CECS 5580.080 Blog March 27

How have your career goals changed since you started your Master’s Degree Program?  Or, if they haven’t changed, how have you further refined them?

I feel my career goals are constantly changing. Over the course of the last two years I have wanted to be a HR Rep in Training and Development, an Academic Instructor at any University, and a Web Designer. (But not freelance, because I don’t want to be an entrepreneur.) My ultimate goal is the same.  I want to get a high paying job after I graduate. I’m going to have to start paying  back by student loans soon. Not all the doors are open for me yet so I don’t know which one I will choose.

If I pursue a position in Training and Development I would get to use some of the specific skills I developed in my instructional design courses.  I am already comfortable presenting because of my years of conducting bi-weekly orientation for new hires when I worked in HR.  I am sure I would be successful performing many of the responsibilities of a Training and Development position.  According to resources.workable.com some of the job duties would be:

  • Identify and assess future and current training needs through job analysis, career paths, annual performance appraisals and consultation with line managers
  • Draw an overall or individualized training and development plan that addresses needs and expectations
  • Deploy a wide variety of training methods
  • Conduct effective induction and orientation sessions
  • Monitor and evaluate training program’s effectiveness, success and ROI periodically and report on them
  • Provide opportunities for ongoing development
  • Resolve any specific problems and tailor programs as necessary
  • Maintain a keen understanding of training trends, developments and best practices.

I have reservations about to pursuing a position as an Instructor, the starting salary. Without experience or a Ph.D. I could only qualify for an Adjunct or Lecturer position at this point.  It seems to me this option is similar to an entry-level job and wouldn’t pay well.  Although, I do have the required skills of excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong organizational skills, the ability to multitask and the ability to engage large groups of people.  I believe my courses have prepared me for the responsibilities of an Adjunct position.  According to greatsampleresume.com some of the job duties would be:

  • Creates, distributes, and reviews the course syllabus
  •  Use a variety of instructional strategies in order to engage students, including cooperative and experiential learning
  •  Meets with academic department chair to develop courseware and curriculum
  •  Presents prepared materials and supervises organized activities
  •  Evaluates student performance promptly and accurately based on departmental rubrics
  •  Maintains records of student attendance, involvement, and progress
  • Teaches assigned class material in accordance with learning objectives that are developed by the department
  •  Communicates with students outside of class to provide supplementary instruction, when necessary.

Of al the courses I took for my Master’s degree in Learning Technologies, I had the most fun with Web Design.  Learning and creating with Adobe DreamWeaver was both challenging and yet very satisfying.  I also enjoyed working with PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Audition.  However, I think it would be even harder for me to obtain a Web Developer position that wasn’t entry level.  I lack the required number of years of professional working experience in this field.  Perhaps I can find a position that has this task as part of the job while I’m doing other duties as well so I can develop my skills and increase my years of experience.  If I pursue a position as a Web Developer I would get to use some of the knowledge gained while taking my master’s courses.  According to study.com some of the job duties would be:

  • Writing and editing content
  • Designing webpage layout
  • Determining technical requirements
  • Updating websites
  • Creating back up files
  • Solving code problems

In addition to the positions I’m investigating, I might have created an opportunity to be a Business Processes Trainer.  At my current job in the Department of Mathematics at the University of North Texas there has been a recent change with the chart of accounts.  I have attended many training sessions for this change.  One training I attended was given by the new Director of Business Process Training and I was very impressed with her.  She mentioned in her introduction that she was developing this new division and she would be looking for others to work with her.  Now I became very intrigued!  After class I walked up to her, shook her hand and gave her my elevator speech.  I believe she was also interested in me at that point because she gave me her email address and told me to contact her.  She also shared that she would have to develop a new position for me, but that position wouldn’t be available until later, after she developed her budget and got it approved.  I got back to my office and sent her the email.  She responded the same day and thanked me for letting her know I was interested in working with her.  This could be a great opportunity for me further develop my trainer skills and help other people learn new Business Processes while maintaining my employment at UNT.  Maybe I will wait and see what develops over the summer.

References

https://resources.workable.com/training-manager-job-description

Adjunct Professor Job Description

http://study.com/articles/Web_Designer_Job_Description_Duties_and_Requirements.html

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CECS 5510 – Week 8 Activity 4

What feedback have you received and what have you done as a result? Why? Given that many standard corporate ID projects last about 3 weeks and this is week 8 of the session, how do you feel about working on a professional timeline?

So far the feedback I’ve received on my Recruiting and Interviewing Canvas Course has been positive. Both reviewers in my peer group have said they look forward to my course being complete so they can learn my topic. One reviewer likes the way my introduction looks and the other one we impressed with my use of the calendar. I tried to make my course introduction sound interesting and let the reader know there was a live person available to assistance. Although, I still need to modify some of the words because I’m aware I have one sentence that reads: This paragraph is still in progress and will be adjusted to sound more pleasing. I used the calendar to line out when assignments would be do so my students could stay on track. I still want to add pictures and images. I haven’t focused on that yet because I’m working on content.

When I submitted this week’s peer review, I only used information from one reviewer. The other reviewer mostly wrote observations about what I had already completed. I am continuing to add content to the course. This week I haven’t decided to make any significant changes to the things I’m adding. But I am going to have to review the total points earned to make sure it equals 100. One of my reviewers said the assignments so far didn’t add up correctly. I think it’s because I don’t have all the content entered yet, but I’m going to check and make sure.

New this week, I spend some time playing with the Quiz section. I’ve got two quizzes to create. This doesn’t seem to be difficult, nor too time consuming if the questions are already written out so I can copy/paste. Unfortunately, my questions are not already written out. I do, however, have the reading assignment finished for one of the quiz topics so I can pull questions from that document. I am going to remove the “available after” date on my quizzes so my peer reviewers can see them. One change I would like in the Quiz section of Canvas is to randomize the order of the questions. There is a button to click if I want to shuffle the answers, but not one for shuffling the questions.

I think I would be both comfortable and pleased with a 3 week timeline to complete a course for a standard corporate assignment. First of all, 16 weeks is too long to complete a course if that’s the only thing I was working one. Because I have my full time job and full time family I’m glad I have 16 weeks to develop and create this course. But I often think I have too much down time. Unfortunately, I do not use this time to get ahead. Instead I procrastinate and then spend large chunks of time playing catch up. Working 3 weeks, at a steady pace, sounds like a good idea for course creation for me. Professional timeline? Bring it on!

CECS 5510 – Week 7 Activity 3

You have completed a rough version of ½ of your full course now. Have you had to make revisions to your design based on the structure of the LMS? How well is the design model working for you?

Soon I will have completed entering details on about half of my Canvas course, Recruiting and Interviewing. I have many place holders and still need to create content. It is going well. I did think I was ahead of schedule, but today I’m feeling behind schedule. A lot of time goes into creating content. Originally, I had much of the material saved on a jump drive so I was going to copy/paste lesson information. But the jump drive has died and I’m having to re-create the wheel. At least I know what I want each lesson to say. It is just taking a bit longer to find the lesson information on the web again and put it in a format I want to use.

I haven’t made any revisions on my original design based on the structure of the LMS. Canvas has accomplished everything I’ve wanted to do so far. There are some changes I’m making along the way because of input from peer reviews. For example, I’m now adding a ‘collaboration’ section for the group projects and I’m going to go back and find images/pictures to add to some of the pages so the course appears more exciting. Based on advice from on peer, and following the example of my professor’s communication in CECS 5510, I’m going to try and modify some words to help make the course sound friendly. Helping the students understand that there is a real person behind the lessons will make them more comfortable and give them a sense of personal touch. No one likes to interact with a nameless, faceless, droid.

Earlier this semester I wrote about the Backward Design Model. I don’t believe I am following this method of designing instruction for this project. Actually, I’m not aware of which design model I am following. My thinking during this process has been “I want students to learn X. To confirm they know X I will ask them to post in Discussion Boards.” My plan has been to read the students comments and determine if they are on the right track or provide guidance if it seems they do not understand the material. Perhaps that is one of the more traditional design models like ADDIE, but without the A because I did not actually analyze what needed to be taught, I just stated that learners need to know how to recruit and interview. Ah the freedom that the powers of assumption provides.

My plan for next week is to finish entering the missing content on the various assignments, discussions, and collaborations. Then I need to attack the quizzes. I’m really not sure how that part is going to go yet. Many semesters ago I had a great professor that knew how to write online quizzes in such a way that classmates couldn’t get together and cheat. There would be a pool of 20 questions and when you logged in to the quiz 10 of them would be randomly assigned for you to answer. And his questions may have been multiple choice or matching, but it wasn’t stuff you could find quickly in the textbook – you had to have already read the material. I hope to use his methods as inspiration for the quizzes I create for this course. But at the same time, I really want the quizzes to be easy. I just want the students to know the material they are being quizzed on is important. Time will tell if I convey my message successfully or not.