Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gawande's Complications Part 1 Wrap-Up

We'll start Part 2 on Tuesday. I didn't get any answers about scheduling the rest of the book. As Part 2 deals with Gawande's residence, let's just keep going straight through.

For wrap-up on Part 1, @steelepierce asks Q7: Q7 Gwande's description & of conferences (9000 surgeons). How (or not) are conferences L&D experiences? Agree with his assessment? (This was a #lrnchat topic a few weeks back. Check the transcript if you're interested.)

Several folks have asked that we continue this project. Books suggested so far are Moretenson's Three Cups of Tea and Ogilvy on Advertising (not available for Kindle so will take a few days for most to get).

Dave Bolen and Mary Steele-Pierce will be leading the next discussion. Please indicate in comments HERE or on the Hootcourse site which book you prefer. (They won't see your answer if you just DM me).


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gawande's "Complications, Part 1, Day 2: July 29

[New to this project? Details and overview here.]

Q4. p. 30: “You can't train novices without compromising patient care.” What implicit ideas does G offer that might minimize that?

Q5. p. 46 Gawande refers to himself as "doctor as guide". Do most Dr.s you know see themselves that way? Agree/disagree that this shld be role of Dr.?

Q6. G notes that even when machines can do something perfectly, we cling to idea of ‘human touch’. Do/where do we see this in L&D?

REST of Gawande Part 2 is shorter than Part 1 and deals less with Gawande's residency. Shall we talk about Part 2, say, from Monday 8 am to Tuesday 10 pm, then the rest of the book from Wednesday through Friday? Respond via comments here, please.

Note that I am traveling next week and will post Qs as I can. I am up for ideas for questions but so far no one has suggested any.

Also, several have asked about the next book. We didn't choose one. Do you want to continue? If so, we need ideas for books. Also: I'll want someone else to serve as, or help me as, leader for the next one. I might be willing to lead another sometime, but want to try it in Google Wave. Respond via comments here, please.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gawande's "Complications" Part 1, Day 1 July 27

New to this project? Details and overview here.

Conversations are asynchronous to accommodate those in varying time zones. We'll start discussion of Gawande's Complications on Tuesday, July 27, at 8 am ET. We'll begin with Part 1 "Fallibility" and will use hashtag.

As before, we'll be working in Hootcourse.Check 'hoots' first for tweets from me. Note that you can choose to keep your tweets within Hootcourse or publish them to Twitter. You can change this as often as you like.

QUESTIONS Gawande Part 1, Day 1, July 27:
(Due to the Twitter character limit let's refer to Gawande as "G", ok?)

Q1. After reading G, what are your thoughts on the practice of apprenticeship? How is apprenticeship different from mentoring?

Q2. G.'s perspective on talent is in stark contrast to King's. Your thoughts on talent now?

Q3. What ideas does G. offer about the 'right kind' of practice. (See the new heart procedure story page 29 and hernia clinic story p. 39.) Lessons here for L&D?

I plan to post the remaining questions about G. Part 1 on Thursday morning.

Feel free to bring up other issues/ideas. I am always up for additional questions so please add them to comments here or DM me on Twitter.

READING ON KINDLE? I am using the Picador 2002 paper edition since I already owned that. There's a tool that will help you match page numbers to approximate (I repeat: approximate) Kindle locations. From your Kindle launch your browser, and go to . The converter tool is at the bottom of the page. You'll need to enter this information about the paper book:

Physical book pages 269
First chapter begins on page 11
Last chapter ends on page 269

Jane Bozarth @janebozarth

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Book Chat on Learning-in-Practice: Gawande's "Complications"

New to this project? Details and overview here.

Conversations are asynchronous to accommodate those in varying time zones. We'll start discussion of Gawande's Complications on Tuesday, July 27, at 8 am ET. We'll begin with Part 1 "Falliblity".

As before, we'll be working in Hootcourse.Check 'hoots' first for tweets from me. Note that you can choose to keep your tweets within Hootcourse or publish them to Twitter. You can change this as often as you like.

Friday, July 23, 2010

King Last Bits Day 4: July 23

King wrap-up today! Please change topics, ask any additional questions, etc. Discussion is via Hootcourse

Q9. What was the purpose of the long section on the car accident? What did King learn from that experience?

Q10. Any comments on levels of performance in L&D? (Competence/mastery; Storyteller v. Literary artist)

Q11. What is (or not) the value of narrative/storytelling in crafting useful learning experiences for learners?

Q12. What did you learn about how people learn?

We'll start Gawande Tuesday 8 am ET. Comment here with any procedural suggestions/other. Thanks-- Jane

Thursday, July 22, 2010

King Part 2, Day 3: July 22

Q7. Would you agree/disagree that, based on King, "learning" is a mix of the formal and informal? Why/why not?

Q8. What do you think King learned from writing this book? Does/how does 'teaching' something teach the teacher?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

King Part 2, Day 2, July 21: Questions

Q4. King says "The writer and reader meet halfway". Is this true elsewhere? Doctor/Patient? Trainer/Learner? Other? Implications for L&D?

Q5. King touts the importance of reading bad stuff as well as good. Why? Is there value in that for other endeavors? L&D?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

King Part 2, Day 1 July 20: Questions

Part 2: Let's say up to p. 256, where the "Postscript" (mostly about his car accident) section begins? We can address that part on Friday.

Q1. Compared to the 1st 1st part of the book, did the 2nd part surprise you? Why/why not?

Q2. Based on Part 2 of the book, what do you think King would say if asked about formal learning?

Q3. King says you can’t turn bad writer into a competent one. Are there limits to “learning”?

REMINDER: We'll start Gawande's Complications on Tuesday July 27. ("Part 1: Fallibility")

Friday, July 16, 2010

King Part 1: Questions

Posted Wednesday, July 14
Q1. What were some of King’s critical learning moments? Why critical? Did they seem important at the time? #lrnbk
Q2. The 1st ½ of the book is essentially autobiography. Why do that in a book called “On Writing”? Purpose? #lrnbk
Q3. What did King have to learn about writing that had little to do with actually writing? Is there a message for L &D here? #lrnbk

Posted Thursday, July 15
Q4. King defines self not as a literary artist but a “good storyteller”. Does L&D have trouble distinguishing types of performance? #lrnbk
Q5. Based on PART 1 of book, what do you think King would say if asked about formal v. informal learning? #lrnbk

Posted Friday, July 16
Q6: How did part 1 influence/change (or not) your thinking about how people learn? #lrnbk
Q7) Why (or not) is the focused reflective process useful to learners? their instructors/trainers/teachers? (or not) #lrnbk
8)How much of what King learned came from chance or casual encounters with others? For the rest of us? Implications for L&D?

Friday, July 9, 2010

LrnBk Chat on Learning-in-Practice: Part 1 Join Us!

Those of us in training- and learning- related fields spend a lot of time talking about how people learn. We discuss theories of adult learning and brain science. We debate the validity of concepts like “learning styles” and for the life of us can’t come up with a very good way to measure what or how much someone learned. Among the debates , growing more heated lately, is on the matter of formal v. informal (or unintentional, or at least unstructured) learning. L & D controls the former, but the latter depends a lot on the culture, and the immediate environment, and the boss (if there is one), and the rewards and punishments associated with performance, and … well, the list goes on. Even more challenging: The learner may not ever think of himself as a “learner” who is “learning”, and so may not think to write it down or talk to someone else or pay more attention for next time. There’s also a lot of skepticism about the idea of the “autonomous, self-directed” learner. People learn all the time, every day. They may just not always be learning what the training department wants them to. (Example: I once had a learner say, “I didn’t have time to finish the reading for this week’s class. I was at a Home Depot workshop on how to build a deck. And then I built it.” Don’t tell me he wasn’t self-directed.)

One of the best grad school courses I took was “The Reflective Practitioner” that, among other things, taught me to keep an eye out for examples of learning-in-practice and reflection-on-practice; my own, yes, but also that experienced by others. Two of the best examples I’ve seen have come from popular recent literature. The topic of reflective practice, as well as the idea of informal learning, have led me to mention these books several times in Twitter and Facebook conversations. Last week someone suggested that we do a book chat on them, and asked me to lead it. So here we are. Read on for an overview of likely discussion themes followed by The Plan for the conversation.

Stephen King’s On Writing

DISCUSSION OF THIS ONE ENDS on July 23. Some themes we will likely explore: There is a movement in current popular business literature away from the idea that talent is important: Can one be a good writer without talent? With practice, could anyone be a Stephen King? Can everything be “taught” and “learned”? Apart from writing skill, what does one need to learn to succeed at writing? King chooses to spend nearly the first half of the book mostly on autobiographical details. Why? King writes partly with the intention to teach the reader. Does it matter to hear from a teacher who has actually done what they teach? King says, “The writer and reader meet halfway.” Is this true in other fields of practice/ work roles?

Atul Gawande’s Complications

DISCUSSION OF THIS ONE BEGINS JULY 27. Some themes we will likely explore: Some argue that only "formal" learning has value, that informal learning is too unstructured and learners too unreliable to learn on their own. But can everything be taught in a classroom, or a lab, or on a simulator? Can a physician learn to practice without, finally, engaging with real patients? Is it reasonable to think a learner can know everything before starting job? Unlike King, Gawande must learn to act in situations that truly are life and death. What is the reality (or, rather, UNreality) of putting someone into a work role and expecting them to enact performance 250,000 times without making a mistake? At one point Gawande must make decisions about health care for his own critically ill child. What did he learn from that? Gawande writes sometimes not specifically of his own learning but of the learning of his entire profession – for instance, the medical community has had to “learn” to deal with good performers gone bad. What has L & D “learned” in the last 50 or 20 or 10 years?

The overarching question: How does a person "learn"?

Discussion will be asynchronous to accommodate those in different time zones. We'll start on July 27 at 8 am ET with "Part 1: Fallibility".

Note: There are no chapters titled “here is my thinking on my reflective practice”; that is implicit throughout both books. Often it will be up to you, the reader, to decide when and whether learning has occurred. These are neither “how to” guides , although King is closer to that than Gawande. Rather, they are reflections of a person learning – sometimes intentionally, sometimes not—recognizing that learning has occurred, and reflecting on that experience. In King’s case, the learning occurs mostly via serendipity: he has a college degree so has formal education in writing as it is taught in school – same as most of the rest of us-- but otherwise has very little formal instruction in “how to be a writer”. He talks a lot about learning as he goes. Gawande, on the other hand, pursues years and years of formal training, then reports on learning to put that into place with real live human beings.

Also, this is not really a "book club" kind of thing. We're not looking at technical skill or whether we "liked" a book or not. The focus is on each book as an example of learning-in-practice and reflecting on that.

Here is how the chat will go: We will be using a Twitter app called “Hootcourse”. This will aggregate all the tweets in the conversation. The interface has tabs so you can easily filter by all tweets, tweets with questions, tweets with links, and just my (the leader) tweets. You can also choose NOT to publish your tweets to the public twitter feed. This will help keep our followers from being spammed all week with lots of comments about a conversation that doesn’t interest them. Of course, people are welcome to make their own public if they wish.

The discussion will be asynchronous to accommodate time zone issues.

Disclaimer: This is evolving and it all could change…. Another disclaimer: King swears. Gawande sometimes talks about icky stuff. Read at your own risk.

The chat is at . Start with the “hoots” tab to see just my tweets. We will use the hashtag #lrnbk – be aware that Hootcourse will add that automatically.

Discussion of King ends 10 pm ET on Friday, July 23. Discussion of Gawande begins Tuesday, July 27.