We’re at the end of day two of our Working Out Loud week within the full M.S. Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) community – about 220 graduate students, staff and faculty.
Let me reflect here for a bit on two observations: The diversity of topics we’re covering and the impact of features/affordances on how this may all play out.
MSLOC students are all working professionals who average 12 years of experience in a wide range of industries and organizational types. What draws them to our graduate program is an interest in understanding the people side of organizational change. That’s reflected in their working out loud topics.
Here’s what they are working out loud on:
- Finding a blogging platform and setup tips help document a year-long (scholarship sponsored) project in Myanmar.
- Design of a how-to-make-better product decisions workshop.
- Self-study of The Social Psychology of Organizing by Karl Weick.
- Elements of a new manager on-boarding program at a children’s hospital
- Elements of an on-boarding program for new project managers
- Design of an education program targeted at talent acquisition leaders
- Discovering the needs and interests for a women’s initiative at one organization
- Understanding effective practices for startup implementation of Yammer at a smaller firm (80-100 people)
- Helping an organization figure out what it means to create a learning culture
- Developing an on-boarding plan for a specific new hire
- Developing a market research report based on customer stories
- Developing a short session for clients on how to get more comfortable with difficult conversations
- Re-imagining an organization’s existing internal online community to improve information sharing, collaboration and on-boarding
- Putting a professional voice out into the online world
All of these topics are being explored as sub-threads to a single working-out-loud thread we started on Monday within our the program’s private enterprise social network (ESN). To date, we have 66 total responses (each of the above working-out-loud topics is one response, meaning we have 50-ish replies to topics); 21 active participants in the discussion; and 57 total viewers (which means we have 36 lurkers).
Those are interesting activity numbers. But the level of conversation is more interesting. The discussion thread gives each individual a chance to respond thoughtfully (and they do). Our ESN also includes an @mention feature, allowing participants to signal others an bring them into the conversation (and they do). It truly is an example of thoughtful reciprocity.
This was a calculated move, to have one discussion thread home for all the working out loud activity in our private ESN. It’s unsatisfactory, however. Shortly this thread will be difficult to navigate (we may be there already for many participants).
What we really need – within an ESN – is a way to aggregate the top-line topics and updates that then draws people into a specific space (like a blog) where the conversation is going deeper. This exactly the design that cMOOCs use on the web (see Thought Vectors in Concept Space or Connected Courses as recent examples).
Wondering if anyone in the ESN product space is actually looking at what is going on in with these innovative cMOOCs.
Final thought: Have something to contribute to any of the topics noted above? Use Twitter hashtags #msloc430 #wol