Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aligning Your Passions and Your Company's Values

Is it a cheat to quote someone else's blog in my blog? Maybe. But stick with me. I think the journey will be worth it!

An old friend from Simon School days, Jerri Barret, writes a great blog about her "key learnings on Marketing, Networking and Non Profit Life." (You can read it here. She works for an interesting organization called The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Jerri led me to a really outstanding article on building a leadership brand that your company values, by Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Jo presented five steps described by Titina Ott,Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness with a leading global software corporation, and founder of their corporate women’s initiative. These really resonated for me:

"1. Understand your company’s vision, goals, and value proposition. These can be found on your company’s web site.
2. Understand the goals for your line of business, by asking your manager.
3. Understand your team’s goals, objectives and priorities. Ask your manager, as this is a critical part of their role.
4. Take a look at your development plan for the year. It is your responsibility to put this plan together. Map your goals to objectives for the company, your line of business, and your team.
5. Discuss your plan with your and manager, to gain their alignment. Ott states 'A plan is not effective unless your manager knows about it, acknowledges it and assists in providing the opportunities and support to execute against it.'"

The entire article can be found here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Trip to Tulum

This is a little video I made using Animoto. The pictures are from a recent trip to Tulum, Mexico with my daughter, Nicole. The music was free on the animoto site.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One Place to Find Me

I just registered on a site called itmyurls. You can find all my links to social networks here.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Instructional Design Model

Today I had the opportunity to meet with a group of researchers at NTID. I didn't end up using my Prezi presentation. The meeting rooms are set up so that you have to get up and leave the table to use the computer -- I hate that! So I just talked.

This is my outline, with the questions I am investigating. I asked the researchers to help me with sources of information on these questions. They immediately brought up some very interesting points that were very helpful.

I am going to generate a sample course outline based on this so they will have a more concrete picture of what I am trying to accomplish. This model would work for any type of content, but my first course will be a soft skills course for Deaf adults who are about 15 years into their careers.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please don't hesitate to give it to me!

Instructional Design Model

Course Hierarchy

Course (I am too impatient to get this list indented the way I want it! )

  • Lesson
  • Lesson
  • Lesson
  • Topic
  • Topic
  • Topic
  • Objective
  • Introduction Elements
  • Context Statement
  • Wiifm (“What’s in it for me”)
  • Organizer
  • Content
  • Content
  • Content
  • Interactives/Practice
  • Graphical Elements
  • Summary
  • Evaluation

Audience – What are the important questions?
Communication style? How accepting will learners be if information is presented in a style that varies from their own most preferred style?
Experience with distance/e-learning?
Expectations for learning situations – teacher/student behaviorial expectations?
What audience characteristics matter?

Should objectives be explicitly stated? In what form?
Can prerequisite knowledge be expected, established?
What is the best way to generate emotional response?
What is the best way to establish context, present wiifm?
Should context statement always be job-based?
Should organizer element use “features” of ASL? General → Specific? Visual organizer? Topic → Comment? Others???

Fact – one of a kind information that student will memorized
Concept – distinguishes if something is a member of a class or not. Requires a definition, distinguishing characteristic, definite characteristics, variable characteristics, example, optional non-example. How best to present each part?

Process – A description of a chain of events with phases or stages. Used especially to teach problem solving. Requires a graphical representation of process, with clearly delineated beginnings and endings to stages. How to best present?

Procedure – A series of steps that if followed renders a consistent result. Procedures may be branching, or have optional steps. Generally follows the pattern of Location – Action – Result. Does this still hold? How best to present?

Principal – Teaches decision making where a judgment is required. Requires a statement of desired outcome, guidelines, example, optional non-example. How best to present?

Mode of presentation:
Which of these are optimally presented as self-paced tutorials? Which are optimally taught by mentor/teacher? Which should be presented as part of a collaborative exploration?
What communication models should be used? How much written English, if any, is acceptable?

Order and chunk size:
What is optimal chunk size? What are the distinguishing characteristics that determine chunk size?
What order? Common skills and knowledge first? Simple to complex? General to specific? Other?
How much repetition is acceptable/optimal?

What is optimal frequency? Following topic? Content block?
Collaborative or solo? When is either optimal?
Feedback during, after, not at all? From instructor? Peers? What form?
Is “life-like” important?
Use of emotion?

Graphical Elements:
Video or other representations of the instructor teaching are NOT graphical elements. Graphical elements communicate meaning beyond what the bare words would communicate.
Photo-realistic? Or not?
How presented?
When are they required?

What elements are required?
What best to present? How?

How to best evaluate student mastery of objectives?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Instructional Design Mind Map

I worked at home today, sketching out the outline of my instructional design model for Deaf learners. My thought is to review the research on how Deaf learners learn, then to use that research in developing my model. I have been fortunate to have a good starting place. For the six years before I started working at NTID, I was a first a content manager, then lead instructional designer, and finally head of a group that developed soft skills content. During that time I reviewed, argued, and suggested instructional design for courses, based on the work of Dr. Ruth Clark.

Later this week I get to meet with the research department at NTID and talk to them about what I am doing. I'm excited about this potential partnership.

Here is the Prezi I have started to develop for that meeting. I'm not sure how interesting the Prezi will be without me talking to it -- I tend to be a bit spare on my slides.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Resolutions

Happy 2010, everyone! It is shocking how quickly 2009 zoomed by, and it is time for my annual resolutions.

First let's review how I did on last year's resolutions.

Here they are:

1. Work on Brand Clare. Well, I did do this in a limited way. But I now realize that I need to redefine what this is. That will be one of my resolutions for 2010.
2. Upgrade my resume using an online resume site called Visual CV. Nope. Didn't even start. See resolution #1.
3. Learn how to use Adobe InDesign and Dreamweaver. My strategy for accomplishing this was to do it at work. But changes I made in my team's operations made it impossible for me to do much more than hang on there. I don't anticipate I will have much time for more than leading my team this year either.
4. Master enough ASL that I can start taking classes at RIT. I took classes 4 times a week every quarter, had a tutor twice a week, and attended a week long residential program at Camp Mark 7. I feel like I have enough vocabulary to more or less communicate, and I have been able to have meetings with my Deaf teammates without an interpreter. After the holidays, I will attempt to attend Department Chairs meetings with no interpreter. If folks are signing directly to me, slowly, I can usually figure out what they are telling me. This is not mastery by any one's definition of course. But I do feel like I have made some progress here, and I hope that by next Fall I will be able to enroll in another class. Maybe by then I will have figured out what it is I want to study!
5. Finally get my home network setup the way I want. We made some serious strides in the right direction here. This morning I can listen to music streamed from our collection, or the Internet, watch movies streamed via Netflicks, and print. My server crashed one day when Joanne accepted Microsoft updates for it, not realizing that I had earlier crashed it doing the same thing and had vowed never to accept updates without careful research again. But maybe we don't need a server to do what I want. I'm researching other options now.

And these were a couple of "maybes"

6. Buy a mandolin and learn to play it. Nope, not this year.

7. Buy an DSL camera. Yes, I bought a Canon 5D Mark II. Here is a review of it on Ken Rockwell's wonderful site. I have had a wonderful time with this fantastic camera. It is probably the most expensive thing I have ever bought, other than a car, and definitely the thing I have most enjoyed. Joanne and I are planning a trip to Africa for later this year and I am very excited about what I will be able to shoot. My Flickr stream is here if you want to take a look at what I have done so far.

Now on to 2010 Resolutions:

It's obvious to me that I took on more than I could accomplish so I am cutting back a little this year.

1. Review and re-define my personal brand. I'm feeling a little unfocused and unhappy with my direction right now and need to figure out where it is I want to be in the next 3 years.

2. Blog more regularly. I really enjoy this, even if (as I suspect!) it is just me and my nephew occasionally reading it. But blogging does help me focus my thoughts. I am going to try to blog weekly. The summers are the hardest time, when all I want to do is be out in my garden. But let's see if I can't be a little more regular with this.

3. Continue to improve my ASL skills. I have 18 months to reach Intermediate level on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview. This isn't a minor goal, to say the least.

4. Continue work on my Instructional Design Model for Teaching Deaf Adults. I would like to be able to present this at conferences in 2011.