A few weeks ago I released a podcast about using podcasts in learning programs. To keep with such a “meta” theme, today’s blog post focuses on using blogs as part of a learning program.
While I’ve come to love (and sometimes hate) that writing a post every week forces me to stay on top of new developments in learning and development just so that I have something to write about, blogs can be used for more than a platform for individuals to write articles.
This thought first dawned on me after I attended DevLearn in 2014. I spent some time reflecting on my conference experience and take-aways, and then I responded to the conference organizers’ invitation for attendees to write a guest post on their blog. (Here is the post if you’re curious.)
If you’re looking for a way to encourage your learners to reflect on their takeaways and ah-ha moments, you may want to consider challenging them to write about these key learnings and publishing their thoughts in a blog post – whether they use their own blog, you have a blog, or you simply set up a blog for this purpose.
It doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to facilitate a conference session with Arkansas State Childhood Services. As part of the virtual session, I asked participants to write a “microblog”-style reflection on an earlier conference session I led. I asked them to summarize their key learnings or ah-ha moments using exactly six words, and I told them I’d publish these thoughts on my blog. Here are some of the reflections:
- Gamification is a cool new word.
- Icebreakers can be a radioactive element.
- There are funs ways to connect.
- Mad Libs are fun and helpful.
- I can increase interest in training.
- The objective has to come first.
- Adult learners need connection and follow-up.
- Verbs guide experiences that shape outcomes.
- Gamification gets participants involved in training.
- Objectives = building blocks for learning.
- Be intentional with your learning objectives.
- Blend elements carefully; create powerful compounds.
- Objectives are just Mad Libs fun!
- “C” quadrant is the place to be.
- Active engagement promotes active thinking.
- Appropriate training objectives make a difference.
- Effective training has the right elements.
- Verbs used in objectives are important.
- Many different elements can encourage learning.
- Activities must match the objectives.
Whether you challenge your learners to reflect and generate a long-form, essay-like blog post or a “microblog” post, incorporating a blog assignment into your learning program can encourage deeper reflection, which hopefully can lead to retention and higher probability for on-the-job application!