Archive for Process

NERCOMP: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Course

If you never heard of NERCOMP before, I highly encourage you to go over and look at what they have to offer to those who are IDer and ITers in Higher Education in the New England area.

certificates for ceit

Wall of Certificates at Work with recently added Completion of CAPM course

I was lucky enough to receive professional development money to attend a 3-day course for CAPM. CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management. This certification process is through the PMI (Project Management Insitute).  The class was offered through NERCOMP and facilitated through to New Horizons Learning Solutions. The PMI have tough requirements which made this particular course crammed packed full of information and how to take the certification test.

I decided on NERCOMP because the ATD has modified the Project Management course to make it relevant to Trainers or Instructional Designers. They call their program Project Management for Learning Professionals and is a 2-day course, it was more expensive than the NERCOMP course and didn’t cover as much information. You can also pick up the Project Management for Trainers through Amazon. I strongly recommend the book, it’s a good “techie” read and will help you understand the basics of Project Management in the ID process (they use ADDIE, SAM, and Agile — more towards SAM because that is what the ATD is moving towards).

Although, it looks like that the two course are different, even though they share the concept of project management, the two are not the same. Project Management from the viewpoint of the PMI is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements (PMBOK p. 554) The book also defines a project as a temporary endeavor and is different from operational controls — For instance building a course is a project, while the maintenance of the course is operational.

PMI has created a system to manage projects from large to small. Their system can be found again in their guide, known at PMBOK, on Page 61. In this chart it lays out five processes and 10 areas of knowledge. This “system” guides the Project Manager from start to finish. The PMBOK is a comprehensive guide.

The course is extremely taxing on the mind and body, it’s 3 days 9:00am to 5:30pm (the last day we went to 6:00pm). It covers everything from how to initiate the process to how to close. As you can see from the PDF that I linked above there are a lot of steps in the process and as Instructional Designers you might not have hands on experience with, like Risks & Cost, but will have control over Time, Quality, Scope, Communication, Quality, and possibly Managing people.

I think I will sit for the CAPM exam, within the next few months, be

PMBOK and Bootcamp books

Two heavy-weights. The PMBOK which is 589 pages and the BootCamp book weighing in over 624 pages.

cause I truly think that Project Management and Instructional Design are interconnected. Although, Instructional Designers are taught in school time management, and we might have created a gantt chart, understand what a milestone is, Instructional Design systems leave out a few steps that Managing Instructional Designers might not be exposed too. It’s important I think (even in academia) it’s important to know the cost, the risks, associated with courses.

 

I am sure that I will hear rounds of; In academia, we don’t need another business model, because of Academic Freedoms. I don’t think some systems lack Academic Freedoms I think it allows Academics to be more creative and invest in tools that will allow Learners become critical thinkers. Let’s face it, it’s pretty scary suddenly have to understand costs and risk (in money).

But if we academics can look at the Risks and costs, in terms of the human element. What if this course doesn’t run, how will affect a student’s retention or ability to gain employment or the college’s ability to get a particular certification from a licensing body.

I look forward to sitting for the exam even with my dreaded Test Anxiety.

What I would like do is write a few blog posts on the differences between IDS and PM (PMI)  and how these systems can be used in Higher Education.

Updated Note:

The NERCOMP Course provides the material that is needed to complete the course. It doesn’t include the cost of membership to the PMI ($129 plus $10 application fee) nor the Fee to take the Test.

 

Would I recommend this course to others? YES, I definitely would.

Will I take the Certification? Yes, but most likely in the late Spring.

 

Certificate of Completion

Online Dating Part 1: The System

What is an online dating post doing on a blog about learning? Simple, life is an ocean and each ebb and flow of our lives is a learning experience. Online dating is just another part of life. I was sitting with a great friend having a drink and we were laughing over, the at times the hilarious but brutal reality of online dating. She said, “Ceit, you need to write about it!” She went on to say all of these antidotal stories are important to women, not just woman, but to all woman. Certainly, men can benefit from my handy dandy system. Oh come on, I am an Instructional Designer, so I do have a system.

Of course, this system didn’t come easy, as with anything worth learning, there were ups and downs. The biggest hurdle of online dating is not getting a clear picture of who you are talking to. So part of my system is to identify who you are talking to. That might seem easy because dating sites and meet-up sites have pictures of people and beautiful, and some not, written profiles. It’s not, why, people lie, apparently a lot, especially online, and especially men.

The System!

  1. Really look at the profile and picture. Some sites don’t let you get to the full profile, while other sites let you. For instance, look at the age, does the age match the photo, yes there are some people that don’t look their age, I am one of them. I get that. But use common sense.
    1. Is the picture recent? Many times men post pictures of their “best” manly look, that might be from years ago.
    2. Does the profile summary match the text language? Yes, sometimes people let others write their profile information. This can be annoying. It’s always good to ask questions about their profile. If they don’t answer directly, it’s time to move on.
    3. Look for red flags or even good flags. For instances if you always wanted to date and be in a relationship with a fellow Treker, well see what their likes are, if they say I hate sci-fi, that might be an indicator of not a good match for you.
    4. Make sure that your lifestyle and their lifestyle is compatible. For instance, I pretty much lead a childfree life, so if I was looking at a profile and he says that he is a single father of 3 children under the age of 13. I know that I don’t want to be a stepmom. I love kids but it doesn’t make any sense to me to even approach him.
    5. To good to be true:
      1. Do the pictures look it was taken by a professional – The guy looks like he just walked off the cover of GQ or they look like advertisement pictures.
      2. Does the profile say he is a millionaire or well off, usually, people with money don’t advertise it.
      3. The picture is of a man dressed in Military uniform or Gear. This is a red flag. Not saying military personnel don’t go on dating sites, they just don’t do it in uniform. If the uniform is Navy, and the guy says he is a Military Man, you know, to run, ( I willl be talking about Scammers in a later blog post. But I can’t tell you how many generals I have wanting just me. LOL
  2. Say Hello!
    1. Say hello and say something about their profile, this really does help start a communication. Don’t wait until they text you.
  3. Engage:
    1. Ask questions.
      1. If the profile says they are from a city or town next door, ask them if they been to a place you know. If they say, well they are actually living overseas and haven’t been home in a long time, then you know to move on.
    2. Ask him/her to meet.
      1. The purpose of online dating is to bring it to an offline public setting
        1. Safety first:
          1. bright open places
          2. Have a Wing person. Give a friend the name of the place that you are meeting someone. Text your friend at different times through the date and tell the person you are meeting that you are doing this.
        2. If they can’t meet, but wish only to communicate online or through an outside program like, Skype, kik, email, or any other messenger service that should send up red flags.
      2. Have Fun!
        1. There might have been chemistry during the texting and phone phase but let’s face it, you will only know until you meet them.
        2. It’s okay not to have chemistry.
        3. Try different places to meet. Something that you both might like.
        4. It’s okay if you or the other person don’t like each other, it’s a date!
      3. Be TRUE to You.
        1. Don’t settle.

These are simple steps or they should be. I left a lot of things out and I will cover more things along the way. The simple fact is that you need to be a bit of an investigator because many times people lie about almost everything online.  There are many reasons.

I did leave an important part. it’s a standalone piece. It’s the rules of engagement and is part of the lifestyle part of it as well. Here is a list:

  1. Can they meet you tomorrow: This isn’t about, no I can’t because I have plans, but rather, it’s to see if they are real and not a scammer or other dubious reason. If they can meet great if they can’t you might want to investigate.
  2. Are they employed? Now before you say, but… Hear me out. If it isn’t important to you, it’s fine. But dating someone who cannot afford to do things, is not fun. It’s a drain on you. I am not saying don’t give someone a chance because they aren’t employed, but it could be a red flag.How are they supporting themselves, are they looking for a free meal?
  3. Do they have a car? If this isn’t a lifestyle choice. Meaning they live in an area that affords them not to have one, or they want to reduce their carbon footprint, or because they have a disability – But can get around, without your car. It’s pretty difficult to date someone who can’t come to you or meet you half way. Transportation is a must. For instance a person I started talking to lived only about a 15 minute car ride, when we started talking about meeting he told me that he didn’t have a car, and would have come by bus (which would take an hour). I said no because I didn’t want to be responsible for him missing a bus, and I really didn’t want to drive a stranger home.

 

This is my system. It’s not infallible, but it’s a start. My next post is about Scammers, how to spot, block and report!

Personal Learning — An Instructional Designer perspective

 

Screencapture of Watercolor Study notebook

OneNote Watercolor Study. Note Book

Sometimes you don’t want formal instruction, but rather to explore on your own, to take your time and focus on certain things. Personal learning is a concept that learning is directed by the needs of the learner. Although, more and more personal learning spaces are showing up in Academics, individuals can set up their own Personal Learning Spaces with tools like OneNote. You can see my personal learning space I used in Onenote: Watercolor Study – OneNote – View only 

The set up is very simple, I added tabs across the top that will allow me quick access to those specific concepts, ideas, and interests I have in watercolor. In the first tab, I asked what I wanted to do, this is my goal, assignment, mission statement area. This tab includes my story. It gives me the ability to set long and short term goals. I can even give myself specific measurable learning objectives. In Academics, Instructors could provide a syllabus and instructions. Since this is an informal learning space in which I am learning as I go along, my goals will be broad and not specific. As I learn, I can be more specific and detailed. Since I am using OneNote as my platform, I can add editors and viewers, which means that I can add mentors or others who share the hobby or the profession.

To keep track of the material that I consume, I use the OneNote chrome extension and

Image of Chrome extension in action.

OneNote Chrome Extension

place it under the tab that I think it belongs. I really like the extension app because it allows me to save things quickly in different formats, full page(saves an HTML file in Onenote), screen-capture of area of screen, bookmarks, or other formats.  No need for cutting and pasting. In OneNote, there is an ability to annotate the page, add notes, and to customize it. This comes in helpful when I want to make notes about my work.

 

 

Screencapture of My Work Section in OneNore

My Work section with notes!

At some point I will want real feedback from others, this will help me share the work with the person I want feedback from and allow them to edit the notebook. Possibly to add additional resources I don’t have, to evaluate the material I have in the Notebook (is it good enough), give assignments, and/or project ideas. Feedback not only from those who are in the field, but other learners can be a powerful tool. The nice thing about OneNote, is that you the learner can dictate how you want the feedback and in what format. To keep track of my work I created a My Work tab and used my camera on my phone to take a picture of it and upload it via the OneNote Android app.  I can also use the Andriod App to upload images for future projects, take notes on the go (using the keyboard or draw with my finger).

Starting a OneNote for a personal learning is easy and totally customizable. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Title the notebook for the type of learning you want.
  2. Create goals, and break down the goals into bite-sized pieces that you can obtain in short periods of time.
  3. Give yourself assignments. Just don’t “watch” a video, make sure you do something with the knowledge in the video. If you watch a video on “how-to” something then follow along. You can always pause, go back, or move forward.
  4. Be critical of the material you are using. Only you can see if the material is useful to you.
  5. Create different sections. Even if you don’t end up using them, or they turn out to have a life of their own, you can modify them, split them up, or even delete them.
  6. Use the clipping tool from Chrome, it helps you to organize better.
  7. Be creative, look at different ways you can use OneNote.
    1. Record a note – Audio or Video
    2. Draw with a pen tool or your finger (on a touch screen device)
    3. Use the TO Do list and if you have it linked to Outlook you can add them to your calendar.

Over all, this process is working for me. As an Instructional Designer, I like to have neat and organized areas to put my learning material. As I grow more comfortable with Watercolor, I can imagine this space growing into a Place where others can benefit from the information in it.

#OneNote #PersonalLearning #Instructional Design

How I use OneNote for Instructional Design

I have used #OneNote for many years. OneNote is a tool that comes with Microsoft Office 365 and can be used free online. I really love the freeform and how easy it is to use. I started to use it while I was in Graduate School studying for my Master’s Degree in Education (Instructional Design). I found it very helpful to organize my thoughts, projects, and assignments.

When I started to work at a college I used it to manage the programs that I was assigned to. I worked closely with the Occupational Therapy  and kept records of Instructors, courses, notes about particular classes, and tasks that I needed to complete. It really allowed me to see what I did, look at what was in process, and plan for the future. Everything was in place.

one-note-example

As One Note added more and more features, like cloud compatibility. I started to share notebooks with others, use it to collaborate with others, and use it to give structure to courses that I was designing.  In this example of the Workforce Notebook, I organized the course that I was designing with a tab for Meetings in Admin (meeting notes, timetable, tasks- which I could also link to my outlook inbox-, any important email, document, or other important to the project information. The next sections addressed each module of the course (each page laid out the flow, content, order, and any content that would go into the course.). Finally, there was a tab for the information about the current project, description, stakeholders, etc…

What is the process that I use to create a OneNote Notebook? I start with a pen and a notebook at meetings, whiteboards in meetings. I create a Notebook for a project prior to the first meeting, I organize it into sections. After the meeting, I upload pictures of my notes, whiteboard, audio recordings, videos, files, or any other important information, into the relevant section. I then assign tasks, notes, and actionable items. For tasks, I link them to my outlook calendar.

OneNote in the classroom can be a powerful tool. It could allow instructors to annotate math problems, allow students to collaborate on projects, share web information (by using Clip to OneNote for Chrome), ideas.

 

Here are some places to help start you with OneNote:

Microsoft OneNote 2016 – NEW! Tutorial – YouTube

OneNote for Teachers – Interactive Guides

OneNote Class Notebook

 

 

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