Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Professional Development 2.0: Has the Web 2.0 bug bit you yet?

Anyone interested in learning and information technologies has most likely heard or read something about the ubiquitous Web 2.0 mantra. What is Web 2.0? If you type the term in Google search it will return the following list of definitions.

Definitions of Web 2.0:

  • A term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform ...

  • Web 2.0 is a perceived or proposed second generation of the web. This is were the web has evolved and improved over time and now offers better and more up to date services like blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites etc

  • Refers to a supposed second-generation of Internet-based services - such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies - that let people collaborate and share information online in ways previously unavailable. (source Wikipedia)

  • a term introduced in 2004 to characterize design patterns in a constellation of new generation Web applications which may provide an infrastructure for more dynamic user participation, social interaction and collaboration.

  • The second phase of architecture and application development for the web. Web 2.0 applications often use a combination of techniques devised in the late 1990s, including public web service APIs (dating from 1998), Ajax (1998), and web syndication (1997). ...

  • Web 2.0 is an expression which was used for the first time in 2004 and referred to the second generation of Internet. The main characteristics of new era in Internet is connected with its constant development and delivering services tailored to the needs of each user. ...

  • Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, refers to a perceived second-generation of Web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users. ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web 2.0

  • You can also find definitions in almost every other language (e.g. Chinese, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, etc.). The interesting thing about this technological phenomenon is the increased demand to use Web 2.0 concepts in new creative and innovate ways. Wikis, blogs, interactive websites (facebook, my space, YouTube, etc.), multimedia, widgets, podcasts and videocasts are some tools that have emerged on the seen.

    Take an evening stroll on the web for an hour and you are bound to run into one or more websites that are using some form of Web 2.0 technology. Everyone from kids, teachers, internet enthusiasts, gurus, and techno geeks have a website, blogsite, or some other interesting forum that uses Web 2.0 technology. New terms such as Learning 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, and eLearning 2.0 have even emerged on the seen. Read the eLearning Technology Blog.

    Everyone seems to have gotten bit by the Web 2.0 bug. Recently, I too was bitten. In fact, I decided to create a new wikizine entitled Professional Development 2.0. This is my creative, innovative, and audacious way of getting others excited about expanding and using Web 2.0 technologies to promote a common, age old subject to make it more vibrant, motivative, and empowering. The Professional Development 2.0 wikizine focuses on next generation measurement methodologies, tools, and resources for professionals, employers, and educators to measure, score, monitor, and control individual performance assessments for career planning, professional development, recruitment, selection, placement, and counseling. The wikizine will also provide tips and tricks, articles, how to tutorials, demonstrations, and self help documentation to empower professionals as they plan, design, develop, and deploy learning strategies to enable personal and professional development.

    It is my hope that this new term will become a rich catch phrase that will spawn some interesting dialog, creativity, and innovation toward reinvigorating and motivating others to use Web 2.0 technologies as an integral part of their personal and professional development activities.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Instructional Design Competency Standards

    In 1986, IBSTPI developed and validated a set of competency standards to meet the needs of instructional designers and developers in the instructional technology field. In 2000, IBSTPI updated the instructional design competency standards to reflect evolving industry practice. The current IBSTPI standards consist of four domains, 23 competencies, and 121 performance statements. The competency domains include: Professional Foundations (PF), Planning and Analysis (PA), Design and Development (DD), and Implementation and Management (IM).

    In 1996, NWCET identified eight information technology career clusters and skill standards and conducted nationwide research to validate a set of skill standards for the information technology field. In 2003, NWCET published and released the Information Technology Skill Standards. The NWCET standards reflected new and emerging workforce job roles, technical knowledge, and related foundational skills. Three of the skill clusters were identified as competency domains for the learning technologist role and include 18 competency standards. The three competency domains identified were Digital Media (DM), Technical Writing (TW), and Web Development and Administration (WDA).

    NWCET identified skill clusters that expanded the required number of competency standards for learning technologists. This indicated a growing convergence of learning and information technology skills in the field. As a result, learning technologists must now master a combined set of competency standards, and these standards transcend the traditional instructional design competencies developed by IBSTPI. The combined competency framework includes a total of seven domains, 41 competencies, and 242 performance statements. For a detailed listing of the competency standards visit the IBSTPI and NWCET websites.

    IBSTPI Standards

    NWCET Standards

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Are You the Obvious Choice?

    Perceived performance is an innate assessment technique used to evaluate an individual's skill capability. Having the means to objectively measure perceived performance can mitigate subjectivity from an internal or external perceptive. For example, if John Doe an intermediate professional in his career updates and submits his résumé to a new instructional design job posted in his organization – ABC Corporation. His résumé will provide detailed examples of his work experiences based on the job description delineated in the company’s job posting. Jane Doe, also an experienced professional in the field, may also respond to the same job posting as a potential new hire. Both candidates believe that their knowledge, skills, abilities, and work experiences have prepared them well for the new job opportunity. This belief will most likely be supported by previous work related performance. A résumé serves as a screening method used by employers to invite a job candidate to an interview. It is also an effective advertisement of a person's skills, experiences, and knowledge presented in a positive light. This is the first level of perceived performance and it is highly subjective.

    Each job applicant must deal with the daunting task of making a good impression, and musing about his or her level of expertise and capability to meet new job requirements as he or she writes the résumé, while the hiring manager must be concerned with making the right decision about which candidate to select as he or she reviews each applicants’ résumé. The manager is most often concerned whether the applicant has the intellectual capacity and practical skills to perform the job; able to solve complex problems and devise appropriate solutions; motivated to do a good job, autonomous, capable of working solo or in teams; and also able to perform well in agile work environments under pressure. These issues plague the average job applicant and hiring professional in any industry, regardless of his or her profession, and the impetus for applicant selection usually centers on qualitative measures rather than quantitative ones.

    The hiring manager, presumably an objective individual, may review each candidates résumé and come to believe that both candidates are highly qualified and have equivalent work experiences that seem to convey their individual capabilities. Who should the manager hire and why? What conspicuous attributes does one possess over the other? Who is better prepared for the job? How does one really know? Interviewing each candidate is one well-established method for providing assistance in this area. Yet, how reliable is the interview method? It too possesses some degree of internal and external subjectivity. Assessing whether to select candidate one or two becomes a hit or miss gamble when it comes to quantifying and aligning individual skill capabilities and a person’s fit to a specific job role because the manager will have to rely on each candidates ability to influence his or her decision.

    Alone, the interview method can end up being a measure of a person's skill to persuade and convince rather than a measure of his or her skill capability to perform the job. Even still, both the résumé and interview methods are ubiquitous, qualitative measures for assessing human performance and are established components of a practical selection system. Hiring the right people and aligning them to a specific job role requires the adoption of a more holistic screening and selecting process. Effective assessment of human performance must utilize both qualitative and quantitative measures.

    In the instructional technology (IT) field, professionals must adapt to extant and emerging trends while maintaining a diverse and flexible skill set. This is a daunting task given the constant change of technology, new methods, and tools (e.g. Web 2.0, Learning 2.0). Performance assessment measures that align to industry standards provide a means for professionals, employers, and educators to effectively measure and track performance, across job roles in such areas as instructional design and development, eLearning, multimedia, and emerging learning technologies.

    Watch for the latest ISD Performance Inventory Spotlight Updates.

    The ISD Performance Inventory provides a way for employers to match job candidates with the right job or provide guidance to assist with maintaining and improving performance. Professionals would be able to regulate their own performance as an ongoing process for personal and professional development. Educators would be able to make effective placement decisions regarding educational programs. What is more, a mixed measurement approach to measuring human performance can mitigate subjectivity that is inherently apart of traditional assessment measures when applied as individual measures. The synergy between quantitative and qualitative measures would provide for better alignment and consistency between the individual, the job, and the organization and this synergy would also mobilize and fuel innovation within an organization.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Components of an Effective Scale Development Process

    To develop the ISD Performance Inventory a four-step scale development process serves as a reliable method to ensure the development of a sound measure. This process includes construct delineation, item generation, pilot testing, and instrument validation. Since the inventory must align to competency standards a competency matrix made up of the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI) and National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) competency standards was created and used to judge the representativeness of each scale item to each competency and performance statement in the combined set of standards.

    The ISD Performance Inventory is a 443-item assessment measure. The inventory contains seven scales, which include: Professional Foundations (PF), Planning and Analysis (PA), Design and Development (DD), Implementation and Management (IM), Digital Media (DM), Technical Writing (TW), and Web Development and Administration (WDA). The inventory was developed to align to industry competency standards defined by IBSTPI and NWCET. The Table below shows the total number of competencies, performance statements, and scale items for each scale.

    Table: ISD Performance Inventory Scale Composition

    The first four scales are based on IBSTPI standards and include the PF, PA, DD, and IM scales. The last three scales are based on NWCET standards and include the DM, TW, and WDA scales.

    Watch for the latest ISD Performance Inventory Spotlight Updates.