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Ann Davis
3 February 2013

Since the design that we are working on is for self-discovery I think that this will work well with our general plan.  Students will be given are variety of resources in order to locate the answers. By having them put the information in a wiki, they can compare how each found the answer.  Did they look the information up somewhere?  Did they ask someone?  Did they work with a partner.  I think this will allow students to discover that there are multiple ways to find the information that they are looking for.

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Jane Challinor
9:23am 4 February 2013

I really like using wikis with students to emphasise and make visible the process of working together. This fits really well with your design scenario and gets over the problem of people wandering off on their own to find answers. It is a good team building principle too, so very appropriate in the work setting.

I wonder how the aprticipants might feel about sharing, and how you might overcome some natural feelings of competitiveness, or fear of looking foolish in front of others?

Great work!


Steven Warburton
3:25pm 4 February 2013

hi Jane, Ann
I have used wikis many times and found them variably successful. This has often been down to confidence on the part of the students - something that needs to be worked on before lauching into a full activity - particulalry around the often controversial point where one directs students to "edit and refine contributions". Providing a simple warm up activity on the wiki is always a great idea :)


Briar Jamieson
4:48am 5 February 2013

Hi Ann, Really interesting project, corporate training in a self-directed model. It sounds like your goal is to have staff be self-sufficient on finding information, is a secondary goal collaboration? One of the strengths of wikis is the building of knowledge and collaboration that comes from building this knowledge together. I can see this being useful especially if the trainees are in the same department or interacting across departments, etc. I am wondering if the activity you have planned can be more complex than search and report on what you found and where you found it. If the goal is self-sufficiency then maybe having them work on cases and putting in their approaches to getting the information might lead to more discussion, learning, collaboration. I.e. you have scenarios of employees facing a challenge they need to 'solve' that challenge, where do they get information, what steps can they take. Because people solve problems differently trainees can really have that 'ah ha' moment of...I didn't think of approaching it that way. Another great thing about wikis is its longevity, so whatever staff have worked to build should have relevance after the training. Will the wiki be a 'cheat' sheet for staff after the training? Can other staff learn from the wiki? Could you put up different 'scenarios' and have not only new trainees solve them, but longer term staff add their solutions (to act as the MAP, via Luckin). One possible concern is in teaching a new tool to staff. Do they need to know how to use this a wiki on the job? Might be real overload on new hire to be learning about organization and add the wiki. I will look forward to following along with your project. My apologies but I am feeding back on my ipad and it will not put in hard returns for paragraph spacing. Briar

Steven Warburton
9:43am 5 February 2013

hi Briar - I like your comments and particualry the one about making the planned activity more demanding than a search and report. There are for me at least two levels of design here - a higher level one about the successful use of a wiki tool in Ann's context and the other about the activities that best work to the affordances of the wiki environment. They are both linked but they both need to be thought through. Steve

Briar Jamieson
6:46pm 5 February 2013

Hi Steven,

Thanks. If I understand your comments correctly you are dividing the levels of design aspects here by: 1. the  contextualized goals of the personas and 2. the wiki as tool.  In Anne's situation does using the wiki meet the goals of her learners?  Not easily answered but I agree that there are more factors to consider about the goals of the learners vs the tool that is used and to add another layer vs the organizational goals.  (There are probably many more layers.)

Anne, I was thinking more about your scenario with the new worker and returning mom.  I am not sure what their work roles are but my activity example of doing something more 'complex' may not apply.  (i.e different activites for staff working for a help desk/call centre VS a supervisor/manager VS lawyer/accountant).  A big assumption there, but not sure what content they are being trained on.

For the hunt and report activity what about an 'Intranet' scavenger hunt for information, and have people 'think aloud' on their process of finding the information so that other participants can understand different decision making/path process.  I think the cases might apply perhaps for more complex issues; HR type of things, benefits, dispute resolution, etc.  I am trying to see where these might fit in the design cases?

Also, thinking about the strength of the wiki and its longevity is the idea of  'Corporate Memory'.  If staff were encouraged to solve cases, or input 'pathways' to information, or decision making process, etc. you would have a rich historical repository.  I think many organizations are doing with with employee blogs.

Reflecting on Jane's comments, and staff 'looking foolish'.  I agree this is an important consideration.  Employment is high stakes, is this sharing collaboration part of the organizational culture? If someone makes a mistake how will it be perceived?  Competition might have a place in corporate training, depending on the context, you might feed into motivations of a sales person, or want creative out of the box thinking from your marketing/branding staff.

Thanks Anne for giving me so much to think about.  I love that this is a corporate example.  Personally it feels grounded in real world outcomes and risks.


Ann Davis
5:29pm 17 February 2013

Thanks everyone for your comments.  Initially, the activity will be part of the new hire curriculum for their position.  My current intent is to have the wiki up for their particular class.  However, at the end of the curriculum, the information in the wiki would be shared with their business department.  If something was particulally hard to locate or solve, it identifies that there is a gap somewhere, either in the training materials, or in the resources. If that reason that existing employess all knew the answer was due to the fact that they went to a certain supervisor, but now if that supervisor is gone - there needs to be a way to make sure that the knowledge did not completely leave with them.

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