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More early discoveries from my research in to the effectiveness of Social Computing for Workplace Learning


Three days in to the questionnaire phase of my research and some clear trends are emerging among the respondents.

Before I launched the questionnaire I interviewed 20 IBM L&D practitioners at various career grades and in various countries to get their insight in to social computing for workplace learning, both within IBM and among our clients. Those interviews resulted in my framing the resultant web based questionnaire - and limiting its scope to a manageable series of questions. One early lesson I learned was that there are many potential benefits and disadvantages to social computing for workplace learning, but among them are some recurring, systemic benefits and disadvantages that seem to transcend organisation, culture, language and technology. That's where I have focused my reseach.

A few, perhaps surprising early discoveries.

1) Despite the pervasive availability of Smartphones, well over 90% of learners use a laptop to access social computing for workplace learning, and over 80% identify their laptop as their most frequently used social learning device. Smartphones are used as a primary device by less than 5% of respondents.

2) Some organisations must take a charitable view of access to their corporate social learning resources, with 6% of respondents claiming that they can access their employers social computing for workplace learning resources via the Internet without authentication or a virtual private network.

3) Difficulty in searching for the right learning turns out to be a high impact limitation of social computing for workplace learning among 46% of respondents. Perhaps this is a result of inadequate tagging, titling and linking of content - a discipline that may not be widely adopted by workplace learner consumer-creators?

My research continues and if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a £50 (UKP) Amazon or iTunes voucher, I would appreciate your help in completing this questionnaire

The questionnaire will be available until 20th July 2012 and it takes about 10 mins to complete. Every participant who leaves an email address will receive a 'thank you' in the form of a $10 (USD) store credit to spend with National Geographic's partner - a great way to support artisans in developing nations.

Participation is anonymous (unless you wish to leave your email address), and all my findings, conclusions and recommendations will be published in October, and sent to those who wish to receive a copy.

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