The 3-Os Action Learning Model is a flexible and personalized learning model; with a distributed networked and scalable capability. It came about because of dissatisfaction with existing training approaches that were not personalised or sustainable, and did not lead to improved performance on the job. It was field-tested, adapted and refined in several learning networks, including WikiEducator's Learning4Content wiki skills learning model; the international Community Media / Community Radio community of practice; and LearnShare HIV AIDS Africa initiative.
[|Gurmit Singh, M.Ed.] and Randy Fisher. M.A. continue to refine and adapt the 3-Os Model for business, non-profit and academia, for applications such as: professional development; capacity building; quality assurance, community journalism, ICT for development; membership retention; health promotion and other fields.
Dynamic Learning, not Training
The 3-Os is based on the assumption that in a networked era, education is effective when:
- people learn through collaboration and sharing in communities (Lave and Wenger, 1998) and in networks (Siemens 2003) of practice to solve problems, where knowledge is situated and contingent, and experts can scaffold and support reflection
- informal learning (Jay Cross, 1999) is as important as taking formal courses, thus performance improvement is a mix of design and emergent learning
- companies offer personalised and self-driven participation opportunities to increase employees' motivation and engagement
- education is relevant and responsive for employees to direct, connect and contribute, explore and discover
- learnscapes are created that transcend time and place for optimizing continuous learning from markets and rapid change
- metrics change from outputs to change in behaviours and improved performance on the job, assessed by the individual through their own self-assessment
- social media at the workplace is deployed for stimulating learning conversations, peer-coaching, and practice reinforcement
- leaders, experts and peers present and model appropriate practice, and assess in meaningful ways, leading to necessary changes in behaviour in their learning network
- e-learning responds to how people use technology in daily life, does not force them to learn in a prescribed way
- Web 2.0 is leveraged to facilitate social constructivist and connectivist (Downes, 2007) pedagogies, not to control or direct learning, because teaching is not learning, and what is learnt but not taught must be better valorized
In short, whereas training was based on input-output assumptions that took humans as empty vessels into which 'knowledge' could be poured and who would then change magically, 21st century learning represents a paradigm shift that overcomes the limited learning theories of the past. Now, learning is about creating, trying out, networking, innovating, performing together, rather than pre-determined discrete knowledge and skills that could somehow improve human potential.
Easily Integrate Existing Learning Programs with an Online Capability
The 3-O's is a gradual method designed to integrate existing on-site training programs into the world of online learning and social media, without shocking anyone. It builds on what already exists – courses, workshops and conferences and online learning, discussion boards, social media and electronic forums (i.e., Webex, Elluminate, GoToMeeting).
The 3-Os uses a multifaceted intervention which is far more effective than blended learning or onsite learning alone. It includes:
- Performance Analysis & Action Learning -- to ensure competency alignment, and increase stakeholder engagement, buy-in and ownership;
- Participatory Action Research -- to pursue action for change by involving those affected by the change so all can improve their organizations collectively and iteratively through emergent understandings; and
- Change/Transition Management -- thoughts: social media, new behaviours, fear, dealing with anxiety & resistance to change.