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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for Learning and Development professionals,
This book resonated with me on several levels. Firstly, as someone with a long history in learning and development, I found it a useful summary of views of L and D which have come and gone (and come back, and never gone away) over the last few decades. Secondly, as someone whose focus is now more and more on the outcomes of learning initiatives, or learning opportunities, or learning situations and contexts, I appreciated the author's focus on analysing the problem, or business issue, and then looking for solutions. These solutions may take a wide variety of forms depending on the context within which they need to be implemented. Thirdly, as someone who believes himself to be a 'learning architect', I appreciated the fact that here was a solidly researched yet simply written resource which I can use when discussing L and D with senior managers.
I was particularly struck by the case studies of people who have made a difference in L and D within their own organisations. Sometimes it is fine just to reflect on theory but what I appreciate most now is knowing what others have done and how they have done it; I'll be borrowing a lot of ideas from the case studies, backing up their use with the theories in the rest of the book.
All in all, this is a resource I intend to use myself and also to recommend to colleagues, both to those in L and D and also to those ultimate decision makers who want or need to know more about how the L and D function can add real value to an organisation.
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential role of the Learning Architect explained,
This review is from: The New Learning Architect (Paperback)
You know this book is going to be really useful and practical right from the beginning as a double index first outlines the Contents, as you might expect, then gives an Index of learning opportunities described within four key chapters. These relate to formal, non-formal, on-demand and experiential learning and various approaches that can be utilised effectively when designing learning.
An introduction contrasts the role of the learning architect with that of an architect designing buildings. The description of the different way these two architects are treated by those commissioning their services should be read by all concerned in the L&D commissioning process, and especially by senior management.
The early chapters deal with important issues, for example How people learn, and Bottom Up and Top Down Learning initiatives. This background provides the foundation for the full benefits of the practical applications found in the remaining chapters. Wonderful notes are added at the end of itemised learning opportunities sections mentioned in the index, which give situations when an approach would be an excellent option to take, matched with a description describing when it would definitely not be the best approach at all, despite appearances.
Finally, one of the best bits about this book is that interleaved between each chapter is a Profile of a leading learning architect and gives some really interesting stories of how people have succeeded being, or in some cases becoming, a learning architect, and their varied learning designs. The book structure also shows practical application of our current knowledge of how people learn.
5.0 out of 5 stars Different contexts from different perspectives: The New Learning Architect explores.,
The New Learning Architect reflects on how there has been a battle between delivery options in the past where you either had to choose between one or the other e.g. classroom v eLearning; formal v informal and people where firmly footed in one or other of those camps. What this book clarifies is that there is no need to choose sides. Each would work with not against the other where appropriate and towards one goal. It is the learning architect's role to establish, based on the situation, how these options would work together.
Clive investigates when formal learning interventions are more or less appropriate and under what circumstances the learners can take more responsibility for their own continued professional development. We also see how we can provide opportunities for them to become more self-directed and independent. He goes on to explore the various contexts in which learning will occur:
The book also explores why it's important to look at these contexts from two perspectives - top down (directed from the organisation) and bottom up (directed from the individuals) and why there is a place for both perspectives in learning at work. This book will guide you to establish what types of learning contexts will be suitable for your particular requirements, what types of top down or bottom up approaches to consider.
Whole chapters are dedicated to each of the four learning contexts in which Clive provides examples of various learning activities and media tools, when they are best used and when to avoid them. He also explores them from each perspective.
So who is this book for? Well, I would recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in improving results and investing in the development of a workforce whether a large multi-national or small business.
I recommend this book to all those senior managers and CEOs who call for courses (eLearning or otherwise) as panaceas. This book will help you establish whether there really is a formal training need and help you seek advice from your learning and development professionals so that the most effective and efficient solution to a business need is put in place.
If you are a more experienced learning and development professional; if you have benefited from the Blended Learning Cookbook and already implemented some successful blended courses, this book will guide you beyond training and help you take learning into the workplace. It will help you explore and employ informal and social learning methods. It might also encourage you become more architect than builder by advising rather than taking orders from those who don't know any better.
And if you are new to learning and development then this book will be a welcome guide taking you through the different learning contexts and providing your with lots of examples and case studies.
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Extensive guide to the Learning Technologies,
The New Learning Architect provides an easy to read guide to the new learning technologies from a man with a wealth of experience as a practitioner in the field. Clive Shepherd is well respected for his knowledge and forward thinking approach to the subject. This book provides something for the beginner seeking to find their way in the maze that is now learning technology - and at the same time the book is a useful reference text for the more seasoned and experienced professionalThe New Learning Architect
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have addition to the toolkit of all (and potential) Learning Architects,
As a workforce development professional with (too many) years of experience teaching within state education, commercial IT training, and now advising Policing & Law Enforcement HR / L&D departments on training, assessment and accreditation matters, I have no reservations in endorsing `The New Learning Architect' as a very helpful addition to the respective toolkits of a wide spectrum of current and potential `learning architects'.
In this very handy sized text (240 pages), Clive covers 35 kinds of learning experiences, each experience being described, discussed & critiqued with `at their best when', `best avoided when', `Conditions for success' sections, and a `Profile' which case studies a personal and organisation experience of broadly applying that approach within a real-life context.
The learning experiences are grouped into 4 sections:
* Classroom courses
* Outdoor learning
* Self-study e-learning
... and others
* On-job training
... and others
* Performance support materials
* Mobile learning
* Help desks
... and others
* Project reviews
* Action learning
... and others
With the Profiles forming an especially important part of the text, I have no doubt that this book is valuable both as a `dip-in' well researched and referenced volume for students attending university pedagogical studies courses and for hard-pressed learning managers working within L&D departments - trying to ensure that employees have the right skills, at the right place & time, delivered in the most cost efficient and effective manner available!
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The New Learning Architect by Clive Shepherd (Paperback - 3 Feb 2011)