I grew up in situational poverty and overcame many obstacles through the disciplines and fruits of sport (running).
This fall, I am running the Staten Island Half Marathon to raise money for a great program (New York Road Runner-NYRR) that provides resources and coaching for children who aim to participate in track and field/road racing.
I am using the NYRR programs for my own girls middle school training program that will begin in September. Through their free resources, my coaching partner and I will be able to provide a structured geared towards the middle school age and aptitude. This will be the first running program of its kind for this particular age group and demographic, in Pinellas County.
You’re in a wedding next weekend and need glam without debt.
The window in your bathroom won’t shut, you left gum in your pocket and now it is all over everything in the dryer.
Do you call a mechanic, salon or plumber? Should the Maytag man come out and take a look?
If you’re me or any one of the millions of digitally connected people in the world you don’t call anyone. You YouTube.
And what you might not realize is that each time you teach yourself something via YouTube or any other bite sized knowledge transfer mechanism, you’re participating in a science.
This is the same science, theory and study I use to create and design curriculum. It’s called heutogogy, which is the study of self-determined learning.
Earlier this year, I was honored to demonstrate how I use this practice to create learning resources at DemoFest 2016, a part of the Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando Florida.
If you go to the eLearning portion of this site, you’ll find the DemoFest entry.
I’ll break down heutogogy using the module to show you how it works and how I work for my audience:
-Metacognition: UPC 101 tells the learner right up front what they should expect to learn from the module. Laying out clear objectives helps the audience, your learner organize their experience. There’s no doubt they’ll be thinking about their thinking!
-Needs Assessment: I can never assume my audience knows nothing or everything about the subject matter at hand. Therefore, in UPC 101, I ask the learner to create a K-W-L chart so they can informally measure what they already know about UPC’s, what they want to know and then as they progress through the module, what they have learned.
-Asynchronous: This means accessible at their convenience. Your entity should have a learning management system (LMS) to make learning available 24/7. This makes your creation accessible at the crack of dawn or over lunch- the learner gets to choose.
-Micro: I incorporated short videos throughout the module to introduce topics in a bite-sized way. I try to emphasize that the learner can become an expert in a fraction of the time it might usually take. Remember adult attention spans are less than a goldfish these days, so the pressure is on for us instructional designers!
So take a page from Google and use your skills to teach in a way that is user/learner directed.
No one whats to be told what to do but you, the powerful ID behind the curtain, can sure steer them somewhere.
With that, I leave you with my Grandfather’s favorite sign off…
Madeline Albright once said that there was a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other out.
Sheryl Sandberg suggested that instead of seeking out a woman to mentor you, your performance excellence and professionalism would naturally attract a leader to take you under their wing. You become an apprentice or protégé’, by earning it.
True to most things in life, sucess in the workplace is not done on an island.
What needs to occur is the intentional encouragement and support of our fellow ladies as they reveal themselves to their own in the workplace.
You see, this year I had the opportunity to be a mentor and it brought about growth, professionalism and sisterhood that I did not expect.
Disclaimer: I write this not to reveal something that hasn’t been said before, but to document my experience of being a mentor and the enourmous benefits I got out of helping a woman see more in herself.
Engaging your audience can be challenging, especially today when the bar is set so very high. At 9 seconds on average, our attention spans are literally less than that of a goldfish, making it tough to get folks involved and invested in material we as developers, designers and trainers create.
Lately, I have been fighting fire with fire and using social media and current trends to get people to pay attention.
For instance, I am leading a large commericalization project in which my audience is going from a legacy software system to something very digital and “real-time”.
Each week, I design and place large signs/posters with system vocabulary around the offices so that terminology is integrated subliminally and intentionally. This, along with new “graffiti walls” that pose thought provoking, open ended questions aim to drive the audience to engage on-demand.
It also forces them to seek information in more than one place. Through regular communication via email, my audience knows that if they want to know more information about the words or questions posed, they must follow our Instagram feed, Snapchat account and Salesforce Chatter group.
This week, I presented a risky challenge. Risky because it involved the new PokémonGo phenom and the workplace.
Not one to mess with productivity, I wasn’t sure if it would be a hit and work or a major annoyance to leadership.
The challenge went that if my audience could “catch” a Pokémon character near one of my vocabulary signs or a graffiti wall, they would win a prize.
That was it. I figured, no one will be able to find these Poké-things and most will disregard.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
People posted images of these critters in the ladies’ room, near the graffiti walls, vocabulary posters, outside near our signs, inside near their desks, you name it, they sent it.
It was exciting to say the least and you know what? It got people engaged!
So, I only have Pikachu and his friends to thank and this little “Tentacool” creature who hung out with me most of the day.
Next time you’re struggilng with engagement, try socializing your project and be creative. If you can’t beat them, join them as they say and you might find yourself a part of a pretty cool new club.
And in case you were wondering, leadership LOVED it, no one was concerned about the distraction. Whew.