Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

Tech Support Meme and Understanding your Audience

Tony Karrer’s blog had this very hilarious take on technology adoption. Karl Kapp follows it up with another one. And there are many more that provide the humorous side of tech support calls. Sometimes I wonder if the incidents narrated in most of these conversations are actually urban legends. Do such users actually exist who would ask there is the “Any key” on the keyboard? And what assumptions do we make of our users when we create a learning module? I wonder if there are any foundation courses that use these tech support memes to tell the users that there isn’t any key labeled ANY (or NE for that matter) on the keyboard. In most cases elearning courses are expected to be designed and developed for minimum levels of audience knowledge, which can easily lead to the pitfall of mistaking about our audience's pre-requisite knowledge. The key is to understand your audience and build content that doesn’t insult their intelligence.

eCube – Progress So Far

We have made a modest beginning to the eCube experiment. In the first month, we have had 26 posts from 10 authors besides me. Additionally, there have been 24 comments posted. So the team is participating.

As I mentioned in my previous post, eCube is an experiment in reflective learning using Web 2.0 tools. This is also an experiment to bring in a learning culture in the organization, and an attempt to solve the business need of enhancing skills of a large diverse and divergent team of instructional designers and content developers.

I started by simply creating a team blog and inviting people to start contributing to this blog. Some of the things that have worked:

  • I initially invited a few people who I thought should contribute. I was also recommended some names of people who might contribute. So I quickly included them and that helped.
  • I sent regular reminders to people to contribute to the blog. I created a list of potential topics that authors could write on.
  • Using Google Reader, I share posts that I think might be useful to the group. I have an RSS feed of my shared items on the eCube blog.
  • To initiate more participation, I have added Outbrain’s rating widget. A little widget displays the most popular posts on the blog.
  • Added a link to the eCube blog on the employee portal within the firewall. This has added more traffic to the blog.
  • Peer push - as authors contribute I get requests by others to be added as authors to the blog.

I am still learning to use wikis. Hopefully I will be able to integrate this experiment with the corporate wiki in the near future.

Related posts:

Michael Martin – Creating an Organizational Culture of Reflective Practice

Tony Karrer – PLE and PWLE posts

Ray Sims – Motivation for Technology Adoption by End-Users

Ratings by Outbrain

I discovered ratings by Outbrain and am loving it. Very simple to install on your blog, it puts an unobtrusive widget to allow readers to rate your posts. The software is still in beta stage so somethings aren't easy to find on your own. You need to write to them to get your ratings report on their site. And you need to add an extra bit of code in the widget to make the most popular posts visible on your site (add var OB_showMP = true; as first line after script language tag).

But all in all, a great little widget to interact with readers.



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.