In my last posting I described the process of conducting a learning needs analysis, associated with my project management role in a commercial elearning company. From this I have developed some key learning objectives, areas where I need to further develop my understanding or skills.
So, I’m not surprised that ‘technology related skills and knowledge’ is the core area where I need to develop. Going into this role I knew that my technology related skills and knowledge felt like a ‘deep black hole’ . . . although I’m glad to reflect that that was also how I felt about eLearning in general 18 months ago, before I started out on the OU course modules which have given me a great foundation on which to build, so I know I can do something about the black hole.
Earlier this year, a friend who is very hands-on with technology asked me if I was familiar with using Articulate . . . to which I replied “We’ve got the game at home and we’ve played it a few times” . . . to which she responded “I’ll take that as a no then!”.
I hesitate to use the word technophobe, and I don’t think I am, but I’m certainly not a natural when it comes to technology, certainly not when it requires more than skimming the surface . . . so I’m ok with using twitter, facebook and similar tools where I find them to be user-friendly, particularly if I have a reason for using them and see a real benefit. However, what I’m now coming across at work is a need to have a deeper working understanding of things less familiar to me, that I might not have to be hands-on with, but that I need to be able to discuss the use of, outputs etc.
My learning objectives.
I have drafted my learning objectives and action plan, it needs a bit more work, especially around the timeline for each objective, but I’m happy enough to take it to work and share it with my mentor. I think it will be really useful to share it with someone who understands my work context, who can help me identify the priorities and give some practical advice on how to approach the action points.
What I want to do is to make this more than just a document, but something that motivates me to address my weaknesses, reminding me what I’ve set out to achieve and how I plan to go about it. Something to revisit over time, that can evolve, and will lead me to realise success in addressing my weaknesses.
I should also be encouraged about addressing the ‘deep black hole’ when I look at some of my comments on my needs analysis grid . . . I can see that I already feel I am making some progress, just by working in an environment where I am engaging with some of the technologies on a daily basis, and having to communicate about these with experts. I also think that at times it may just be the terminology that is tripping me up, not necessarily an inability to develop my understanding, so I’ve developed the idea to put together my own glossary of terms and mini ‘how to’ guides to help me with the process of familiarising myself with some of the terminology and processes.
Finally, I’m happy to report that I am now more familiar with Articulate the technology! I’m also about to learn a lot more as I am managing two projects where we’re developing some eLearning modules in Articulate, providing me with a good reason to dive into the black hole and engage more with this technology.