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TJ Hammond - USSTRATCOM Julie Clow - Google The Long Tail of Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "TJ Hammond - USSTRATCOM Julie Clow - Google The Long Tail of Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 TJ Hammond - USSTRATCOM Julie Clow - Google The Long Tail of Learning

2 What is the Long Tail? 1.As production tools become cheaper and ubiquitous, niche goods outnumber the “hits.” 2.Digital distribution, broadband, and search technology break down bottlenecks and costs of reaching niche markets. 3.Filters drive demand down the tail through recommendations and rankings. 4.The demand curve starts to flatten – “hits” aren’t as big. 5.Niche markets collectively make as much (or more) than the hits. 6.What shakes out is the “…True shape of demand in our culture, unfiltered by the economics of scarcity.”

3 Example: Online Music Downloads / Purchases Titles, ranked by popularity 0 100K 10K 0 Songs available at Wal-Mart and Rhapsody Songs available only at Rhapsody 98% of all inventory downloaded at least one time per quarter

4 A Few More Questions: How many learning programs can your organization develop in a year? How many learning programs can your organization deliver and administer in a year? What percentage of Warfighter “needs” are you realistically fulfilling for:  Every on-the-job skill  Every project or initiative  Continuous learning – your organization’s industry & specializations  Every job function/chain of command in your organization  Talent management – “Broad-skilling” your workforce  Leadership and Career development What governance structures do you have in place to prevent “rogue” training?

5 What’s in it For Me? Your training department is bringing great value to your organization by focusing on the Hits, AND you can bring as much (or even more) value by nurturing the Long Tail of Learning. Long Tail > The Hits

6 How to Facilitate Long-Tail Learning Democratize production tools Democratize tools of distribution Connect supply and demand The Result Tools: Videos, rapid eLearning tools, wikis, Sites Governance: Loosen standards, ISD processes Aggregate learning content of ALL kinds – not just formal learning programs Help learners navigate the “noise” to find the “high quality” stuff: search, recommendations, ratings, reviews, playlists On demand, user-driven learning perfectly tailored to the learner delivered at the perfect moment intersecting both motivation and need

7 The Key to Creating a “Learning Environment” 1.Recognize the major segments of the learning landscape: The Hits The Specialties The Long Tail 2.Devise a strategy that aligns with the needs and goals of each segment. 3.Identify learning technologies to enable the strategy for each segment.

8 The “Hits” Expert-driven learning experiences; “Small” number of offerings, but high demand and high production quality/effort Examples: On-boarding, Anti-Terrorism, Cultural Awareness, SERE, Trafficking in Person Demand/Quality LOW INFORMAL HIGH FORMAL Relevance/Popularity of Learning Objects When? New Role, New Job, New Level, New to the Org, “Broadskilling” employees

9 The Specialties Experts/specialists creating learning experiences in wide range of media on wide range of topics; role-related knowledge and skills with narrower focus Examples: Videos, Intellipedia, Webinar, Podcast Demand/Quality LOW INFORMAL HIGH FORMAL Relevance/Popularity of Learning Objects When? Boost Skills in Current Role, Build Skillset for Chosen Career Path

10 The Long Tail – Peer to Peer Knowledge Peer-driven learning for “how-to” and niche information; distribution via formal and informal social networks; format can be anything that drives knowledge sharing and learning Examples: Team wikis, sites, Social bookmarks & search Demand/Quality LOW INFORMAL HIGH FORMAL Relevance/Popularity of Learning Objects When? New Task or Project, Staying Current to Know your Stuff

11 The Long Tail “Rules” Let the learners do the work. One distribution method doesn’t fit all. Traditional LMS isn’t enough Think “push” and “pull” strategies. One product doesn’t fit all. Forget Learning Objects – think microchunks. Videos, articles, books, book excerpts, websites, wikis, webinars… Lose control: Share information about the product: Trust the market to do your job: don’t predict (pre-filter) – measure and respond (e.g., analytics).

12 The Answer to the “Dilemma”? Demand/Quality LOW INFORMAL HIGH FORMAL Relevance/Popularity of Learning Objects 70% of learning: Experiential, On the job, on demand 20% of learning: Coaching, Peers, Mentors, Colleagues 10% of learning: Formal programs

13 References Anderson, Chris (2006) The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. Hyperion Books. Surowiecki, James (2005) The Wisdom of Crowds. Anchor Books. Brown, John Seely & Adler, Richard P. (Jan/Feb 2008) Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0. Educause Review.


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