Author Archives: Sharon Calvin

NAWDP Workshop

We will be presenting Empowering Individuals to Become Industry Scholars at the NAWDP conference Tuesday, May 22nd, from 10:30 am-11:30 am in Laveen B. This newly developed program educates individuals on high-demand industries specific to labor market information in their area. Discover how community partner collaboration is utilized to gather detailed information individuals can use to make informed career choices and determine their best career pathway. Individuals will learn about required skill sets, a typical “day in the life” of a chosen industry, along with terminology, and regional prospects.

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Establishing Digital Career Pathways through Micro Learning

Overview:

A digital career pathway, incorporating micro learning videos, provides users and their coaches a tool that is both user friendly and simple to use. By combining easily accessed tools with easily consumed learning, users are encouraged to progress through their lessons during their spare time or whenever they want to revisit a concept, get motivated, or share their ideas with others. Combining online access with short videos keeps users moving forward at a pace they can control.

Example of current use:

GGThe GoGuide product from Dynamic Works, evolved from a college workshop conducted by Tommy Darwin, Ph.D. to a comprehensive online tool for all career seekers. Envisioned as a tool that could go beyond the classroom, GoGuide still provides high school and college students with solid career pathways, but its real worth has expanded to job-readiness candidates, individuals looking to begin a new career, entrepreneurs looking for product ideas, and experienced workers looking to move out of a job and into a career.

Using short, inspirational and educational micro learning videos, learners discover, then create their own career pathways. Electronic tools include dashboards, checklists, directed activities, like researching people, companies, and products, and an inspiration “wall,” where the user can post images or quotes, are all part of a package aimed at helping users achieve their goals—not someone else’s. Each micro learning activity builds on previous lessons, moving the user forward in short, measured steps. Lessons can be revisited at any time, and provide motivation as well as solid direction. Progress can be tracked by users and their coaches as needed.

All the tools are accessible from mobile and desktop devices, encouraging users to check their progress and keep moving forward toward their chosen career pathway—and making it easy for their coaches to provide valuable feedback and encouragement.

Ideas on “How to” or where to find more information:

Information on micro learning is available at the eLearning Guild, Association for Talent Development, and on many learning and development blogs by doing a search on “micro learning.” Dynamic Works Institute can provide information on GoGuide, their digital career pathway tool.

Prediction on topic and the future:

The support available to users in an online environment, combined with expectations of easily downloaded apps, will only increase the need, and desire for more digital career pathway tools. The value and demand for micro learning, especially videos, is the perfect match for supporting these new tools.

Contact Dynamic Works Institute to learn more.

Learning Never Ends

Young woman student listening to the music sitting on the heap of books at the old library

E-book or real books? Why not both!

Today’s tip is obvious to most of you: Learning never ends. And reading is one of my favorite ways to learn.

I’m a voracious reader, and while I own a lot of eBooks (perfect for travelling), I find I prefer my non-fiction books to be real, physical books. My collection of books on learning and training design is ever increasing—because, hey, you can never have too much knowledge—or books!

When I go to learning conferences, I love to scan all the books on instructional design, research on learning and brain science, and the latest on design tools. So of course, when I see other instructional designers post their list of books I have to check them out—how many do I already have (a little validation never hurts) and (oooh shiny!), that looks like a good one, maybe I need to order that one too.

So be warned, I will be posting a few book reviews in the coming weeks, but until then, check out this list 40+ Books from an instructional designer, Christy Tucker.

Check out the full article.

Barrier-Free Design

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One of the most important questions instructional designers need to answer when developing online courses is: Do we design barriers that create disabilities?

As we design our online courses we take care not to create barriers to learning. What if I want to review an online course while I’m on a WIFI-enabled plane but forgot my headphones? Shouldn’t I be able to disable the sound and still access and learn all the material? What if I have limited vision and have a difficult time reading that script text that you thought made the otherwise boring list look more engaging? Do these thoughtless designs create barriers for learners?

Dynamic Works is looking at their course designs with an eye toward usability for all. We are ensuring users can navigate through lessons without a mouse. Audio narration can be turned off or on, and closed captioning or text of the narrated lessons is always available. Alternate text labels describe images and graphs for screen readers and we can provide accessible PDF documents of course scripts if needed.

Along with our goal to avoid barriers, we want our courses to be easy to navigate and understand. Buttons and hyperlinks should be easy to spot and just as easy to use. We make sure to define terms and acronyms and use headings and titles for our onscreen text. When appropriate, we combine shapes with color to distinguish differences, such as a green checkmark or a red X.

Do you, or your users, have a special need? Contact Dynamic Works Institute to discuss how we can remove barriers to your learning!