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!


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?

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.

Norman said...

Thanks Donald. Just what I need.