Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Paths leading to same place in different ways.

Of course, as some say, and some days, even I recognize it, the TMI questions to choose a path often lead to one that is what you need. Even, when you do not believe it at first.

As many will have to choose soon, I revisited the Path studying their similarity and what makes the difference. Once we got our free path, or our two free paths, we do live with them a long time, so why not put all at our side and study and think?
On left of the page Required projects on right all those from projects you can choose. And one of my certificates on right.
I divided the 10 paths in three categories : depending the Required Project they lead.

3 finish with High Performance Leadership not so different the one existing now.
  • Effective coaching (Reaching Consensus ; Coach three times)
  • Innovative Planning (Proposal; Manage Projects)
  • Persuasive Influence (Conflict resolution; Leading in Difficult condition)
3 finish with a project needing 6 month Leading a Team 
  • Dynamic Leadership (Negotiate, Manage Change)
  • Team Collaboration (Learn to Collaborate, Motivate others)
  • Strategic Relationship (Networking, Public Relationship)
4 only have very different Required Projects at Level 5 
  • Presentation Mastery, A longer presentation (Persuasive speech, Difficult Audience) 
  • Visionary Communication, Develop your Vision (Plan Change, Announce Change)
  • Leadership Development, Create a successful event (Create events with a Team)
  • Motivational Strategy, Team Building through an event (Emotional Intelligence, Motivate)
The titles of all projects I wrote above are not word by word, but that is what they ask from us. In parentheses are the 2 Required projects specific for the path (L3, L4). In the PDF called Paths and Projects a few paragraphs of description can be found of each Project, Elective or Required, Specific to a path or Same for all. 

As you see, even those finishing the same way, arrive there through different projects.

If I knew, if I have looked better, I would not have taken Effective Coaching, even if by now, I did succeed to finish my HPL project. Still two projects to go to leave the path after already 11 month.

I took Dynamic Leadership, attracted by the Negotiate and manage change, and even if it will take long time, I am happy to live with it, and perhaps, soon, lead a team for months. I am now studying about Negotiation ways, more to learn, when I thought I knew all.

And yes, I do have the other four, finished the first three paths and just begun the Motivational Strategy. Through all the path I finished or just begun, I learned a lot, and added a lot of "me" in them. Discovered also after a while, those I choose from title, where not the bests for me. Also discovered, that after a while, I could use all I learned from them! 

Better look well where they lead! You can personalize your path later .  

Monday, 19 February 2018

Books discovered, Pathways better understood

Moderating panels discovered a few month ago: I recommended it recently. It was written by a blog writer, from there it's name. It is for everyone to understand deeper "Moderating Panels". And yes, as the Project suggests to us, we should also be panelist, we learn by moderating and also being in one moderated by someone else.
More then Blended Learning is the main book I study now. Slowly. So much to absorb! It all begun with asking myself, again, the question: what is "Instructional Designer" ? What they do? What is their task? 

What is Learning management system? LMS from which Pathways inherited a lot?

First, I read some articles and looked at some pictures, downloaded the free sample of beginning of many books on the subject. Designing a system for learning for instruction. How, what? 

There is a lot about how we learn, how different people of different knowledge absorbs and learn best. We are so different! It is not an easy job!

Even if nowadays so many different medias are available! Perhaps, even because of all those media one can use, "blend together" to design the best experience with most success for the learners and the organization who asked for it. 

What I understood it was a huge undertaking, changing our educational system. Got a deeper respect for those who created and and those who still have the task to improve it, after a while. It is said, as with learning, it is a cycle of trial and error and adjusting to improve it after a while. It is not something carved in a stone once for all.

All parts that have to come together! 

Chapter by chapter, the More then Blended Kindle book analyses the Learners, Learning styles, Knowledge levels, Available Medias, and sometimes, goes as far as Socrate, to remind us that Learning Methods go far in the history. 
One by one the Learners, the Learning and the Logistic are analyzed. Who we want to be taught? What skill or knowledge they need to acquire? What medias, and yes also money are available? Indeed, then the Social Context. Will be the learning Alone? One-by-one? In a group? Or, all those combined? How it will be delivered at any time?  Strategy and communication mode, and who can deliver, who can give feedback? So much to be analyzed even before proposing a solution!
  • Preparation: prepare the learners before the learning takes place. Some need short other long so their confidence "I can do it!" grows. 
  • Input: is the material we learn, and the interaction with those who teach or with the material. 
  • Application, is the practice needed to acquire the skill, with usually a cycle from Input ->Application -> Input -> Application.  And between them to reflect of what worked and what did not work. Improving our skills. 
  • Follow-up, is improving the skill and knowledge, using also research, google, books, internet and yes! groups of peers where we can discuss together. 

Why does it look as a juke-box? One of chapters speak about Video games theory and how it can be adapted to the creation of the learning systems. One example was to build, mostly for beginner learners in LEVELS of Increasing Difficulty, isolated from each other. 

The book explains why the levels has to be isolated. It is a challenge but also having to learn only so much, increases the confidence of the beginner. "I can do this!" Of course, the experts resent it. "I want to see the whole picture." So many difficult choices to make while deciding which way to go, specially when addressing a wider audience of learners!

So much more to say about designing a learning system. For sure, it goes far from the "small details" of user interface! Of course, with time, those have also to be addressed.

At level 1 we learn the fundamentals. And one of the Projects is Research and Apply. The Veterans can go each time farther in the Research of each Project, as often is suggested. The new one could mostly go out to find a subject for a speech (as if there were not so many around us day by day) and most important, learn different means of finding when needed.

 I found this book, and yesterday, I tumbled on the third one: Getting to Yes with yourself, and from it, even if I am yet at its beginning only, I found echos from projects I passed through, found useful but did not understand enough. Now I realize, with each project, I have to stay longer, each skill takes so much more time to become "unconscious", if ever. "Practice every day, at least a few minutes" writes William Ury. It has to be trained like a muscle. 

Learn to listen. 

First, most difficult, learn to listen to yourself! Learn to go to "the balcony" to see from afar, the bigger picture, learn to go deeper "what you really want" and learn to be "in the moment". I did not journal beyond the minimum two weeks asked, even so I learned to "think positive" and to study my reactions. I should begin again, written or not.

Second, listen really what the other needs, not only what says. Suddenly, the Active Listening of Level 2 which I took almost like a joke, begun to make more sense to me. 

So much went to creating our new Pathways Education System. Day by day I realize how much and why it took so much time. How much more I can learn from it.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Competence : learning stages

First, we do not even realize a skill is difficult. "I could do it too!" we think. That stage is called "unconscious incompetence". We try it, then we realise: not so easy as we believed!

Second stage arrive: "will I ever be able to do it?" Called Conscious Incompetence in the Learning Systems Manuals and articles. At that stage we need to be given confidence that yes, with practice and thinking about how and what we do, skills can be learned.

Third stage we begin to realize: "Yes! I arrived! I can do it!" Conscious Competence arrived, but we still have to think while doing it, practice and think, practice and think. 

Finally, arrives a stage when we do without needing to think about it, freed to think or do something else at the same time. The stages are not so clear and net and, we arrive all the time to a new stage a new level when we add something new to what we knew.

Till we did not arrive to the top of one pair of stairs, we can not see what is after the next corner. The horizon opens up, once we are up, only then we can see farther ahead.

The path and the levels were carefully designed by educational experts, knowing this and a lot more. I am reading a book that explains so much about the "why" the path, levels and projects are as we have them now. With time, I will try to describe them here.