In a follow up to yesterday’s post, i can report that we were successful in our adventure. The rewards for success? To sit in the sun with a cider and share stories from the trip. No certificate, no qualification, no change in productivity, just shared experience and some introspection. Three of us who had achieved something that we’d never done before.
So how is success rewarded and how do we actually want to be rewarded? What drives you? Is it money? Sure, sometimes, but by no means always. Recognition? Maybe, certainly i’d rather be associated with success than failure. Shared stories is a nice way to share success: memories that can be chewed over, lessons learnt. Recalling the highs and lows, looking back over photos and reminding ourselves how it felt at the time.
How does this fit alongside the more formal views of learning and the ways we reward success? At the end of an adventure, we reflect in the sun, ‘do you remember when…’. What do we do in formal learning? Assessments? Multi choice? Where is the sense of the journey?
Social learning spaces give greater potential for reflection and also a better ‘timeline’ of the journey. We use photos, videos, conversational tracks and ‘likes’ to build a narrative of the journey and to share these. Again, lets think how this relates to the typical formal view of learning and achievement. How often do you look at that certificate you got from your degree? What pride does that give you in day to day conversations?
It’s not that there is no value in certificates, it’s just that in our ‘real’ lives, we don’t write out certificates to celebrate our successes. We share stories in groups, if we are lucky, sitting in our lifejackets in the sun with a pint. There has to be something we can take away from this, especially with ever greater social layers of learning, to match rewards with our more natural tendency to celebrate and learn. The spaces for reflection need to be engineered into the learning journey, but they need to be built in a way that reflects our natural desire and style.