CREATING A LEARNING NETWORK
The Australian Businesswomen’s Network realised that social software can generate powerful learning networks – from simple individual actions that help create an architecture of participation, to links that connect people for a common purpose. Weblogs, wikis, social bookmarking and tagging have all emerged as powerful collaborative tools, but their greatest transformational potential exists within organisations that embed them into their learning strategies.
They approached our team to help them leverage the power of these technologies to create a unique social network, aimed at support women entrepreneurs through education, guidance and collaboration.
LEVERAGING A SOCIAL TOOLSET
MentorNet incorporated a blended selection of the most powerful social software options of the time to create a rich learning environment for all participants. For example, live meetings were conducted through synchronous webinar technology provided by Webex. This enabled the participants to collaborate and share their experiences in real time through the internet and a telephone.
Participants also built their business plans in dynamic, personal wiki spaces, while collaborating with the larger group on case studies and focus activities on the group weblog.
ONGOING SUSTAINABLE RESULTS
MentorNet was designed to put theory into action over a 6 month period. The participants were expected to set outcomes, attend the webinars facilitated by subject-matter experts in business skills, work with a mentor and small peer group to develop a business plan that they could action during and after the programme. Sustainability of these businesses was a high priority.
All of the goals of the project were surpassed by the first MentorNet intake. Comments from the participants can be found here.
Better business through learning
A powerful learning experience
MentorNet incorporated a selection of the most powerful social software tools to create a rich learning environment.
Dynamic learning in context
Participants were able to build their business plans in personal wiki spaces while collaborating with the larger group on case studies.
Measurable business outcomes
100% of participants increased their business skills, 50% increased their turnover and 65% reported overall business growth.