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 - marcus.childress@bakeru.edu 

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) - http://youtu.be/M87s_I-c-Xw?t=7m42s

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.