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The Research Committee shares current applied and academic research that can impact our learning and performance professionals today.
For previously published research and resources, please view the Curated Research webpage.
Adapting to changing work environments
Featured Interview: Dr. Robin Yap's interview with Lorianne Weston, Executive Director of I4PL, on changing workplace trends
Maximize learning impact
posted September 14 2020
Mobile Learning: Why Now?
The article highlights the role of mobile learning from the perspective of the ADDIE model - https://learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/mobile-learning-why-now
Five Strategies to Maximize And Measure the Impact of Training Program - https://trainingindustry.com/articles/measurement-and-analytics/5-strategies-to-maximize-and-measure-the-impact-of-training-programs-spon-eidesign/
Working with SMEs
posted August 7 2020
by Melissa Pound
Subject Matter Experts or SMEs are critical to instructional design—but working with them can be a challenge. No wonder one blogger described them as “your ultimate frenemy” (Working With Subject Matter Experts: The Ultimate Guide). What can research tell us to help untangle this knotty relationship?
Grasping the Unknown
If you’re an instructional designer working with a SME, your goal is to get information. But you need the right information—extraneous details and inaccuracies won’t help you build required learning activities. Unfortunately, the good stuff is often the hardest to get; it might include tacit knowledge that is difficult for a SME to articulate, or complex, unfamiliar concepts that are inherently hard to explain.
Templates, storyboards, and design documents can all help keep your interactions focused on project goals. However, these tools in themselves are not always sufficient to ensure that a SME’s knowledge is being appropriately transferred and translated through the design process.
Extensive research on concept mapping has found it to be an effective learning tool, possibly because it allows learners to reduce cognitive load and focus on essential links between concepts (Schroeder et al, 2018). Keppell (2000, 2001) piloted the use of concept mapping with SMEs, as one aspect of an iterative process of parsing and validating shared knowledge. The mapping seemed to make SME interviews easier by helping the instructional designer organize information and providing a framework to build on, as well as demonstrating understanding to the SME and making it easier to pinpoint any errors.
There are many tools that can be used for concept mapping, from the SmartArt in MS Word to specialized apps and services. A few examples include:
Another common challenge is the SME who won’t engage—or who engages a little too much! Both patterns, in some cases, might be linked to the phenomena of overclaiming.
As I’m using it here, overclaiming is the tendency for people to overestimate their own contributions to a situation or project. Some of the earliest research on overclaiming found that married couples would overclaim responsibility even for negative contributions such as creating mess in the house (Ross & Sicoly, 1979). More recent research by Julianna Schroeder (2017) suggests that overclaiming increases in larger groups (i.e. members of a larger group will tend to claim higher levels of individual responsibility), particularly for group members who are more indirectly involved.
What does all of this have to do with difficult SMEs? Often SMEs are simply busy or perhaps not invested in a particular L&D project. But I’ve also seen people who avoid training development despite every reason to be engaged--passion for the training topic, direct impacts on their team, support from management. In this situation, consider whether your SME might be overestimating their role in the project and how much effort will be required. Similarly, a SME may put a lot of work into a set of PowerPoint slides and feel that a course is done, not realizing the additional steps involved in effective instructional design.
Schroeder suggests that reducing role ambiguity is one key to reducing overclaiming and the conflict or frustration that can come with it. Early clarification of roles as part of a project start-up meeting may go a long way to facilitating positive, productive working relationships. Although time-poor SMEs will not appreciate being inundated with detail, it may be helpful to refer to I4PL’s Competencies for Performance and Learning Professionals or other situation-specific frameworks. In an academic context, Halupa (2018) recommends creating formal policies and course development guides to outline instructional designers’ roles, supplemented with a “warm, cordial” approach towards faculty.
In addition to being cordial, try to be as concrete as possible. Work with SMEs and other team members to assign specific tasks that are consistent with agreed-on roles. Use scheduled check-in points to recognize contributions and maintain accountability for getting things done.
As the drive towards remote work increases, and more in-person training gets brought online, communication with SMEs will continue to evolve. Online tools like concept-mapping apps may become more critical. Clarifying responsibilities and making contributions visible without regular in-person contact might require stretching our rapport-building muscles over Zoom.
It should also be said that there are many rewards to working with SMEs. As a technical writer and editor, and more recently on training projects, I’ve been lucky to encounter deep thinkers, lively conversationalists, and skilled educators. Although deadlines and standards will always lurk in the background, don’t forget to recognize and appreciate SMEs as people. Especially now, when we are all dealing with stress and social distancing, it can be useful to take a break to simply listen, learn, and enjoy.
Halupa, C. (2019). Differentiation of roles: Instructional designers and faculty in the creation of online courses. International Journal of Higher Education, 8(1), 55-68. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1203205.pdf
Keppell, M. (2000). Principles at the heart of an instructional designer:subject matter expert interaction. ASCILITE 2000, Coffs Harbour, Australia. https://www.ascilite.org/conferences/coffs00/papers/mike_keppell.pdf
Keppell, M. (2001). Optimizing instructional designer-subject matter expert communication in the design and development of multimedia projects. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 12, 209-27.
Changing Times in Learning and Development
posted July 24, 2020
The way we think, learn, and act has changed enormously in the past couple of years. The change was slow, going at its own pace from classroom to blended to online education in both the corporate and educational sectors. Many were still believers that classroom learning was the best, and perhaps only way to impart education. In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many industries were not at all comfortable with adopting online learning. The reasons could have been budget, workforce bandwidth, acceptance from management, time commitment, return on investment, or anything which was preventing experimentation in the space of learning and technology.
Social distancing became prevalent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pushed entire economies, including those of underdeveloped, developing and developed countries, to think creatively and to go virtual. Yes, virtual is the new normal now! This new world-shaping event has introduced us to a new era of human interaction. Learning does not know any geographical boundaries. Easy and affordable virtual systems and applications like Moodle, Google Suite, Kahoot, and Webex are making learning and education accessible to all.
With social and physical distancing, lockdowns and quarantines, millions of professionals, who are now working from home, are choosing to learn skills that will help them navigate the changing times. Distance education, which had often been a point of debate in past years, has now become the new norm. As L&D professionals, we are busier than ever transitioning learning from a non-digital to digital mode.
There are some formal and informal ways where Learning and Development have played a vital role in creating this new norm to meet the demands of changing times.
Virtual Acceptance: Many professional and educational institutions have now realized the power of the digital world through various eLearning platforms. They are introducing online skill-building courses and revamping their existing curricula, making them more user friendly. By setting up work from home policies for their staff, organizations are creating new learning paths for their teams. They are fostering an influential learning culture by constantly introducing virtual dialogue forums, and online classes with or without instructors. Online presentations on tools like Zoom and Skype and webinars through Microsoft Teams are encouraging thought exchange among people in a rapidly changing workplace.
Live Virtual Sessions: Experts and seasoned professionals have recognized the impact of physical distancing and its effect on emotional and mental well being. Quick tip open sessions and one-to-one counselling on LinkedIn Live to deal with the crisis have become a new buzz on social networking sites. Live sessions provide a real-time opportunity to ask questions, or to like or comment on the virtual session.
Online Conferences: I recently attended a virtual two-day Learning and Development Conference hosted on Crowdcast. I was surprised to see hundreds of people joining the conference from different parts of the world at the same time without any technical issues. The sessions were not a monologue, instead, they were highly interactive. Participants asked questions, co-facilitated, interacted with fellow participants, could leave comments, all at the same time.
Re-emergence of MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses are a decade-old trend. But what I see today is increased popularity, credibility, and acceptance among professionals. Students and professionals proudly showcase completion badges on their professional networking pages. There are many MOOC [https://www.mooc-list.com/] providers which are continuously enriching their curriculums to provide the latest learning content at subsidized rates to its subscribers
Online Schools: Have you ever thought of having the entire education system go online? There has always been a debate on the relevance of online education versus classroom education. But the COVID -19 pandemic has forced global experimentation with remote teaching. Teachers are finding new ways to impart knowledge through creative and engaging methodologies on virtual platforms. Schools are now working hard to revamp their course management systems to bring participative learning.
MOOCs, online schools and webinars through Webex already existed earlier but were not popular. Live virtual sessions through LinkedIn, virtual collaboration through Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and virtual conferences were in nascent stages of development. However, the current crisis forced these new forms of learning to explode in popularity. As a result, a chain of events has been set in motion that has made these forms of learning the new norm rather than just alternatives to traditional classroom learning.
(2020). What the Shift to Virtual Learning Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/03/what-the-shift-to-virtual-learning-could-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-ed
(2020). Corporate Learning and Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.elearning-journal.com/en/2020/04/27/corporate-learning-covid-19/
(2020). 3 ways learning has become core to the new world of work. Retrieved from https://www.chieflearningofficer.com/2020/06/25/3-ways-learning-has-become-core-to-the-new-world-of-work/
Resilience During COVID 19: How have you accessed your resilience?
Too often we associate resilience with extraordinary people while in reality, most of us are resilient and have the capacity to learn to be more so.
In the fall of 2019, a colleague and I were contracted to develop and deliver a series of learning opportunities on resilience. Our clients were experiencing significant stress in their workplaces and their leaders felt time building awareness and capacity to draw on their inner strengths would lower their stress levels and enhance their ability to work together.
At the core of our activities was an article by the American Psychological Association (APA), “The Road to Resilience”. This 4 page article defines resilience and looks at factors and strategies to strengthen and build it. For me, the most important message in the article is that “Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.”(footnote/link here)
Earlier this week, I went back and re-read the article with my COVID 19 eyes, thoughts and emotions. I found that the key messages had new meaning. I am more positive about my ability to go beyond coping, to reach creativity and joy in finding new ways of being. I know I am not alone. However, I am struggling with finding new ways to get through grief and to coach those who are grieving.
We need your help! I would like to share the APA article with you and ask you to share any examples of resilience you and/or your learning colleagues have experienced during the last 3-4 months. We attach the article in English and French below (website is in English only). Please enjoy and then send us your stories!
ICYMI - The Road to Resilience
American Psychological Association / https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience
Yet people generally adapt well over time to life-changing situations and stressful conditions. What enables them to do so? It involves resilience, an ongoing process that requires time and effort and engages people in taking a number of steps.
This brochure is intended to help readers with taking their own road to resilience. The information within describes resilience and some factors that affect how people deal with hardship. Much of the brochure focuses on developing and using a personal strategy for enhancing resilience.
What is Resilience?
Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. People commonly demonstrate resilience. One example is the response of many Americans to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and individuals' efforts to rebuild their lives.
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.
Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
Resilience Factors and Strategies
A combination of factors contributes to resilience. Many studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family. Relationships that create love and trust, provide role models and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster a person's resilience.
Several additional factors are associated with resilience, including:
All of these are factors that people can develop in themselves.
Strategies For Building Resilience
Developing resilience is a personal journey. People do not all react the same to traumatic and stressful life events. An approach to building resilience that works for one person might not work for another. People use varying strategies.
Some variation may reflect cultural differences. A person's culture might have an impact on how he or she communicates feelings and deals with adversity — for example, whether and how a person connects with significant others, including extended family members and community resources. With growing cultural diversity, the public has greater access to a number of different approaches to building resilience.
Some or many of the ways to build resilience in the following pages may be appropriate to consider in developing your personal strategy.
10 Ways to Build Resilience
The key is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering resilience.
Learning from Your Past
Focusing on past experiences and sources of personal strength can help you learn about what strategies for building resilience might work for you. By exploring answers to the following questions about yourself and your reactions to challenging life events, you may discover how you can respond effectively to difficult situations in your life.
Consider the following:
APA gratefully acknowledges the following contributors to this publication:
Lillian Comas-Diaz, PhD, Director, Transcultural Mental Health Institute, Washington, D.C.
Suniya S. Luthar, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, N.Y.
Salvatore R. Maddi, PhD, The Hardiness Institute, Inc., University of California at Irvine, Newport Beach, Calif.
H. Katherine (Kit) O'Neill, PhD, North Dakota State University and Knowlton, O'Neill and Associates, Fargo, N.D.
Karen W. Saakvitne, PhD, Traumatic Stress Institute/Center for Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy, South Windsor, Conn.
Richard Glenn Tedeschi, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
APA, located in Washington, D.C., is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA works to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting health and human welfare.
Le parcours vers la résilience
American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience (en anglais)
Pourtant, en général, avec le temps, les personnes parviennent à s’adapter adéquatement aux situations qui bouleversent la vie et aux conditions stressantes. Qu’est-ce qui leur permet d’y parvenir? Il faut faire appel à la résilience, un processus continu qui exige du temps et des efforts, et qui permet aux personnes de prendre un certain nombre de mesures.
La présente brochure a pour but d’aider les lecteurs à entamer leur propre parcours vers la résilience. Les renseignements dont il est question dans la présente brochure décrivent la résilience ainsi qu’un certain nombre de facteurs qui ont une incidence sur la façon dont les personnes traversent les périodes difficiles. La brochure porte en grande partie sur l’élaboration et l’utilisation d’une stratégie personnelle pour accroître la résilience.
En quoi consiste la résilience?
Les travaux de recherche ont démontré que la résilience est un processus normal et non pas exceptionnel. Il arrive souvent que des personnes fassent preuve de résilience. On peut citer comme exemple la réaction de nombreux Américains aux attentats terroristes du 11 septembre 2001 ainsi que les efforts individuels pour rebâtir leur vie.
Faire preuve de résilience ne signifie pas ne pas ressentir la difficulté ou la détresse à laquelle une situation nous confronte. La douleur émotionnelle et la tristesse sont fréquentes chez les personnes qui ont supporté une adversité importante ou subi un grand traumatisme dans leur vie. D’ailleurs, le parcours vers la résilience pourrait occasionner une détresse émotionnelle considérable.
La résilience n’est pas une caractéristique qu’une personne possède ou non. Celle-ci fait intervenir des comportements, des pensées et des actions qui peuvent être cultivés et appliqués par qui que ce soit.
Facteurs et stratégies de résilience
Un ensemble de facteurs contribuent à la résilience. De nombreuses études montrent que le facteur le plus déterminant en matière de résilience ce sont les relations fondées sur l’amour et l’encouragement qu’on entretient à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de la famille. Il s’agit de relations dans le cadre desquelles se manifestent l’amour et la confiance et qui fournissent des modèles de comportement, apportent de l’encouragement et de l’assurance et contribuent à stimuler la résilience d’une personne.
Plusieurs facteurs sont associés à la résilience, dont les suivants :
Ces facteurs sont tous des aspects que les personnes peuvent cultiver en elles.
Stratégies de renforcement de la résilience
L’amélioration de la résilience est un parcours personnel. Les personnes ne réagissent pas de la même façon face à des situations de vie traumatisantes et stressantes. Une approche pour renforcer la résilience qui fonctionne pour une personne pourrait ne pas fonctionner pour une autre. Les personnes ont recours à des stratégies différentes.
Certaines différences pourraient être attribuables à des différences culturelles. La culture à laquelle appartient une personne pourrait avoir une incidence sur la façon dont celle‑ci communique ses sentiments et fait face à l’adversité – par exemple, la possibilité qu’une personne établisse une relation avec un être cher et la façon dont celle-ci établit une telle relation, y compris avec les membres de la famille élargie et les ressources communautaires. Compte tenu d’une diversité culturelle de plus en plus grande, le public a un plus grand accès à un certain nombre d’approches différentes visant à renforcer la résilience.
Il pourrait être approprié de prendre en considération un certain nombre de façons de renforcer la résilience – ou beaucoup d’entre elles – dont il est question dans les pages suivantes dans le cadre de l’élaboration de votre stratégie personnelle.
Dix façons de bâtir sa résilience
Tirer des leçons du passé
Le fait de vous concentrer sur des expériences antérieures et sur des sources où vous avez jadis puisé vos forces peut vous aider à comprendre quelles stratégies pour bâtir la résilience pourraient fonctionner pour vous. En examinant les réponses aux questions suivantes à propos de vous-même et de vos réactions face aux événements difficiles que vous avez rencontrés, vous pourriez découvrir une façon vous permettant de réagir efficacement à des situations difficiles dans votre vie.
Veuillez examiner ce qui suit :
L’APA exprime sa reconnaissance aux suivants qui ont contribué à la réalisation de la présente publication :
Lillian Comas-Diaz, Ph. D., directrice, Transcultural Mental Health Institute, Washington, D.C.;
Suniya S. Luthar, Ph. D., Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, État de New York;
Salvatore R. Maddi, Ph. D., The Hardiness Institute, Inc., University of California à Irvine, Newport Beach, Californie.
H. Katherine (Kit) O’Neill, Ph. D., North Dakota State University et Knowlton School, O’Neill and Associates, Fargo, Dakota du Nord;
Karen W. Saakvitne, Ph. D., Traumatic Stress Institute et Center for Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy, South Windsor, État du Connecticut;
Richard Glenn Tedeschi, Ph. D., département de psychologie, University of North Carolina à Charlotte.
L’APA, qui se trouve à Washington, D.C., est un organisme professionnel et scientifique de premier plan représentant le domaine de la psychologie aux États-Unis. L’APA travaille à faire progresser la psychologie en tant que science et profession ainsi que comme moyen de promouvoir la santé et le bien-être de l’humanité.
Featured Infographic on Best Practices for Virtual Teams
With thanks to Dr. Robin Yap, LLB, MSc, DM, Fellow