Blog Archives

Measuring the Success of SoMe in Training

I have been experimenting with social media usage in training and I’m quite happy with the results. This blog post explains what results to look for in your own usage of SoMe as a trainer.There are 3 main things to bear in mind:


Traffic (amount of activity) = the level 1 SoMe measure

If you ask training participants to do something via a SoMe platform, it is important to look at the amount and type of traffic you get. This could be compared to Kirkpatrick’s L1 learning measure: reaction.


For example, I have used LinkedIn to create a group of people interested in Leadership. I can see:

  • How many people have joined the group
  • How many discussions have been created and how many comments have been added
  • How many “likes” there have been
  • Who is the top user


..on a wall I can see how many posts have been added. On WordPress and YouTube, I can see how many times my blog or video has been viewed. On these latter sites, I can’t always see WHO has done what, but I can often see WHEN.



Content relevance is more about actual learning

Traffic on a site is not in itself a good thing. If all the LinkedIn group members are discussing the Euro-cup football competition, this (probably) isn’t relevant.


On one of my wallwisher pages, I ask leadership training participants to add references, resources, links and comments related to the motivation concept of “FLOW”. In addition to the number of things posted, it is important to take the time to look at the content of what has been posted: Is it “on topic”? Can you see what they have learnt? For example, one post talks about gardening until its dark and not noticing the time fly by – that is FLOW and I can tell that somebody at least understands the concept…


Note: This is about measuring relevance of content, but that doesn’t mean that learning-irrelevant posts are not interesting. Don’t forget the community / group side of all these tools…



The 3rd measure is about continuity of activity

If you can get continuity in your participants’ social media learning activities, you have really achieved something! Continuity is the idea that participants do something with what other participants have posted.


For example:

  • Jack posts a reference of a great presentation on YouTube and tweets it with a hashtag –> when Sarah replies to the tweet mentioning something that happened in the 3rd minute of the presentation, you know she has acted on what Jack shared
  • Elena posts a discussion on a Yammer group. 2 people comment and 5 others click on “like” –> you can see they have been engaged by Elena’s content
  • Matthias shares a reference on a wallwisher page –> Jolien posts another reference writing “Following up on Matthias’ theme, here’s another example of….”


I am convinced that certain uses of social media can bring real value to the learning process. In training, this could be before, during or after the classroom experience. Measure your own efforts and you’ll see for yourself!


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Have a great weekend!

2012 = The Year of Authentic Learning

As 2011 closes and we gear up for another 12 month run of learning, what will be the focus for learning professionals? In my opinion, 2012 will be all about Authentic Learning. This blog spot outlines the what and why of Authentic Learning. Let’s start with…


Question: Why is Authentic Learning so important?

Answer: Because of the increased demand for value-for-money and a low bullshit-threshold

  1. In Belgium, people are talking about part 2 of the economic crisis. We finally have a government and this means tightening money-belts. Other countries may not have had the same political issues, but the financial issues are much the same. The impact for business will be the increasing demand for value for money. Return on Investment is a given. No ROI, no contract. In 2012, clients will just want more.
  2. Our current Gen-Y culture is infecting people of all ages with some very cool values like freedom, autonomy and choice. These new drivers are seriously lowering what I call the bullshit-threshold and this will have an impact on learning initiatives as well.


Question: What is Authentic Learning all about?

Answer: Effective, pragmatic and true learning opportunities

  1. Effective learning does what it promises. This means that learning professionals cannot stop at creating competence. They need to create results. For example, training designed to help new leaders motivate their teams doesn’t just deliver knowledge, skills and attitude –> it creates motivation!
  2. Pragmatic learning is to-the-point lean learning. This means that learning initiatives must deliver the minimum effective dose (MED) of whatever stuff is required to get those effective learning results. In my opinion, MED is the guiding effectiveness principle of the 21st century. If I need X, don’t give me Y. And if X is enough, don’t give me 2X !!
  3. True learning is aligned to the business environment, values and learning participants. The one-size-fits-all attitude to learning is no longer acceptable. Organisations and people have always been different and learning professionals have known this for a long time. But are they really using this to make learning true? The granularity principle in learning will mean that people must be able to get what they need when they need it in the way they like it.


In my own case, here is how I will be focusing on Authentic Learning in 2012:

  • Step 1 = Agree simple honest performance objectives with no-bullshit measurements of success
  • Step 2 = If people give me a day of their time for training, make sure they get something in the room that they can’t get out of the room
  • Step 3 = Treat every learning moment as a first-time experience, dropping all ego and assumptions in order to choose what is right for the business, values and people at that time


I would love to have your comments 🙂

Good luck in 2012,

See you there!



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