Blossoming across both digital and physical spaces

Meeting of the minds

Reda Sadki Events, Presentations, Theory

This is my presentation for the Geneva Learning Foundation, first made at the Swiss Knowledge Management Forum (SKMF) round table held on 8 September 2016 at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Its title is “Meeting of the minds: Rethinking our assumptions about the superiority of face-to-face encounters.” It is an exploration of the impact of rapid change that encompasses learning at scale, the performance revolution, complexity and volatility, and what Nathan Jurgenson calls the IRL fetish. The point is not to invert assumptions about the superiority of one medium over another. Rather, it is to look at the context for change, thinking through the challenges we face, with a specific, pragmatic focus on learning problems such as: You have an existing high-cost, low-volume face-to-face learning initiative, but need to train more people (scale). You want learning to be immediately practical and relevant for practitioners (performance). You need to achieve higher-order learning (complexity), beyond information transmission to …

Smoke (Paul Bence/

Should we trust our intuition and instinct when we learn?

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

How much of what we learn is through informal and incidental learning? When asked to reflect on where we learned (and continue to learn) what we need to do our work, we collectively come to an even split between our formal qualifications, our peers, and experience. As interaction with peers is gained in the workplace, roughly two-thirds of our capabilities can be attributed to learning in work. We share the conviction that experience is the best teacher. However, we seldom have the opportunity to reflect on this experience of how we solve problems or develop new knowledge and ideas. How do we acquire and apply skills and knowledge? How do we move along the continuum from inexperience to confidence? How can we transfer experience? Does it “just happen”, or are there ways for the organization to support, foster, and accelerate learning outside of formal contexts (or happening incidentally inside them)? …

Old rusted anchor chains at Falmouth Harbour (StooMathiesen/


Reda Sadki Learning strategy

 “Hitting a stationary target requires different skills of a marksman than hitting a target in motion.” – George Siemens (2006:93) We are all knowledge workers who struggle with knowledge abundance – too much information.   Our ability to learn is heavily dependent on our ability to connect with others. How well are we able to collect, process, and use information? Individually, we have learned the behaviors that enable us to anchor (stay focused on important tasks while undergoing a deluge of distractions), filter (extracting important elements), recognize patterns and trends, think creatively, and feel the balance between what is known with the unknown. These behaviors “to prioritize and to decipher what is important” are “a bit of an art”, we say. How do we learn them? These knowledge competencies – and the learning processes that foster them – are central to our everyday work, and require explicit reward and recognition (for example, in job …

Catch up on Scaling corporate learning event

Reda Sadki Events

On this page I will add links to the video and audio recordings of the Scaling corporate learning online symposium. You can still join the event to participate in both ongoing discussions and live sessions (schedule). 19 June 2014 Complexity and scale in learning: a quantum leap to sustainability (Reda Sadki) The World Bank’s Open Learning Campus (Abha Joshi-Ghani)

Quick Q&A with George Siemens on corporate MOOCs

Reda Sadki Events, Interviews

Here is an unedited chat with George Siemens about corporate MOOCs. He is preparing an open, online symposium on scaling up corporate learning, to be announced soon. The World Bank and OECD are two international organizations that will be contributing to the conversation. Here are some of the questions we briefly discussed: What is a “corporate MOOC” and why should organizations outside higher education care? By Big Data or Big Corporate standards, hundreds of thousands of learners (or customers) is not massive. Corporate spending on training is massive and growing. Why is this “ground zero” for scaling up corporate learning? How does educational technology change the learning function in organizations? What opportunities are being created? University engagement in MOOCs has led to public debate, taking place on the web, recorded by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and spilling over into the New York Times. So where is the debate on corporate MOOCs going to …



Reda Sadki Learning

“In a knowledge economy, the flow of knowledge is the equivalent of the oil pipe in an industrial economy. Creating, preserving, and utilizing knowledge flow should be a key organizational activity.” – George Siemens, Knowing Knowledge (2006) Photo: Oil Pipeline Pumping Station in rural Nebraska (Shannon Ramos/Flickr)

Are you nuts?

Badges for online learning: gimmick or game-changer?

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud

As I’ve been thinking about building a MOOC for the 13.1 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, I’ve become increasingly interested in connectivism. One of the platforms I’ve discovered is called P2PU (“Peer To Peer University”), which draws heavily on connectivist ideas. Surprise: on P2PU there is a debate raging on about badges, of all things. I initially scoffed. I’ve seen badges on Khan Academy and have read that they are very popular with learners, but did not really seriously consider these badges to be anything more than gimmicks. It turns out that badges are serious learning tools, and that makes sense from a connectivist perspective. A white paper from the Mozilla Foundation summarizes why and how, drawing on an earlier paper from P2PU’s co-founder Philipp Schmidt. George Siemens’s (2005) connectivism theory of learning is said to go “beyond traditional theories of learning (such as behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism) to include technology as a core element”. So badges in this theory would use …