The discussion topic for our September 2015 meeting of the Fredrickson Roundtable for Learning Leaders is, “What does ‘good learning’ mean to you?”

I’ve been fascinated by this question ever since some of the Fredrickson Learning employees first brought it up a few months ago. It’s seemingly a very simple question, but, as with many questions that seem simple at first, it can be surprisingly challenging to answer.

First off, it’s personally challenging to come up with a list that I can think of as on-point and meaningful to me. On one hand there are a lot of things that I believe about learning–I had no problem generating a long brainstorm-style list. But really getting to the heart of the matter required some thought. A lot of thought, in fact. To me this is similar to thinking about core values. We all have them, we all know we have them, but getting them out on paper as concise and meaningful statements can really give the mental gears a workout.

The second thing I find interesting about this discussion is that everyone will answer this question of “What is ‘good learning?'” differently.  Within organizational learning, we’re often challenged with having to provide learning that is:

  • Built at the request of a business stakeholder group, and also…
  • Built by the learning group, and also…
  • Built for a group of learners.

Each of these groups will probably have areas where they are in agreement with the other stakeholders as to what “good learning” means when it comes to this topic, but they will also have areas where they don’t agree. And, of course, each group may not share, understand, or even be aware of the perspective of the other stakeholder groups.

Even when I have “my list” and you have yours, the challenge of this question isn’t really answered. It’s how we use these lists and how they prompt us to consider the lists of other stakeholder groups that really provides the value that underpins this question.

I’m very much looking forward to the next Roundtable for Learning Leaders meeting on September 17. I hope to see a big member turnout as we take up this very big question.

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