Having been lovingly nurtured along for at least seven years, my ideas around designing learning environments have at last been shaped into a real book. I am so excited to announce that Learning Environments by Design was published by ATD Press on September 14, 2015.
I think it’s a good time to send these ideas out into the world. Those who support learning know well that the digital age has enabled people to access resources and to network with others much more readily, and these advancements have changed the way we “do” learning and development in organizations.
As the digital age started to unfold, I took a step back to try to figure out how to conceptualize and communicate a more comprehensive approach to supporting L&D that included all kinds of learning strategies: formal, informal, social, developmental, and experiential. I recognize that we need to use more resources and tools with digital roots, certainly, but it is also important to encourage interpersonal connections and in-the-flow of work learning. Learners cobble together approaches from all these avenues on their own when they are savvy about it, but we in L&D can have a tremendous impact if we can smooth the path and organize resources for accessibility.
That’s what learning environment design is all about – giving learners more ready access to the most relevant resources, interpersonal connections, useful tools, and formal learning options that can support learning a particular knowledge base or skill – and letting the learners themselves choose the learning avenues that are most pertinent at any given time.
I hope readers will find Learning Environments by Design useful in thinking about learning strategy. And I’ve included several chapters that delve into the “why” of “what works” so we can make more informed decisions around social learning and encouraging learners to manage their own learning paths.
ATD Press is providing a preview of the introduction and first chapter, so you can check out an overview of the framework. I certainly hope others find these ideas useful; I know they have really served me well in the last several years and are guiding my work into the future.
I’d like to offer a sincere thanks to all the learning professionals, L&D pundits and bloggers, and forward-thinking clients who have challenged my thinking and helped to shape this work. And thank you as well to the editing team at ATD Press who put the finishing touches on the work. I am one happy “mama” now that my book is out there in the world. And I look forward to continuing to nurture these concepts and seeing how they grow up from this point forward.