Guest post by: Toby Harris, Saffron Interactive On 11 November at the exciting and brand new eLearning Network Conference I’m going to be giving a session entitled: “The tyranny of Taylorism and the digital citizen: a manifesto for a brave new kind of learning and performance environment” as part of Stream 1: “Strategy and Tactics for Digital Learning”. It is going to be a belter. Not just because of my aggressive presentation style, but also because it’s the second session of the morning – just when the audience’s first strong cup of coffee usually kicks in. My manifesto is directed primarily at a man – F. W. Taylor – who died exactly 100 years ago. His famous theories on manufacturing efficiency are, of course, obsolete, long since replaced by better ones like Kaizen. But Taylor’s ghost lives on in the Human Resources practices that his pseudo-scientific management theory gave birth to. They stopped building cars like Taylor thought we should decades ago. But we still build the kind of learning programmes and learning software he would appreciate. It’s all summed up in his phrase: “the one best way”: everyone has a separate goal, and there’s one best way to achieve it. So he wouldn’t like personalisation. Because personalisation requires the opposite: everyone shares the same goal, but there’s no best way to achieve it. I can’t possibly hope to explain myself without a list of four surprising reasons which miraculously came to me whilst I was putting my slides together. So here we go with my preview: four reasons why you need to personalise absolutely everything (“everything!?” I hear you cry). Yep, you heard me: everything.
- Everything is already personalised
- Implementing personalisation is not impossibly expensive
- Personalisation is the best way of centralising your approach to learning and performance
- No one can ask you for SCORM completion figures on personalised learning experiences