Faculty and Alumni Collaboration: Designing Medical Meetings that Get Results

PR-TRDV-October2014On September 26th Vince Cyboran, Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Training & Development collaborated with 2010 graduate, Mallory Gott-Ortiz to deliver a scenario-based learning strategy to members of the Association Forum of Chicagoland. The learning event, “Medical Meetings: Evolve or Expire,” was directed at senior level members and was designed to enhance the development of unique and valuable educational experiences in the highly competitive arena of healthcare meetings. Vince Cyboran, Ed.D. teaches graduate level classes in instructional design and e learning design and development at Roosevelt University, and Mallory Gott-Ortiz holds a M.A. in Human Performance Improvement from Roosevelt University and is the Director of Education Development for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.

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New Eight-Week Sessions begin on October 27th!

All cldont-forgetasses in the Graduate Programs in Training & Organization Development are offered in consecutive eight-week segments allowing students to complete two sessions in one semester. Our first session has ended and our second eight-week session begins on October 27th. If you are interested in taking additional classes during the Fall 2014 semester, there is still time to register for:

• TRDV 400 Introduction to Training & Development (Online)
• TRDV 411 Instructional Methods (Online)
• TRDV 427 Organization Analysis & Design (Online)
• TRDV 441 Human Performance Improvement (Chicago)
• TRDV 450 Learning Technologies (Online)
• TRDV 453 E Learning Course Authoring 2 (Online)
• TRDV 470 Instructional Design 2 (Online)
• TRDV 499 Master’s Portfolio (Online)

If you have already registered, please be aware our classes are accelerated and they move quickly! Be sure to log into your course site in Blackboard ASAP on Monday October 27th to download the syllabus and look over the first Module activities. Please don’t delay!

To learn more about success strategies in accelerated classes, please see an earlier post “Accelerated Online Courses: Strategies for Successful Learning.”

If you have questions about registration or classes, please contact our Program Coordinator, Tara Hawkins at thawkins@roosevelt.edu

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In Defense of Energizers: Incorporate physical activity into your work, training


Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University's Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University’s Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

It’s no surprise that obesity and sedentary lifestyles are negative by-products of our plugged-in society, but did you know that working and learning at your computer for long periods of time can lead to an early demise? A large body of research links physical inactivity to higher rates of morbidity and mortality (McCrady & Levine, 2013). Compounding this finding are new developments that reveal sedentary behavior as a unique health risk independent of physical activity. Long periods of sedentary time (distinct from too little exercise) are associated with increased mortality, increased obesity, high blood pressure, elevated risk of type 2 diabetes and adverse metabolic profiles (Stamatakis, et al. 2013). Even dedicated gym rats are not immune from risk. One hour at the gym does not make up for 10 hours at the desk.

Godfatherly advice
How do we combat the negative effects of long sedentary hours spent designing and delivering e-learning? When it comes to movement, there are few better experts than James Brown, who famously prescribed: “Get On Up.” Likewise, we need to find opportunities to insert movement into our work day. Here are strategies that forward thinking organizations have adopted:

  1. Incorporate movement into the work day by encouraging employees to take walks during lunch periods and breaks. Some organizations are going so far as to provide employees with pedometers to track their activity.
  2. Interrupt work at regular times with short bouts of exercise. So instead of working intensely for four or more hours at a time, work for an hour and take a five or 10 minute activity break.
  3. Incorporate activity into tasks by investing in treadmill desks or Swiss balls instead of chairs.

Note that the first two interventions take employees away from their work, making some organizations fear that healthy bouts of exercise will result in lower productivity. The third practice, although somewhat extreme, works from the assumption that physical activity will not interrupt workflow.

Break, energize and move
As e learning designers and trainers, we can become more sensitive to the need for regular activity throughout the day by bringing energizers, or mini activity breaks, back to our training programs by building opportunities for brief movement into our delivery. We can also emphasize mobile delivery which gives participants the opportunity to move while they learn.

What do you think?
What strategies do you use to combat a sedentary work life and build regular movement into your work day? How can we build activity our training programs, particularly e learning programs?



McCrady, S., & Levine, J. (2009). Sedentariness at work: how much do we really sit? Obesity, 17(11), 2103-2105.
Stamatakis, E., Chau, J. Y., Pedisic, Z., Bauman, A., Macniven, R., Coombs, N., & Hamer, M. (2013). Are sitting occupations associated with increased all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality risk? A pooled analysis of seven British population cohorts. Plos ONE, 8(9).


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Gamification: Are you Ready?

By Vincent L. Cyboran, Ed.D.  Associate Professor, Graduate Program in Training and Development

Most Baby Boomers can remember the opening episode of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ in which Mary Richards is seated in the office of her new boss, Lou Grant.  After she answers a few of his questions and is grinning from ear-to-ear, Mr. Grant says to her:  “You know what you what you’ve got, Mary?  Spunk……I hate spunk!”  That’s how I feel about fads in learning and development.

As T&D professionals, we know better than to ignore or dismiss fads, especially when they are addressed at every conference and in every trade journal. The following graphic shows the results of a simple Google search on this topic:


Gen X’ers and Millenials grew up playing video games.  And while there is learning to be had from any kind of video game—first person shooter or role-playing—we are talking here about games to help employees learn and to assess their learning in the workplace. These games are not designed to be played on game consoles; they are designed to be played on standard-issue employee digital devices:  tablets, phones, phablets, and even computers.

Though I had every intention of writing a blog article, I found a free e-book that explains everything I was going to say, and it’s written by people directly involved in the gamification of learning. Click here to access the e-book. My referring you to this e-book is an example of social learning, not laziness.  “You’re welcome.”  J We are all learning together!

As T&D faculty, especially those involved in designing and teaching e-learning courses, we follow fads closely, for fads often become trends. We’ve been covering gaming for years in our ‘Learning Technologies (TRDV 450)’ course and in our Online Teaching credential courses. But sometimes, we jump in too soon for our students.  Back in 2006, when I was still teaching the e-learning design and authoring courses, I gave students the option of developing a simple game using Captivate. The text I had chosen was the now-classic Engaging Learning:  Designing e-Learning Simulation Games by Clark Quinn. That book was first published in 2005, nine years ago. Not one student was interested.

Vince Cyboran is a professor in the graduate program in Training and Development of Roosevelt University.

Vince Cyboran is a professor in the graduate program in Training and Development of Roosevelt University.

I will add a bit on what I would have written in my blog article.

  • If you cannot write a clear instructional goal, you are not ready to develop a learning game.
  • If you cannot write a clear performance objective, you not ready to develop a learning game.
  • If you cannot define what makes something a ‘game’—as opposed to a case study, a simulation, or simply an activity—you are not ready to develop a learning game.
  • If you think that gaming is all about the game-development tools, you are not ready to develop a game, and you have some serious reading and thinking to do.
  • Finally, if you think that games require extensive and expensive video and audio components, you are not ready to develop a learning game.

Happy gaming!

The references I am listing here are not the latest and greatest, but are seminal works in the field that are still on the bookshelves in my office.  Yes, there was great anticipation back in 2003-2006 for what we are now seeing in the workplace.  The K-12 world beat the workplace learning world to meaningful gaming.  I am purposely avoiding the term ‘serious gaming.’


Gee, P. J. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Prensky, M. (2006). “Don’t bother me Mom—I’m learning”: How computer and video games are preparing your kids for 21st. century success—and how you can help. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House.
Taylor, T.L. (2006). Play between worlds:  Exploring online game culture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
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Fall Enrollment Continues

Enroll now for classes starting 10/27: The fall semester continues with core and elective course options. Choose from the following:

TRDV 400 Introduction to Training and Development
TRDV 411 Instructional Methods and Delivery
TRDV 427 Organization Analysis and Design
TRDV 441 Human Performance Improvement
TRDV 450 Learning Technologies
TRDV 453 E-Learning Course Authoring-2
TRDV 470 Instructional Systems Design-2
TRDV 501 online Teaching Theory and Application
TRDV 499 Master’s Portfolio Project

Full schedule available here http://www.roosevelt.edu/Registrar/Schedule.aspx.

Next Steps: Enroll for classes through RU Access. If you need your fall code, contact Tara thawkins@roosevelt.edu.

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Adjust your expectations and rethink the rubric

Rubrics show great promise as both a way to communicate expectations and to assess performance. In just a few short years, rubrics have become an essential resource in the race to make higher education more accountable. Can it be long before this unpretentious tool, once confined to k-12 classrooms, finds its way to the workplace? How can we best employ rubrics in the assessment and evaluation of workplace learning and performance?

Figure 1: Analytic rubric

Figure 1: Analytic rubric

Two Types of Rubrics
In its simplest form, a rubric is a document that defines the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria and describing levels of quality (Andrade 2000). The typical rubric is a single-page matrix containing three essential features: evaluation criteria, quality definitions, and a scoring strategy. There are two primary types of rubrics, analytic and holistic. The analytic rubric is used most frequently and lists performance outcomes in the left column with levels of performance listed in the column headings (See Figure 1). In analytic rubrics, each performance outcome is assessed individually while in the holistic rubric, all criteria are listed and applied simultaneously to identify an overall judgement about the work. Regardless of the type of rubric used, all rubrics must have a clear description of criteria for evaluation over a continuum of quality.

Promising Results

Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University's Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University’s Training and Development graduate program.

In a study of adult students in business courses, the response to rubrics was overwhelmingly positive. Rubrics helped students see the link between learning objectives and outcomes by articulating the expectations of assignments, leading to increased performance (Bolton, 2006). Schneider (2006) also found a positive response to rubrics in higher education, with a caveat. Although 88% of college students found rubrics useful when they received them at the time the assignment was given only 10% of students found rubrics useful when provided after the assignment was graded. When given ahead of time, rubrics help students to clarify the work targets, self-regulate their progress, and make grading transparent and fair, but when shared after the fact, they have little value.

Students are not the only parties that benefit from rubrics In their defining work, Herman, Aschbacher, and Winter (1992) indicated that a carefully constructed scoring rubric will:

  • Help teachers define excellence and plan instruction that will help students achieve it;
  • Communicate to students what constitutes excellence and how to evaluate their own work;
  • Communicate goals and results to parents and others;
  • Help teachers or other raters be accurate, unbiased, and consistent in scoring assignments and projects; and
  • Document procedures used in making important judgments about student work.

So how do we take the rubric to work?
If rubrics support instructional design, link objectives to outcomes, enhance expectations, and increase performance, why are we not using them in workplace learning and performance? Perhaps it’s because they are viewed primarily as an academic tool, found mostly in the k-12 arena, or perhaps trainers, HR professionals, and adult learning experts don’t know how to create rubrics. In any case, it’s time for the rubric to continue its maturation process moving from grammar school, to high school, college, and now graduation to the workplace.

Do you think rubrics have a place in the training evaluation? If so, how might the best be used? What are the barriers to the application of rubrics in workplace learning and assessment? How might we overcome them?


Andrade, H. (2000). Using rubrics to promote thinking and learning. Educational Leadership, 57(5), 13-18.
Bolton, F. C. (2006). Rubrics and Adult Learners: Andragogy and Assessment. Assessment Update, 18(3), 5-6.
Herman, J. L., Aschbacher, P. R., & Winters, L. (1992). A practical guide to alternative assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Schneider, F. J. (2006). Rubrics for teacher education in community college. Community College Enterprise, 12(1), 39-55.
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Andragogy along for the ride: How do we bring Knowles’ ideas into virtual classrooms?

It has been more than forty years since Malcolm Knowles made the term andragogy a household word in adult learning circles. The shelf life of the term, which Knowles made famous in 1970, and its premise has surprised many experts. As the world of training and higher education continue to transition to online and distance learning, how can we best bring andragogy along for the ride? How can we take the best that andragogy has to offer and apply it to learners in virtual environments?



Let’s step back for a moment and take a closer look at the term andragogy. The word itself does not easily roll off the tongue. Like pedagogy, andragogy is derived from the Greek root “agogus” (to lead), exchanging the prefix “peda” (child) for “andra” (adult) to give us the art and science of teaching/leading adults (Knowles, 1980). Although word and the idea of andragogy actually emerged in the 1800s, it was Knowles’ writings that energized the training and adult education profession, giving a framework and name to what we do. It was an initial step in the movement that rocked the latter part of the 20th century, where trainers moved from being the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side” shifting toward learner focused delivery.


Six assumptions

Knowles gave us six assumptions about adult learners to guide us in the pursuit of andragogical design and delivery (Taylor & Kroft 2009).

  1. Self-concept: As a person matures, his/her self-concept moves from one of being a dependent personality toward one of being self-directed. Adults tend to resist situations in which they feel that others are imposing their wills on them.
  2. Experience: As a person matures, he/she accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes a resource for learning. Adults tend to come into adult education with a vast amount of prior experiences compared to that of children. If those prior experiences can be used, they become the richest resource available.
  3. Readiness to learn: As a person matures, his/her readiness to learn becomes oriented to the development task of his/her social roles. Readiness to learn is dependent on an appreciation of the relevancy of the topic to the student.
  4. Orientation to learn: As a person matures, his/her time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application, and accordingly his/her orientation towards learning shifts from one of subject-centeredness to one of problem-centeredness. Adults are motivated to learn to the extent in which they perceive that the knowledge in which they are acquiring will help them perform a task or solve a problem that they may be facing in real life.
  5. Motivation to learn: Internal motivation is key as a person matures. Although adults feel the pressure of external events, they are mostly driven by internal motivation and the desire for self-esteem and goal attainment.
  6. The need to know: Adults need to know the reason for learning something. In adult learning, the first task of the teacher is to help the learner become aware of the need to know. When adults undertake learning something they deem valuable, they will invest a considerable amount of resources (e.g., time and energy).


What do you think?

Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University's Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Kathy Iverson is a professor and department chair for Roosevelt University’s Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Back to the questions posed at the beginning of this article: Is andragogy relevant in virtual learning? Does is need a remix or can we directly apply the assumptions to adults who learn in virtual environments? Please add a comment to this post and let me know your thoughts about how we can best apply andragogy to virtual learning.



Knowles, M. (1970). The modern practice of adult education: Andragogy versus pedagogy. New York: Association Press.
Knowles, M. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy. Englewoods Cliff, NJ: Cambridge Adult Education.
Taylor, B., & Kroth, M. (2009). Andragogy’s Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of Andragogy and Its Search for a Measurable Instrument. Journal Of Adult Education, 38(1), 1-11.


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