Monday, March 19, 2007

Turtles and Fruit flies

Having been around in the e-learning or computer based learning business for nearly a quarter of a century, I've seen lots of private and public sector initiatives. There's been good and bad from both sides.

In the public sector I make a distinction between 'Turtle' and 'Fruit fly' initaitives. Turtles, although sometimes a little dull, mature steadily and have longevity. Fruit flies, however, breed like crazy but die soon after they're born.

Public sector turtles would include:

Ubiquity of secondary school education
Open University
Abolition of the 11+
1992 expansion of Universities
Janet and Superjanet
Classroom assistants

Fruit flies
Public sector fruit flies:

Whole language literacy
BBC Doomesday project
Individual Learning Acccounts
Local LSCs

Give me turtles anytime. By the way, Blair is a fruit fly sort of guy - Brown I'd call a Turtle!

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Blogger Norman said...

Apologies for being off topic but I couldn't find a direct email address for you.

I'm looking for the source of the frequently-made statement about '75% of learning in corporates is informal'. I find it popping up everywhere and while it's quite believable I would like to know what it's based on and who said it first. Can you tell me?

10:33 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

One of the most famous pieces of research in informal learning was produced by the Education Development Center (EDC) in 1997. This was a comprehensive 2-year study funded by the US Department of Labor and the Pew Charitable Trusts. It included companies such as Boeing, Siemens, Data Instruments, Ford and Motorola.

This showed a 4:1 ratio.

For further discussion see Jay Cross's book Informal Learning - Appedix B has a full list of this and other sources.

Conner 2005, Infromal learning: Ageless learner 1997-2005

Raybould 2000, Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(1), 7-22.

Dobbs 2000 pp52 (above report)

Lloyd 2000, Knowledge Management
Vade 1998 also did a survey of its members confriming the figure.

Hope this helps.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

Thanks Donald. Just what I need.

12:24 PM  

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