To help put information to work for our people, Goal 8 of the Department of the Navy (DON) Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) Strategic Plan focuses on building IM/IT competencies to shape the workforce of the future. This goal deals with all aspects of learning-- the act or process of acquiring data, information, skills and knowledge, or the modification of behavior through practice, training, reflection and experience. Historically, the DON has supported individual learning by providing training classes, virtual learning opportunities, and on the job training. Over the next four to five years, as the Department loses much of its corporate knowledge due to a retiring workforce, our learning focus must broaden to encompass organizational eLearning--the capacity of the organization to virtually acquire the knowledge necessary to survive and compete in its environment.
While individual learning is achieved by study, observation, cognition, experience, practice, and developing effective mental models in the mind, organizational learning occurs when groups learn to interact, share their knowledge, and act collectively in a manner that maximizes their combined capacity and ability to take effective action.
eLearning--defined as a virtual act or process used to acquire data, information, skills or knowledge-- has become the most efficient means of learning in the Department. Partnering with such eLearning advocates as CNET, the Naval Post Graduate School, National Defense University and many of our Navy and Marine Corps commands, the DON CIO has developed an Organizational eLearning toolkit, which enables learning in a virtual world where technology merges with human creativity to accelerate and leverage the rapid development and application of deep knowledge.
This first Organizational eLearning toolkit moves from the theoretical aspects of learning, through the business case, to operationalizing eLearning. It includes industry and government case studies and lessons learned, and provides readiness assessment tools for individuals and organizations. The Organizational eLearning toolkit is based on a model developed and currently under implementation at U.S. Naval Hospital Jacksonville. Early successes, like the work underway in Jacksonville, are building the foundation for the Department of the Navy to become a learning organization. To obtain a copy of the Organizational eLearning toolkit go to the DON CIO Web site at http://www.doncio.navy.mil.