The environment is an important aspect of the educational process, as it influences the whole learning abilities of the staff (Burke, 2007). The economic and political changes have a direct relation to the educational level of employees that should be constantly developed (Hauer and Daniels, 2008). I currently work for Troy University in the Washington, DC Metro area. The participants of this program specialize in such areas as marketing and recruiting, retention, administration, and business development. In this regard, the most necessary skills to be required are proficient decision-making process and ability to successfully communicate with each other. The employee training program aims to identify the learning tasks that will improve the overall effectiveness of the university’s enrollment and marketing management team. Focusing on the employee’s opportunity to perform and accountability, the training program will provide ideas and solutions for the understanding of the employees’ needs as well as their learning styles.
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Purpose of the learning task
The purpose of the learning tasks will be to improve the quality of work and to provide the staff with additional information, which is going to be useful in the working process. Education research conducted by Jones et al (1994) suggests that learning improves when the learning task engages the learner or when the learner is engaged in learning. The program facilitator will apply these learning tasks, which will be used to illustrate or explain work related concepts and skills. The employees will engage in these tasks either in a small group or larger group setting as this will enable
Learning task Small group (3-10)
In the small group setting, the learning tasks will be mostly based on job rotation, shadowing and role playing. The students will need to solve some practical problems faced by the organization on a daily basis. For instance, they will need to work out strategies that could raise people’s awareness about Troy University. Secondly, enrollment officers can take their hand at career counseling, curricular development and so forth (Gibbs & Knapp, 2002). For instance, one of the learners may act as a student, while the other will perform the role of academic advisor. The instructor will observe their interactions, assess them and make comments. This approach will enable them to translate their theoretical knowledge into practice.
Large group (51-100)
In the large group setting, the tasks will be developed with the use of audio-visual methods. During the lectures, the participants may be asked to answer the teacher’s questions briefly. Furthermore, they will have to take multiple-choice tests that will focus on various areas of educational marketing and enrollment strategies. Afterwards, the instructor will analyze the most common mistakes made by students and point out those areas which need improvement. Overall, in large group setting, both instructors and students should attach importance to self-study (Knowles et al, 2005). The teacher may also ask employees to do written assignments on some of the issues, discussed during the lecture.
Alignment of the program outcomes and learning objectives
- Outcomes. This program is designed to achieve the following outcomes: increased time-efficiency, profitability, low turnover, better teamwork and job satisfaction.
- Learning Objectives. This program seeks to raise employees marketing and enrollment skills to a higher level. Furthermore, it seeks to improve the teamwork in the firm as well as to improve the decision-making and problem solving. Hypothetically, trainees should get a better understanding of academic counseling, recruitment, retention methods, and PR management. This knowledge will be both theoretical and practical.
Thus, we can argue that the intended outcomes of this course and its learning objectives are quite compatible with one another. The most important thing is that each of the learners realizes the usefulness of this innovation and attempts to make his/her most to take full advantage of it.
This training program can yield results, only if the students have some prior knowledge in such areas as marketing strategies, recruitment strategies, and retention techniques. It will be very difficult for the instructor to develop exercises for these people, if there are some educational discrepancies among them. More than that, these courses can be successful if the participants have at least a year of relevant job experience.
Analyzing the target population for a specific training program helps shape the overall effectiveness of the training program. For example, if a target population is employees with Bachelors degree, then training shouldn’t consist of long hours of sitting in a classroom reading long PowerPoint of statistics or scholarly articles. Instead, the course should be structured to help maximize the potential learning experience of your employees. In this case, we would focus on including activities that stress interaction, and in presenting information in ways that minimize learning overload. For example, multimedia, audio, video, hands on, work shadowing in large and/or small group formats. The targeted population of this training process would consist of the university’s enrollment and market management team and their supervisors. Although, we do not possess specific data as to their educational background, we can hypothesize that they have either Bachelors or Masters degree. Furthermore, we can assume that that they are more or less experienced in the field.
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Size of the group
The size of the group will range from very small (approximately three of five people in the group) to large (one hundred learners). This factor significantly affects the instructional methodology, learning tasks and assessment. The instructors should normally avoid these extremes: the most optimal number of participants for a small group is eight or ten persons, while a large group should not constitute more that eighty people.
The time-frame for completing the learning tasks
This program will be conducted within the lapse of one week. This period will be sufficient for both small and large group setting. It should be taken into consideration that the administration of Troy University must map out a schedule for the employees, who will need to attend lectures or seminars.
Small group setting (3-10)
Small group setting is very conducive to the development of employees skills. First of all, the teacher is able to pay due attention to each of the learners. He/she can better explain the rationale for the training program and its intended outcomes. Secondly, in such an environment the instructor can adopt various training techniques: role playing, simulation, job rotation, forums and so forth. One of the most effective strategies is role playing because in this way it is possible to construct a real-life situation or problem that would demand the learner to demonstrate his/her knowledge of marketing principles, recruitment, retention etc (SBM, n. d). Furthermore, a small group environment enables the instructor to conduct the so-called on-the-job training, which means that workers are practically not distracted from their immediate work place activities (HR Council, n.d.). Under such circumstances, job shadowing and job rotation can be very effective, because they allow workers to share experience with one another. Workers can observe the work of other people, who can be more experienced in a certain field like marketing or recruitment, and learn the best practices. In turn, job rotation creates a good chance for an employee to work in a different area of the organization (HR Council, n. d.). Another benefit of small setting environment is that the instructor can assess the performance of learners more objectively. Finally, the teacher should not disregard the feedbacks of the employees, who can make some suggestions for the improvement of subsequent training programs. In a small group environment, the assessment of learners progress can be done through oral examination or with the help of online tests (Suskie & Banta,2009). It is more preferable to combine these techniques.
Large group setting (51-100)
As far as large group setting is concerned, we may say that there are several strategies that can be employed. One of them is lectures; it is considered to be the most cost-effective way of reaching a vast audience (SBM, n. d.). Nonetheless, it has several limitations: 1) the teacher cannot ensure that his/her recommendations will be understood or remembered by each of the listeners: 2) the teacher can hardly answer the questions of all learners, especially if the group comprises one hundred students. Finally, the lecture seeks only to inform the trainee but it does not actually develop any of his/her skills. For this reason, it is necessary to provide them with lecture notes in print or online. Additionally, the instructor can choose audio-visual methods: the students can watch and/or listen to interviews with marketing and enrollment managers. They can also study Power Point Presentation. The combination of these teaching methods will help students to retain more information. The participants can be given written assignments that would require research and critical analysis. It is also advisable to split the large group into smaller parts: so that they could work on the same project. However, it should be taken into account that large group setting normally does not allow for on-the-job-training, because a large number of employees cannot be drawn from their immediate duties. The second point to be discussed is the assessment methods. In a large group setting, multiple-choice tests seem to be the most suitable option: they are time-efficient, and can cover a wide range of issues, studied during the training course.
Learning accommodations or differentials related to learning styles, diversity, or disabilities
As it has been noted before, audio-visual methods are more applicable for large group setting. The learning materials (articles, books, lectures) should be provided in audio and text formats. Video tapes should contain subtitles, especially if some members of the group have impaired hearing. To address diversity issues, the instructor should draw examples of various educational institutions that might be located in various regions of the world. Finally, the instructor should provide learners with online resources, so that they can be easily adapted to various learning styles. It should be noted that there are several types of learners: 1) those who give preference to visual aids, such as:
- graphics, diagrams,
- auditory learners;
- reading-writing learners, and tactile learners (LdPride, n. d.).
Their needs should be properly addressed.
Required learning resources and materials
The learning materials will include excerpts from books, scholarly articles, PowerPoint presentations, video and audio tapes etc. They should be made accessible online. The resources should also include text-to-speech software.
We need to emphasize an idea that each of the texts, given to the participants must be easily convertible into speech. For this reason, they must be stored either in doc. or HTML format. Secondly, subtitles must be provided to each video tape. Moreover, while selecting the type of assignment given to the employees, the teacher should consider the following factors: 1) time available; 2) the number of participants, and their job duties. The most optimal length for a lesson in both small and group environments is forty minutes.
Brinkerhoff, R.O. (2006). Telling training’s story: evaluation made simple, credible, and effective. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Burke, L. (2007). Training transfer: An integrative literature review. Human Resource Development Review, 6(3), 263–296.
Gibbs P. & Knapp M. (2002). Marketing higher and further education: an educator’s guide to promoting courses, departments and institutions. London: Routledge.
Hauer. A & Daniels M. (2008). “A learning theory perspective on running open ended group projects”. Australian Computer Society, pp 85-91.
HR Council for the Non-Profit Sector. (n. d.). Learning, Training & Development. Web.
Jones, B., Valdez, G., Nowakowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. (1994). Designing Learning and Technology for Educational Reform. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner (6th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Publishing.
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LdPride. (n.d.). What are learning styles? 2008. Web.
Suskie, L., & Banta, T. W. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.