Description: The purpose of this digital learning resource (DLR) is to provide an online tool that will support a new employee general onboarding process. As a learning resource, it will familiarize new employees to our department and provide an overview of the people and the functions in each departmental unit. Serving as one aspect of the general departmental onboarding, it will serve as a supplementary resource in addition to an employee networking event that runs twice per year. Employees also go through job-specific training in their respective units, and will be mentored by their peers when applicable.
Learning Goals – As a result of this DLR, new employees will:
- become familiar with the focus of each departmental unit, what they do and who are the staff;
- increase their understanding of how the work of each unit supports ties into the mission of the department;
- be able to identify key contacts for each unit.
Intended Audience: The audience of this DLR will be new employees hired into the department.
Rationale: The DLR will provide new employees with a consolidated resource that replaces the need for extensive face-to-face meetings and serves as a standardized collection of information. The DLR enables employees to learn about the organization at their own pace and convenience and follow up with lead unit contacts if in-person meetings are needed. Since our HR unit would like to standardize how each unit delivers information, a DLR that consolidates individual unit overviews using set templates will also help to create consistent learning experiences.
Tools: I am planning to use an e-learning authoring tool, Articulate Rise 360. This platform enables a anyone to create interactive courses or presentations which can be developed for any device. Because of its easy to use interface, range of templates and content as well as the ability to embed videos and audio, I believe it will be manageable for employees of other units to build their presentation and/or mini-courses into this platform. The following supporting tools will be used within Articulate Rise 360.
Video – a welcome video will be made by the key contact or unit lead welcoming new employees into the department. The video will also help new employees to put a face to the unit.
Audio – audio recordings from each unit team member will be embedded into the course to explain specific responsibilities that pertain to that particular team member.
Assessment/Evaluation Plan: There will be no formal assessment used, however, knowledge checks will be incorporated in the overview for each unit to check for general comprehension of the information covered. To ensure that new employees view the resource, HR will track completion rates for each new employee accessing the courses and follow up with a google survey once all mini-courses for each unit have been completed to elicit overall feedback.
Learning Theories & Instructional Design Principles Used:
Learning Theories: Kenner and Weinerman (2011) posited that the field of organizational development prompted adult learning theory “where the focus on learning theory is seen as a way of providing employees with the tools they needed to perform better in the workplace” (p. 88). The intent of this DLR is to equip new employees with general organizational knowledge. The assumption is that new employees will use this resource as a starting point to further their knowledge and skills as related to their work. In this way, employees will take responsibility for developing their knowledge. Knowles (1974) identified adult learners as being self-directed, who possess a depth of experience, are likely to engage in learning, and are task motivated (as cited in Kenner & Weinerman, 2011). Since this DLR is being used in a professional development context for employee onboarding practices, the principles of adult learning theories will inform the design of this resource.
Instructional Design Principles: Using relevant elements from the SECTIONS framework (Bates, 2015), integration of digital technology as an appropriate DLR for this context will be used. Additionally, the TAPPA Process (Moore, 2016) is a model adequately suited for micro-instruction which would lend itself well to this current context. TAPPA (Target, Accomplishment, Past, Prototype, Artifact) provides significant flexibility while providing a framework to effectively “move through the design, development, and implementation process” (Moore, 2016, p. 429).
Instructions for Use: New employees will be introduced to the DLR during their meeting with our department’s internal HR coordinator. The coordinator will provide a brief overview of the DLR ensuring that all new employees have access through the department intranet. New employees will be asked to view the min-courses in the DLR during their first six-weeks of being hired into the department. The HR coordinator will confirm with the new employee’s supervisor when all courses/presentations have been completed. Unit leads will be responsible for updating content as needed in the DLR.
Plan for Use: Employees will be able to use this onboarding resource any time and it will be available for both new and current employees. It will not be an open resource since the content will be specific to our department and therefore may contain confidential information.
Bates, A. W. (2015). Chapters 6-8. In Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Vancouver BC: Tony Bates Associates Ltd.
Kenner, C., & Weinerman, J. (2011). Adult learning theory: Applications to nontraditional college students. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 41(2), 87-96, DOI: 10.1080/10790195.2011.10850344.
Moore, R. L. (2016). Developing distance education content using the TAPPA process. TechTrends, 60(5), 425–432.