Friday, November 06, 2009

First Google Wave Commentary

Sound advice from the nice folks at Funny Eye for the Corporate Guy

The picture has nothing to do with the thoughts below - but with the way my past few weeks have been going, it's a good reminder.

My current thoughts on Google Wave

- A Wave needs to be focused focused focused. I am finding the broader waves become very disorganized and hard to follow very quickly.

- Start small, then go larger. The small group can create the initial format. New members then have something to play off of.

Like chat rooms, large groups can get unwieldy very quickly.

- Using the playback to view the most recent is awkward - especially for the larger wave.

This may be a technical issue. The larger waves load very slowly.
John told me about using the spacebar to move between unread objects. Works like a charm.

- As with any new tool, having a project in mind helps a lot. My soft-skills counterpart Sid managed to get a Google Wave invite herself. We are going to attempt some real-time collaboration with this thing. Our initial project - developing a draft outline for an Introduction to SkillPort class.

(Oh yeah - and as I type this, the manager and director are wandering around Educause looking for Google Wave invites. I'm trying to get 2 more for the other 2 members of our LMS Admin team. You will have my eternal gratitude if you have some available :') )

Aaron Silvers has even better ideas! Go read his post on Virtual Collaborations if you haven't already.

- VoIP would be a great feature. Hard to edit and type chat at the same time.

- Why I am still excited about Google Wave, despite the hiccups? Because it will ultimately solve an actual problem I have now. Still can't say that about Twitter ;')


Remember those LMS Questions? I developed a public wave to continue the conversation (and its getting good)

For those of you with Google Wave access - please come play.


In the Wave - John Schulz brought up an excellent point. I'm copying his comments in full:

OK, can I play devil's advocate here? Personally, I think the really big question - the one people really need to think long and hard about - is the first one you listed: What problem do you think an LMS is going to resolve?

I think the idea of an LMS is changing. The need for an LMS is no longer very clear. Two "trends" seem to be telling me that a large investment in a typical LMS at this point in time would likely be a bad investment.

1) The 'features' one likely wants from an LMS are being absorbed by other HRP systems - talent management, performance management, HRIS. Look long and hard at the other systems in your organization before you buy an LMS.

2) An LMS should NOT be a destination for your learners. An LMS should be a background system; used to capture data. Not a front line product that we direct learners to. The functions of an LMS (cataloging, course enrollment, learning plans, assessments, competency management) should be accessible by learners as services through the tools that they use every day.

Most organizations make the mistake of positioning an LMS as THE learning portal. I think we need to get away from this idea, and integrate access to learning products within the learner's work environment. The LMS should (could) be the master data source for all things related to the learning experience (assessment data, completion data, etc.).

Yes John and Clark Q. - I am completely falling into that trap of using the LMS as a destination. My excuse is that this is the fastest way to communicate to all stakeholders the need for someplace to point staffers to for help. The stakeholders get the reporting they want. The staff has one place to go. I don't have to build it from scratch.

Is it ideal? No. But it's significantly better than our current situation.

And it was purchased long before any requirements were established. Gotta get value out of it somehow, right?

No comments: