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Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Classroom’


This post written by Susan Fry

The question I’m asked most frequently these days (besides, “ATM or credit card?”) is “How do I start to create a learning culture in my organization?”

I’d actually prefer to start with a different question, which is “How close is the current culture in my organization to a learning culture?”

Many organizational cultures–and maybe yours–already have some of the key characteristics of a learning culture in place.  Finding out where you stand is the logical first step.

We employ a variety of tools to help organizations understand their culture because it helps makes for a smoother, faster transition from an obsolete “push/training” mode into the “pull/learning” culture.

Below, you can view a sample from one of the assessment tools we use. In the left column , you’ll see brief descriptions of key characteristics that  encourage learning; on the right, you’ll see descriptions of those that block it. Beneath the sample you’ll find instructions for taking and evaluating the assessment. new assessment captureTake a moment to answer the questions yourself.  Some of your answers are likely to be surprising.

You can view the full, printable Learning Culture Assessment here.

How to use this assessment

The assessment asks respondents to rank you organization on each characteristic by writing a number in the square at the bottom of each section.

The number “1” indicates strong disagreement with the statement, while “5” indicates the strong agreement. Adding all the  numbers in each column will show whether your organization is currently perceived to be a learning culture.  Questions that received the lowest scores indicate areas that need the most attention.

After you’ve taken it yourself, I suggest that you distribute this assessment to a group of people within your organization. Choosing as many audit participants as possible from diverse areas and levels of responsibility will provide you with more accurate information.

The survey has an additional benefit: it will communicate that you are starting to take a hard look at how good your organization is at providing learning opportunities that enable employees to do the best job possible.

This assessment was first published in Creating a Learning Culture: Strategy, Technology and Practice (Cambridge, UK; Cambridge University Press, 2004). I’m grateful to Marcia Conner, my colleague from my Peoplesoft days and friend of many years, for recently bringing it to my attention. (Check out her blog at http://marciaconner.com/

In case you didn’t note the publication info above, let me point out that this assessment was published more than ten years ago. In Silicon Valley terms, that makes it almost ancient — and yet I constantly meet people who think the “learning culture” is a radical new concept!

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Here’s the press release from Cisco and a video of Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn explaining the importance of the new certification:

Cisco Introduces The New Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist Certification

Vendor-Neutral Training and Certification Helps Instructors Make

The New Virtual Classrooms Engaging and Improves Student Outcomes

SAN DIEGO, CA and SAN JOSE, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — 02/07/11 — Training 2011, Booth 416 — With more educators using technology to advance the classroom experience, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced the Cisco® Leading Virtual Classroom Instruction certification, developed to build and validate the skills that educators and instructors need to effectively teach in virtual classroom environments.

Key Facts

  • According to the American Society for Training & Development, 37 percent of training in 2009 involved electronic technology, up from 15 percent in 2002, while face-to-face instruction fell to 59 percent.
  • The Cisco Leading Virtual Classroom Instruction (LVCI) course teaches participants how to prepare and manage a virtual classroom, effectively deliver material online, and use collaboration tools to maximize student participation and comprehension.
  • LVCI goes beyond tool usage and teaches instructors how to improve learner outcomes through more effective classroom collaboration. They learn how to become Facilitators and work collaboratively with their learners
  • LVCI is delivered virtually using Cisco WebEx™; however, the skills are readily transferable to other conferencing and collaboration tools.
  • LVCI consists of 17.5 hours of live virtual instruction and six hours of participant presentations, delivered over five consecutive days.
  • LVCI is designed and led by experienced WebEx University instructors, who have delivered more than 40,000 hours of virtual training sessions.
  • Certification will be based on a proctored multiple-choice exam (642-132 LVCI) and a practical demonstration (642-133 LVCIP), in which the candidate uses the best practices of virtual classroom delivery.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager, Learning@Cisco, said: “As the paradigm of education continues to evolve to meet new institutional and business requirements, developing instructional strategies for new virtual education environments is becoming key to improving student results. The Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist training and certification help ensure that instructors have the most comprehensive understanding of the latest technologies and effective classroom collaboration strategies. Cisco’seducational offerings provide the skills and depth of knowledge required for educators to differentiate themselves in today’s job market and enable a competitive advantage for their employers.”
  • Kathy Cooper, senior product trainer, WebEx University, said: “Cisco Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist certification not only covers the skills and techniques instructors need to prepare and manage a virtual classroom, but also shows how instructors can engage learners in the educational process and increase their participation and comprehension.”
  • David Mallon, principal analyst, Bersin & Associates, said: “Our Virtual Classroom research shows that learning in an online environment is both less expensive and can be more instructionally rich than physical in-class experiences. Our research also demonstrates that what makes a great instructor effective online is the skillful use of collaboration tools. As job training and education continue to move online, this type of certification is an important offering.”
  • David Grebow, Instructional Designer, KnowledgeStar said: “This course is a game changer and will make the virtual classrooms the choice for learning in the 21st century. I had the privilege of working with some of the most forward-thinking and smart people at Cisco and WebEx, and we produced a certification program that will turn instructors into facilitators and students into adult learners collaborating with each other and taking the learning beyond the virtual classroom. It’s a new model for making online education really work.”

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