#diglit, #NMChz, Digital Literacy, Higher Education, highered, Horizon Report, literacy, postgraduates, publication, report, Research, survey, technology, Training, work, Workplace

The Future of Work: Technology and Robots and Digital Literacy… OH MY!

Q: When will robots be able to do my job?

A: Not yet… (at least not all of it).

I’ve been thinking about how technology is and will impact the world of work. Thanks to NPR’s Planet Money calculator: Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine? and perhaps an empirical search on automation in teaching literature I’ve been reviewing for George … I might have robots on my mind. The calculator says my professional role is not likely to be fully replaced, but I have my doubts.

I can see ways we are already automating instruction, grading, peer review, etc. So career planning for many occupational roles will shift over time as technology is infused into the labor market. As I instruct a career planning course, Personal/Professional Development (#LTEC3010), I am quite concerned with how we are preparing (or not preparing) learners to thrive in an evolving career economy.  To support occupational preparation of the unknown, I have been picking up a few books on the future of work to add to the course– here’s what  on my book #shelfie that I read/reviewed (again) this past summer:

Although robots and technology will not take over ALL jobs in the future, the working economy will need new skill sets and agile employees. We know an increasing number of curricular and co-curricular programs in higher education are striving to include “Nonacademic Skills” and some programs are attempting to prepare learners for jobs that may not even exist yet. We hope the value of a postsecondary degree goes beyond a transcript; however, we have rarely looked ahead to align occupational preparation with the six driving factors and the needs for future work skills 2010 (Davis, Fidler, Gorbis, 2011):

  1. Life longevity: By 2025, the number of Americans older than 60 will increase by 70%.
  2. The rise of smart machines & systems: Technology can augment & extend own capabilities & workplace automation is killing the repetitive job.
  3. Computational world: Increases in sensors & processing makes the world a programmable system; data gives us the ability to see things on a scale.
  4. New media ecology: New communication tools require media literacies beyond text; visual communication media is becoming a new vernacular.
  5. Superstructure organizations: Social technologies drive new forms of production & value creation; social tools allow organizations to work at scale.
  6. Globally connected world: Diversity and adaptability are at the center of operations–US and Europe no longer hold a monopoly on job creation, innovation, and political power.

Based on these changes to the world of work, a degree and employment experience will NOT set anyone apart from the competition in the new job economy. You will have to continue to improve upon your skills, adapt to the changing environment, and plan for ongoing professional development throughout your career. Here are the top 10 skills needed for the workforce of 2020 identified by Davis et al., 2011:

  1. Sensemaking: The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed. 
  2. Social intelligence: The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions. 
  3. Novel and adaptive thinking: Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
  4. Cross-cultural competency: The ability to operate in different cultural settings.
  5. Computational thinking: The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based. 
  6. Digital literacy and information fluency: The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication. 
  7. Interdisciplinary mindset: Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines. 
  8. Design thinking: The ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes. 
  9. Cognitive load management: The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functions. 
  10. Virtual Collaboration: The ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team. 

As I review/edit materials in my courses, I am thinking more about the digital literacies that encourage my learners to PRODUCE, CREATE, and SHARE before they graduate.  Much of HOW we prepare our learners TODAY, will impact how they function in the future job economy.  Are we thinking beyond the requirement of a course? Can we apply learning to occupational environments or non-academic settings? What ways have we been encouraging digital literacy and information fluency at our campuses? What have you required your students to create, produce, and share using different mediums or platforms? These are just a few questions I have been thinking about for course design, and I am pondering even more after drafting the latest New Media Consortium (@NMCorg) survey/report over the summer. Read more here:

2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief  [Download: nmc.org/digilit-impact]

The 2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief uncovers the learner’s perspective of how digital literacy training influences work life after graduation. As a complement to the definitions and frameworks outlined in the 2017 strategic brief on digital literacy in higher education, this study examines digital literacy in action as learners enter the workforce. More than 700 recent graduates from 36 institutions responded to an NMC survey that addressed the experiences they gained at colleges and universities, and how their proficiencies or lack thereof have affected their careers. Funding for this independent research endeavor and publication was provided by Adobe.

Reference:

Adams Becker, S., Pasquini, L. A., and Zentner, A. (2017). 2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief. Volume 3.5, September 2017. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

HRD, Training, Training & Development

Does HR Influence Organizational Culture? #AHRD2015

Does the human resources (HR) function influence organizational culture?

To review all four roles of Ulrich’s (1997) HR function model –  administrative expert, employee champion, change agent, and strategic partner – our 2015 AHRD abstract presents the results from our literature search to identify scholarly publications from 1997 until 2014.

ulrichs-matrix

In human resource development (HRD) research, organizational culture is “limited to the rational managerial perspective on culture, employees and organization” (Plakhotnik & Rocco, 2005, p. 97). The HR function impacts organizational culture, that is, the set of beliefs, values, assumptions, and perceptions that influence organization members; however a comprehensive review of the research further identified HOW organizational culture has been impacted by HR. This has also taken into consideration human resource management (HRM) and organizational development (OD), as strategic partners with HRD in discussing the HR function.

Copyright © 2015 Mariya Gavrilova Aguilar, A. Esther Joshua-Gojer, Denise R. Philpot, & Laura A. Pasquini

The critical importance of utilizing the HR function towards organizational culture influence, identified two key themes:

  • The role of the Human Resources function is evolving.
    • Performance is influenced by employees’ perceptions & interpretations of their organization
    • HRD can support change, changing organizational culture, connecting with organizational stakeholders, and approaches/strategies
    • OD activities focus on changing or improving organizational culture; limited research done how these activities actually impact organizational culture
  • The HR Function is a Change Agent.
    • A direct link between HR and social common structures such as climate and culture
    • Organizational effectiveness depends on its culture;  developed by various HRD measures incorporated in everyday organizational life

Implications for HRD and Practice

Organizational culture is positively affected by the HR function, specifically in the areas of recruitment, selection, training, development, performance appraisal, progressive discipline, and organizational diversity, and inclusion. This means that HRD scholars and practitioners will need to consider  to secure and develop talented employees through effective organization implementations and interventions. For the HR function to best support organizational culture, it will need to align its practices with the strategic organizational goals and develop innovative approaches.

References

Plakhotnik, M. S., & Rocco, T. S. (2005). Organizational culture: A literature review of the AHRD 1994-2005. Proceedings of the 2005 AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas. Miami, FL.

Ulrich, D. (1997). Human resource champions: The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Professional Development, SAchat, Training

Twitter for Professional Development… Make it Part of Your PD Plan. #SAchallenge

In the field of learning and performance, there are a number of ways to train and develop employees. A number of professional organizations and educational institutions are interested in supporting online learning communities to enhance learning and development for “the workforce of tomorrow.” This often results in going to where the communities are already active online, i.e. social media. A number of social spaces, including blogs, videos, microblogs, and photo sharing websites, have been repurposed for training and development by the community. One of the largest areas for professional development has been on Twitter with users aggregating around a hashtag to form a community. In higher education, a number of Twitter-based communities of practice are emerging as the “combination of improved facility and user flexibility has created an environment in which networks and communities, albeit of a restricted kind, can flourish (Lewis & Rush, 2013).

sachallenge

It is no wonder why we see The #SAChat January Twitter Challenge #SAchallenge appear with the start of the new year. Although I’ve been loosely off the social grid for the holidays, I tuned back in to find January #SAChallenge prompts posted to get connected and involved on Twitter:

During the month of January, we will be tweeting out various challenges and ideas of ways you can engage on Twitter – starting with basic how-tos and moving towards looking at different ways to engage through the medium. Each weekday will bring at least one “challenge” – something you can do to either learn more about using Twitter or to refresh yourself and make you think about using it differently, especially within the #SAChat community. We’ll be posting the challenges here if you miss one and want to catch up.

I applaud the @The_ SA_Blog community managers for facilitating the #sachallenge.  To best support learning and development, The SA Collective L-Team are actively supporting their online subscribers and cultivating the #SAchat hashtag, by utilizing these key community management skills:

  • Listen. It might be a great space to broadcast and disseminate content – but that’s not how you hold a conversation. What do people what to talk about, not just receive? What is the online community engaged in? What are the conversations about online? Take a minute to read and learn from others online.
  • Participate. You need to be a community member, too. Try to join conversations as a peer contributor, not a facilitator. Contribute useful ideas, articles, research, and more. Your online community will want you to be actively sharing online like others in their learning community.
  • Include. Let others help find and create content, guide conversation, start new discussions. It’s a change for many of us in the field who what to “lead” the professional development experience but will pay off in a more vibrant, sustainable community. Encourage members of the community to be the active voice.

I think Twitter is a key component of my own learning and development, and I often encourage others (i.e. students, professionals, faculty, etc) to set up their own Twitter handle [HOW TO: Set Up a Twitter Account], and/or follow along with the community hashtag. I am also more than happy to connect and chat with those of you who reach out to me on Twitter (a.k.a. @laurapasquini), or by any other means if you want to to talk about Twitter or professional development. Although the #SAchat hashtag focusses on the Student Affairs arena there are a number of other higher education and discipline-based Twitter communities to follow.   

Dubbed the Twitter Queen by @hglez9

Photo mashup credit goes out to @hglez9

That being said, I also caution using Twitter as the only means for learning and development. As an avid Twitter user, who has learned a great deal from tweeting over the past few years, I have a healthy skepticism that Twitter is the “best” platform for delivering professional development. Apparently, I am not alone. Audrey Watters recently asked this question in her blog post “Is Twitter the Best Option for Online Professional Development?” and identified both its benefits and challenges. Twitter has created opportunities for conversation, research, collaboration, and support; however I have also witnessed spam bots, self-promoting followers, bullying, disciplinary implications in academia, and other not-so-nice things.  I was reminded by Audrey that “there is a fragility to our ability to connect and share online. Some of that fragility comes when we opt to rely on for-profit companies to run the infrastructure. We do not own the conversations on Twitter. We have limited control over our data and the content we create and share there.” That is not to say you should not participate and engage – but don’t let Twitter be the ONLY only means for your PD.

In my opinion, I think Twitter can augment, not replace, learning and development. Let Twitter be one part of your professional development plan for 2015, and then ask yourself what do you want to learn? Think about what goals you are setting for yourself first, and then consider the spaces you want to engage in this year. Always put your PD goals ahead of the platform, and then go searching for where you want to engage this year. You might also consider searching out training and development opportunities at your institution, at your professional associations, with trade/professional journals, by reading new literature & books, through research projects, signing up for a course/seminar/webinar, by conducting an informational interview, by reaching out to others in your network, and always by discussing your goals with mentors and peers from the field. Perhaps you might even take the time to reflect on these training experiences when you return to/start some bloggery (Thanks for the term, Bryan) to process your learning and development. Good luck with your PD goals for 2015! Let me know if or how I can help.

References:

Lewis, B., & Rush, D.  (2013). Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 21. Retrieved from http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/18598 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.18598.

Watters, A. (2014, December 17). Is Twitter the best option for online professional development? Hack Education. Retrieved from http://hackeducation.com/2014/12/17/twitter-professional-development/.

Higher Education, nacada, Professional Development, Training

Passing the Torch: Leadership Transition in Our Professional Organizations

In many professional organizations and associations (both formal and informal), leadership positions are fluid and change frequently. Whether it is an elected position, scheduled appointment, or a professional move, it is important to consider how your organization manages leadership succession and transition to sustain the association.

Passing the Torch

In thinking about transitioning out of my current role with NACADA, I was asked to share my experiences and resources* for incoming leaders for in the association. I figured I might as well share a few of these ideas with others who might be transitioning or transferring of roles in their professional organizations as well:

I. Build Your Professional Posse – No leader can do it alone, nor should they. Surround yourself with some great people who share similar interests and passions in your professional area. You know who they are – you have met them at a conference, attended one of their presentations, connected with them online, or heard about the great work they are doing – so reach out and get these members involved.

  • Recruit members at annual conferences/meetings in-person and online. We used a shared Google Form to invite others, e.g. the  #AdvTech Technology in Advising Commission Sign-up for 2012-13

  • Pass on and share the names, contact information (email, phone numbers, Twitter handles, etc)

  • Find out HOW members want to be involved with your group. Be open to suggestions and areas of interest that you have not thought about.

 

II. Take Note — Document, Organize & Archive – Be sure to keep notes, capture screenshots, record meetings, and file take notes, take screenshots, record online, and file information in an organized way throughout your elected/appointed term.

  • Save and file emails into folders from the professional association, members, and more – you never know when you will need to refer back to them

  • Organize information by projects, deadlines, and responsibilities

  • Store and save your files in an accessible space for your group to review

  • My “go to” spaces of organization for NACADA included:

 

III. Mentor While You Lead – Succession planning does not have to start at the beginning or end of your elected/appointed term. Consider involving members in your professional organization early and often.

  • Encourage point people for sub-groups, committees, or projects

  • Recommend collaboration within and outside your specific group

  • Involve participants in activities, presentations, research and development with your interest/commission area (psst you should not do it alone).

 

IV. Meet with Your Members – You will want to organize a regular meeting schedule with your committee, group or advisory board. Inquire about these at the start of each academic semester or quarter, and try to keep them on a regular schedule. Save the date(s) in advance.

  • Determine when you can meet. Try using a Doodle to sort out your meeting schedule.

  • Find the best space to “meet” for your group as they may not be anywhere near one another geographically:

    • Conference Call? There are a few free ones like http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ out there

    • Professional Association or institutional online web conferencing available? NACADA uses the Adobe Connect platform

    • I also am a fan of Google Plus Hangouts – free group video chat for 10 people and the ability to have IM chat and shared documents from Google Drive and/or screen sharing capability

  • Put out your agenda a week in advance to remind others of meeting, where/how you are meeting, and to give time to prepare/read over meeting information

    • I use Google Docs for shared agendas to encourage members to add discussion topics, questions, or updates

 

V. Create a Communication Plan – Consider making a communication plan for your professional group. This will help you understand the how, where, when and why for communication. This will also help you to disseminate information, seek out information, ask questions, and engage the members of your professional group.

  • Survey your group to find out WHERE they want to stay connected and informed. This can be at an annual conference/meeting or online. {We asked at the annual meeting, and on the digital sign-up sheet.}

  • Create welcome messages for email, Facebook or other networks to tailor and respond to interested members ASAP, for e.g.

Hello ________________,

Great to hear that you are interested in getting involved in the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission (#AdvTech)! Our #AdvTech Commission would love to have you join in the fun. To help identify your interests for involvement in the commission, please complete the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission Sign-up for 2012-13 {insert URL}

Also, be sure to connect to our commission  Facebook Group: {insert URL} There are a number of great conversations, questions and opportunities to share resources in this space. Finally, we do have an option to sign up to the commission listserv and information on the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission web page

Looking forward to getting you connected and involved soon!

Best,

Laura Pasquini

NACADA Technology in Advising Commission Chair 2011-2013

  • Get SOCIAL (media) – find an online, connected space that works for your group. Our group was interested in a moderated/closed Facebook Group; however I have seen Google Plus Communities, organizational listservs, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn groups (e.g. Advising Veterans), or hashtags on Twitter (e.g. #firstgen) to bring professional groups together. Just be sure to keep up with the conversation in whatever space you choose to use.

  • Be open for members to reach out to you for questions, ideas, suggestions, and getting involved. I often connected with members via email, Skype, on the phone, Google Plus, or another social network. Keep the conversation going, and consider hosting “office hours” or regular ways to connect with you.
  • Think outside the communication box. Consider offering different means for sharing member information and updates. We tried out the NACADA Tech Talks of 2012, and after the NACADA 2010 conference members of our group initiated the the #AcAdv Chat weekly Twitter conversations.


*There are a number of different tools and online resources to help with professional organization workflow. I am just sharing the specific ones I used with my NACADA Technology in Advising Commission the past couple of years. Figure out your purpose, then find the appropriate tool that will work for you.

Professional Development, Reflections, Training

Supporting Student Success at #UFTL13

UFTL13

I was able Last week UNT hosted the annual University Forum on Teaching & Learning:

UNT’s University Forum on Teaching & Learning (UFTL) is a one-day annual event that enables faculty, graduate teaching fellows, and staff involved in supporting teaching and learning to share ideas and practices that motivate learners, promote critical thinking skills, engage in real-world problems, and better prepare students for life and work in the 21st century.

This year’s #UFTL13 focus,  “Supporting Student Success,” helped initiate the conversation and help our campus understand how to support our students. It also shed some light on what success is and what it REALLY looks like for our learners.  In moving beyond the dirty R-word (retention),  it is critical to think how the meaning of the word success varies for our students. Our planning of “good” teaching and learning practices may need to extend beyond a course credit, a classroom setting, or a syllabus requirement for our students to be truly successful.

During the morning round table discussions, we chatted about reaching students beyond our state mandates or the general push to graduation, and thought more about how to connect with our learners to better understand their needs and purpose for being at the university. It was clear that success means many things to many different people. Our small group identified different things that signify success (in general) including promotion, failure, self-discovery, overcoming challenges, and such. The key issue we had in talking about “success” for learning is the divergent goals that formal education require specifically in terms of assessment, evaluation formats, and individual competency reviews.

Later in the morning Dr. Cassandre G. Alvarado, from UT Austin, asked “What is student success really?” in her keynote address. In Dr. Alvarado’s opening statements, she shared how higher education is broken with the “universal problem” being = too many students are not successful. [I will get into the “broken higher education” discussion in a future blog post- note this for now].

First we talked about the definition of success, brainstormed a few ideas, and chatted about how we might need to redefine success in our classroom and on our campus. Here is what success meant to our small group and from the speaker’s point of view:

  • effecting people in a positive way
  • being an inspiration
  • impacting others around you
  • having a goal, working hard & making sacrifices to work towards that goal
  • passion for what you are doing or how you are working with others

BIG IDEA: Success is more than content knowledge.

enjoy-your-success

 Key Goals for Success & to Be Successful shared by Dr. Alvarado in her keynote:

1. Perseverance  “Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to be discouraged.” ~ Thomas Edison

  • We need to share with our students our struggle so they can learn
  • Model for our students our own struggles
  • Reward effort as well as correctness, e.g. rewarding effort on homework and tests, using innovative assessment methods produced almost triple gains

2. Community –  “My model for business is the Beatles. Total is the sum of the parts… Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” ~ Steve Jobs, 2003

  • Community happens inside and outside of the classroom
  • Is about understanding our role
  • Is more than just friends, e.g. Creation of learning communities increase ention through Drop, Fail & Withdrawal rates stayed the same; cluster of courses

3. Imagination – “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” Thomas Edison

  • Discovery is imagination
  • Ask students to solve problems that don’t yet exist not ones that have already been solved
  • “See yourself on the other side.” Dr. Marcy Haag’s mantra 4 breaking a board in a Taekwondo class and she shares this for learning/perseverance

Finally, I was asked to join a student, staff, and faculty panel (I fit a couple of these roles) to talk more about student success at UNT. Here are the questions posed to the #UFTL13 panel:

  • How do you define student success? Can you share an example of or tell a story about student success at UNT. (This could be a personal story, one of a colleague, classmate, friend, etc.)
  • From your perspective, what do students need to experience success at UNT?  Do you have any examples to share?
  • What types of partnerships make student success a reality at UNT?  Do you have any personal experience with partnerships?
  • From your perspective, what can staff/instructors/students do to enhance student success?

Of course, I took a few notes and tweeted during the panel, so here are a few themes that emerged from the our responses:

#UFTL13 Student Success Panel Responses

How do you define student success on your campus? What student success stories can you share? Think about it, and let me know.

astd, MGMT 6860, Needs Assessment, Training, UGST1000

Learning Goal Orientation & Motivation with Course Delivery Modes

Determining the course delivery mode for learners is important. Learning goal orientation (LGO) delivery modes can either enable or create barriers to motivation to learn and course/training outcomes. Have you thought about how the technology-enhanced instruction is supporting or challenging your learners? I have been thinking about this a great deal this semester as I weave face-to-face meetings in my seminar session with online/blended/connected projects and assignments.

Klein, Noe, and Wang (2006) conducted a quasi-experiment with 600 undergraduate students to compare blended learning and classroom delivery in three consecutive, ten week terms over the course of a full academic year. Unlike other blended learning or classroom comparison studies, the authors aim was to understand why or under what conditions one method may be more effective than the other and identify variables based on motivation theory to investigate how and why blended learning may be more effective than classroom instruction.

A Conceptual Model: Motivation for Learning Goal Orientation (Klein, Noe & Wang, 2006)

This model integrates training motivation theory, which is based on the Colquitt, LePine, and Noe (2000) meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of training research and Brown and Ford’s (2002) input-process-output (IPO) model of learning.

Klein, Noe, and Wang (2006) tested the following hypothesis in their study:

1)      Motivation to learn – predictor of course outcomes and is influenced by both individual and situational characteristics (Colquitt et al., 2000; Noe, 1986; Tannenbaum & Yukl, 1992).

2)      Instructional characteristics – reduced motivation in distance learning courses include distractions and interruptions; level of interaction among the learners and between the instructor and learners, and increased learner control over the pace of instruction based on self-determination theory (Gange & Deci, 2005).

3)      Learner characteristics – LGO chosen can have a strong effect on learning and the allocation of effort during learning (Fisher & Ford, 1998); interest in the strongest and most consistent relationship with motivation to learn and course outcomes; challenges may encourage some learners to persist while be a barrier for other learners

4)      Perceived barriers and enablers – can impact motivation to learn and influence transfer of learning; attitudes examines towards use of new technology and availability of personal/technical support

5)      Course outcomes – goal to have robust positive relationships between motivation to learn and course outcomes that impact the cognitive learning (Kraiger,  Ford & Salas, 1993) and effective learning goal orientation (LGO)

6)      Mediating role of motivation to learn – expected relationships between the IV (delivery mode, LGO, and perceived barriers and enables) and the DV (course outcomes); specifically Sitzmann et al. (2006) found that blended learning was 13% more effective than classroom knowledge for teaching declarative knowledge, whereas White (1997) found distance learners engaged in greater metacognition than classroom learners; Other mediators: constraints, lack of choices, self-regulated learning, varied learner motivation

While reading this article for the training and development section of my HRD seminar, there are some limitations to comparing undergraduate learning to training – but this piece did present some interesting findings and suggested research for the future. Here are the results shared by Klein, Noe, and Wang (2006) from this study:

  • Learners in the blended learning condition, learners high in domain-specific LGO, and learners who perceived external features as enablers rather than barriers had higher motivation to learn
  • Barriers/enablers partially mediated the effects on LGO on motivation to learn
  • Motivation to learn was significantly related to course satisfaction, metacognition, and course grades
  • Motivation to learn mediated the relationships between the delivery mode, metacognition, relationship between LGO and course grades, and perceived barriers/enablers and course satisfaction

 

References:

Brown K.G. & Ford J.K. (2002). Using computer technology in training. In Kraiger, K. (Ed.).Creating, implementing, and managing effective training and development (pp. 192–233). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Colquitt J.A., LePine J.A., &Noe R.A. (2000).Toward an integrative theory of training motivation: A meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of research. Journal of Applied Psychology85, 678–707.

Gagne, M.& Deci, E.L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior. 26, 331–362.

Klein, H.J., Noe, R.A. & Wang, C. (2006). Motivation to learn and course outcomes: The impact of delivery mode, learning goal orientation, and perceived barriers and enablers. Personnel Psychology, 59, 665-702.

Kraiger, K., Ford, J.K., & Salas, E. (1993). Application of cognitive, skill-based, and affective theories of learning outcomes to new methods of training evaluation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 311–328.

Sitzmann, T.M., Kraiger, K., Stewart, D.W., & Wisher, R.A. (2006). The comparative effectiveness of web-based and classroom instruction: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 59, 623–664.

Tannenbaum, S.I. & Yukl, G. (1992). Training and development in work organizations. Annual Review of Psychology, 43, 399–441.

White, C.J. (1997). Effects of mode of study on foreign language learning. Distance Education18, 178–196.

Learning Community, Social Media, Training, UGST1000

Facebook for Learning Communities: Groups vs. Pages

Image c/o Interactyx.com

In supporting and creating instructor resources for our 30 or so first year seminar classes, one areas I’m currently working on is our social media for learning (quel supris!). There are a number of resources, “how to” guides, and instructional case studies to support digital learning pedagogy. In curating content for our #UGST1000 (formerly UCRS 1000) Blackboard Learn Instructor site , I realized that the area of using Facebook and other social networks for our learning communities was lacking. Sure there are a few of us out there using these spaces, but it was rare to see any information available for suggested practices let alone understand how our campus social media beliefs impact our Facebook for learning.

Below is the quick guide I created to introduce Facebook Groups & Pages for our first year seminar instructors. I welcome and encourage others to post your ideas and share resources to the comments section – so we can enhance our #edusocmedia learning practices.

What Are Facebook Groups?

Facebook states that groups are designed “for members of groups to connect, share and even collaborate on a given topic or idea.” Groups have been used to market, promote or share group happenings. The key feature behind Facebook groups is the ability to make them “invite only” or limit these spaces to specific groups, i.e. like your seminar section of UGST 1000. These groups can be private or closed for only your students. Although this is a closed feature, you will need to “friend” students in your course to a closed or secret group; however an “open” group option will allow you to add anyone from Facebook.

WARNING: You may (gasp!) not have students who are on Facebook or wish to be “added” to a private group. Keep this in mind. Also, I would encourage you to work with your Peer Mentor in your class to support the cultivation and development of this online learning community.
Instructor perspective:
Ryan: They all REALLY liked our class Facebook group and participated in that quite a bit. I’m considering just using Facebook this time around rather than try to get them all onto a new social network.

Laura: Peer mentors a great support & can often set up these Facebook groups and “friend” students for the instructors. I would encourage this and support the peer mentors as they develop community in your UCRS 1000 Group (ours from Fall 2011) online and in class.

What Are Facebook Pages?

In contrast to Facebook groups, which are focused on organizing around specific topics or ideas, Facebook Pages “allow entities such as public figures and organizations to broadcast information to their fans.” If you are looking to set up your class’s “official Facebook presence” you would opt for a Facebook Page. Students just need to “Like” the page for the semester and they can always opt out when the semester is over. Students who like this page will need to remember to check and monitor their Facebook stream to ensure that they are reading updates posted for the course so they do not miss out on any happenings, announcements or updates.

Simply put, Facebook Pages is a simpler tool for instructors and peer mentors to maintain and use for UGST 1000 Learning Communities. Students, staff, and faculty can view an open Facebook Page even if they opt to not have their own personal account on Facebook. Pages are an easy medium to put out content, share updates, and keep your learning community informed. As the administrator for this page, I would strongly encourage interaction to encourage 2-way conversations by using polls, asking questions, and encouraging comments, pictures or videos to be posted to the course page. You will want to enable sharing features for your community and talk about the purpose or standards for your social space.

Instructor Perspectives:
Laura: I like how you can share ideas, post comments and have others follow along with the discussion – it is a great way to connect to student in the social space of Facebook without having to add them to my own personal/professional “friend” list. The Pages can also be integrated with other features such as Twitter, blogs, photo sharing & videos. Here is the Office for Exploring Majors Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ExploringMajors

Do You Want to Have a Facebook Group or Page for YOUR Learning Community?
If you are trying to determine whether to use a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group for your UGST 1000 class there are a number of other resources posted in the reference section below to help you best understand the features.
There are a number of other seasoned  instructors who might want to share their ideas or thoughts on the use of both Facebook Pages and Groups (or other social networks) for UGST 1000. Take a look at the handy chart below that breaks up and compares the features; however with other social media things change and are always subject to change.

Facebook Groups & Pages Learning Resources:


10 Reasons Why Facebook is Ideal for Managing Social Learning

The Ultimate Guide for Using Facebook in Education

Facebook Groups Vs Pages: The Definitive Guide

Facebook Groups Vs. Pages: What’s The Difference

Facebook Tips: What’s the difference between a  Facebook page and group?

Pros and Cons of Facebook Groups vs. Pages

Facebook Group vs. Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better?