One of the best things about working in teams is looking at a problem from different perspectives. But how do you collect and discuss the ideas to make the right decisions? For learning projects, I use the Learning Model Canvas (LMC). It’s split into 9 building blocks allowing a team to discuss and view both practical and creative areas on one canvas.
Here are downloadable versions of the LMC.
Using the LMC on Paper
The paper version is useful if your team is working remotely. I use it as a prompt to guide my tele- or video- conference calls. I can jot down my ideas in the blocks before sharing with the team.
As most calls are now videoconference calls, I share my screen showing a mind map with the 9 blocks listed – I use Xmind or Freemind, both free mind mapping software tools.
As we discuss each block I add the ideas, suggestions and comments to the appropriate block on the mind map. After we’ve exhausted our initial thoughts for each block, we go through the mind map – one block at a time – and review the lists.
At this point we may delete duplicates, refine ideas, and sort the list. Now we can make some decisions on the next actions we need to undertake for each of the ideas we are left with.
You can also use the paper version as a way to manage self-directed learning… but more of that in a later post.
Using the LMC on a wall
I am huge fan of working on walls – #wowpeople – and when I have the opportunity to bring the whole team together, we will copy the canvas layout onto some wall space, and start adding stickies to the blocks.
I find that a team can work longer on a task and get less mentally fatigued when they are moving at the same time. When meetings are set around a table you are sat beside the same two people the whole time. When meetings are set around work on walls there will be constant motion as people change positions, and move from one block to another – this opens up new conversations as well as engaging more people at the same time. Displaying work on walls means you can literally walk-through your whole process.
Also, when working on walls you don’t have to rely so much on text. Stickies added to blocks can be more visual. For example, seeing a process and how items interconnect is a lot easier when it’s drawn in front of you rather than you having to read a description.
Many uses of the LMC
There are so many ways you can use the LMC:
- A tool for defining the specification for a learning project proposal.
- A decision-making tool for planning a learning project.
- A supplemental tool in Agile learning projects to create a backlog.
- An organisational tool for self-directed learning.
The LMC can be used with any project management methodology (e.g. ADDIE, SAM, Scrum, etc.) or learning methodology (e.g. inquiry-based learning, game-based learning, etc.)
I will explore each of these in future posts. For now, if you’ve not used an LMC before but your itching to begin, my advice is to start in the middle block, Performance Gaps.
If you’re not sure what some or all of the blocks means, go to the next post which is a short video introducing you to the 9 building blocks of the canvas.
In the sidebar on the right there is a free 45 page booklet that explains the LMC in much more detail. And don’t forget to visit the LMC page on this website for more stuff.
You now have the canvas – now go and create your learning project. -HFBKBU