By Maggie Aliber, LeaderNet Manager, MSH and Luis Ortiz Echevarría, Senior Manager for Knowledge Management, MSH
LeaderNet is MSH’s online learning and exchange platform, where more than 4,000 members from 150 countries come to learn through courses and seminars, connect to communities of practice, and access our curated library of resources and webinars.
What have we learned about learning over the last decade? As we set out to answer this question, we knew this was not something we could answer on our own. LeaderNet members, as a community of lifelong learners, would have interesting insights and could learn from one another’s experiences as well.
We set out to reflect on our own experiences and asked the LeaderNet community to share theirs. Thus, a global call for blogs on the State of Learning was born.
Eight blogs stood out to us, including four from the LeaderNet community. Reflecting on these blogs, it is clear that there are many perspectives on learning and how it has changed over the last 10 years, but common themes emerged:
- Learner-focused approaches where learners decide what they want to learn
- The role of collaboration and peer interaction as key ingredients to learning
- An emphasis on experimentation and reflection on mistakes
- More intentional measurement of learning and its effect on programs.
We found these four themes — interwoven across the blogs listed below — insightful and thought provoking. We hope you will continue this dialogue by sharing this through social media or reading and commenting on the blogs!
Nandita Thatte, Ados May, and Asa Cuzin-Kihl share three critical lessons they have learned through the Implementing Best Practices Initiative’s history of facilitating learning among its member organizations.
Michelle Desmond shares how incorporating real project examples into PATH’s M&E learning program created a culture where it is safe to share mistakes with mentors and peers, leading to transparent conversations about the challenges they all face.
Nsisong Asanga highlights the importance of supporting teachers, making learning fun, and tailoring content to the challenges that learners face. The piece is based on reflections from her journey as a lifelong learner and teacher.
Tara Sullivan shares four key lessons for capturing and sharing knowledge, creating meaningful and productive learning opportunities, and measuring success while reflecting on her experience in knowledge management and learning for global health.
In a moment, fundamental beliefs and assumptions can be shaken resulting in new ways of behaving and relating to one another. Sylvia Vriesendorp reflects on how to facilitate an environment that encourages transformational learning.
Nina Pruyn explores how a combination of instructional design, adult learning theory, and the practical application of learning can better engage learners.
Luis Ortiz Echevarría describes the process of facilitating conversations that challenge existing thinking and behavior — unlearning — to establish new patterns of thought and behavior.
Willie Pietersen describes strategies for effective learning, including: defining what to learn, learning as a journey, asking the right questions, learning from mistakes, and focusing on the important instead of the urgent.