Great discussion in the video seen in the screen shot above (and linked at the end of this post) about learning. Much of what is discussed through the link is more applicable to student learning, but since it is focused on online courses, it is relevant to market communities too. (As we draft the Farmers Market Metrics training materials, we are constantly thinking about how to present the materials to market community members who are already overtaxed and are not all suited to sitting and reading dozens of PDFs!)
The other part of learning that we need to think about is what we call human capital within Farmers Market Metrics. We use the term as it has been used by other research entities, meaning in part, skills gained or knowledge transferred.
Many markets have new or expanding businesses that are in an iterative mode of knowledge expansion and are constantly extending new information to their visitors which, in turn accelerates the ability to change behavior in shopping and in using healthy foods. So in our case, we are using human (and social) capital as the proxies for that behavior change.
Some great details in the video also about the difficulties in finding reliable proxies for learning.
Also nice to see learning defined as more than just finishing a paper or reading an assigned text:
“Learning is everything from curiosity to memory from imagination to being able to paraphrase and say it yourself.”
“If we’re not presented with conditions or motivations.. to take it in and start thinking about it… it’s not going to happen…”
Creating the conditions or motivations for learning is a very strong point for markets to own, I’d say.
I also love the idea contained in here of having people narrate their own learning. I can definitely see how a new vendor or an intern or even a new shopper could offer this through a creative essay contest added to a project report. Or, how a market could capture snippets from folks throughout the year about things they have learned and how and add those to a slideshow of signs, collections of recipes and events held throughout the year.