This is truly a final reflections blog for me as I have completed the Grad Diploma program. Based on this, I am going to talk not only about the course, but the program as a whole in this final reflections post.
Has my perspective changed?
Within this course, I feel that the information and discussions regarding change management and analytics have given me some new lenses with which to study situations. Coming in to the course, I was unfamiliar with change management. This is clear in my first post when I said, “I trial or pilot new technology in a specific context first before applying it to every course. This allows us to focus on ensuring that the pilot is successful and allows the opportunity to capture lessons learned before a wider role-out” (Weaver, 2018, para 6). I now realize that this is also an example of creating small or quick wins as described in Kotter’s (2012) change model. This is an area that I would like to continue to research and explore on my own to add more tools to my leadership toolbox.
Coming in to this course, I was very familiar with performance metrics as I have been responsible for them during several of my postings, but I have never seen them implemented in a way that provides value. Therefore, I am always sceptical of performance measurement and the additional workload it can add to a system with seemingly little benefit. However, when faced with the excellent examples in Sclater, Peasgood, & Mullan (2016) showing the innovative way many organizations are using performance metrics to achieve success, my perspective changed. Based on this inspiration, I am looking forward to developing a training-specific performance metric in my own organization. Additionally, I have enjoyed picking up some tools such as weaving and a little more knowledge about the capabilities of interactive .pdfs.
Over the last year, the program has not only developed my knowledge of instructional design, but it has sparked a passion in me for active learning and engagement. I am lucky to be able to apply this in my current job and as a sideline to help instructors I know improve courses.
In your current role, how can you help lead a change within your organization?
My passion for active learning and engagement is helping me lead change in my organization – developing our courses with this in mind. This is a change for my organization and I am approaching it somewhat slowly, keeping the quick wins in mind! I have a meeting coming up shortly where we are pitching the course redesign concept for a five-day course that is currently running. At the moment, the course has no activities or engagement (other than students asking questions) and is composed of thousands of slides of powerpoint (I am not exaggerating). We are proposing something with more engagement opportunities and demonstrating three complete activities during the proposal (showing all the tools the instructors will have to run the activities). The involvement our stakeholders have had so far in generating ideas and the solid materials that we have to present makes me optimistic that they will accept the proposal. I am leading change by developing relationships with stakeholders and helping them change from a “sage on the stage” mentality to one where they look for engagement opportunities.
What can you envision doing in the future?
There are so many things I would like to do! To list a few:
-Use my new knowledge to create engaging human factors courses (hopefully at the University level)!
-Help redesign or design courses to support engagement and active learning (act as an instructional designer)!
-Mentor instructors in instructional techniques!
-Develop professional development mini-courses for instructors!
-Explore e-learning software!
-Finally, spend more time with my kids and husband! This year has been fantastic, but they have been incredibly supportive of me working weekends and evenings to complete it. Now they deserve more of my time and focus!
So, next, it’s time for family, some camping and more exploration and learning at a little more leisurely pace!
Thank you to all of my fellow students! It was a pleasure learning with you!
Kotter, J. P. et. al. (2012). Leading Change : Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, (June).
Sclater, N., Peasgood, A., & Mullan, J. (2016). Learning Analytics in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1002/aehe.20121
Weaver, L.A. (2018, February 11). Personal leadership – assignment 1 LRNT 525. [blog post]. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0037/personal-leadership-assignment-1-lrnt525/