Monday, 30 November 2009

Motivation, Self-efficacy and Training

I've been reflecting recently on motivation for educators to use Learning Technologies. It's a topic that should be close to the heart of any learning technologist because it defines our success or lack of success. In higher education, for various reasons already discussed in this blog, we have an LMS content dumping situation. Self-efficacy is closely linked to this. Wikipedia describes it as:

"It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations."

Apart from being difficult to say, why is this important? It's important because it's behind a lot of the dismissive, ill-informed, sweeping statement we were about learning technologies. It's easy to dismiss something you don't understand. This is why my mantra is to educate the educators. The best way to do this at the moment is to talk in terms of Web 2.0 because the concept and values behind Web 2.0 are a good way of getting the right message across about learning technologies in general.

But why should we expect the educators to go out and learn these things? This just isn't going to happen surely. Well we need to make it as easy as we possibly can. At the moment, I'm trying to get some Web 2.0 blended learning short courses off the ground with my fingers in various pies. I'm convinced this is the right way to go. A few years ago, I was involved in a project which sought to educate the educators in personal ICT skills. We got UK government funding in London and it was best training I've ever been involved in. Why was it good? There was a clear gap in the market; a clear need; and lots of eureka moments where understanding was gained by the bucketload and motivation to use ICT was switched on like a light switch. Web 2.0 training would be more conceptual but still hands-on. It is astounding to me that we are not currently doing this - everywhere. I just hope I can get some people to see the light. Wish me luck.

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