of the training material available
- participate, meaning to contribute actively, identifying material on the web, expressing opinions, voting
- realise, creating content and making it available, contributing to the co-construction of knowledge, giving it a practical form.
Stage 4 We asked ourselves how technology can come to our aid when creating our learningPath and we gave an overview of the hidden potential in eLearning platforms, without overlooking the main features that need to be known in order to achieve the desired learning goals. Stage 5 The journey headed towards its end… at this point, we focussed on the variety and multiplicity of methodologies and tools as learning drivers. We stepped into the shoes of a designer, examining different teaching formats and pondering which of these are normally used and which are normally put to one side why this happens and the potential benefits of a change in direction. The trip ended, I went home with lots of beautiful images etched in my mind, words echoing in my head, points to mull over and new questions to be answered. Until the next exploration! Alessandra Scapati