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 Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Company is a low-fare major domestic airline, continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers, offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. In the business for 40 years, Southwest Airlines was incorporated in Texas and Commenced Customer Service on June 19, 1971 with three Boeing 737 aircraft serving three Texas cities—Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

Today, Southwest Airlines is the nations’ largest carrier in term s of originating domestic passengers boarded serving 73 cities in 38 states. On May 2, 2011, Southwest Airlines completed the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and now operates AirTran Airways as a wholly owned subsidiary. Southwest Airlines has among the lowest cost structures in the domestic airline industry, consistently offers the lowest and simplest fares and has one of the best overall Customer Service records. Southwest Airlines is the most honored airlines in the world for its commitment to the triple bottom line of performance, people, and planet. (http://southwest.investorroom.com)

Rationale Statement

The rationale behind the Needs Assessment for Southwest Airlines is essential in the training practices to analyze who need training, to identify tasks and knowledge, skills, and behaviors that need to be emphasized for performance improvement, and to identify pressure points concerning knowledge and skills deficit. To identify a solution to performance issues, identify proper learning sequence in terms of content, objectives, or methods needed for an effective training program, identify whether Southwest Airlines is benefiting from its investment, and identify training participants.  

Needs Assessment for Southwest Airlines

Assessment Analysis Questions

Needs Assessment Technique

 
Organizational Analysis

  • Strategic Direction
  • Training support for Managers, and Employees.
  • Training Resources (Noe, 2009)
How does the training program align with the business strategic needs? (Noe, 2009)Are there experts available who can help develop the program
content and ensure that employees understand the needs of the
business as the training program are developed? (Noe, 2009)How will employees know that the training program is an
opportunity for rewards, punishment or waste of their time? (Noe,
2009)Are there sufficient resources for training?(Noe, 2009)
Documented training materials and records. (Noe, 2009)   
Person AnalysisPerson Characteristics (Noe, 2009)

  • Basic Skills

   Cognitive Ability
Reading Level

  • Self-efficacy
  • Awareness of training needs

Input

  • Understand what, how, when to perform
  • Situational constraints
  • Social Support
  • Opportunity to perform

Output

  • Expectations for learning and performance

Consequences

  • Norms
  • Benefits
  • Rewards

Feedback

  • Frequency
  • Specificity
  • Detail
What prior skills, knowledge and abilities do employees need to accomplish the business objectives?  (Noe, 2009)What verbal, quantities ability, and reasoning abilities do
employees have to process understanding of the learning materials?
(Noe, 2009)Are there nontraining intervention plan in place for training opportunities for all employees? (Noe, 2009)How will training meet the needs of the organization.(Noe, 2009)Who should attend training to achieve the job performing standards? (Noe, 2009)What are the employees’ attitudes toward training?Are there incentives in place to reward employees’ achievement? (Noe, 2009)What measurement is in place to determine proper performance or consequences for non-performance? (Noe, 2009)What feedback processes are in place to provide employees
evident of performance? For example, What were the greatest problem
encountered as a new coach and trainer? What mistakes were made, if
any?(Noe, 2009)
The employees who attend training at Southwest Airlines (Noe, 2009):

  • Technical services
  • Administrative services
  • Information services
  • Aircraft operations
  • People services
  • Managing Directors
  • Supervisors and manager
  • Directors.

Questionnaires are inexpensive and data can be collected
from a large pool of employees. In addition, organizational analysis
using questionnaires allow employees to participate in the needs
assessment process without compromising the functionality of their
job. (Noe, 2009)

Questionnaires results will be verified ensure consistence in performance. (Noe, 2009)

 
Task Analysis Do you have employees with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to compete in the marketplace? (Noe, 2009)What impact in the organization can training helps in performance improvement? (Noe, 2009) Online Technology software
monitor system to track employees performance and identify training
needs and provide employees with feedback regarding their skill
strengths and weaknesses.(Noe, 2009)
 

 

 

Reference

http://southwest.investorroom.com/. (n.d.).
Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

 

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THE TRUTH ABOUT TRAINING

The only time training is needed, according to Stolovitch and Keeps (2012), is when there is a deficiency in skills and knowledge. However, for the purpose of an effective to take place (Noe, 2010), identifies several training methods that involve action in learning.

Action in Learning Methods:

  1. Experiential training Program: Is tied to a specific business problem. Trainees are moved outside their personal comfort zones, but the zone does not reduce the trainees motivation or ability to understand the purpose of the program. In order; however, for this learning to be successful, multiple learning modes are used, which are audio, visual, and kinesthetic.

  2. the Adventure training Program: Focus on the development of teamwork and leadership skills through structured activities, which include training in the wilderness–outdoors, drum circles, and cooking classes.

  3. Team Training Program: Coordinates the performance of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. For the successful accomplishment of this type of training, participants’ communicate, coordinate, adapts, and complete tasks objectively. The knowledge requires participants to have mental models or memory structures that allows them to function effectively in an unanticipated or new situations.

  4. Cross Training Program: Provide understanding and practices for each type of skills so that the participants are prepared to step in and take the place of a team member who may temporarily be on leave, etc.

  5. Coordination Training Program: Instructs the team in how to share information and decision-making responsibilities to maximize performance. The best group for this type of training is commercial aviation or surgical teams who are in charge of monitoring different aspects of equipment and environment.

  6. Team Leader Training: Is the type of training that team managers or facilitators receives. It involves training managers on how to resolve conflict within the team coordinated activities or other team skills. Of course, employees need technical skills that can help them accomplish various job functions.

Action Learning: This learning gives teams an actual problem and have them work to solve it, and commit the problem to an action plan. It also holds the members’ accountable for carrying out the plan.

Six Sigma and Black Belt Training: Provides employees with measurement and statistical tools to help reduce defects and cut costs. The participants in this training are required to attend workshops and complete assignments that are coached by expert instructors. The training consists of 4-day sessions for 16 weeks. After the training, the participants must demonstrate their learning achievement.

References

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2012). Training ain‘t performance. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Analyzing Scope Creep

The project that I was assigned to work on involves upgrading the billing system for the XYZ Company. The objectives of the project were clear, concise, and methodical. The key players were involved during the phase of the project. Upper management both local and Corporate was behind the successful completion of the project. However, two months into the project, the PM had an emergency that took his out of the country. While there, he became ill and was not able to return to complete his part of the project, which involved the IT specification. Nevertheless, I and another IT person were reassigned to complete the IT specs as well as continue working on our part of the project.

Realizing that we were overworked, stressed, and annoyed upper management decided to bring in a PM from the corporate office to assist with finalizing the project. He was able to get the team to refocus on the big picture concerning the project—completion and satisfaction. He was also able to response to the Scope Creep by reviewing all phases of the project from the beginning up to the point where we were not able to finish, identified all of the impacts that have taken place within the project to this point, and revamp the project scheduling and cost. We were able to complete the project.

There is no known way to avoid scope creeps or uncertainties, but we as instructional designer and/or Project Manager can, according to Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer (2008) anticipate and put in place contingencies that can offset the satisfactory completion of a project. They also suggest having a process known as the “Change Control System” in place whereby the PM can:

  1. Review all requested changes—content or procedural changes.

  2. Identify all impacts the change might have on other project tasks.

  3. Translate these impacts into alternations of project performance, schedule, and cost.

  4. Evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of the requested changes.

  5. Install a process so that individuals with the appropriate authority can accept or reject changes.

  6. Prepare reports that summarize all changes to date and their impacts.

Reference: 

Portny, S. E., Mante, S. J., Meredith, J. R. , Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

Communicating Effectively

 

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?

The tone of the email was not strong enough to engage or provide Mark with the urgency of getting his missing piece of the report to another team member in order for her to complete her part of the project on time. In addition, in the email stating, “Let me know as soon as possible when you think you can get your report sent over to me” should have been written with more power and conviction. For example, Mark, I need to get your report by Noon today. Your report is a crucial part of the project, and if I do not receive your part of the report today, it will cause delays in the project and could cause a problem for our client, as well.

The voicemail message sounded as if she is begging Mark to cooperate with her and not the entire project team. It might be that Mark does not care about her completing the project on time or understand the timeline due date to complete the project. Her message should have conveyed to Mark the urgency of the team not completing the project on time because of his missing report.

 

F2F sound and looked playful, no seriousness conveyed in the request. In order to get and gain Mark attention and trust, the video should have shown credibility in the facial expressions and tone of voice.

 

 

What factors influenced how you perceived the message?

I think the factors that influenced my perception of what the message implied is how everyone took for granted that Mark understood what the message was conveying. In each of the scenarios, there should have been clear and concise direction for Mark to follow.  As well as follow-up messages, asking if he understood the message and the urgency of his part of the report are to the overall successful completion of the project.  It implies how easy it is for communication breakdown to occur.

What did you learn that would help you communicate more effectively with others in the future?

According to Conger (as cited in Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008), successful project manager must be skillful at persuading others if they want to meet the demands of the project. One thing Conger talks about are the four skills of powerful persuasion: (1) effective persuaders must be credible to those they are trying to persuade; (2) they must find goals held in common with those being persuaded; (3) they must use “vivid” language and compelling evidence; (4) they must connect with the emotions of those they are trying to persuade. (18)

Informing senior management about any lack of cooperation from team members is critical in order to resolve the problem or the project impasse. If this is done in a timely, honest, and proactive manner, it will build trust between the members. (Portny et al., 2008)

 

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. r., Shafer, S. M., & Sutton, M. M., &Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Project “Post Mortem”

ABC Company Billing System Project Upgrade

    

     The ABC organization was in the process of upgrading their billing system to accommodate more features and allow more user-friendly component to be installed.  My role in the beginning of the project was bot the PM and trainer. The project was a success, but not without several hiccups.

     The project “Post Mortem” was depressing because management looked to me for all of the answers, which I did not have. It was impossible for me to be responsible for both jobs in that I was not able to prepare for training or not able to guide the team toward completion. Saying “No” was not an option because they felt that the IT person alone with me could do the job. However, the size of the project was factored in during the pre-planning stage because there was not a planning stages that I was aware of during that time. We were it!

     The deliverable timeline given to complete the project was within three months from the month of April to June. This also meant complete training for all end users.

First thing first:

  1. I begin by creating SMART objectives for all core parties.

  2. Begin to define the Project boundaries because there were limitations in my ability to do everything and be everything to everybody. There were also limitations to skills set for the successful completion of the project, mine including. My educational background was technical and customer service training, but this project called for IT, finance, HR., Field Operation, marketing, collection, audit, dispatch, and warehouse to be involved.

  3. Begin to convenience Upper Management to use a specific person to act as the PM, which would allow me the opportunity to work on the project as the instructional designer, as well as the trainer. 

     The most frustrating part of the project was not utilizing a PM during the pre-planning stage of the project. We would have save time, and would not have had to extend the project completion date to another month.

What contributed to the project’s success or failure?

     The project was a success because Upper Management decided to utilize a PM to guide the project from beginning through its closure.

Which parts of the PM process, if included, would have made the project more successful? Why?

     The PM was able to plan the project, which included organizing, controlling, scheduling, resources, meeting the project specifications, as well as factoring in uncertainties. The PM was also able to set clear objectives ensuring a feasible plan for how everyone would reach their goals. The PM held individual accountable for their part of the project, communicated with clients and management providing them with up-to-date information concerning the project, and monitored performance against plans and dealing with any problems that arises. The PM also kept the project team focus on the benefits that the project completion would bring to all end users and the organizational leaders. The PM utilizes the Statement of Work (SOW) to keep the project on track, under budget and completed on time.

 

Reference

Portny, S. E.Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E.  (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

 

What do you think the perceptions of distance learning will be in the future (in 5–10 years; 10–20 years)?

     Distance learning has change in acceptance, in my opinion, since my enrollment at Walden University and even as I am writing this paper.  However, the perception of distance learning in the next 5-10 or more years must focus more on student-centered learning and control, and the revamping of instructional paradigm. The next generations of learners are not in positions to wait for instructional posting and responses within 24-hours. These “new age” student are accustom to real-time interaction and afford the technologies that can provide them with quick-time results.  The next years are critical stages to employ the power of new technologies and ideas to improve learning for attracting generation X scholars and practitioners to distance education.  As we know of distance education, today it is rapidly approaching a dinosaur age of extinction because distance education has already reformed the improvement of technologies, open source, and first-time log on to data. The 160-year-old correspondence-study methods of instructional delivery are out-of-date, and classroom now are adapted to the Web approaches to learning are often ineffective because they do little to connect the transformational potential of technology. (Simonson et al., 2009)

     As technology developed and improved over time for the next 10-20 years, so should instructional design. Referring to Fordism, Neo-Fordism, Post-Fordism (as cited in Simonson et al, 2009) recommends an altogether centralized and coast-to-coast distance education provider to gain economies of balance by offering courses to a mass market that justifies a significant investment in supplementary costly course materials. They vindicated that this method increase organizational control and an extreme division of labor as the production process are fragmenting into an increasing number of component task or production, which guides organizational strategy. (Simonson et al., 2009, p. 53)

     The approach to technologies such as mobile technologies (4-G), virtual online labs, Pocket computer and /or tablets, IM communication and information (Internet) access in real time and personal learning environments are mainstreaming shifting control of the learning processes away from institutions and into the hands of learners. (Simonson et al., 2009)

Instructional designers must envision the future of distance instruction in the pre-planning stages to include more focus on international learners, as well.

How can you as an instructional designer be a proponent for improving societal perceptions of distance learning?

     It is imperative to design learning instruction from the perceptive of the students, and strength of the institution by focusing on the utilization of the ADDIE model, as well as additional learning theories, for sequencer guidance.  It is my position to inform others about the effectiveness of distance education because there is no different between the distance learners and the traditional learners. (Simonson et al., 2009) However, with some exception, distance learners are more motivated, discipline, and focus on learning either for employment opportunities, business needs, or taking advantage of new technologies. (Simonson et al., 2009)

     The instructor of distance learning is just as dedicated to teaching as they are in the traditional college campuses. Though students and instructors are separated, the instructors’ make it their business to engage students’ participation and connectivity with them through threaded discussions, blog, wikis, telephone, email, and chats.  Despite the separation, students are always connected to the source of instruction through the various degrees of technologies. Societal need to know as well that distance education is not for everybody, and that instruction setting will dictate the appropriate choices for instructional methods. For example, live instruction (synchronous), such as television based or audio/video teleconferencing to some learners these might be effective. However, teaching in an online environment, for instance, other approaches are necessary for the instructor to provide students with enough collaboration to keep them on track while encouraging them to become skilled at new experiences. (Simonson et al., 2009)

How will you be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education?

     What can I do for someone else? That is the first question. Be a direct influence in the lives of the human being who might not be able to continue their education through traditional methods. To help them acquire a deeper, richer, and invigorating learning experience through the power of distance education.  Provide them with adequate information about distance education so; they can make  formed decision to learn at a distance. I will continue to volunteer my familiarity with distance learning to help others to realize the value in distance education.

Reference

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., Zvacek, S. (2011). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education, (4th Ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

The Impact of Open Source

Yale University Open Source Course

Course Analysis

 

Course: EVST 255: Environmental Politics and Law: A Certification Course for Design and Green Architecture

Source: http://oyc.yale.edu/environmental-studies/environmental-politics-and-law

Course Overview: This course is a case study of potential danger to the environment and the national security. It looks at different areas of danger to the environment such as pesticides, air pollution, consumer products, plastics, land use, urban growth and sprawl, public/private transit and drinking water. In each case, Dr. John Wargo reviews the structure of law and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the law as it pertains to the environmental issues.

The course EVST 255 is one of Yale University’s open source courseware. This course is offered free of charge to the individual who wants to enhance his/her learning skills.

Does the course appear to be carefully pre-planned and designed for a distance-learning environment? If, so, how? If not, in what ways?

     According to Morrison, Ross, Kalman, and Kemp, 2011, the goal of instructional design is to make learning more efficient, effective, and less difficult, as well as to save time and money. Therefore, this course does not meet those requirements because effective learning, according to Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2009, involve several components, the learner, the content, the method, materials, and the environment, including the technology. This course, however, provided limited planning for distance learning. For example, in a distance classroom the instructor should place emphases on visual cues. This is an important part of instructional design because if the visual cues are missing, students my feel alienated and will tune out the instructor, according to Simonson et al, 2009. “The instructional development process must be based on the unique characteristics and needs of students, meshed with the teaching study of the instructor and the course goals and content. Interaction must be maximized, the visual potential of the medium must be explored and time must be addressed” (Simonson et al, 2009). For those learner who learn best by auditory instructions can focus on the instructor’s words and generally listen better because there are fewer distractions, especially at sites with only one student” (Simonson et.al., 2009, p. 169). The instruction did provide for the visual cues portion of the instruction, but not all requirements for effective distance learning were met.

     The portion of the course that did not meet the careful pre-planned and designed for a distance-learning environment included the student group work, content, and technologies. Group interaction is essential for student achievement in distance learning according to Simonson et al, 2009, “Group participation helps to support a social environment where the instructor present course material allowing the students groups to discuss case theories and concepts covered in the course, and then discuss the material for question and reach consensus on a solution to the problems.” In addition, in the distance learning environment, learning must be design so that students have an active role in learning—mentally, physical, socially, and emotionally (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2009). Dr. Wargo did not feature in his teaching strategies any diverse instructional formats such as group interaction, collaboration, or reciprocal teaching.

     The technology used to present the video was distracting because there were constant interruptions or breaks in the recording. According to Simonson et al, 2009 instructional designer should be prepared in the event that technical problems might occur. “There should be a backup plan for students with projects and assignments independent of the instructor and alternative means of communication, such as fax, phone, and email, and these plans must be discussed with the students in advance” (Simonson et al, 2009, p. 129).

     This course content should have reflected upon the entire learning. For example, time is essential in distance learning. The instructor time should have gone into analyzing the content for effective delivery, student’s feedback, and relevant time constraints. Simonson et al, 2009 stated that, “Instructor should start with the general goals, and followed by more specific goals and objectives; the nature of the structure of the content can be made to fall into place. The resulting framework of information about the content helps the instructor decide the value and importance of specific information to the total instructional package.”

Does the course follow the recommendations for online instruction as listed in your course textbook? Which does it follow? In what ways? Which does it not follow?

     The answer is yes and no because the textbook recommendation according to Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek, 2009, follow guidelines that include units, modules, and topics. The course does follow the topic guidelines in part, because it explained and clarified the course content, but it does not provide the central chunks of instruction for the complete units and modules. “Topics are organized into modules that are further organized into units that are equivalent to a semester credit traditionally offered using 15, 50-minute class session (Simonson et al, 2009).

     The content guidelines did follow the recommended textbook instruction that places emphasis on the use of visual media. The media instruction included a PowerPoint presentation and the content was organized by the topic.

     The instruction/teaching guidelines did not followed the textbook recommended guidelines because it did not provide different ways for the students to fulfill their other obligation such as being full-time employees, family, social situation, etc. The instructor could have designed his teaching strategy utilizing:

  • One module per week,

  • Communicate via email at least once per week,

  • Chat once per week,

  • Two to three threaded discussion per topic or six to ten questions per week,

  • Instructor comments on discussions as part of threaded discussion board

  •  Provide progress reports (grades) submitted to student every two week.

     The resources and the instructional setting are important to consider in the learning environment because students need to know what resources are available to them. Will they have access to resources to communicate with the instructor or adequate accommodation for the instructional setting? Will they be able to move around or move tables and chairs, if needed (Simonson et al, 2009)? Those attributes were not considered in the design of the course instruction.

Did the course designer implement course activities that maximize active learning for the students?” If yes, in what ways? If not, how is it deficient?

     The answer is no because the course did not provide the learning instruction that should have been organized with more inclusive learning activities to engaged the entire learning process for the students to learn. The learning deficit according to Simonson et al, 2009:

  • The instructor should have provided course calendar, activities and expectations clearly stated as possible.

  • The instructor should have stated the purpose of the assignment and provide links to relevant online resources.

  • The instructor should have identified the required comments of the assignment, grading criteria, due date, and point of value for the course.

  • The instructor should have provided instructions for submitting the assignment.

  • The instructor should keep students informed of all changes to instruction.

  • The instructor should have integrate the power of the Web into the course

  • The instructor should have applied adult learning principles with the nontraditional students. For example, if students are working adults, design the course to include the basic principles of adult learning. Adults are more self-directed and have specific reasons for taking the course.

  • The instructor should have extended course reading beyond the text. For example, reading recourses from the Web and additional reading resources.

  • The instructor should have provided instruction to train the students on how to use the course website.

     Although, we as instructional designers recognized that there is no known way to predict the successful outcome of teaching, we know that teaching at a distance (Simonson et al., 2009) places the students’ needs before the organizational convenience and at the center of planning and decision-making.

 

References

Morrison, G., Ross, S,m Kalman, H. & Kemp, R. (2011). Designing Effective Instruction. Hoboken, NJ:: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education, (4th Ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Problem Statement:

A biodiesel manufacturing plant needs to improve its poor safety record. The plant needs a best practice solution for its core practices as well as being able to communicate across the board with staff on different work schedule. The plant supervisors also want to be abreast of staff demonstration of their learning from each modules.

Solution Technology: Schoology or Prezi

Schoology:

Schoology is a social network-based tool that allows trainers,teachers and students to interact with each other through technological prerequisites and learning components. The strategy of Schoology is parallel to that of Facebook in which exchanges take place, messaging, statuses update, and information and other media shared within a classroom network. (Manning, Brooks, Crutteau, Diedrich, Moser, & Zwiefellhofer, 2011)

Manning et al., (2011) noted two main contextual features of Schoology: Interactive communication and academic information exchange. 

The features of interactive communication allow instructional designers to generate discussion queries, work in partnership with groups, and display coursework for active communication, post quizzes to validate dynamic knowledge. Supervisors, managers (teachers, parents) as well as the employees (students) can place questions and concerns in the discussion board for speedy access and replies. Send and receive email, quickly. (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2009)

The benefits: 

 a)     Employees participating in a Safety class; for example, can ask questions and post comments about classmates’  reviews, concerns, questions or understanding of learning protocol. The trainers, supervisors, managers, (teachers) etc., can partake in and invigilator student-led discussions comparable to online discussion in Facebook, Twitter, etc.

b)     Employees that are on diverse shifts, vacation, or out sick, still have access to the sequence learning 24/7. Trainers or supervisors (teachers) can upload videos of safety learning sequence on YouTube, or other multimedia devices.

c)     Supervisors (teachers) have validation privileges’ of employees learning progression.

d)     Schoology easily integrate with other software applications.

 The features of academic communication are the ability to deliver academic information to the employees (teachers or students).

The benefits:

a)     Schoology access increases communication between management and employees and holds them accountable for their educational tasks.

b)     The employees (teachers or students) within Schoology can access their grades, attendance records; participate in lively discussions, and management feedback on electronically submitted assignments.

Prezi:

Prezi, according to Fischer (2011) is the cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them.”

Manning, Brooks, Crotteau, Diedrich, Moser, & Zwiefelhofer, (2011) post “Prezi presentations are visually appealing and extremely easy to use.”

The Prezi technology tool allows trainers, teachers, and trainees to interact collectively with each other to enhance their learning and teaching experiences. Since Prezi easily integrate with other software application, it can easily become the best practice application for the workplace environment.

Since there is, a working culture engaging in independent work times, Coldeway (2011) framework addresses this problem. Coldeway, (2011) post “Combinations of time and place result in four approaches to education: same-time, same-place education (ST-SP); different-time, same-place education (DT-SP); same-time, different-place education (ST-DP); and different-time, different-place education (DT-DP)” (Simonson et al., 2009,p. 10). What does this mean for your business? It means having the technology accessible 24/7 for all employees; whether shift working, traveling for business purposes, on vacation, or out sick.

The Features:

  1.  Prezi is visually captivating presentations that lead the audience down a path of discovery.

  2. Prezi presentations allow for the use of a wide variety of media including, videos, jpg files, pdf files, and YouTube videos.

  3. Prezi offers free educational accounts.

  4. Prezi stores presentations on the Website or standalone application on the computer.  

The Benefits:

  1.  24/7 access to the technology

  2. Access to free accounts

  3. Create concept maps of the content

  4. Employees are responsible for their learning

 Rationale:

The rationale behind selecting these tools is the ease of integration with other software, making it easy for the corporation to integrate technology into their core business practices. The accessibility of both technology is a plus for the organization with a 24/7 office hour.

In addition, Prezi the cloud-based tool for presentation is a convenient choice because it allows zoomable designs that appear to leaf of the page. However, Schoology is the ease to creating learning sequences’ such as modules, assessment, surveys, etc., without additional software.

More important, both technologies allow interaction between the teachers and students or trainers and the employees.  Souder (1993) observation of interaction revealed: “…the distance learners in the study were observed to gain much more than a traditional education from their experiences. The students in the study gained a broadened network of valuable colleagues” (Simonson et al., 2009, p. 76).

The successful use of Schoology:

Melissa writes, two months in to the school-wide Schoology  implementation, her teachers have used the feature to give students access to course content and key dates. Some have chosen to post major calendar events such as quiz/test dates and project due dates. Others posted daily assignments. Melissa sees this as an advantage because if a student is absent from class, he/she can access the assignment.

Melissa post, “Linsly School Biology and AP Chemistry teachers use Schoology for PowerPoint presentations. The science instructor uses the screen recording software called Camtasis to record her lectures, and put them in Schoology. All teachers within the school use Schoology for assignment feature to collect and return digital work to the students. Two teachers used Schoology to collect a PowerPoint project from students.  Another item that was interesting to the teachers was the “group” feature. Melissa stated that the Forensics teacher created a group for her Forensics team for communicating practice schedules and pertinent reminders.”

Martin of  St. Gregory writes, “This year, about half a dozen of our teachers are piloting a new program called Schoology, which functions simultaneously as a learning management system for teachers and a social network platform for students and teachers. Teachers are able to post their course syllabus and assignments, and, if they choose, track student attendance, maintain a grade book, provide students resources and links, and organize materials into folders for better organization.”

Martin posted additional comments as well: “Schoology provides students a better tool to manage their various courses, keep track of assignments, and benefit from the calendar functions, which they can use as a planner for all courses operating within Schoology.  Now, certainly many other LMS (learning management systems) offer all this, but what Schoology adds is a social network element with a look and feel very similar to Facebook, making it more intuitive and natural for regular Facebook users.   Students can use a vehicle they are so familiar with, Facebook style posting, commenting, threading and linking, and do so with their classes to enhance their learning.”

The successful use of Prezi:

Orlando writes,One alternative to boring PowerPoint slides is to use Prezi. This web-based tool allows the user to create a single canvas of text, images, videos, etc. online. The presenter flies from location to location on the canvas, sometimes turning elements upside down, sometimes zooming in or out, to explore the relationship between ideas. Like a painter, the canvas draws the developer to choose visual imagery to create the presentation, in contrast to the text-heavy, outline-based methodology of PowerPoint. I have abandoned PowerPoint entirely and now use Prezi exclusively for my presentations. This is a remarkably freeing experience.”

Dawson writes,I am getting better using visuals for keynotes and presentations than the traditional PowerPoint. The launch of our Transformation of Business framework has provided a great opportunity to use Prezi. The entire story layout on a page and Prezi enables me to zoom in, pan across, and illustrate the key points in the framework.”

References:

Dawson, R. (2011). New Prezi: The transformation of business. [Blog message]. Retrieved from http://http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2011/05/new-prezi-the-transformation-of-business.html

Fishcher, A. S. (2011). Prezi. Retrieved from http://www.prezi.com/about/.

Manning, C., Brooks, W., Crotteau, V., Diedrich, A., Moser, J., & Zwiefelholfer, A. (2011). Tech tools for teacher, by teachers: Bridging teachers and students. Wisonsin English Journal. Retrieved from http://www.Journals.library.wisc.edu/index.php/wej/issue/current, 53(1), pp. 24-27.

Martin, J. (2011). Schoology at St. Gregory: A new experiment. [Blog message]. Retrieved from http://www.21k12blog.net/2011/08/15/schoology-at-st-gregory-a-new-experiment/.

Melissa. (2010). Early success with schoology. [Blog message]. Retrieved from http://www.blog.schoology.com/2010/early-success-with-schoology

Orlando, J. (2010). Prezi: A better way of doing presentations. [Blog message]. Teaching with Technology, Trends in Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/trends-in-higher-education/prezi-a-better-way-of-doing-presentations

Schoology. (2011). http://www.schoology.com

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2011). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education, (4th Ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defining Distance Learning

Distance Learning

 

What is distance learning?

     Referring to (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2009), distance learning is “Institution-based and formal education where the learning group is separated, and where interactive telecommunication systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors.” Those are the four main component of the definition of distance learning. Moreover, Coldeway of South Dakota’s Dakota State University provides four practical approaches to the definition of distance learning. For example, Coldeway states that there is a “Combination of time and place results in the four approaches to education:

  • Same-time, same-place education (ST-SP), means learning takes place at the same time and in the same place, which is a self-contained classroom that is teacher-centered.

  • Different-time, same-place education (DT-SP), means learning takes place at different time and in the same place allowing individual learning to occur in a learning center, or that multiple sections of the same classes are offer so students can attend the class in the same place at a time they choose.

  • Same time, different place education (ST-DP), means that learning takes place at same time, but in different places.

  • Different time, different place education (DT-DP) when communications systems are used.”

     The first two types of education are synchronous and the latter two are asynchronous learning.

     Further, explanation of distance learning Rudolf Manfred Delling (1985) stated that distance education, in general, is a planned and systematic activity that comprises the choice, didactic preparation, and presentation of teaching material as well as the supervision and support of student learning” (Simonson et al., 2009). Finally, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational; research and Improvement defines distance education as “the application of telecommunications and electronic devices which enable students an learners to receive instruction that originates from some distance location (Simonson et al., 2009).

Personal Definition and Observation of Distance learning:

     Before this course, my definition and learning was very limited. My prior learning experience as it pertains to distance learning was analyzing, designing, and developing course curriculum for the company’s internal communication platform—the Intranet. My limited responsibility was to create and upload the learning instruction onto the platform. My personal definition as I know it today is Distance learning provides access to students/learners across the globe. Where the instructional designer are afford the opportunity to create meaningful learning sequences that incorporate learners from different places and times, as well as same time and places.

     During this course, my personal definition has evolved. It means that distance learning provide the foundation for the instructional design to build learning sequences to achieve positive outcomes including, but not limited to, time involve in the reinforcement of the instruction. As I further contextualizes, distance-learning start by examining the performance problem and designing the most appropriate means of which the learning should take place. As well, the instructional designer considers the learners needs above the content; and therefore, provide learner-centered learning instruction.

     Moreover, there is a continue emerging of the distance learning definition as well. Referring to Edwards (1995) open learning is “A way in which using mass produced courseware to a mass market…Open learning places greater emphasis on the current specific needs and/or market available by recognizing local requirements and different instead of delivering an established curriculum.” Recently, virtual school has emerged as the expansion of technology continues to develop. Virtual, according to (Simonson et al., 2009) is defined as something quasi or pseudo—distance education is about as real as actual as education can be.”

 Summary:

     As an instructional design student, I envision the continued growth and progression of distance education. In the future, classroom instruction as we know it today might be a thing of a distance past as more and more technologies for distance learning continue to improve. I believe that the next generation of learners will predict how their learning will take place. I see a Facebook type of parallel technology in view for the next generation of learners, as well as iPhones, Tablets, Notepads, or something new altogether. I see professors, teachers, and trainer growing more and more into multiple roles of teaching at a distance because the future is moving rapidly into new technological frontier.

     Universities that are more open are going to spring into existence, perhaps as we sleep. Referring to Holmberg (1986) states, “The Open University brought heightened prestige to distance education and spurred the establishment of similar institutions in industrial nations such as West Germany, Japan, and Canada as well as less-developed nation as Sri Lanka and Pakistan.”

     Who has to say that these trends will not gain more advantage, power, and strength to influence the way we learn at a distance today?

 

 References:

Coldeway, D. (2009). Distance education. In Simonson et al, Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance eduation. (4th Ed.), (pp. 10-11). Boston, MA: Pearson.

 Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., Zvacek, S. (2011). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. (4th Ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

 

Mind Mapping of Future Distance Learning

 

The Truth about Training

The only time training is needed when there is a deficient in skill and knowledge. (Stolovicth and Keeps, 2012) However, for training to be effective (Noe, 2010) identifies several training methods that involve action in learning.

Group Building Methods:

  1. Experiential Training program is tied to a specific business problem. Trainees are moved outside their personal comfort zones but it does not reduce trainee motivation or ability to understand the purpose of the program. For this learning need, multiple learning modes are used, including audio, visual, and kinesthetic.

  2. The Adventure Training program focus on the development of teamwork and leadership skills through a structured of activities, which include training in the wilderness, outdoors, drum circles, and cooking classes.

  3. Team Training program coordinates the performance of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal.  For the successful accomplishment of this type of training, allow participate to communicate, coordinate, adapts, and complete tasks objectively. The knowledge requirement requires participates to have mental models or memory structures that allow them to function effectively in unanticipated or new situations.

  4. Cross Training program provide understanding and practices for each type of skills so that participates is prepared to step in and take the place of a team member who may temporarily leave the team. (Noe, 2010)

  5. Coordination Training instructs the team in how to share information and decision-making responsibilities to maximize performance. The best group for this type of training is commercial aviation or surgical teams who are in charge of monitoring different aspects of equipment and environment.

  6. Team Leader Training is the type of training that team managers or facilitators receives. It involves training managers on how to resolve conflict within the team coordinate activities or other team skills. Of course, employee need technical skills that can help them accomplish various job functions.

 

Action Learning: gives teams an actual problem, and then have them work to solve it, and commit the problem to an action plan. It also holds the member’s accountable for carrying out the plan.

Six Sigma and Black Belt training: provides employees with measurement and statistical tools to help reduce defects and to cut costs. Its quality standard has a goal of only 3.4 defects per million processes. (Noe, 2010, p. 283)

In order for participates to become a Six Sigma black belt, they must participate in workshops and written assignments coached by expert instructors. The training is 4-day sessions for a 16 week period. Between and after training, participate must demonstrate their learning achievement.

 

Reference

 

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Stolovitch, H. D. (2012). Training ain’t performance. Alexendria, VA: ASTD Press.