E-Learning Course Design and Development: A New Design for TRDV439 and TRDV453, Part 1

Kim Heintz teaches e-learning course design and authoring at Roosevelt. She also is a Technical Writer/Instructional Designer for Follett School Solutions.

Kim Heintz teaches e-learning course design and authoring at Roosevelt. She also is a Technical Writer & Instructional Designer for Follett School Solutions.

In the Training and Development department at Roosevelt University, we faced the dilemma of the “chicken or the egg?” when it came to sequencing two courses, E-Learning Course Design and E-Learning Course Authoring.  No matter which course we placed first, students had to work hard to bridge the knowledge gap from other class in order to be successful.

EL1Initailly, we placed the design course first in the sequence—the natural choice, as it is first in the e-learning course creation process. Students were challenged to see what the final product could look like because they had no experience with any authoring tool and did not know what it could and could not do. Through evidence-based principles and concrete examples, they were able to walk away having created an impressive detailed design. However, it did come with some additional work to bridge the knowledge gap, and a common theme we heard when students got to the E-Learning Course Authoring course was that they wish they had known more about how Captivate worked when writing their design.

EL2This gave us the idea to place the authoring course first in the sequence to give students baseline knowledge to draw from when it came time to design. This sequence did  give them that information, but, when it came time to create a final project at the end of the semester that included elements of design, they had to work hard to create a design to build out in the authoring tool.

8 Week Opportunity

With Roosevelt moving to the new 8-week schedule from the former 12-week one at the start of Fall 2014, we used this opportunity to address this dilemma. Based on student feedback and our own experiences with design and development, we decided to weave these two courses together so that students learn design and development simultaneously. As a result, these two courses now build on each other in a “Part 1” and “Part 2” fashion in what is now the series TRDV439: E-Learning Course Authoring-1 and TRDV453: E-Learning Course Authoring-2.

In this new design, students are introduced to design and development each week, giving them a chance to become familiar and comfortable with each through readings, lectures, and practice exercises. They also have the chance to apply what they learn to concrete assignments.

The capstone project of the series begins early in the first course and follows the students through the end of the second. With this project, they design and develop a topic of their choosing and end up with four deliverables to showcase the progression: EL3

Solution: Combine the Chicken and the Egg

Because they learn design and development each week, students continue to refine their deliverables as they continue to work toward their detailed designed and developed lesson. They also collaborate in peer review of each other’s work, which provides additional perspective to their assignments beyond the instructors. Peer review provides two-way benefit in that the students who are reviewing the work also have the chance to be inspired for their own work.

Much like what we had in the original course designs, structured and open forums exist and are encouraged for students to collaborate, share frustrations, ask for help, share “ah-ha” moments, post lessons learned, post general information/articles, and more. These work much like any online forum such those on the Adobe Communities or in LinkedIn groups; the one added benefit in these forums is that everyone has similar experiences at the same time.

In addition to the four projects included in the capstone, students also create three additional projects in Adobe Captivate as they learn the authoring tool. They do this by completing workbook exercises, working through the details of a pre-designed storyboard, and following step-by-step instructions.

With one semester now completed, it seems that our “chicken or the egg?” dilemma has now successfully been solved! Students were able to connect the design with the development because they had the ability to get into the tool and experiment.  They were able to connect the development with the design through the guiding principles and instructional design standards.

The students who completed the Fall 2014 term were huge supporters of one another and the work that they did, and the student output was incredibly impressive!

In a future post, we’ll have three students share their initial concerns or impressions going into these courses, their experiences, and what their end result was.

Now, we want to hear from you. What questions do you have about these courses or the E-Learning Graduate Credential at Roosevelt? What about self-paced e-learning in general?

Contact our Program Coordinator, Tara Hawkins at thawkins@roosevelt.edu, to register for these classes for the Fall Term.

Posted in Careers, E-Learning, Instructional Design, Learning at Roosevelt, online learning, Technology, Training, virtual classroom | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Coaching Theory: Don’t put the cart before the horse

cart-before-the-horseCoaching is all about doing –having conversations, using tools, assessments, making plans, following up and evaluating performance.  It’s not about theory and models and research, right?  Unfortunately, this belief is all too common in coaching and has led many experts to question the validity of the coaching field.   When we put the cart before the horse, with the cart being practice and the horse being theory, we take a backwards approach to coaching practice and do a disservice to our clients and also our profession.

So let’s take a careful look at the horse, or the theory that drives coaching.  A great place to start is by reading Stober & Grant’s book Evidence Based Coaching.  Each chapter is devoted to the discussion of a different theory that drives coaching practice–from behaviorism to humanism to positive psychology–for a total of twelve theoretical discussions.

What’s my fav?  I am a big fan of positive psychology and feel that this relatively new theory lends itself to the practice of coaching.  In fact, I believe that coaching is the practical manifestation of this theoretical premise.  Here is a link to a Ted Talk by Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the movement. Remember, if you are viewing this in Blackboard, you’ll need to right click the link to open a new tab.

What are your thoughts about positive psychology and coaching?  What other theories do you think lend themselves to coaching practice?  Why have you selected them?

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Mid- Semester Program Notes

Spring 2015

What will you do during your week off between classes?  One suggestion is to register for summer and fall semesters.

As a reminder, taking summer classes allows you to finish your degree in one to two years plus you can use financial aid awarded for the academic year. Please contact financial aid for more information or refer to in RU Access (under “Tuition and Fees”) to view your availability.

View the full schedules here http://www.roosevelt.edu/Registrar/Schedule.aspx. Registration codes were sent out last week so you should have received it by now, if not please contact Tara, thawkins@roosevelt.edu. We have many great classes being offered, here are a few descriptions…


TRDV 423 Team Building and Leadership: Examines issues surrounding team building in organizations with a focus on the design and development of teambuilding initiatives. Topics include processes critical to team performance including interpersonal and managerial communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Dynamics of leadership as they relate to team performance.

TRDV 450 Learning Technologies (pre-requisite for e-learning classes): Technological approaches applied to training delivery including classroom technology uses, electronic job aids, performance support systems, self- paced tutorials, instructional games and simulations, decision support and expert systems, mobile and wireless applications, asynchronous and synchronous delivery, and virtual reality


TRDV 445 Executive Coaching: Provides an overview of the principles and practices of executive coaching within organizational settings. Areas addressed include entering and contracting, assessment, coaching models, theoretical foundations, communication, feedback, and the ethics of coaching.

TRDV 439 E-Learning Course Authoring 1: Design, development, and evaluation of self-paced e-learning applications. Application of instructional strategies to storyboarding, course development, and evaluative approaches. Key human factors such as considerations for interface design and usability testing. Exploration and comparison of software tools for creating storyboards and critique of e-learning courseware. Creation and presentation of an Instructional Design Plan (IDP) and detailed storyboards for a self-paced e-learning prototype.

TRDV 453 E-Learning Course Authoring 2: Development and delivery of self-paced e-learning applications. Application of instructional strategies and programmatic interactions to course development. Considerations for rollout and administration, including both maintenance and recordkeeping. Exploration and comparison of software tools for creating e-learning courses. Creation and presentation of a self-paced e-learning prototype.

Save the date! On 3/24 from 7-8c the TRDV program will host the virtual event “Learning to Give: Professional Development and Social Justice”. Three panelist will discuss how volunteering has expanded their personal and professional experiences. We’ll have more details forthcoming including registration.



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Are MOOCs Doomed to Fail?

By Paulina Merino
MATD Graduate
Mathieu Plourde/wikipedia

Mathieu Plourde/wikipedia

Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) a revolution in higher education or will they forever be just a form of knowledge sharing? Are MOOCs even a “real” education? Their proponents speak about energy, enthusiasm and change happening in today’s education sector and call it “education innovation” (Boyers, 2013). At the same time, many educators believe it to be a form of commercial transaction — distributing information rather than teaching it, pointing to a lack of interaction and the little or no value of completion certificates (Gitanjali, 2013).

What is a MOOC?

As Koller (2012) describes them, MOOCs are massive, in that even thousands of students can be enrolled in the same class at once. They are offered online, which makes them accessible around the globe and affordable. Most importantly, they are teaching events — courses, usually two to several weeks long, with structured teaching, assignments and progression of instructions. They are also developed and taught by highly qualified educators, from top-tier universities, including Princeton, Stanford, Brown, Columbia and Duke. And, maybe most importantly, they are free. Consequently, MOOCs offer an incredible array of subjects to curious minds from anywhere and any budget.

MOOCs in the muck

What is wrong with MOOCs then? Why the dramatic title of this article? The most frequently repeated argument against MOOCs is that they provide limited opportunity for interaction between the professor and the student. A student can move through an entire course with little-to-no direct communication with the professor and receive feedback only from their peers (Boyers, 2013). Stacey (2013) furthers this argument, citing an example of K-12 teachers and their contract agreements about limited class sizes. How can someone effectively teach thousands of students simultaneously?

Evolution in education

Some twenty years ago, online teaching was considered vastly inferior to the classroom-based instruction. The credentials offered via online courses were questioned and only brick-and-mortar schools were considered “real” universities. Are we now facing similar phenomenon? Are traditionalists blocking social media’s evolution as a teaching tool because it questions the values on which they built their careers? Many disparage MOOCs dramatic dropout rate. Gijtani (2013) cites a completion rate of 10 percent or less as proof of MOOCs’ ineffectiveness, noting that those who try them lose interest even before the course is over. However, Haber’s 2013 review of completion/dropout data showed a 48 percent completion rate for students who watched at least one video and completed one assignment in a course. Similarly, some are critical of MOOCs’ limited interactivity while others contend interactivity can be achieved through creative use of technology (Koller, 2013).

They have a place

The ever-growing costs of higher education paired with high unemployment among college graduates may simply force young people to look for non-standard ways of learning. Like many others, I think MOOCs offer real benefits to knowledge-thirsty minds across the globe and that they will only gain in popularity. In 1943, IBM Chairman Thomas Watson said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Sometimes what we know is just not enough to accurately predict the future.

What do you think?

Have you ever taken a MOOC? What was the subject, and do you feel it was as effective as other types of courses you’ve taken? Have you ever taught a MOOC? Were students engaged? Were you overwhelmed by the class size?

Koller, D. (2012, August 1). What we’re learning from online education Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6FvJ6jMGHU&noredirect=1
Boyers, J. M. (September 2013). Online Done Right: The importance of human interaction for student success. eLearn Magazine. Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=2524201
Haber, Jonathan (25 November 2013). MOOC Attition Rates – Running the Numbers, in College. in HuffPost (December 14, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-haber/mooc-attrition-rates-runn_b_4325299.html
Stacey, Paul (May 2013). The Pedagogy of MOCCs. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://edtechfrontier.com/2013/05/11/the-pedagogy-of-moocs/
Gitanjali, M. (December 2013). MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) Redefining Learning. [Online Portal]. Retrieved from http://www.mbaskool.com/business-articles/operations/8611-mooc-massive-open-online-courses-redefining-learning.html
Posted in E-Learning, Guest Student Post, Learning Theory, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

“Don’t Clap, Throw Money”: Misadventures in Employee Engagement

Is your glass half empty or half full?

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.

Having been asked this seemingly innocuous — but heavily coded — question several times over the years at employee workshops, I’ve developed a standard response: “You have a glass?” This generally stops the conversation.

At one organization in which upper management realized that low-employee morale was rampant (after three years without staff raises, hefty annual increases in health insurance contributions, etc.), an outside consultant was brought in to conduct a mandatory, full-day workshop. After a rather long self-introduction, he proceeded to walk around the room, pointing directly at random people, and pointedly asking: “What could you being do better?” We then formed small groups to make lists of ways in which each of us—through personal improvement (that means, at no cost to the organization)—could better contribute to the bottom-line of the organization. I left midway through the list-making process, returning my free copy of the book authored by the consultant on the way out, and mumbling that I was coming down with something. Luckily, there is always “something going around.”

Before engaging expensive outside consultants, sending out another employee survey, or painting the walls in motivational tones, it’s a good idea to take an inexpensive but enlightening look at what’s happening inside of your organization, albeit at a high level. One way to do this is to examine your environment through the lens provided by Frederick Herzberg.

Based on his workplace research, Herzberg introduced the Hygiene-Motivation—or Two-Factor–Model of Workplace Motivation in his 1959 book The Motivation to Work. Herzberg identified two sets of factors that could lead either to dissatisfaction or to satisfaction at work. The following table contains lists of the two sets.

Lead to dissatisfaction
when removed
Lead to satisfaction
when added
Organization policies·SupervisionInterpersonal relationships with boss/supervisor and with colleagues

Work conditions


Achievement·RecognitionWork itself




Figure based upon that of NetMBA:  Business Knowledge Center.

Hygiene factors don’t motivate employees.  For example, employees don’t generally accept jobs based on the variety of coffees offered in the break rooms or the cleanliness of the restrooms.  However, hygiene factors must be viewed as at least acceptable by employees, or dissatisfaction will set in. Keeping both sets of lists in mind and adjusting items as necessary is required to create a healthy workplace in which employees can thrive. The goal is to achieve both high hygiene and high satisfaction.

To increase employee motivation, Herzberg recommends techniques such as job enrichment and job rotation. Both of these techniques touch upon multiple motivational factors.

Because the model was introduced so long ago, much of what Herzberg discovered is now taken for granted. Most of us have heard formally or informally that salary doesn’t truly motivate employees. Unfortunately, it is the detailed distinction of dissatisfiers vs. satisfiers that has often been forgotten in favor of newer models. Much like the ADDIE instructional design model, the Two-Factor Model itself does not—for some critics–provide enough detailed guidance on how to achieve the proper balance of factors in the workplace. That’s what the newer models are for.

What workplace experiences have you had that address either ‘hygiene’ or ‘motivation’ factors? Were the initiatives successful?

Brenner, V. C., Carmack, C. W. & M. Weinsten (1971). An Empirical Test of the Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Journal of Accounting Research 9(2): 359-366.
Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. (1959). The Motivation to Work (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley.
Herzberg, F. (January–February 1968). “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?”. Harvard Business Review 46 (1): pp. 53–62.
Schultz, D. & Schultz, S. E (2010). Psychology and Work Today: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (10th ed.). New York City: Prentice Hall. pp. 38–39.
Posted in Careers, Human Performance Improvement, Organizational Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Use Storytelling to Increase Your Participants’ Retention Ratios

By Guest Author Diana DiMeo,  2014  Graduate, M.A. Training & Development

By Guest Author Diana DiMeo,
2014 Graduate, M.A. Training & Development

When was the last time you remembered exactly where the numerical tables were located in your textbook? If you are like me, you may struggle to recall previously learned data. That’s because our brains do not easily recall data–especially in terms of the constant onslaught of information we’re bombarded with. Yet, if I asked you to recall the gripping story of the talented trainer who taught trapped victims of the Oklahoma bombing how to escape before the next bomb hit, you would likely remember many details. That’s because learners remember stories more than factual data. This is good news for learning professionals because adding stories to our training sessions is an easy way to increase our participants’ retention rates.

A good engaging story makes training sessions exciting. Stories grab participants’ attention quickly. However, the entertainment value of a story is less important than managing learners’ working memories. Stories give participants’ brains an opportunity to attach new information to their prior knowledge; and this attachment facilitates long-term memory storage. In his book, “The Art of Changing the Brain,” Zull (2002) indicated that learning is deeper and more effective when we engage all parts of the brain. Stories are a useful vehicle for brain-based learning.

How can we best use stories in learning environments? Every story should begin with a common point of reference so participants can relate it to their prior knowledge. To tell a good story is to make it memorable and easily accessible for recall. Tension must mount as the story is told or it should contain an emotional component. Think of building a crescendo to the climax of your story or adding an emotional personal hook. Relevant stories about incidents that actually happened to you are a great place to start. Ellis (2014) states, “experiments show that character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better understanding of the key points a trainer or facilitator is trying to make and enable better recall of these points weeks later. In other words, effective storytelling can lead to a higher transfer of learning and changes in behavior and performance.” So the next time you need to ensure retention and job transfer of your training material make sure you tell a good story.

Questions: Do you use stories when you are conducting instructor lead training or designing courses? What are some examples of the effective stories you have used or heard in learning settings? How can you add an emotional hook to your stories to make them more memorable?

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Linking Leadership Education in Higher Education to TRDV and HPI: A Conversation that Introduces Theory and Raises Practical Questions

Hello Roosevelt’s TRDV/HPI(T) students and alums.

Daniel Collier is a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Human Performance Improvement program. He is currently working as a Research and Teaching Assistant for the University of Illinois’ College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences within the Agriculture Education Program.   Daniel conducts research that explores students’ beliefs on leadership and investigates outcomes associated to leadership education experiences. Daniel also helps facilitate leadership education courses and workshops at UIUC

Daniel Collier is a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Human Performance Improvement program. He is currently working as a Research and Teaching Assistant for the University of Illinois’ College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences within the Agriculture Education Program. Daniel conducts research that explores students’ beliefs on leadership and investigates outcomes associated to leadership education experiences. Daniel also helps facilitate leadership education courses and workshops at UIUC

Today, I write to you about Leadership, a topic that is rather messy and often misunderstood. Specifically, I am writing this blog post from a leadership education in higher education perspective. Leadership education is a field that is expanding and gaining in influence across higher education (inside the US and beyond). In fact, leadership education is becoming so popular that there are now entire leadership centers, leadership minors, graduate degrees, and leadership education journals. The field has also experienced growth within higher education national conferences (AERA and ASHE) and has carved space in prominent human resources and business oriented associations, such as the International Leadership Association and journals like the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. In short, leadership education in higher education is expected to continue to expand.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “How is this important to me in my TRDV or HPI positions?” I propose that TRDV and HPI professionals are the individuals who should most clearly understand the general frameworks, concepts and skills that dominate leadership education, because we are generally the professionals who introduce new college graduates to our respective organizations, coach team leaders, work on projects aimed at retaining quality human capital and assist in identifying high performing individuals. Additionally, by introducing the TRDV/HPI concepts to leadership education scholars and practitioners can bridge gaps and come to understand how these concepts transfer into post-college professional experiences. Plainly speaking, I believe there is opportunity there for you to develop a niche skill-set in higher education leadership.

The Myth of the Born Leader

Recently, Astin & Astin indicated that in order to evolve with contemporary challenges, higher education must move people from beliefs that leaders are born great people who have authority and title via position toward a belief system where leadership is a values-based, relationship focused and centered on change; not defined only through position (be it birth or title). The leadership paradigms were developed by Rost where hierarchically, title based leadership is identified as industrial, and the relationship based paradigm as post-industrial. In response, contemporary leadership education programs in higher education overwhelmingly operate within post-industrial frameworks.

Within the post-industrial model, leaders are expected to adapt to group needs, encourage contribution through team processes, and develop environments of shared responsibility. Essentially, post-industrial leadership conceptualizations are designed to break down myths that only special people lead and that the agenda set forth by “leaders” is the only agenda that matters. In order to transition students from preconceived and socio-culturally reinforced industrial leadership beliefs toward internalization of post-industrial beliefs, leadership educators must help students acquire soft-skills associated to team-based processes, these skills include but are not limited to: (1) critical thinking and problem solving, (2) development of interpersonal communication, and (3) the ability to influence others to work toward a common goal. Many of these skills are highly desired by employers in their new college hires.

Even though the post-industrial paradigm is dominant in higher education leadership education programs, outcomes of leadership education are mixed. Moving students to a post-industrial leadership belief system is difficult due to pre-existing industrial beliefs, socio-cultural reinforcement of industrial leadership and the self-belief many students hold that they are born to lead. This struggle had led leadership educators to question methods and has been influential in developing the Leadership Identity Development Model [LID]. LID gives leadership educators a framework to gauge how students may move from industrial leadership identities to a predominantly post-industrial leadership identity. Within LID there is one rather important process that leadership educators are placing increasing focus on, The Key Transition. Within this potential purgatory, students are adopting post-industrial conceptualizations as they also hold industrial beliefs, thus resulting in internal struggles and contradictions as students “play” with new leadership identities.

The Key Transition is important for TRDV/HPI professionals to understand because without proper mentorship, support and experience, students may never emerge from this process and by the time they seek employment, they may still be “playing” with their identities. I believe that many students are often stuck within this transition as they are hired for their first professional positions and that the contradictions students hold regarding leadership beliefs could explain why Millennials seek other professional opportunities so quickly after gaining employment. Employees may now believe they should be part of a flatter structure, allowing for their immediate inclusion of their ideas and access to employees with organizational power; however, these students may also believe they are unique leaders who should control agendas and assume the benefits of hierarchically based power, which sometimes leads to unethical behavior. As new employees may be stuck within this zone, TRDV/HPI professionals have the potential to develop processes to ensure new employees appropriately navigate their internal dissonance and internalize post-industrial leadership concepts.

Mentoring and Self-reflection

Arguably, the way to emerge from The Key Transition is through mentoring processes that encourage self-reflection. Organizations must develop mentorship programs that explicitly cultivate the beliefs and skills associated with the post-industrial model. Integrated within mentorship programs should be opportunities that encourage new employees to: (1) critically examine what effective leadership entails, (2) reflect on how new employees should act in their current and aspired future roles when making complex leadership decisions, and (3) critically examine recent self-action. Through this type of mentoring, I believe that new employees could more easily emerge from the transition, resulting in the type of employee organizations claim to want.

As I wrap up, I encourage you to click on some of the hyperlinks provided. Please, explore what is happening on campuses from a leadership education perspective and take a deeper look at the models provided. After you have more deeply explored, I would encourage you to again ask yourself, “How is this important to me in my TRDV or HPI positions?”

Finally, I believe that while leadership education in higher education develops the beliefs and skills claimed to be desirable, I also believe that leadership educators are unsure whether these beliefs and skills actually help or hinder organizations from the TRDV/ HPI perspectives. As someone who straddles both worlds, this is a notion that I consistently consider. However, there is not much published research on whether leadership education in higher education develops quality organizational talent and if it does, where this occurs in the career phase. Since leadership education within higher education is not expected to retract, this is a question that may affect your future ability to hire and promote the right talent. With that, I would encourage you to participate and seek answers to these questions.

If you would like to further converse, please contact me. I wish you all an excellent 2015 and great luck recruiting, training and retaining your new employees.

Daniel A. Collier, MAHPI
PhD Student, Education Organization and Leadership
The University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Posted in academic studies, andragogy, Careers, Coaching, Guest Student Post, Human Performance Improvement, Learning Theory, Mentoring, Training | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments