As someone who makes his livelihood by designing and facilitating learning experiences for businesses I should encourage all businesses to design bigger. Bigger, longer workshops, more complex online learning, more post-workshop mentoring and more assessments of all sorts - in all ways possible I should encourage business to design learning that works best for me. Bigger, bigger, bigger....
Mmmm! Well that's what seems to be happen a fair bit of the time! Big, complex learning interventions! Even within businesses there seems to be a desire to impress others with the size and complexity of programs. If it doesn't look impressively large it mustn't be much good - seems to be the message.
But, who is learning designed for? Really?
OK, it's obvious, learning should be designed to increase learning effectiveness. What does effective learning look like? Well, I'll make it simple, effective learning helps the learner perform more effectively in their work environment. (More effective learning = mastery of skills/knowledge + more control over their work + a clear purpose - which all in turn leads to better workplace productivity)
So, let's now look at the title of this post. 'Touching the Earth Lightly' is the architectural design philosophy of renowned Australian Architect Glenn Murcutt. (Here is a link and here is another that fill you in on who Glenn Murcutt is and you might also see why I'd love a house in the Australian bush designed by him!)
Here's my reading of the term, 'Touching the Ground Lightly'. It is about being less obtrusive in the landscape, making a building sit comfortably in it's place without having to rebuild the landscape to fit the building. It is about designing a building to fit the place, not the place to fit the building.
How did this make me think of learning? Simple. Here's 10 thoughts that come to mind.
- Design learning that is unobtrusive
- Design learning that is embedded in practice
- Design learning that doesn't look like learning
- Design learning where the learner is in control
- Design learning that encourages sharing
- Design learning for 'in the moment' needs
- Design learning that fosters creativity
- Design learning that is evolutionary nor revolutionary
- Design learning for learners
- Design learning that touches the ground lightly!