This weekend gave me a much-needed chance to research and reflect further on the focus of my critical inquiry into using a commercialized video library such as Lynda.com to support self-directed learning and/or serve as a secondary resource for instructors in our professional development and training programs. What I came to realize is that my desire to reduce in-house video production costs by looking to Lynda videos as a viable substitute for some video content in the delivery of our courses has superseded what should be the real focus which drives this inquiry. That focus is to ensure that our programs “meet the needs of our diverse range of learners [and] are adaptive to workforce and industry needs…” (Sharpe, 2019, para 1).
What has been missing is further examination of how this type of technology adds value in creating a fulfilling learning experience. By fulfilling, I mean an experience that supports independent and collective learning. Seufert & Meier (2016) whose research on digital transformation in organizational Learning & Development pointed to the necessity of “facilitated learning…reflection…collaborative exchange & learning in networks and communities” (p. 30) as essential to supporting the needs of workplace learning. This line of thinking is further evidenced by Garrison and Anderson (2003) through the Community of Inquiry (COI) Theoretical Framework for online learning. In looking at the needs of a ‘knowledge-based society’, Garrison & Anderson (2003) advised the development of learning environments to support independent and collaborative thinking and learning. This in turn strengthens the development of higher-order critical thinking skills (Garrison & Anderson, 2003).
By shifting my perspective from cost-reduction and the business perspective, which admittedly was beginning to bias my inquiry, I plan to examine the pedagogical implications of using a one-way, transmission delivery of knowledge for learning. The convenience of using videos or tutorials such as Lynda, perhaps relays a perception that learning is taking place. However, without any means of assessment or the opportunity to engage in dialogue around the learning content, the technology in this instance has pedagogical drawbacks. My intent is not to dismiss Lynda.com or other curated video libraries as a resource, nor can I ignore the business side of these decisions. Instead, I intend to advocate that a critical community of inquiry would better serve the needs of our adult learners in the context of professional development and training.
Question for my cohort colleagues: Have you experienced challenges with your own biases sometimes getting in the way of your critical inquiry? If so, how are you keeping them in check before you go too far down the road, and they take over?!
Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-Learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. London: Routledge.
Seufert, S., & Meier, C. (2016, May). From eLearning to digital transformation: A framework and implications for L&D. Paper presented at the International Conference on E-learning in the Workplace, New York, NY. http://dx.doi.org/10.3991/ijac.v9i2.
Sharpe, M. (2019, April 19). Leveraging Lynda.com videos as a training resource [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0069/leveraging-lynda-com-videos-as-a-training-resource/