I identified a problem of practice that relates to a lack of connectedness, collaboration and communication among leaders, their peers and employees. Through the interviews I conducted with management staff, they shared stories of:
- Desiring additional connections related to clarity of roles and expectations;
- Lack of interaction with their teams and feelings of remoteness and belonging; and
- Fatigue from zoom meetings without being able to have the face to face connections with others.
As you can see the need to feel connected runs deep among all staff. Although, the problem of practice was identified, I did not survey all leaders to obtain their feedback and perspectives. Therefore, the learning event will begin with a survey asking leaders to answer questions such as:
- What do you want to learn more about as it relates to connecting and communicating with your teams?
- What are your current communication and connection practices?
The information obtained through the survey will direct their learning. In addition, I will co-create the learning with the leaders participating in the program. They will be involved in researching, sharing and creating the methods and techniques to connect with others that are relevant and timely to their worlds. Bovill (2019) asserted that co-creation builds a meaningful partnership between the participants and the facilitator. Through this process participants become active learners constructing their own understanding of the material. Participants will be involved in researching solutions and techniques that resonate with them. They will construct their own solutions. As they begin to construct their own solutions, I will focus briefly on leadership theory and the value of collaborating and connecting with employees.
The learning event will be online utilizing Moodle and leaders will have the opportunity to work with their community of practice. As Wenger-Trayner (2015) stated, a community of practice is a group of practitioners who have shared experiences, stories and ways of addressing problems and who share a concern for something that they do. As the leaders work together in their community of practice, they will solve a concern that has been identified and create solutions that will benefit employees and leaders alike. As they will be working in a community of practice, they will construct new knowledge individually and as a group.
Two additional learning theories will be integrated and these are constructivism and social constructivism. Leaders will work independently to find articles and information related to building connections and have an opportunity to reflect on that information. Thereafter, they will work within their community of practice and discuss and debate, if necessary, solutions and methods of connecting and collaborating that work for their area of expertise.
I decided to utilize Merrills’ Principles of Instruction. The problem of practice is identified and considered relevant and timely. The problem has existed before Covid-19 therefore, Leaders will be able to activate existing knowledge and provide recommendations to the group based on what they know today. As new knowledge is obtained, through co-creation and discussion, this information will be shared, challenged and practiced to determine how effective it is for their team. Leaders will have the opportunity to integrate this new knowledge in their team to determine the value of it to them as well as their employees.
As I am designing the program and creating the digital learning resource, I will utilize the TPACK model as provided by Koehler, Mishra & Cain (2013). As the learning event will be located on Moodle, it is imperative to consider the technology, pedagogy and content knowledge while ‘acknowledging the complex interactions among these elements” (Koehler, Mishra & Cain, 2013 p. 17). Although, I have content knowledge, the leaders participating in the program must become subject matter experts through research, design and application. Leaders want their learning to be Specific, Meaningful, Action Orientated, Relevant and Timely. The TPACK model will allow me to evaluate what I am developing. In addition, I will utilize Bates (2015) SECTIONS model.
The SECTIONS Model developed by Bates (2015) focused on student differences, Ease of Use, Cost Drivers, Teaching and Media, Interaction, Organizational Issues, Networking and Security and Privacy. Based on the platform that will be used for this learning event, participants will need to be engaged in their learning. The technology cannot be too difficult, and each section of learning must provide golden nuggets of information that they co-create, test, and apply to benefit the connections and collaboration within their team and throughout the organization.
Lastly, the digital resources will include a pre-survey, infographic sharing leadership theories, articles (as required) to be used for group work and knowledge building, explanation of the activities and a post-survey so that leaders can identify what they have learned and reflect on how they have improved their skills.
Bates, A., (2019). Choosing and using media in education: the SECTIONS model, Teaching in a Digital Age, [e-book version], (pp. 304-361), Retrieved from: https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/9-pedagogical-differences-between-media/
Bovill, C. Co-creation in learning and teaching: the case for a whole-class approach in higher education. High Educ 79, 1023–1037 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-019-00453-w
Koehler, M., Mishra, P., & Cain, W. (2013). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK )? Michigan State University. Journal of Education, 193(3), 13–19. Retrieved from: http://www.bu.edu/journalofeducation/files/2014/02/BUJoE.193.3.Koehleretal.pdf
Wenger‐Trayner, E. & B., (2015, April). Communities of Practice a Brief Introduction. Retrieved from https://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/07-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf