Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On the move....

This week, I am delighted to be able to report that I have been offered and have accepted a new position as Professional Nurse Advisor for New Zealand Blood Service. It has been a lengthy process, but finally the news is in!! So, as well as completing the work for this paper, it is also a time for reflecting on and evaluating my contribution to an organisation I have loved to work for….

We had our accreditation process over the last week. Sometimes scared, as I guess we all feel when the auditors whoever they are come to town….it was in fact a really positive process. The lady that undertook to evaluate clinical education (my bit of the big picture) was really helpful. We talked a lot about closing the loop for quality initiatives and demonstrating the worth of education to the bean counters. (I feel she has been walking with me these last few weeks!). What surprised me most though were the things she chose to single out and recognise about our team achievement. The ordinary things that we do each day and how we rarely value them for what they are truly worth. I suspect we are all guilty of that….always on to the next project as the organisation moves onward. I will be grateful to her more than she will ever know, because of the focus she brought to giving a mandate to evaluate. For my team now, this will be the next part of their development and, in the light of her report; it will be something they can focus on.

What I am going to be sad about is the extra time it is going to take for e-learning to become a reality for my colleagues: it may be another year before my replacement gets to this stage……but for me the prospects are wonderful….I am going to an organisation who have already got a brand spanking new LMS and the will to go with that……YAY!! The time on the battlefield with CFO hasn’t been wasted: I learned a lot from his questions about value and seeking other opinions from outside of the choir stalls and coming as it has with this paper too, I will go better equipped and ready to talk in outcomes…..

And one other thing from accreditation…... As she left, the auditor said….always just ask yourself one question….What was your original purpose…and start your evaluation from there. I think pretty reasonable advice. 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

3rd time lucky!!


Has anyone else had trouble posting to their blog....I can't authenticate to get it to do....??

Evaluation plan


Here it is on google.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Evaluation plan is the only file upload from me



Just relief this time......

I am so pleased to be able to say that I just uploaded a word doco with my e-learning plan in it! It is indeed a relief....I am not one to be late with things and although being a e-learner gives me the opportunity to schedule life and study, sometimes things just are. I am in the middle of what has been an incredibly lengthy process towards a senior nursing position in a national organisation. I am off for the final stage on thursday.... trial by meet and greet. At this stage, I am not sure whether to laugh or cry, so have settled on one last herculean effort in the pick me department: wine, tears, joy whatever later....... definitely wine tho!

Interestingly, evaluation has become incredibly important on this journey, not only for the sake of this paper and the big picture course, but also for the potential new position..... I sense that people in the real world are interested at last about the impact of education. A simulation course I previously evaluated was of great interest to the first interview panel. Again, around learning technologies but this time ROI in relation to simulated events. They are also interested in the value e-learning can add (YAY!). 

Over the last few weeks I have been enabled to stop, think and reflect. We have changed the happy sheet evaluation forms for the F2F courses and have started to include far more learning technologies into these sessions. Just quietly, we are making changes... so, e-learning hopefully won't be the hospital's equivalent of the big bang! But getting there....... still slow progress, but the luxury of thinking allowed me to drill down to what it is I have to be able to know. That's why, at the 11th hour, I changed the e-learning guidelines for my project. It gives me an opportunity to involve the CFO when using the concept maps, and to have him be a stakeholder whose opinion is valued within the first project. I know I am being political, but some times you need to keep your off-siders close! Indeed, the Hay article demonstrated how getting a group of people on board from the beginning gives that shared sense of community. Anyway, I look forward to any feedback and advice.

Nearly there!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Article 1: Concept Mapping

Hughes, G., Hay, D. (2001) Use of concept mapping to integrate the different perspectives of designers and other stakeholders in the development of e-learning materials British Journal of Educational Technology 32(5): 557-569

I chose this method of data collection after reading the evaluation cook book and chapter 6 from the course reading. It appeals because as you will know from my earlier blogs, I am struggling to understand all of the requirements that my CFO has in terms of e-learning as part of the on-going strategy for education within my organisation. I liked the analogy of ‘slice’ offered in chapter 6, meaning that the design team could see the whole from the different perspectives. My question to myself was, ‘if I am struggling to understand him, what assumptions have I made in order to understand the others….?”

Hughes and Hay (2001) come from the perspective that no one person on the design team could provide all of the expertise required to develop the e-learning material. Thus, they concluded that in order to expedite the needs analysis phase of development, they could use ‘concept mapping’. Concept mapping enables all stakeholders to write down their unique perspective on priorities and expectations for deliverables in the final work. In the AlaaDIN project used as the exemplar in this paper, concept maps were sought and received from a number of stakeholders including the marketing team, potential students, web designers and SMEs. The ALaaDIN project had external sponsors and partnerships and was part of government aided promotion of e-learning. Clearly, there was the potential for individual interests to dominate the final work. However, using this technique, similarities and differences became apparent as the concept mapping interviews took place. Hughes and Hay (2001) suggest that right from the outset, the ‘values’ embedded in the project were explicit and as a consequence there was ‘buy-in’ to the product from the outset from all parties. For example, this methodology helped to avoid what the authors describe as ‘technological determinism’ meaning that the programmer understood from the outset what was to be achieved enabling product development throughout.

As I have chosen an e-learning guideline that directs mapping of good process for developing e-learning units, review of the article by Hughes and Hay (2001) indicates that concept mapping is an obvious way to quickly gather required information from stakeholders. It also reminds me that in F2F learning, I do little in the way of consultation about material to be covered, and for all my constructivist persuasions, I choose the starting point! Furthermore, if I continue to adopt this attitude with e-learning, I will provide a dominant influence on the learning material which may not be useful to others wishing to gauge the importance of the wider LMS project.......food for thought!

The article is available via EBSCO on the MIT library site if you want to read it it all.