Being more productive is a goal of mine – Don’t get me wrong. I am quite productive – but I can always improve. The productivity focus intrigued me. This session’s focus was on productivity in learning but I ended up in the wrong room – but I sat in the front row. This blog is a bit of a jumble of notes.

Social Learning Session

Instead I was exposed to social learning. It was put on by the “eHarmony for mentoring” equivalent and someone from the credit union. They challenged us to think about how to deliver legacy content better – make a tangible difference for our learners.

Janet was an engaging presenter who shared some background on the Credit Union Institute of Canada but critiqued the binder method of legacy content that she experienced.

The Idea: Digitize the Binder with Interactive PDFs.

My initial reaction was groan. She walked us through the user experience which highlighted several challenges. The learning content was not presented in a user-friendly way. She said they needed to undo what they did to create the magic.


The Better Way: A Social Learning Partnership.

We logged into and logged in. The dashboard was definitely more attractive than the old one. Each learner’s case study identified learner strengths and challenges. The challenges were quite similar to what I see in my classroom. The audience was asked to help identify ways to address each of the challenges.

Some key messages from this presentation includes strategically selecting supports to help learners overcome their learning challenges. A community-based approach can help. I really enjoyed the presentation style that showcased the usefulness of what they were talking about.



Productivity tips:

I ended up catching some productivity tips next door. I hope to catch the slides for tips 1 through three.

4: Tracking should be simple.

Yes! It needs to be carefully thought out and easy to do.

5: Do not set a percentage of utilization as a goal.

High utilization means people are BSing the data or you are killing your people and future.

6: You need audits

Do not make them anxiety provoking. Use them to help understand how to make the future better. Do not make people feel like big brother is watching.


7: The system is only one piece. You need change management and emotional engagement.


8: Make decisions based on periodic reports

Track the time taken to product learning objects and plan accordingly. Sometimes projects take more or less hours to complete than others. If no one examines what you are producing you could be producing the wrong thing.


9: Adopt an XML based content management system that acts as an authoring tool.

Huh? I need to look more into this.


10: Your SLAs are a living organism.

Huh? Now I really know why abbreviations are a bad thing. I have no idea what he is talking about. Still the concept of continually re-evaluating what you are doing makes sense. SLA = service level agreement.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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