Friday, November 4, 2011

Non-Managed Learning to Change Behavior and Outcomes?

Recently I read a post about a terrific education experiment by Jeff Utecht.  He created tests about Google Apps and students took these on their own.  As they passed these tests they were awarded belts and widgets.  The students were self motivated and they answered the questions by searching for and finding information (no rote memorization).  Apparently the experiment was a resounding success.

Our Center for Online Medical Education and Training (COMET) is doing a similar project on a large scale.  Working with our office of healthy environment, we have created an "EcoCaregiver" course.  The 40,000 employees of our health system can self-enroll themselves in the course.  This is not Managed Learning!

The course has several modules:

  1. Waste Minimization
  2. Energy
  3. Food
  4. Water
  5. Sustainability
  6. Buildings
  7. Climate
  8. Toxic materials
  9. Transportation
Employees can choose the module/s they want to take.  For each module they successfully complete, they get a badge that they can wear/display.  As part of responsibility for earning a badge they will try and educate and enforce eco-friendly activities in their work areas, e.g. encourage turning off of monitors and lights etc.

The entire course is hosted on our Moodle-based collaborative learning platform.    Participants will engage in collaborative online exercises including writing blogs about their experiences and sharing these with each other.

I am glad to see the success of Jeff Utecht's Google Apps education experiment.  This hopefully bodes well for our large intervention that might change behavior and even outcomes!  

We go live in 2 weeks and will post about our experience in a few months.

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