RU Event In Honor of Laquan: Open Dialogue and Healing

In Honor of Laquan: Open Dialogue and Healing

As many of you know, on Tuesday the video of the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by CPD officer Jason Van Dyke was released to the public. The graphic video could spark community reactions similar to Ferguson here in Chicago.

In anticipation of the need for dialogue and healing, we have reserved space on Monday and Tuesday in the Spertus Lounge from 4 to 6 p.m. Mansfield Institute peacekeepers will be on hand to facilitate peace and healing circles during that time. The hope is that the circles will serve as a platform for our students and anyone interested from the Roosevelt community to voice and hear concerns, fears, frustrations, ideas, solutions, and hopes for our communities and city. Please join us and spread the word to your students as well.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Piloting Digital Badges in Graduate Education

Digital or open badges are electronic credentials that communicate expertise to employers, educators, clients, and coworkers. Although badges are a topic of interest and discussion, they are not widely recognized or utilized. Most who are familiar with badges agree that they have potential and merit as a way to document, reward, recognize, and communicate learning and expertise. For background on digital or open badges, please see our earlier posts:

As trainers, e learning designers, online educators, OD professionals, association managers, and higher education administrators, I believe it is important that we explore this new development and contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding micro credentials. We are piloting the use of digital badges to recognize students for outstanding performance in our capstone course, TRDV 499: Professional Portfolio, where students will have the opportunity to earn digital badges in addition to college credit.

One of the more complicated aspects of working with digital badges is locating a reputable tool to award verified badges. To streamline the process for their clients, Blackboard has partnered with Mozilla to allow students to transfer badges earned in online classes to a Mozilla Backpack. Instructors can create badges or “Achievements” as they are called in Blackboard for the successful completion of various assignments and for course completion. Instructors may create custom badges or use the standard badges provided by Blackboard. Students can then view and share earned achievements by transferring badges to their “Backpack” and posting them electronically on LinkedIn, websites, Facebook, resumes, etc. Badges are digitally signed and verified, and the description and criteria for earning the badge are digitally encoded for others to see. Each badge has metadata attached that tells the viewer who awarded it and what the recipient did to earn it (see below).



In TRDV 499: Professional Portfolio, our capstone course, students document their learning and performance by developing a portfolio that contains exemplary work products and a supporting research paper. In this course site, students can earn the following badges:                                                                                                 portfoliobadge4

As a “milestone achievement,” students can earn a badge for demonstrating excellence in the completion of their Master’s Portfolio.


499completionbadgeTo recognize students for excellence in completion of TRDV 499, students can earn a “course completion achievement” badge for finishing the course with a final grade of “A.”


If you are an instructor or course designer, you can learn more about how to create and manage badges in Blackboard. If you are a student, you can view your achievements in the Tools menu and also transfer your Badges to Mozilla Backpack.


What are your thoughts about digital badges and micro credentials?

Posted in Digital Badges, E-Learning, Learning at Roosevelt, Technology | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Career Development Workshop & Dr. Deborah Colky Scholarship

Career Development in a Virtual World- this Thursday 11/12, Webinar

What can the Office of Career Development at Roosevelt do for you?

Whether you are actively searching for a new job or just looking to update your resume, the Office of Career Development can help you polish your professional online presence.

It all starts with an outstanding resume. In this workshop we will focus on using the new Career Central tool to update and craft a strong resume. Career Central allows RU students to submit their resume online and get a feedback from an RU Career Counselor who will work with you through the writing process.

RSVP to Tara

Dr. Deborah Colky Scholarship Opportunity deadline this Friday 11/13

The Association for Talent Development, Chicagoland Chapter (ATDChi), invites you to apply for the Dr. Deborah Colky Student Award. This annual award recognizes the outstanding effort and achievement of a current undergraduate or graduate student committed to pursuing a degree and career centered in the Learning and Performance profession.

A one-time stipend of $1,000 will be given to the applicant chosen by the ATDChi Award Selection Committee. The winner will also receive a one year membership to ATDChi, the publication of a blog article in Training Today, as well as a commemorative award plaque and attendance as a guest at the ATDChi’s annual Holiday Dinner in December.

For more information visit ATDChi.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Person-Organization Fit

By Kathleen Iverson

A family friend developed a software program that helps people buy shoes online that cinderella_stepsisterfit  properly the first time. Based on shoes brands and styles that have been comfortable in the past, it can predict how a new pair of shoes will feel. The company, Shoefitr, was so successful that it was recently bought by Amazon.

The same principals of fit can also be applied to people and organizations. The study of how well individuals and groups “fit” with organizations and job demands, known as person-environment fit, has been around for many years and has far reaching implications. Person–job fit (PJ fit) is the match between the individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities against the task requirements of the job and person–organization fit (PO fit) is the match between the candidate’s personal characteristics and the organization’s cultural characteristics. We often focus on PJ fit, but the importance of PO fit is gaining momentum. According to research studies, PO fit relates to key indicators of success including retention, work attitudes, citizenship, ethical behavior, stress, and work performance. Good fit is a prerequisite for maintaining well-being at work due to its effect on satisfaction, self-esteem, belonging, usefulness, and employee identity.

When trying on a new pair of shoes, we know almost immediately how they fit. But how do we know if our organization is a good fit? One instrument developed by Cable and DeRue (2002) measures PO fit with three simple questions. To test how well you fit with your current or past organization, think about how you might answer the following questions on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree).

  1. The things that I value in life are very similar to the things that my organization values.
  2. My personal values match my organization’s values and culture.
  3. My organization’s values and culture provide a good fit with the things that I value in life.

If your score is between 12-15, you’ve got a very good fit. If your score is 8-11, your fit is moderate, and below 8 indicates that your organization is not a very good fit.

Low fit doesn’t necessarily mean that you should leave your current organization, but it is red flag indicating that something isn’t working. If you feel stressed at work, tP-O fithink about leaving, your performance is not what it should be, or you just have negative feelings about your job or company, poor PO fit could be the cause. Just like purchasing shoes, it’s much easier to prevent poor fit than to rectify it. A large body of research is focusing on the role of PO fit in the selection process, from both the perspective of the employer and the job applicant. Organizations are looking at ways they can predict good fit during the interview process and, in turn, how applicants can use knowledge of their fit needs to make the right career choice. As a job seeker, first reflect on your personal values and your commitment to choosing environments that support these values, and then find organizations that are congruent with your values. As a potential employer, pay attention to how you communicate the culture of the organization both directly and indirectly. Be sure to let serious candidates know about the organization mission, leadership strategy, and commitment to areas of social justice and inclusion. To some candidates, these factors could be equally or even more important than salary and benefits.

Questions for discussion

  1. What factors and values are important to you in an employer?
  2. How might you go about finding organizations that share your values?
  3. If you are in an interview situation, how might you decide whether an organization is a good fit for you? What questions might you ask? What information might you gather?


Cable, D. M., & DeRue, D. S. (2002). The convergent and discriminant validity of subjective fit perceptions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 875– 884.

Posted in Human Performance Improvement, Organizational Development, Social Justice | Tagged | 15 Comments

Trust, But Verify: Why Editing your own Work is a Must

By Vince Cyboran, Ed.D.


Imagine that you are writing an article about T&D consulting contracts. As you work, the phrase “Trust, but verify” pops into your head. It is, after all, an apt quote.  And, if you are like countless others who can remember events of the 1980’s, the phrase is vaguely familiar. But because you want to attribute this phrase to someone, you have a nagging suspicion that you are not at all certain of its origin. Indeed, you will have to turn this phrase into an active practice.

I pose the following question to you, Dear Reader: “Trust, but verify” is…

  1. A Russian proverb
  2. A quote from President Reagan
  3. Both

The best answer is “3.”  It is a Russian proverb, introduced to President Reagan by an historian of Russian studies, Suzanne Massie. I know this because I checked. But did I have to?

If I were delivering an informal presentation on T&D consulting contracts—and not attributing the phrase to a specific person—it would acceptable to reference the phrase to bolster the argument for self-editing, and to leave it at that. However, in a more formal situation—as is the case with a written article in which an attribution will be used—checking the specific origin of the phrase is a must. Though it would not be incorrect to simply attribute the quote to President Reagan, it is simply more accurate to also note that it is a Russian proverb.

From this example, we can conclude that context matters in editing. By this, I mean that the context determines the level of specificity required. And, the higher the level of specificity required determines how much self-editing we need to do.

Let’s take another example. You have just completed your graduate work at Roosevelt University within the Graduate Program in Training and Development, and you are updating your resume. You have not studied Organization Development. Which of the following items is the correct title of the degree you have just earned?

  1. Master of Arts in Training and Development
  2. Masters of Art in Training and Development
  3. Masters in Training & Development

The correct answer is “a.” Standard graduate degrees in the United States are termed ‘Master of Arts in …’ and ‘Master of Science in…’ Though individual institutions may vary from the standard, it is up to each of us to double-check. A resume is a very important document. The accuracy—or lack, thereof–of the information contained in it is crucial. To err on something such as a degree title gives the reviewer of the resume pause:  “What kind of employee will this be?”  Incorrect information lessens your credibility.

When our errors are pointed out to us, it is tempting to become defensive and to respond along the lines of:  “But I thought it was.”  Such a strategy rarely succeeds in the workplace, and, even if it does, it won’t work for long.

At this point, Dear Reader, you may be asking yourself:  “Why would I check something that I think is correct?” Fair question. The answer is: Because your memory is not perfect. Checking your own work has nothing to do with innate intelligence; it has to do with human frailty and with professionalism.


  • What is your approach to editing your own work?
  • Do you have a web site to recommend that you find useful when editing your own work?


Posted in assumptions, Instructional Design, Learning at Roosevelt | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Assessing New Team Members: Should we use the MBTI and DISC to predict future performance?

Guest post by Jessica Cella (MATD 2015): Learning and Organizational Development Manager at Leo Burnett Group

We’ve all been there. A position opens up on your team and you have the green light to expand and hire a new teammate.  How do you select the right person? In the digital age, applications for a single open position are often number in the hundreds. While there are tools to assist in scanning resumes to narrow the pool of candidates, the interview process can still be exhausting, time consuming and costly. Many hiring managers lack effective interviewing skills and some have a “blink moment” and decide in the first 30 seconds if they will hire the applicant or not.

Some organizations have turned to assessments to narrow the candidate pool and hire
more effectively. Two fairly well known assessments are the DiSC  (behavior based) and the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory or MBTI (personality based). Many organizations have tapped into these tools for their hiring practice to the extent that they are hiring influencers for sales positions and avoiding hiring those identified as introverts for similar roles.

Personality-test-pic2When looking for the perfect addition to your team, what you’re really trying to do is predict future job performance. Using an assessment can give an additional piece of information about an individual but it’s a snapshot of a moment in time. Many individuals who fall into a certain quadrant or type can still be successful in roles that differ from the norm. I am a “C” (Consciousness) and an “I” (Introvert), yet I truly enjoy facilitating training sessions and have been told I’m quite skilled in that area. An organization may look to hire only influencers or extraverts for facilitation roles due to their assessment results and be missing out on a pool of potentially successful individuals. As a side note, there is a TED Talk by author Susan Cain that addresses the unique talents of introverts.

Although many organizations are hiring based on test results, the tool developers themselves do not support the practice. The DISC position on assessment is that the tool offers only one data point in the hiring process. MBTI publishers emphasize that results do not indicate success, and use of the test during pre-employment screening is not considered ethical.

These assessments have been proven to add value to an organization and its culture when used appropriately.


  1. What do you think is the best way to use tools like the DISC and MBTI?
  2. Should they be used during pre-hiring to eliminate candidates?
  3. Is an assessment just a data point, among many others in the hiring process?
  4. Do assessments only have relevance after a person has been hired, to help team members better understand each other and the culture?
Posted in assumptions, Guest Student Post | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Key Take Aways from Roosevelt University’s Training and Development Program

Kerri Leo is a Spring 2015 graduate of the MATD program.

Kerri Leo is a Spring 2015 graduate of the MATD program.

By the time you reach your last week of your last class, if you’re like me, you may find that many of the facts you’ve learned are only vague memories overshadowed by the focus of graduation and the changes it brings. While it’s still fresh in my mind, let me share with you what I think are the most important lessons I’ve learned in the Graduate Program in Training & Development.

  • Network, Network, Network Regardless of your current work situation, networking is the single most important thing you should do while in school (except for writing all those papers.) Everyone in your classes, students and instructors alike, are potential future employers. Research has shown that “at least 50 percent of available jobs are never advertised—some studies place that number as high as 80 percent. Networking allows employers to fill open positions, often by individuals outside of the company (or department) who learned of the open position from someone inside the company.” (Rangwala, 2012). I can tell you from personal experience, you never know who is in your class. I was in school full-time and not working. A few months before graduation, I started to look for full-time employment. I saw a job posted at an organization that I really wanted, and I remembered a woman from my Organization Development class had worked there. I reached out to her on LinkedIn to see if she knew anything about the position. Turns out, it was a newly created position that reported to her. I got the job! I’d like to think I got my position due to my amazing skills, but I can’t help but also think that having the connection of Roosevelt’s TRDV program was a huge asset. Since my boss had been through the same program, she knew what I’d learned and how it would be relevant to this position. She knew what my degree meant; I didn’t have to explain to her what instructional design was. Being able to share a common bond will only help you to succeed, so connect with your classmates on LinkedIn. If someone wants to meet for lunch, do it. You never where that person may be in the future.
  • Complete the Portfolio Preparation Form Yes, these forms may seem annoying to have to fill out at the end of every class, but they’re actually useful. When I first saw the form, my immediate reaction was, “This like writing another paper! I’m not doing this!” After all, by the time you get all of your other coursework done, it’s usually 11:58 p.m. the night the class ends and you just want to go to bed. The last thing you want to do is stay up and fill out a form, trying to remember what you just learned. Do it anyway. When you get to 499, if you haven’t filled out this form for every class, trust me, you’ll be sorry. I filled out the form for only one of my classes because it was required (thanks, Vince!) I wished I had filled it out for all of my classes. It would have made pulling together my portfolio so much easier. Take the 15- 20 minutes and fill out the form while the information is still fresh in your mind and it will save you a lot of time in the future.
  • Did I mention networking? Really, I can’t stress this point enough. Never again will you be in the same situation of being surrounded by people who are in your same field for as many hours as when you’re in school. The majority of your instructors are also practitioners and really know what they’re doing. They teach not only because they’re experts in the field, but they want to see others succeed in it as well. One of the webcasts I facilitated while in school was taught by Kim Heintz, an adjunct professor and Jessi Underhill, an alumnus of the TRDV program. One of the key points they emphasized was the importance of keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and connecting with your professors. I had never really thought of connecting with my professors, but Kim made an excellent point: while they may be your instructors right now, they will be your colleagues once you graduate. They’re very well connected in the field and can not only provide you with an excellent reference, they will also probably know of job openings that might be a good fit for you. So get to know your professors a little. Find out where else they work, what their specialties are. You never know where your next job may come from.


  1. What are some of the things you’ve learned in the Training and Development program that are the most useful?
  2. If you are an alumni or a 499 student, what advice do you have for current and future students?


Rangwala, Sakina. Networking 101. The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2012. Retrieved from

Posted in academic studies, Careers, Guest Student Post, Instructional Design, Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments