The Learning Journey Platform

The goal of the Learning Journey Platform is to make Learning Power improvement accessible to anyone with a smart device.  Helping everyone to succeed not only in their study, but also in their work and in the community.

From Classroom to Boardroom – Learning Power drives success

Developed through 18 years of academic research, the Learning Power platform and previous versions have been used over 120,000 times to help individuals and teams improve their capacity to learn.

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With the ability to support multiple languages and tones of voice tailored to each audience, it is a unique capability that enables continuous Learning Power improvement throughout the journey of a learner – from school, to college, to university and into work.

It’s also a powerful tool for supporting community engagement – addressing shared problems that matter.

With an obvious home in Education, the Learning Journey Platform is increasingly being used by Business around the world to improve performance by increasing the Learning Power of individuals, teams and organisations, enabling them to transform, adapt and succeed.

Its a new and unique opportunity to build sustainable Learning Power improvement into individual and organisational learning.

The Platform’s features and benefits

It is more than just a diagnostic tool – it supports the entire Learning Power improvement cycle, from purpose to performance.

  • It is ‘always on’ – the platform is constantly available to provide new and rapid feedback, not just a one-off assessment
  • It is accessible and easy to use
  • It supports and informs coaches and leaders as well as their teams
  • It generates a rich and growing data set to drive collaborative research, development and continuous improvement

Without purpose, learning is a journey without a destination

The first stage in any learning journey is understanding why you are attempting something – establishing purpose.  The platform makes this very simple, guiding you through a series of questions that tease out the purpose.

Discovering your personal Learning Power profile

Next, the platform takes you through the Learning Power profile, answering simple questions about how you think, feel and behave while learning. Based on these answers, a personalised Learning Power profile is generated, helping you to understand your capacity to learn based on eight dimensions of learning.

Learning Power Results

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Improving your Learning Power

Being able to improve your Learning Power is at the heart of the platform.  By identifying which learning power dimensions to improve, you give a new shape to your profile, creating a visual target for your improvement plan.

Change my profileThe platform makes this easy by enabling you to drag and stretch your selected dimension scores on the spider diagram of your Learning Power profile and by prompting and recording the improvement strategies you create which enable you to achieve your targets.

Doing something about it…

The next step is also simple, but often overlooked – it’s about putting a plan into action and doing something differently, to practice and improve your Learning Power.  We call this Doing The Job.  It is when Learning Power is used in action to build new knowledge, achieve goals and create new value.

Lending a helping hand

To help you on your journey, we have created your own ‘buddy’ that will offer personalised help along the way. 

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Offering helpful hints and tips, this will make sure you get the most out of your learning journey.

Tracking progress

The last step in any learning journey is to measure the progress made against your learning objectives.

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The platform makes it easy to retrieve and compare previous learning power profiles and to track your progress over time.

Unique access to learning data

The platform also provides access to the underlying data to enable valuable analytical insights, for coaches and leaders, of the individual and group feedback.

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Access to this level of learner data is ground-breaking as it allows for integration with wider data sets for further analytical insight and to drive Research and Development opportunities.

A Digital Learning Infrastructure for self-directed learning

Why does this matter?

Complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are the three most important capabilities for thriving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  These are not traditionally developed through legacy learning and development systems (human or digital)because they require real-world, purposeful problems and contexts, the ability to work across silos, new measurement models and courageous leadership. Learning design for teachers is about creating the conditions where students can take responsibility for their own learning by invoking their own passion and purpose and the agency to pursue these through a learning journey in contexts where the outcome is not known in advance

What are we measuring?

The most important unit of change is the story and identity of the learner – not the teacher, the curriculum or the measurement model. Legacy systems tend to privilege the content of the curriculum, a reductionist measurement model and the teacher as agent of change.  The challenge for learning analytics is to build a digital infrastructure based on a data architecture which provides a ‘single view of the learner’, where data belongs to the learner and can be used, one student at a time, across transitions, and in real-time, for better decision-making as they navigate their way through complex problems to solutions that matter to them.  This is sometimes described as a call to move towards Education 3.0 – a challenging worldview shift from a top down, individualist and dualistic worldview (Education 1.0) towards an integral, participatory and wholistic one.   For a discussion about these ideas see the first Handbook for Learning Analytics and a chapter called Layers, Loops and Processes.

What this Post is About

I want to focus on the challenges and opportunities of building such a Digital Learning Infrastructure and will use examples from the new Learning Emergence Learning Journey Platform.  The first release of the platform is live with a group of schools in the UK and  with another group of schools in the Hunter, NSW, sponsored by Hunter Water Corporation. Hunter Water are using the same Learning Journey Platform as a vehicle for cultural transformation as they move into the uncertainty and challenges of infrastructure resilience and sustainability for the future of the region.

The Learning Journey Platform

The purpose of the Learning Journey Platform is to enhance self-directed learning capabilities, and thus the resilient agency, of students, teachers and leaders and schools across the world. It provides scaffolding support for people in authentic enquiry learning journeys which contribute measurably to data-informed local solutions that matter and empower self-directed, resilient learners. ‘Learning Power’ is a term which describes this approach. Resilient people are a pre-requisite for resilient and sustainable practices at all levels of society. See this link for an introduction.

Loops – feedback and feedforward

Rapid feedback of meaningful data is key to enhancing self-directed learning. The Learning Journey Platform hosts the CLARA learning power assessment tool, the TESAteacher development tool for pedagogy which supports deep student engagement and Angela Duckworth’s GRIT survey.  Feedback to the user is immediate and provides a framework for reflection – ‘backwards’ towards identity and purpose and ‘forwards’ to a particular purposeful outcome.

The Learning Journey Platform aggregates anonymised data in real time for coaches, teachers and leaders to interrogate in different ways. This capability is possible because of the underlying data architecture which allows for a ‘single view of the learner’. The data belongs to the learner and they can take their learningjourneys with them from school to school and on to University and into the work place

Processes – the learning journey

A key design principle underpinning the Learning Journey Platform is that learning is a journey that begins with a purpose and moves towards an outcome or  ‘performance’ of some sort. When a student defines and owns their own purpose – the why – they are at the beginning of resilient agency. They need to use their learning dispositions – their learning power – to understand themselves as learners and to figure out how to move towards their purpose. The what is the data, information, experience and new knowledge they need to identify, collect, curate and re-construct in order to achieve their purpose. This is a familiar enquiry cycle for most educators – the key difference here is the emphasis on purpose and agency and self-directed navigation. It’s also a process that is core to improvement science approaches.

The learning journey metaphor is simple and yet profound in terms of mind-set shifts. A person leads a journey, you can be on your own or with others, there’s a terrain, a map if you’re lucky, challenges, diversions and a destination. Journeys have endings and beginnings and way-points, and come in all shapes and sizes.

The Learning Journey Platform builds on best practice in data architecture from FinTech in customer journeys and uses AI to support the individual learner in navigating their learning.  Whereas in the commercial world the focus is on the ‘next best action’, in the world of learning the focus is on the ‘next best offer’. Dialogue and discourse are at the heart of learning.

Layers – students, teachers, leaders, system leaders 

Schools are complex living systems which are multi-layered. We know how important teacher professional learning is – you can’t give what you haven’t got. Moving towards education 3.0 means to be part of a worldview shift which is happening around us because of the challenges of life in the 21C. A worldview shift of this type is uncomfortable and challenging. It’s best encountered and managed through deep professional learning – for leaders and teachers.  The Learning Journey Platform captures the data, analyses it and returns aggregated anonymised data as feedback to teachers and leaders for more focused interventions and better decision making. Personal data is only viewed by another person with explicit permission: it belongs to the Learner.

What Next

The focus for the next stage of the Learning Journey Platform is on enhancing the use of AI to support purposeful conversations – enhancing, not replacing, the face to face relationships of trust, affirmation and challenge that are at the heart of learning. ‘Buddy’ already asks questions and ‘calls time’ for reflection at key junctures in each journey and he’ll get cleverer as time goes by. The second focus is on developing support and scaffolding for a whole authentic enquiry project.

The Learning Journey Platform is available for use by schools and HE in this phase of development. Its capability to collect and integrate data around rapid cycles of enquiry make it an ideal candidate to support professional learning and improvement science approaches to educational transformation. Its partnership with Declara – social learning and knowledge curation – mean that through the INSIGHTS tab capability users can access ‘knowledge pathways’ – units of relevant learning material which sit within Declara. The potential for scaling up professional learning across geographies and time is significant.

This sort of education innovation requires new business models that allow for collaboration, innovation and evolution. The Learning Emergence Partnership is developing a wholistic approach where the same learning design principles are used in industry for cultural transformation both in terms of employees and different types of users and customers. In between education and industry there is ‘community engagement’ and ‘vocational education’.  Our vision is to make this work accessible for all schools, working with both industry and philanthropy. Learning Emergence has an asset locked Foundation to ensure this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Journeys: Learning Journeys – beyond ‘nudge’ to digital decisioning at scale

The Learning Emergence team hosted an International Centre for Infrastructure Futures workshop at the Systems Centre  yesterday to explore the synergy between ‘customer journeys’ as developed in the digital architecture of retail banking – and ‘learning journeys’ as developed by the Bristol team to capture the personal and social processes which contribute to the development of ‘resilient agency’.

the achievable goal of true ‘customer at a time’ value management with many millions of customers

Dec Blue Partner  Tim Crick, also a Learning Emergence Partner, showed how advanced customer decisioning technology can help organisations deliver agile and adaptive ‘customer at a time’ value management strategies across digital, assisted and face-to-face  channels. This transformation in approach to customer management is radical – from a product/campaign centred approach to a ‘customer at a time’ Next Best Action Journey, from siloed channels to ‘joined up’ channels, and from  ‘old data’ to ‘real time insight’ – its all about how to engage the individual in becoming resilient agents of their own financial journeys, rather than ‘telling them what to do’ and ‘selling them products they don’t really want’.  Dec Blue is partnering with the Learning Emergence Partnership to explore this ‘joined up thinking’ through research and development. Untitled

Lets just suspend our suspicion of the banks for a minute and explore these ideas.

Ok – this is ‘commercial speak’ but we are Analogical Scavengers....and if we look at this from a different viewpoint,then it has many of the characteristics of learning journeys.  The ‘person’ has a desire or a purpose. That purpose gives fuels their learning power.  They figure out how to go about achieving that purpose, to persevere and explore all the relevant data and options available to them, in their unique context. They accumulate all that information, no doubt feel overwhelmed, and challenged as they figure out how best to achieve their goal. They get the help they need (online and offline) and finally settle on their preferred outcome. Once they move in they’ve achieved their purpose…they got what they wanted and needed which was a home of their own (not a mortgage!).   This is what we call a ‘single loop’ learning journey – just getting the job done. But if we use the same digital decisioning capability to ‘make the journey visible’  so that the individual learns how to go about navigating the journey itself more reflexively, asking more questions, challenging more assumptions and exploring more alternatives, then we’re actually enabling people to strengthen their learning power and become more discerning and effective in creating value. 

customer journey

Just willingly suspend your disbelief’ about the banks for a moment. The focus here is on enabling the individual to identify a purpose, to creatively explore what their options are, to find people and resources to help them, to collect the data they need to explore options, to make a decision and to implement it. Maybe the outcome is a NO. Still it’s a job done and its a learning journey. The journey has an architecture – stages, steps, transitions, interactions, triggers, beginnings and endings. The point is we have the technology and the know how to build this sort of digital decisioning infrastructure at scale.

what if we tuned this technology to the challenge of CO2 reduction?

customer journey fuelled by learning

double loop learningThe ‘customer needs cycle’ matches the ‘authentic enquiry cycle’ ….. what we know about learning power and resilient agency adds value to this by locating the ‘customer’  (aka ‘learner’ or  ‘individual’) as the primary agent of purpose and thus the driver of the process. Resilience is about mindfully navigating the journey between purpose and performance fuelled by learning power, which is the way in which we regulate the flow of energy and information over time in the service of a purpose of value’.   The dimensions of learning power simply provide a language and a focus for how we can go about this and get better at navigating learning journeys when we don’t know what the outcome is in advance. Learning Emergence Partner Steven Barr took us through the first steps of designing a customer/learning journey focused on ‘cycle to work’ as a job to be done which, if done at scale would have an impact on the overall outcome of CO2 reduction.

linking the the knowledge and know how about digital customer journeys with learning journeys and applying this at scale to an important social  ‘job to be done’ is the next big research and development challenge

Gonski? Let’s get serious about school improvement

Good news: the Prime Minister is reconsidering his government’s decision not to fund the remaining educational reforms recommended in 2011 by the Gonski Report. However, the depressing track record of so many school improvement efforts was highlighted last week when new education minister Simon Birmingham noted:

We need to acknowledge that state and federal governments have ploughed lots more money into schools in recent years and with all of that extra money we haven’t necessarily seen improved educational outcomes” […] “There’s far more to getting better outcomes than just putting more money on the table.”

And he’s right. New work from Tony Bryk, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in Australia this week, shows just why educational improvement efforts so often fire blanks — but also, how his team is building the capacity of education leaders and practitioners to address complex educational problems, rigorously evidenced.

Improvement Science uses disciplined enquiry and analysis to inform ‘on-the-ground’ change efforts, adopting rigorous protocols for testing improvement ideas in practice.  In this way, leaders’ and practitioners’ ‘learning by doing’ accumulates through rapid prototyping, into practical field knowledge capable of producing quality outcomes.

Improvement Science has targeted deep-seated weaknesses in the US public school system, serving similarly challenged demographics to priority groups in Australia, with very encouraging results on student developmental mathematics, student agency, and new teacher retention and effectiveness. An equally important outcome from this work is learning how to initiate and sustain such improvement processes, a new approach that we are now initiating in Australia, based on our schools work over the last decade in the UK and internationally. Tony Bryk is the leading figure in the Educational Improvement Science movement, and is in Australia this week giving public lectures and running Masterclasses for educational leaders in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, with support from NSW and SA Departments for Education, university education departments, and and leaders from diverse schools.

This deeply engaged way of working with practitioners in the trenches is also profoundly challenging for universities to scale sustainably. Academics are used to short-term collaborations with partner schools — for as long as the next grant lasts — from which emerges academic knowledge but rarely an intentional effort to deliver practical tools or capacity-building for the school. Models of systemic innovation diffusion — and we mean two-way traffic between the universities and schools — point to the potential of strategic partnerships with educational consultancies who can scale and localise educational innovation and staff development in ways that universities struggle to deliver. This is a learning journey for universities, as well as for policymakers, school leaders and students.

Here’s the closer argument for the Minister and his team to consider. What would count as an approach that not only takes seriously the best educational research, but is committed to translating this into practical approaches for schools, and leverages the networked power of “the cloud + crowd” to share rigorous evidence of successes and failures? The furrows in the playing field of educational inequality certainly won’t be levelled by a new steam roller driving through tougher standards. You don’t help someone grow merely by measuring them more often at higher resolution. Veterans in the field know that sustainable improvement comes from growing learning partnerships with school leaders, teachers, students, parents and local community. Easily said, but that takes a holistic, systemic mindset. It might even take a bit longer than the next election.

When it does come to quantifying impact, how do we do this intelligently, with integrity? It can be tough to gather good evidence in the daily routine of school, and teachers rarely bring expertise with research methodology and tools to gather quality data. Short of having your own personal team of academics on hand to support your school, how do you innovate in a disciplined way, at scale, with evidence, sharing successes and failures on the way? Worryingly, the Gratton Institute reports systemic weaknesses in schools’ capacity to gather and use effective progress data. The bigger flaw they point to is the blinkered dependency on very high stakes, disturbingly stressful and infrequent national tests, a poor diagnostic for an improvement strategy.

So for us, the question of demonstrating impact begs the question what kinds of learners are we trying to create? Ultimately, it is the assessment regime that drives what goes on in the classroom and how schools (and pupils) are judged. Universities must also bear responsibility for escalating the ATAR-arms-race that drives such behaviour in schools. For this reason, at UTS we often have to ‘de-program’ many first years out of their ATAR-egos, to explain that to really grow as learners, they are going to have to develop skills and dispositions that are not encouraged by high stakes exams. This drives our priority on using the power of learning analytics to provide rapid feedback loops for innovation, to develop not only literacy and numeracy — critical as they are — but the new student qualities needed to thrive in turbulence and complexity, and the new teacher qualities required to transform their practice.

Alternatively, we can let educational academics continue to generate the research outcomes that define the academic pecking order, while school improvement efforts continue to struggle — and wonder in another few years why the new dollars didn’t seem to make a difference.

Simon Buckingham Shum is Professor of Learning Informatics, and Director of the Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Ruth Crick is Professor of Learning Analytics & Educational Leadership, School of Education and Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Chris Goldspink is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Incept Labs Sydney

Tony Bryk Australian tour kicks off

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Ruth, Chris and I are delighted to be hosting Tony Bryk this week, with colleagues at a series of events in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Tony is the leading figure in the Educational Improvement Science movement, and we look forward to stimulating conversation with colleagues at  the NSW and VIC Departments for Education, and leaders from diverse school contexts.

Learn more. . .

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