#ASTD2014 Presentation: Show Your Work by @janebozarth

Show your workThis the second year in a row that I have had the pleasure to sit in on a presentation given by Jane Bozarth. In 2013, she talked about using social media for trainers. This year, she is focusing on showing your work. As someone who practices what she preaches, I found the presentation quite interesting with countless examples of how to do this in the real world. Here is a video of a Jane Bozarth Webinar to understand where she is coming from:

Point of the presentation

Bozarth began by encouraging L&D professionals to think about learning differently. We know the people, their knowledge, and challenges. We need to let them train others. We can do this by having them show their work or work out loud. This is not the first time I have hear about this idea, and have personally advocated for more sharing for a long time. I believe Extension educators can benefit a great deal by showing their work.

She included an interesting Pinterest board Jeffrey Heil called “What does learning look like?” The examples he collect does not resemble students sitting obediently in a classroom. Bozarth pointed out learners figured out they do not need a 8-hour class to learn. The problem is that we were raised under this model of instruction. To complicate matters, Bozarth added that organizations do not like people to talk to each other. She continued General Stan McChrystal’s discussion that organizations work in silos and cubicles.

Links subvert hierarchies – Chri Brogan

Examples of showing your work in action

As I mentioned earlier, Bozarth provided a number of examples of showing your work in action.


She talked about journaling and used an example of a woman who due to a disability began to make cookies as a form of recovery. She documented her work publicly. You can see an example of her work through an article that Bozarth wrote. Because of working out loud, the woman’s daughter entered the cookie business, learned about photography, and web design. These were great spin-off learning examples.

Explaining what you are learning and why

As Bozarth pointed out, simply taking time to explain what you are learning and why will not only reinforce it for you but also allow others to benefit from your journey. She noted that the posts do not have to be long to be useful. Here is an example she shared: http://lifehacker.com/how-i-taught-myself-to-code-in-eight-weeks-511615189

Sharing how to do something

Bozarth pointed to YouTube and Slideshare as examples of where people share details of how to do something. Personally, I am always on YouTube learning something new, and I share my presentations on Slideshare. She noted that people want to share what they are doing. We need to encourage this willingness to share. Again, there are countless ways that Extension educators can show how to do something that will not only benefit their local community but also the rest of the world. Creating short videos taps into another presentation “Brief is Beautiful: Bite-size Content and the New E-learning“. This is something that educators can easily leverage to support learning.

This what we do

Bozarth advocated for creating transparency by explaining what you do.  She provided an example from the Ministry of Justice as they spoke out loud about what they do to support the community. In essence,  they are keeping people informed on what they are doing. They are working out loud.

Capturing knowledge before people leave

In Extension, we are watching a number of people leave the organization and taking massive amounts of corporate knowledge with them. Bozarth suggested we capture information before people leave. She did note that simply asking people to write down what they do before they depart is not enough, “What you do is not the same as how you get it done.” She added that we can document the process but people often don’t document relationships. Knowledge is connected across time locations and people. By showing your work, there is more of an opportunity to include those who help you meet your goals.

This is why I did something

Understanding why a high performer does something specific can be a huge learning moment. Additionally, talking about learning helps you learn it better. Bozarth shared a wonderful example. Here is an example of a teacher explaining how to do RSA Animated Videos. Note the all the lessons learned.

Narrate as you go

Bozarth stressed that we really do not have to train. We need to simply show our work. People will learn as we talk and show. An example that I use is outbriefing my conference experiences.

If what you’re doing isn’t worth sharing, then why are you doing it? ~Jane Bozarth

Guidance for showing your work

Bozarth offered guidance and reasons for showing your work. First of all, showing your work makes what you do transparent. It also allows you to contribute to larger body of knowledge.

She added that most employees believe they should share. We have to help them do it by keeping the process simple. We also need to help them choose the right medium.

Showing your work can also contribute to your personal learning. In order to develop your personal learning network, you need to participate. Showing your work is a powerful way to participate.

Ways for showing your work

Bozarth also offered a number of ways for showing your work:
  • Take a picture
  • Make a video
  • Post by voice
  • Share digital notebooks
  • Encourage others to share

Jan Bozarth in the cybersphere

Here is how Bozarth walks the walk

I found this to be a great presentation. I actually attended the presentation because I was eager to hear what she had to offer, but it also helped to better understand the book of the same title. I did not walk away disappointed, and I am eager to share even more of my work. Time for me to spread the word.

What do you think about this idea of sharing your work?

1 thought on “#ASTD2014 Presentation: Show Your Work by @janebozarth”

  1. HI Stan, I was reading post on working out loud this morning. Thanks for ‘working out loud’ about what you found helpful for Jane’s presentation. There is some really helpful material here. I thought you might want to know that the YouTube video is no longer working. It looks like the account has been deleted.

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