Government’s 21st Century Learning Community

What do you do as a government employee when you have a question on the job?

You likely have four options:

  • You “Google” it.
  • You ask a colleague.
  • You look for a relevant document on your desk, desktop computer or shared drive.
  • You try to see if there’s an upcoming training that can help you.

What if you could have all of those options at your fingertips at once?

You do. It’s GovLoop (https://www.govloop.com) and we believe we’re revealing the future of learning and peer collaboration in government. Just as you would “Google” an answer to your question, I hope you’ll consider a new option: “GovLoop” it.

In case you’re not as familiar with us, we were created in 2008 by a former Department of Homeland Security employee as a way to connect and collaborate with colleagues across the country. Today, GovLoop is the premiere knowledge network for government, connecting more than 100,000 public sector professionals to people and information that improves government and accelerates the advancement of public sector careers.

Over the past five years, GovLoop has solidified its position as a leading expert in the development and delivery of resources, training and events that recruit and equip the best and brightest in public service. In the past five years, GovLoop has offered the following learning activities for government employees:

  • Online and In-Person Training: GovLoop has delivered more than 100 online training sessions for 20,000 participants over the past five years. Specifically, GovLoop’s career-related webinars host an average audience size of 800 participants and typically top 1,000 registrants. Our Next Generation of Government Training Summit also turns out hundreds of rising government leaders every July and we’ve hosted several other half-day learning workshops across the country. Learn more at https://www.govloop.com/page/events.

  • Virtual Career Fair: In Spring 2013, GovLoop produced and hosted a virtual career fair for more than 6,000 participants. Our half-day, online event was highly interactive and included live chats with government career experts and agency recruiters, keynote sessions aimed at inspiring and informing federal job prospects as well as panel presentations that explained all facets of the federal hiring process from federal resumes to interviewing tips. These activities took place in agency job booths, a main virtual conference hall, breakout chat rooms as well as a networking lounge. The event also included a jobs board where attendees could view vacancies and submit their resumes. Agencies recruiting at the fair included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Learn more at https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/top-tips-to-get-the-best-value-out-of-virtual-career-fairs-expert.

  • Government Innovators Virtual Summit: Similar to our Virtual Career Fair, GovLoop has hosted two virtual conferences each of the past two years. Both events followed a similar format to the Virtual Career Fair, providing more than 5,000 participants with live information and interaction with subject matter experts, senior leaders and colleagues. Moreover, GovLoop has unmatched reach when it comes to finding the absolute best speakers and thought leaders in and around government today – from senior executives to best-selling authors – which is one of the most important aspects of a successful online event. Learn more at http://bit.ly/186siJS.

  • Jobs.GovLoop.com: In 2009, GovLoop created a new and improved job search experience for federal prospects, mashing up data from USAJOBS, Google Maps, LinkedIn, Best Places to Work, Glass Door and GovLoop, to give prospects the best, most comprehensive view of federal opportunities. Each week, we also select the 10 best federal jobs in each of ten common categories and titles (i.e. acquisition, auditing, communications, human resources, program analyst, etc.) and mail them to over 20,000 subscribers. Learn more at http://jobs.govloop.com.

  • Social Learning Pilot with U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): Earlier this year, GovLoop entered into an interagency agreement with OPM to engage in a social learning pilot project. We converted a two-day, classroom-based course (originally developed by the Department of Defense) on performance management for human resources practitioners into a six-week, web-based course that included weekly webinars, robust live group discussions, readings based on blog posts and other online content as well as virtual partner pairings for peer reflection. The course was hosted in one of GovLoop’s virtual classrooms and entirely planned, administered and evaluated by the GovLoop team. Based on their positive experience, several federal participants have engaged with GovLoop to provide similar services for their agencies. Learn more at https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/govloop-opm-partner-to-produce-successful-social-learning-pilot.

  • PathtoPMF.com and Government Career Guides: GovLoop received funding from the Robertson Foundation for Government to produce a website and three resource guides titled, “Guide to Getting a Government Job for High Achievers,” “Guide to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program,” and “Guide to International Jobs in Government.” These resources have received thousands of views and downloads, and helped countless prospective candidates to land the best jobs in government. Moreover, they have enabled GovLoop to forge strong relationships with dozens of college and university career advisors that are critical to the recruitment process. Learn more at http://pathtopmf.com/download/.

  • Hybrid In-Person and Virtual Mentors Program: In 2011, GovLoop launched the first-of-its-kind, government-wide mentors program, which has forged more than 200 mentor and mentee pairings over the course of four cohorts in less than two years. The program has deployed a blended approach, hosting both in-person and virtual events that have incorporated interactive, videoconferencing technology to train and connect participants from across the globe. GovLoop has also provided training and resources for mentors and mentees to better leverage video-based approaches to achieve “face-to-face” interaction despite not being co-located geographically. Learn more at https://www.govloop.com/page/govloop-mentors-program.

  • Guide to Virtual Events and Training in Government: In August 2013, GovLoop made an additional contribution to the field of online learning by releasing its “Guide to Virtual Events and Training in Government.” The guide features insights, lessons learned and current best practices based on a survey of more than 250 public sector professionals, four government case studies and interviews with six subject matter experts. We know virtual events and training, and we’re dedicated to helping government get it right the first time and every time. Learn more at https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/better-conferences-training-value-of-virtual-events-government.

Now that you know that all of these learning opportunities are available to you, I hope the next time a question arises on the job that you’ll “GovLoop” the answer.

By the way, we are looking to help agencies make the transition from in-person to online events and training just like we did in the OPM Social Learning Pilot. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, please contact me at [email protected] or 202-352-1806.

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Terrence (Terry) Hill

I have to second David’s praises! You guys are wonderful! The key is to get leadership engaged with your services, as well as other public sector advocates like the Partnership for Public Service. I learn more every day just be visiting GovLoop!

Andrew Krzmarzick

Thanks, David and Terry. Keep spreading the word! The more smart people that amass here, the more we can help one another solve government’s toughest challenges.

Gary C. Powell, Ed.D.

GovLoop is certainly quite an asset in the Federal landscape!

I do have a question: in all of your learning activities, particularly the social learning pilot, is there a means for user-generated content (UGC)? UGC covers a broad range of media content. All digital media technologies are included, such as question-answer databases, digital video clips, blogging, podcasting, forums, review-sites, social media, mobile tools, KM systems and wikis. The key goal here is to leverage the collective intelligence of knowledge workers in an organization who have excellent stories to tell in the form of lessons learned, best practices, tips, how-to’s, work-arounds, etc.

Your blog begins by asking “what do you do as a government employee when you have a question on the job?” The second option, which I am sure is a close second behind “Google it,” is “ask a colleague.” What if these colleagues, like you and I, had the means to proactively share our expertise for others to consume in a way that was sanctioned, endorsed and encouraged by our employers?

Andrew Krzmarzick

Great question, Gary! Our blogs, discussion forums and groups are all mostly UGC. The “Ask a Colleague” portion is most obvious in these examples (and there are probably hundreds of these on GovLoop)




In the social learning pilot, we used UGC blogs as required reading and incorporated live discussion, which was UGC as well.

Happy to give more examples!