Learning narration

The guys from the Internet Time Alliance talk about social learning and it’s many aspects. One of those aspects is Harold Jarche‘s idea of “work narration” whereby workers take regular note of what they are doing and what they’ve learnt, sharing ideas, resources and references.. Typical work narration might take place via Twitter or LinkedIn or by using other in-company platforms like Microsoft SharePoint.


In my training, I encourage participants to narrate their learning over the course of the training. The following are some simple examples that are easy to implement and that when measured, show participants’ interest:



  • As every trainer does, I regularly do Level 1 + limited Level 2 checks to see participants’ (reactions to) learning during class time. Using a variety of questions, we can see what different people take-away from the learning process.. this can sometimes illuminate things for other participants.
  • I have started to use individual “profile spaces” in the training room, where each participant can regularly add her comments, likes/dislikes, post-it notes and other reflections. These are clearly marked with the names of each person and visible to all. The next evolution here will be to digitalise these spaces…
  • For specific topics, I assign out-of-class tasks to encourage participants to search for and share references and reflect further on their own learning. An example of this can be seen in the “Flow wall”, used to narrate learning of the same-named motivational theory.
  • When I started out as a trainer, I used to go back to participants by email several weeks or months later to ask them for more feedback on their learning + implementation of new competences. In the past years, this evolved to a surveymonkey.com follow up questionnaire. These days, I use LinkedIn groups with more quick, frequent, regular and lasting “stoking or the fire” to keep the learning narration going between participants.



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About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on July 19, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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