Saturday, January 17, 2015

Is it time for us to take back our field? A question for AECT members.

The Trend
I read with interest today's announcement that William & Mary has hired its first associate provost of e-learning initiatives. This is a disturbing trend; not that universities are adding high-level online/e-learning administrative posts. I am happy that universities are showing more support for and feeding the e-learning cash cow. And, I certainly don't question the abilities of the individual selected by the college.  I take issue however with the academic backgrounds and training of these new e-learning leaders. As I read these announcements, I rarely encounter the names of my AECT colleagues.  All-too-often, the selected individuals come from all walks of academia, except the learning sciences.
Therein lies the problem, it seems. AECT members, the researchers and practitioners who know more about teaching and learning than anyone else on the planet, are not represented in these upper-level positions.

The Solution?
Granted, university administration is certainly not for everyone. However, I would think (and hope) that more of us (AECT members) would be "throwing our hats into the ring." We continually complain that as THE leaders in our field, our message is not getting out. Perhaps, by aggressively pursuing leadership positions, we can take back our field? Maybe this is something that we might address at a 2015 AECT International Convention session? Let's keep the conversation going.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reflections on the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) - Kansas City 2014 Conference

Yesterday, I attended the day-long Kansas City ATD 2014 Conference in Overland Park, KS. Being my first ATD-KC conference, here are some of my observations through the lens of someone who has spent many years in higher education:

1. Corporate training and development professionals seem to be keenly interested in finding ways to create a healthier, happier workplace. Paul White's keynote, Using The 5 Languages of Appreciation to Detoxify Your Work Environment highlighted this interest.

To my higher education colleagues: When was the last time someone from your college/university displayed any concern for your workplace happiness or genuinely recognized you for your contribution to your organization? (Other than the obligatory X years of service certificate/pin, complete with a PPT flashback showing the most popular movies, songs, celebrities, and news stories X number of years ago).

2. Corporate training and development professionals seem to be genuinely interested in helping their organizations' employees make successful transitions, whether it's joining the organization as a new employee, making a lateral move, accepting a new role, changing offices, or even transitioning to retirement. The Transition Coaching session by Mickie Schroeder and Jeffrey Jans highlighted this.

To my higher education colleagues: When was the last time someone from your college/university provided quality support (orientation program) for joining the university as new faculty or staff member, or quality support for you transition to another role at your college/university? (Most of us fall into 1, the complete the paperwork in HR, 2. here are your office keys, 3. welcome to X university category, I suppose?)

Other conference topics included Coaching, Integrated Talent Management, Performance Management, Knowledge Management, Leadership Development and Supporting Engagement and Retention.

All-in-all, it was a refreshing look at workplace issues that are too-often overlooked in the world of higher education (pay attention university administrators and HR professionals). In addition, I met some extremely bright and talented individuals, and I look forward to meeting more at future KC-ATD meetings, as well as at next year's conference. Many thanks to the KC-ATD board and conference planners for their hard work on the 2014 conference!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Coming Soon: Baker University Ed.D. in Instructional Design and Performance Technology

After 3 months of research, focus group meetings, conversations with friends, colleagues, and former students,       I am pleased to announce that we are closing-in on the creation of Baker University's new and innovative Ed.D. degree in Instructional Design and Performance Technology (IDPT). 

Ed.D. in Instructional Design and Performance Technology - 

The online Ed.D. degree in IDPT is designed for individuals in business, industry, healthcare, government/non-profit, military, K-12, and higher education who are seeking a doctoral program that focuses on instructional design, training, development, and performance technology. 

Target start date - 

Fall 2015/Spring2016 (Pending Baker University curricular approval and accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools). 

59+ credit hour Ed.D. -
  • 27 credit hours - instructional design and performance technology core courses
  • 6 credit hours - research and statistical analysis
  • 6 credit hours - directed field experiences and portfolio/project
  • 20 credit hours - dissertation development and completion 
Instructional Design and Performance Technology courses (topics) - credit hours - 
  • Instructional Design and Performance Improvement - 3 
  • Design Principles for IDTP (User Interface Design, Message Design) - 3 
  • Project Management (PMI, PMD, LEAN, Six Sigma, Agile Scrum) - 3 
  • Instructional Models and Tools for Online Learning - 3 
  • Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting (Analytics, Assessment Design) - 3 
  • Informal Learning Environments - 3 
  • Systems and Process Mapping (Complexity Theory) - 3 
  • Leadership, Motivation and Change Management - 3 
  • Trends and Issues in IDPT - 3

Candidates will be drawn from a wide variety of organizations that have a vested interest in improving the learning and performance of their employees/learners through the systematic design of instruction and performance technology. 

Stay tuned for more updates and developments.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Update from Baker University, Overland Park (KC Metro area)

I am into my second week as Professor and Director (add designer and developer) of the new Instructional Design and Technology Ed.D. program at Baker University's Graduate School of Education and the planning has already begun.  

I was delighted that the very first piece of mail received last week was the newest issue of TechTrends. This timely July/August 2014 issue of TechTrends will certainly help guide the design of the Baker University Ed.D. program. A big thank you goes to outgoing Editor-in-Chief Dan Surry, incoming Editor-in-Chief Chuck Hodges, Special Issue Co-Editors Kara Dawson and Swapna Kumar, and the authors for their work on this issue.  I hope to use this opportunity to create something that is unique and innovative, not only in its delivery, but also in the overall scope of the curriculum.  One of my first questions will be, "What do we want to call it?"; something that we in our field (and AECT) have struggled with over the years and continues to be a challenge.  The knowns:  
  1. It will be online. 
  2. It will be innovative. 
  3. It will be unique. 
  4. It will be exciting. 
That's about all I know. Whether it will include on-ground delivery, seminars, cohorts,and other elements remains to be seen. I hope to glean as much information as I can from the TechTrends issue and other sources (including you, my colleagues). I am also in the process of gathering the names of some of my former students and colleagues - out of the box thinkers who are working in (and out) the field - to form an informal planning/steering committee (I'm trying to come up with a better name - thinktank? braintrust?, but committee will do for now). If you are interested in providing some input, drop me an email - 

I met our new Baker University President Dr. Lynne Murray yesterday; she stopped by the Overland Park campus to say hello to the Graduate School of Education and School of Graduate and Professional Studies. She's bright, full of energy, and very positive; always super qualities for a university president!

One of my nice new Baker University colleagues gave me the cool medallion (shown above) to be worn during commencement.

Soon, I will be off to find more KC barbecue joints (the best BBQ in the world; although my friends in the Carolinas, Memphis, and Texas may not agree). I think the world needs more BBQ blogs, don't you?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Leaving ESU and moving to Baker University

Earlier this year, I announced that I will step down from the IDT department chair position at Emporia State University. The plan was to teach 3 master's level classes each semester, research, do some writing (and perhaps grants) and just fade away, like an old soldier (see General Douglas MacArthur, 1951) -

That was the plan ..... until I was approached with a rare opportunity at Baker University.....

On July 1,  2014 I will be be leaving Emporia State University to begin work at Baker University as Professor and Director (and creator) of a new doctoral program in Instructional Design and Technology.  The Baker University undergraduate programs are housed at the beautiful Baldwin City, KS campus. My office and doc program will be housed at the Baker University School of Education/School of Professional and Graduate Studies facilities in Overland Park, KS (KC Metro area). I am sad that I will be leaving my wonderful ESU IDT faculty colleagues and master's students.  However, I am happy that I may be able to help many of my former and current ESU IDT students, and future Baker students achieve their goal of advanced graduate study at Baker University.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Will it play in Emporia?

Will it play in Emporia?

An interesting piece and title in Slate (especially interesting to those at Emporia State University) by Paula Krebs, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University.

She makes some valid points about the importance of small regional universities to our society and how regional universities will need to embrace new technologies (and most importantly methodologies) to survive. 

The problem, according to Krebs -

"While so many of us have been defending the value of a liberal arts education against the desire for us to deliver “skills,” we’ve too often been holding out against change in general—and technology in particular."

The forecast -

"The schools that don’t figure out what technology can do for their institutions and their students, who relay on their current methods of instruction and assessment, will be left behind over the next decades."

The outlook for instructional technologists/designers working in higher education is bright -

"....the kind of instruction we need will depend on faculty development, on faculty members being trained by their institutions to teach differently with tech."

Thoughts?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Post your comments below.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

President's Farewell Message

As we begin our 2013 AECT International Convention in Anaheim, the end of my term as president of AECT approaches. This has been an eventful year for our association, its leadership, and most importantly its members. AECT could not exist without its many dedicated members who faithfully serve AECT each year.

In an effort to update you on all the work that was carried out this year, I have compiled a list of the things YOU accomplished during the past year. And please forgive me, if I fail to mention some of your accomplishments, as there are so many:
  1. Formed a Strategic Planning committee, conducted town hall meetings and (with input from our divisions and members) drafted a new AECT Strategic Plan that members will have a chance to further vet at our Anaheim convention.
  2. Initiated a web site partnership with MultiView that generates $1,000 per month in revenue.
  3. Established a credit card convenience fee and encouraged members to use checks and other methods to pay for membership/convention registration, creating potential savings of $16,000 for AECT.
  4. Celebrated a productive 1You/New2 member drive adding over 350 new members to AECT.
  5. ectFoundation sponsored another successful auction and continued its support of AECT convention interns, scholarships, and other activities.
  6. Developed a new AECT Leadership Intern policy manual.
  7. Updated the AECT Division Officers Handbook.
  8. Updated the AECT Policy and Procedures Manual.
  9. Revised the AECT Employee Handbook
  10. Hosted a successful 2012 International Convention in Louisville, KY
  11. Discontinued sponsorship of the International Student Media Festival (ISMF), saving AECT approximately $35,000 per year. 
  12. Drafted and approved a Certificate Endorsement Plan.
  13. Facilitated numerous GSA and division webinars.
  14. Formed a new partnership with Wiley Learning Institute to produce and deliver webinars highlighting AECT members/authors.
  15. Created the new division, Culture, Learning and Technology (formerly MIM affiliate).
  16. Created a web editor position, providing support for the AECT web page and increasing AECT's social media presence.
  17. Appointed a Special International Affiliate Emissary.
  18. Modified accounting from a fiscal year to a calendar year.
  19. Relocated the AECT office to a new and improved office.
  20. Created a monthly consolidated budget report.
  21. Conducted a successful Summer Leadership Conference and Leadership Development Day in Bloomington, IN.
  22. Sponsored AECT's first overseas conference - AECT-ICFER Conference in Taiwan.
  23. Created a partnership with ASTD to trade publicity for each others' conferences in newsletters and web sites.
  24. Approved ICEM as an affiliate of AECT.
  25. Created our first Convention mobile app with Crescerance, saving $8,500 in printing costs.
  26. Introduced the use of Google Hangouts for our 2013 Convention.
  27. Developed a new title, procedure, and application for selecting AECT convention interns.
  28. Announced the AECT book and briefs series "Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations" with Springer.
  29. Conducted a member survey.
  30. Accepted proposals for the 2015 AECT Summer International Symposium.
  31. Accepted a proposal for the 2014 AECT Summer Research Symposium.
  32. Welcomed META (Malaysian Educational Technology Association) as an international affiliate.
  33. Composed a Procedure for Investigation of Allegation of Violation - AECT Code of Ethics.
  34. Transformed ETR&D's International Review section into Cultural and Regional Perspectives.
  35. Approved the ICEM convention internship.
  36. Crafted an Affiliate Sponsored Convention Intern Policy.
  37. ETR&D, TechTrends, IJDL, and JAID maintained their reputation as high-quality, high-impact journals. (TechTrends topped 100 pages).
  38. Published the 2012 AECT International Convention Proceedings.
  39. Announced the publication of the 2013 Media Yearbook and a new book by the Division of Distance Learning.
  40. Published the Fourth Edition of the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, Proceedings for the 2010 and 2012 Research Symposia, 2013 Media Yearbook, and
    Encyclopedia of Terminology for Educational Communications and Technology.
  41. Four AECT past-presidents edited Learning, Problem Solving, and Mind Tools:Essays in Honor of David H. Jonassen.
  42. AECT past-presidents and members traveled the world, representing AECT and extending AECT's international presence.
  43. Documented 13 new interviews for the AECT History Makers project.
  44. Approved a $10 dues increase for regular and retired members (effective January 2014) that will help fund AECT initiatives and member benefits.
  45. Increased convention University Reception participation to 18 universities.
  46. Introduced the AECT Member Book project providing space in AECT publications for promotion of member-authored books.
  47. Introduced the AECT Position Paper project.
  48. Introduced the AECT Member Video project.
Indeed, an impressive list. You are to be congratulated for yet another exceptional year! Normally, I would mention your accomplishments at our general membership meeting in Anaheim.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to join you for that meeting, as I will be leaving LAX for Beijing on Tuesday evening (October 29) to represent AECT at the 10th Anniversary of the Beijing Forum, hosted by Peking University. As much as I looked forward to enjoying our convention in Anaheim as past-president and as difficult as it was for me to make this decision, the opportunity to represent AECT at such a prominent international forum outweighed all other options. I will surely miss seeing my many AECT friends and colleagues Wednesday through Saturday. However, I hope that I can return from Beijing with some new opportunities for AECT and its members. 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as president of the finest association of its kind. It has been an honor to serve and work side by side with such amazing individuals.  President-Elect Steve Harmon, convention co-planner Zeni Colorado, division/committee planners, and AECT staff have organized another outstanding convention. I wish you all a great time in Anaheim and a successful year under the capable leadership of President Harmon.

With appreciation,