Whether we are facilitating a small brainstorming group, training a large class, or teaching an academic course, we fall susceptible to the “it’s really important to collaborate” practice. What in the world does that mean? Just chat about it? If you are shuddering at the thought of “discussion items” on a meeting agenda as much as I am, we both know it’s not about dropping a topic bomb on the table and seeing where it goes.
We crave expression of feeling, as proven by our incessant need to construct emotional representation in our typing. Remember <3 ? Then it got exciting when we got the red heart. Now we have broken hearts, beating hearts, and rainbowed hearts, but you see my point. Words are never enough. So, my dear instructional designers, trainers, and facilitators out there, why do we settle for cognitive learning instead of blending it with affect?
It easy for me to discuss how fast a facilitator can go tunnel vision with their learners because I’ve fallen into the trap so many times. Even with a good start for a course, the best of intentions can quickly disintegrate into assessment/interaction and appropriately timed updates. Mechanical being the optimal word here. I was snapped out of my reverie when a student left me the painful feedback that “it felt like she just had a process and there wasn’t any … [Read More]
It may be my natural rebellion against rules. It may be my frustration when I say something in the declarative as a consultant and it’s received as a rule. It may be my annoyance watching people make up rules because they simply aren’t able to explain the why. Whatever the motivation, I’m becoming more aware of the need to embrace guidelines instead of set rules when coaching or training individuals or teams working with models. For example, instructional design focuses … [Read More]
In our digital age of overwhelming information and sound bytes, group think is terrifyingly easy. A professor I recently spoke to stated, “if you want to get social media hits just start slamming MBTI.” His point was that despite the fact that it is incredibly tested backwards and forwards and continually improved upon, it’s always popular to throw it against the wall and get some fake cred.
The title of this post was going to be Evaluating our Training, but the core message is more than simply evaluation … it’s about setting up reliable feedback loops from all the stakeholders to create positive improvement. Please note that I refer to positive improvement in terms of effectiveness, not a tick mark on a report for training completion. How many times have you provided training, conducted your little satisfaction / request for improvement survey, and then moved on to … [Read More]
Academics often express frustration with the poor preparation of learners entering college and being able to succeed with academic rigor, let alone thrive with it. Organizations question our (colleges) ability to produce the individuals with the skills needed as they lament the lack of critical thinking skills, decision-making skills, and communication skills being graduated and brought into the workforce (Hoover, Giambatista, Sorenson, & Bommer, 2010). What is going on? Is everybody just whining? Are the students that ill-prepared and is … [Read More]
While speaking with my husband (@erwilleke), we realized that we were going through a very similar journey of understanding in our careers despite working in very different areas: Eric striving to align thousands of people against a common purpose in the corporate world, Marian developing learning experiences to expose individuals to opportunities of personal transformation in the educational world (for now). Based on our combined interest and application in this topic concerning organizational behavior and human learning behaviors, we co-wrote … [Read More]
Iteration after iteration. Milestone after milestone. Year after year. The life cycle of a PhD experience is unique unto itself, testing far more than intelligence. Endurance, patience, discipline, and possibly a dash of insanity are all necessary components. Most importantly is that a PhD student must have a mindset of continuous improvement. Upon completion, I now see that the entire PhD process is one large milestone, offering me the discipline to create effective and long-lasting social change. So what is … [Read More]
There’s nothing quite worse than creating a course that doesn’t quite fit the bill, and you can’t figure out why not. Let’s hypothetically forget about all the essential components of course development that if done wrong, make instructional designers twitch. Pretending that there are no important practices (I refuse to say “best” practices), let’s focus on what you need to develop a course that has clear feedback loops when you teach it … so you can teach it again, better.