Week 7: Parts 1 & 2

When I think of a Personal Development Plan, I think of an all-encompassing plan that is not only work related, but a place where self-awareness begins. I am not good at looking at myself and finding positives but have always found many of negatives so this is a good assignment for me. I have always enjoyed learning and have encouraged my students to engage in lifelong learning whether it be in an informal or formal environment.

I have a BS in Elementary Education and MS in Library Science and Educational technology but feel by taking courses directed toward an advanced degree I am keeping skills/knowledge up-to-date. One of the areas that I am continuing to work on is pursuing my MS degree in Instructional Design and Technology I am very interested in how I can use this within my capability as a Librarian to help my faculty and students.

As an educator, it is important that I stay knowledgeable and understand how to use the latest technology. One of the areas that I am focusing on is social networking and the use of social media in an educational setting. As an older person in the field of education I did not grow up with social media as my students have done, so it is important that I stay up-to-date on this type of technology in order to stay “in touch” with my students. Social media and the use of social media is a rapidly growing trend so my goal is to learn to embrace and use it to keep in touch both personally and professionally.

Two parts of development that go hand-in-hand and are very important to me are: Positive communication and a positive climate.

I work at a rural school of approximately 1,000 students and we are situated on approximately 4 city blocks in length. One of the biggest issues is the communication between the buildings even though we are attached by a breezeway and have one central office. I feel that it is important to have a direct line of communication between the buildings so one hand knows what the other is doing. Recently we had a calendar change that the High School staff was notified of until the Friday before it occurred on Monday. This created great chaos when elementary students went home and told their parents that they had school Monday and the HS students said: “no we don’t”. It went as far as one set of parents thinking their student was lying about having school. This was not the case at all. Situations like this are what create tension within the district and therefore we do not have a positive climate. I would like to work on the atmosphere between buildings and build a positive climate and think that positive communication is the first stepping stone.

Assessment is an important tool in any company and provides insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a specific individual, situation, or team. I want to focus on my assessments and how to understand them more clearly. As I learn to use our assessment system, Talent Ed, there are new criteria and benchmarks that are unfamiliar to me that I need to learn about. Assessments are a place where employees can learn what is required of them and how to start the process of self-improvement.

Overall, I would like to be an employee that is valued by my employer and do my very best to provide an environment where my students can gain the knowledge they need to succeed in the future. I believe that all of the types of development that I am advocating for will help me achieve my goal.

References:

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.  

Pace, A. (2010). Unleashing Positivity in the Workplace. T+D (1) 40.

Part 1: To view my “Employee Development Plan” please use this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XWjcvD7C7lyRkB17_qbLUXbkxL7kmZrpE7L7XL5V3Fs

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Blog FYI’s and :(

I am learning many things through my EIDT-6501 course and it is probably my favorite course so far. One of the new things that I learned today is that when you post a blog on Wednesday it would be smart to go back and make sure that you hit publish before returning Sunday evening to check for comments. As we all know life is a learning experience and I am proud to say I learned something on this Easter Sunday. Blessing and may you have a happy week.

Week 6: High-Tech Training

For this blog, I am focusing on technology and technological advances that I believe are changing my career as a Librarian in a secondary school environment. Before technology became so efficient, research was done by using the card catalog or Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and looking through piles of information to gather what will be fit for the circumstance. Since technology, I am able to assist my students and the faculty that I am responsible for training in a completely different format. This also requires training for me to be able to use the technology as well as teach with it. As stated by Noe (2013), technology has allowed learning to become a more dynamic process.

Web 2.0 technologies

With learners having instant access to technology through smartphones, laptops, and tablets, the use of Web 2.0 technologies, including social networking, so-called blogs, wikis, and Twitter (Noe, 2013) has skyrocketed. This allows learning to occur at virtually any time or place and the facilitator and learner can share information without being in the same physical location. These new technologies provide the opportunity for training to occur and learning content to be presented in a multitude of ways, appealing to trainee preferences and learning styles (Noe, 2013). Web 2.0 is about revolutionary new ways of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing user-generated content online. It’s also about ease of use. There’s no need to download, and teachers and students can master many of these tools in minutes. Technology has never been easier or more accessible to all (Discovery Education, 2017).

Reference: “Web 2.0 Tools.” Discovery Education Web2014: Web 2.0 Tools. N.p., 02 Jan. 2017. Web. 07. Apr. 2017. <http://web2014.discoveryeducation.com/web.b20toolscfm

Computer-based training (CBT)

CBT also is known as online learning, and web-based training refers to instruction and delivery by computer through the Internet of the web. All of these training methods can include and integrate into instruction text, interaction using simulations and games, and video, the collaboration using blogs, wikis, and social networks, and hyperlinks to additional resources (Noe, 2013). Some of the important factors in CBT is that e-learning can be customized for the specific situation in which it will be used. E-learning allows training to be delivered faster and to more employees in a shorter period of time as well as offering training to geographically dispersed employees at their own locations (Noe, 2013). According to Leaman, 2014, nothing engages learners more than a training program that directly meets their learning needs and interests. This can be done with CBT that is designed specifically for certain situations and/or organizations. Due to the fact that CBT learning is readily available to the learner when they are able to complete it and not on a strict time schedule, it will continue to grow in popularity.

 Simulations and Games

Simulation and games use software and computer technology to learn information by being immersed in decision-making exercises in an artificial yet realistic environment that allows them to learn the consequences of their decisions. Simulation games are widely popular-one estimate is that 40 percent of adults play games. The key is how to use the fun and motivational aspects of games to help employees to acquire knowledge and skills (Noe, 2013). This type of training will grow as the educational and business workforce gain workers who have been using technology since they were young children. Simulations are effective because they use real-life situations to provide the learner with the opportunity to react as if they were completing the task in person. Noe (2013) states that simulations can be effective for several reasons.

*Trainees use them on the desktop computer, eliminating the need to travel to a central training location.

*Simulations are meaningful, they get trainees involved in learning, and they are emotionally engaging.

*Simulators provide a consistent message of what needs to be learned; trainees can work at their own pace; and, compared to face-to-face instruction, simulators can incorporate more situations or problems that a trainee might encounter.

*Simulations can put employees in situations that would be dangerous in the real world.

*Simulations have been found to result in such positive outcomes as shorter training times and increased return on investment.

Simulations have disadvantages as well and the development costs are one of them, but as technology continues to increase I believe they will too.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

A learning management system (LMS) refers to a technology platform that can be used to automate the administration, development, and delivery of all of a company’s training programs (Noe, 2013).  Since most businesses will have a large variety of training that needs to be completed by different individuals a LMS can help the person(s) in charge of this in one place to ensure that all trainings have been met. Another positive of an LMS is that the trainers can modify, adapt, and personalize the training bundles as needed. The LMS can monitor who is completing them from their desks and track those who are missing a deadline as well. An LMS can help companies understand the strengths and weaknesses of their employees, including where talent gaps exist (Noe, 2013).
eBooks to iBooks (Interactive eBooks)

An iBook is an interactive eBook that will provide a high-impact cogno-multisensory experience, it will provide active reading within a multi-media environment, and increased opportunity for feedback (Bhattacharya & Coombs, 2015).  The definition of an ebook can vary but generally speaking, most dictionaries agree upon the following: (Electronic-BOOK) The electronic counterpart of a printed book, which can be viewed on a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or e-book reader (e-reader) (PC Magazine) (Bhattacharya & Coombs, 2015). This is a linear, passive way of reading and learning. The key distinguishing features of an interactive ebook (or iBook) are as follows: • an iBook provides interactive opportunities to integrate blog/wiki discussion, • that an iBook can integrate many multimedia features, e.g. links to dedicated Facebook site, specific, • YouTube videos, Skype, Google Apps etc., and • specialist websites linked to feedback forms, reader evaluation services etc. (Bhattacharya & Coombs, 2015). As training and learning become more interactive in many ways it only seems fitting that books transfer to this type of environment so that the learner can be immersed interactively as they read. The goal is that the interaction between the book and the learner will increase their retention and learning.

Resource: Bhattacharya , M., & Coombs, S. J. (2015). The Challenges and Scope of Creating and Editing an Interactive Electronic Book. E-Learn. Retrieved April 07, 2017

References:

Bhattacharya , M., & Coombs, S. J. (2015). The Challenges and Scope of Creating and Editing an Interactive Electronic Book. E-Learn. Retrieved April 07, 2017.

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
“Web 2.0 Tools.” Discovery Education Web2014: Web 2.0 Tools. N.p., 02 Jan. 2017. Web. 07. Apr. 2017. <http://web2014.discoveryeducation.com/web.b20toolscfm>

Week 2: Needs Assessment

Needs Assessment for Southwest Airlines

For our assignment this week I chose Southwest Airlines to conduct a needs assessment for. Southwest Airlines is a very large company with both a domestic line and within the recent past also an international line. The purpose for conducting this needs assessment is to determine if training is the issue preventing expectations being met (Noe, 2013). Due the fact that Southwest has expanded to the international front there is a great deal of training that must go into the understanding and learning for the various languages and cultures that they will be working with. Due to the fact that airlines are a competitive business and customer satisfaction will guide their growth it is important to have satisfied customers. If Southwest is interested in adequately meeting the customer needs training/professional development will have to become part of the company’s culture (Fitzpatrick, 2010).

Who are the relevant stakeholders?

  • Customers
  • Upper Management
  • Flight staff (pilots, flight attendants)
  • Ground staff (customer-service reps, maintenance staff, janitorial staff and such)
  • Security staff (both TSA and airport security)

What questions should be answered?

  • Management and supervisory staff.
    • What are the objectives of the company?
    • What are the goals of the company?
    • Is the level of performance within the company acceptable?
    • Are there resources provided for professional development?
    • What kind of resources are provided?
    • How many employees does the company have?
    • What is the turnover rate within the company?
    • Does the company have any training in place for cultural diversity?

Additional questions to be answered?

  • Customers
    • What attracts you to Southwest Airlines?
    • What would help you to use Southwest Airlines in the future?

Documents needed to gain data?

  • Data referring to profit and profit margin?
  • What are the costs associated with training?
  • Data referring to how often is training conducted?
  • Surveys or feedback that show customer satisfaction.

Techniques used to gain data.

  • Personal observations
  • Surveys; online for customers
  • Surveys; online for staff
  • Personal interviews with various managers and department heads. (Noe, 2013)

Due to the importance of relationships between the airline and the customers that it serves. It is important to get a successful buy-in for the changes that are to be made due to the expansion. By completing observations in person originally I can discuss the reasoning behind the questioning and to let them know that their responses are confidential. Fitzpatrick (2011) stated that to ensure responses that are truthful I will need to prove the confidentiality of the responses. I will also have to focus their thoughts on the changes in a positive way and not have them feel that they are being criticized.

References:

Fitzpatrick, J., & Worthen, B. (2010). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Struggling with audio

Hi all,

I am struggling to insert audio into my blog. Any and all suggestions are welcome to help me with this issue. You can comment or email me at angelia.modlin@waldenu.edu whichever works best for you.

THANKS BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!

Angie

**Update…I cannot thank you all enough for the support. I think that I got it covered. What a great group of classmates to work with. AM

Blog Post: The Truth About Training

What is training, who needs training and why is it important? Training is an important part of the creating an environment that meets the goals and needs of employees, employers, and customers. Noe (2013) states that training refers to a planned effort by a company to facilitate learning of job-related competencies, knowledge, skills, and behaviors by employees. The goal of training for employees is to master the knowledge, skills, and behaviors emphasized in training and apply them to their day-to-day activities. As well as preparing them for their current position, training prepares employees for advancing their technological skills.

Training is effective when it is in alignment with the outcome of the company. One of the most important aspects of a learning organization is the ability for employees to learn from failure and from successes. That is, learning includes understanding why things happen and why some choices lead to outcomes (Noe, 2013). By balancing their business strategy with the training program employees will learn and succeed in the future.

References:

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill

Training & Development

I will be using my blog for the new course I am taking through Walden University. This course is “Training & Development” EIDT-6501-2 and I am excited to see where this course takes me. Welcome.

Week 6 – Scope Creep

This week for our blog assignment we were supposed to analyze scope creep by using a project whether it be a personal or professional project and I struggled to determine a project I could use until I thought of the remodeling project we are doing on our house.

We had a great deal of hail damage earlier in the year and our house needed a new roof, siding and other things. When the original plans were made to repair the house we had an insurance adjustor and contractor come and give us estimates for the supplies. Much of the work would be done by my husband and our sons, so labor was not included except for minor things such as window installation. As we continued the process we found additional damage, changes in the availability to obtain supplies and the length of time that it would take to complete the repairs. Before this class I did not realize that what we are dealing with is a phenomenon known as scope creep (Portney, et.al., 2008). If I had known multiple things that I learned in this class we might have been able to create a budget with a 20% contingency (Laureate Education, n.d.) as well as additional time allowances.

We are still in the process of the home remodeling project and according to Portney, et. al., (2008) avoiding scope creep is not possible. However, monitoring it, controlling it, and thereby reducing some of the pain is possible — if the project manager follows a few guidelines:

  • Include a change control system in every project plan.
  • Insist that every project change is introduced by a change order that includes a description of the agreed-upon change together with any resulting changes in the plan, processes, budget, schedule, or deliverables.
  • Require changes to be approved in writing by the client as well as a by a representative of senior management.
  • Amend and update all project plans and schedules to reflect the change after the change of order has been approved.

Although all of these are not applicable in this situation it is a good plan for project managers to use the guidelines to eliminate or reduce the effect of scope creep on a project.

References:

Portney, S.E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J.R., Shafer, S.M., & Sutton, M. (2008). Project Management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) Creating a resources allocation [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Week 5: Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

As I complete the coursework for obtaining my MS in Instructional Design I am in completely foreign territory and many times feel like I am trying to understand a foreign language. This week I have been looking for resources to help me with estimating costs and allocating resources for my project and have found several great resources out there.

The first resource that I found is BrightHub. This website provides several templates to assist in the completion of designing a budget, a scope statement template, and a RACI template as well others. I definitely placed this site on my bookmarks bar.

The second resource that I found is projectmanagement.com. This website has resources available for not only templates but also contains links to workshops, blogs, webinars and much more. The information appears to be current, informative and related directly to the challenges that a project manager faces in their day-to-day work. I really was impressed with this site as well and placed it on my bookmarks toolbar too.

Resources:

BrightHub: http://www.brighthubpm.com

ProjectManagement.com: http://www.projectmanagement.com

Communicating Effectively

Communication is a key part of everyday life whether it be in a personal setting or in a business setting. According to Dr. Stolovitch (Laureate Ed., n.d., 2:34) communication is not just words. ¨It is influenced by spirit and attitude, 93% of it is not in the words, but in the tonality, body language and timing¨. All of these things were brought to light in the multimedia program ¨The Art of Effective Communication¨. Although the wording was the same the message came across to me in completely different ways.

Email: The sender used wording that seemed very stress, possibly hostile and somewhat gave me the feel of accusing the receiver of not completing their part of the work which is causing her to be behind. It was overall in a friendly business manner, but without having verbal cues or body language it was hard to read. If receiving this in my workplace I would comply with the request, but wonder what I had done to get behind.

Voicemail: The sender was using the same wording, but the calm tone of the voice gave a less angry and possibly just overly stressed request. The voicemail was business friendly and provided the receiver with the information needed without being hostile. I would have reacted to this request better due to being able to hear the tone of the voice.

Face to Face: Again the same wording is used, but verbal and physical body cues were given that helped the receiver understand that she is not angry with him, but is anxious to complete her portion of the project. It opened the door for the communication about what was needed and what timeframe it would be best delivered in without being angry, just anxious.

Conclusion: When I am communicating with others about information related to a project it would be best to do so in a face-to-face environment if at all possible. Wording should be clearly thought out and re-read before sending if sending in an email or voicemail to ensure that the receiver does not feel that they are being attacked. As explained by Troy Achong (Laureate Ed., n.d., 4:21) identify the people you can connect with and have them help you reach the ones you struggle to relate to. This and using communication strategies recommended by Dr. Stolovitch will help to achieve the best results when communicating with team members or stakeholders.

References:

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Multimedia Program: ¨The Art of Effective Communication¨