Paper_ Draft – Health Litearcy – Instructional Design

Introduction:
The instructional system design process (ISD) often overlooks health literacy. This paper has two purposes. First, I will examine health literacy and its social implications by describing instructional design process and its relationship to curriculum design using instructional design models, applying adult learning and teaching principles to health literacy. Second, demonstrate how instructional system design can provide a practical method to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of adult health literacy delivery. Research question: Can the principles of adult learning coupled with technology and IDS content make change outcomes?
Many public health educators are content / subject proficient but not formally trained in ISD and its technology. Ineffective instruction or communication results in failure to understand, interpret, or ignore required action. To create efficient and cost effective health literacy programs for adults, it is essential the health practitioner distinguish and understand how educational adult theory (andragogy) and applying instructional system designs can enhance health literacy.
Introduction to Problem: Impact of Inadquate Health Literacy:
Adult literacy is alarming low. The National Assessment of Literacy Survey (NALS), conducted in 1992 and funded by the US Department of Education, provides insight of adults living in United States. Literacy is complex. NALS reported 90 million adults scored in the lowest two levels of a five level scale that assesses the proficiency of practical reading and routine numerical skills required to function in society. Forty million people read on the lowest level and another 50 million scored at a level two. NALS reported that 44% of adults age 65 years or older scored in the lowest level. Level 2 indicates a 5th grade reading level. (Berkman, 2004; Dewalt, Berkman, Sheridan, Lohr, & Pignone, 2004; Gazmararian, et al., 1999)
The NALS survey profiles English literacy of US adults using a variety of tasks and materials encountered in their daily lives. The survey of over 26,000 adults explored the connections between literacy skills, and social and economic variables such as voting, economic status, employment and income. The results have wide spread educational and social implications with practical information about the literacy skills of the US adult population and the vulnerable ‘at risk’ population. This study underscores how educational systems are inadequate or at best mediocre. It demonstrates that human capital is wasted and appropriate national action is required.
Outcomes of poor health literacy:
Inadequate health literacy is a wide spread problem. Inadequate health literacy is a public health issue. Poor health outcomes are expressed in terms of mortality, morbidity, disability, dysfunction, functional independence, and quality of life.
Low health literacy affects individuals but also can affect public health resources. Engaging in healthy lifestyles is important, but health literacy is necessary to avoid risky behaviors. Studies that regular physical activity can help prevent or manage a variety of chronic disease. Regular physical activity has beneficial effects on all cause mortality, increase longevity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, cancer, obesity, weight management, mental illness such as anxiety and depression. In terms of public health, poor lifestyle choices can reduce health status, resulting in poor health knowledge, worse health behaviors, threatened health care quality and increased health care services costs.
Individuals with poor health literacy may not present themselves for primary or secondary care, or they lack understanding on the importance of follow up care. They often do not present themselves preventive care screenings such as flu shots or STD (sexual transmitted disease) testing. They often do rely on emergency care and do not seek primary care. These behaviors results in increased emergency care, inpatient, and a higher rate of hospitalization.
Individuals with poor health literacy have a greater difficulties navigating and accessing care. Research documents that 81% of English speaking elderly patients had inadequate health literacy. Sometimes individuals are ashamed, because cultural differences influence the way individuals interpret their health problems. (cite) Individuals with Lower English Proficiency (LEP) are less likely to engage in regular health care, seek emergency care, including dental care or filling prescriptions. (cite). LEP individuals, families, lower income individuals have difficulty knowing how to navigate Medicaid or utilize state health plans. Individuals do not understand their rights, responsibilities including, including informed consent because of low health literacy.
Individuals with low health literacy skills usually have higher health costs than those health literate individuals. Lower health literacy individuals are more likely to self-treat themselves resulting in higher out of pocket expenses. Sicker individuals utilized greater resources. Contributing causes is higher number of excessive emergency care, hospitalization, medication errors and higher acuity of illness due to self-care. This results in higher Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers costs. Absorbing this extra financial burden are taxpayers.
Rising health insurance premiums may forgo insurance companies from offering because of economic conditions. Recently, many business and corporations have reduced their benefit programs to employees, retirees and their spouses. Benefit reductions has reduced wellness screenings, regular health care checkups, and medications. Cost becomes a factor; individuals may select to self-treat, taking advice from friends, family and internet. Individuals lacking adequate health literacy skills are not likely to recognize the risk involved in self- medication when professional care is warranted.
Performance Required:
Define Health Literacy: Conceptual Requirements: (Tasks and performance skills required)
Health literacy differs from general literacy. In 2003, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) expanded adult literacy study to include assessing adult ability to perform health related activities or tasks. (White, 2008) Because of the rapid growth that health literacy has achieved in the last two decades, it has experienced several variations in definitions.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) describes literacy as “an individual ability to read, write and speak in English and compute solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to development one’s knowledge about a particular topic.” This definition comes from the 1991 National literacy act. Both the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) describes health literacy as constellation of skills, including the ability to perform basic reading and numerical tasks required to function in a health care environment.” (cite)
Because of lack of consensus, the definition continues to evolve. (cite Pleasant 2011) The multiple terms is due to lack of consensus. Criticism of AHRQ is the definition requires the individual to read and write in English. The IOM and AMA definition requires the individual to function in a health care environment and does not recognize health literacy within the context to daily life decisions. These decisions are not context driven in everyday life. In a 2004 IOM report, entitled Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion explains “health literacy goes beyond the individual. It depends upon the skills and expectations of health information and care providers: our doctors, nurses, administrators, home health workers, and many others.” (Joint Commission Resources)
A similar definition to the IOM is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) definition The term is described “ as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand the basic health information and services need to make appropriate health decisions.” (Parker & Jacobson, 2000). This definition is found on the Healthy People 2010 web site. The framework for Healthy People activities and process focuses on health promotion.
The Ottawa Charter defines health promotion as “the process of enabling people to exert control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their health.” Health promotion is process that is a means to its own end and not an outcome in its own right. Health promotion represents not something done on or to people but it is done with people either as an individual or as a group. (Nutbeam- 98) Health literacy and empowerment fits within the context of health promotion.
Zarcadoolas, advances the defination and theme stating an individidual with good health litearcy evolves over an individuals lifespan. It is influenced by such factores as general state of health, culture, democraphics, pyscholosocial variables. General factors influencing health litearcy are age, education, race and ethnicity. Hearing, memory, resasonng, verbal ability and vision are phsycial facotrs influencing health literacy. Social health literacy factors include; culture, employment, income, language, occupation and social support. The defination is describeds as “the wide range of skills and competencies tghat people develop to seek out, comprehend, evalutae and use health information and concepts to make informed choices, reduce health risks, and increase quality of life.” (cite Assessing Health Literacy Needs)
Strategies to increase people’s control over their health are critical. For individuals, empowerment requires daily health decisions, in the home, the workplace, the community, the marketplace, and the political arena. (Pleasant, 20110) Health literacy empowerment requires prevention knowledge, behavioral care practices, and navigation skills. Acquiring and practicing health literacy is necessary for individuals, organizations, business and institutions.
According to the Joint Committee on National Health Education Standards, a health literate individual posse; skills and abilities for critical thinking and problem solving, a productive and responsible citizen, an effective communicator and a self-directed life long learner. (cite, p. 2)
Contributing Health Literacy Variables:
Health literacy requires more than functional interaction and interpretation skills. Social and community factors influence health literacy. Individual factors include; poor English skills, limited education, inability to communicate effectively and motivational level influence. Unfamiliar terms or medical jargon, inability to navigate a health system, including electronic technology, or have utilized health services beyond primary or public health care. Certain mental health conditions can affect an individual level. Individuals with poor mental health may not recognized common emotional or identify mental disorders. Without outside support are unable to make decisions or seek assistance. This conditions leads to delays in effective diagnosis and treatment, often leading to less effective or self-care. Health literacy has been extended into ‘maternal health literacy’. It is defined as “the cognitive and social skills that determine the motivational and ability of women to gain access to, understand, and use information in ways that promote and maintain their health and that of their children.” (cite)
Communication is crucial skill for effective health literacy. An individual is influenced by their belief system, including ethnicity, family history, religion, social status and values. Problematic is the failure to understand language. US Census 2007 reports there are four major language groups, but there is growing role of non-English language due to the US being a destination from other nations.. “This language diversity will also likely continue.”
(Cite: http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/acs/ACS-12.pdf)
Implementing Solutions: Theory
Integral to health practices, health promotion, and research are theories. Theories provide a framework of examining and observing reality. Theories shape knowledge collection and interpretation. From a practical and scientific viewpoint, theories inform and influence our understandings of learning and health. Basic beliefs of theories center on the production of knowledge, what counts as knowledge, and the nature and working of things. Theories provide a conceptual framework for understanding key construct that influence health behavior. (cite Anderson, BMJ,
Learning Outcomes
(Nutbeam, 2000) suggests that health literacy is an outcome of health education and identifies the domains as function, interactivity, and critical literacy. Major variables in health behavior changes are knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values. Behaviors are cognitive and affective. Wolf (2009) reported earlier health literacy interventions were limited, strategies involved ‘rewriting health materials at a simpler level or following designed principles to enhance reading comprehension.” (p. S276) Latter efforts using multiple approaches, on various behaviors, knowledge, and outcomes have shown hopeful results.
Conceptualizing learning
Recent literacy intervention focuses on advancing the conceptual understanding the problem. Because health literacy is so broad, emphasis on reading or reading difficulties may be restrictive and not address the broader health literacy definitions previously discussed. Health knowledge, behavior and motivation is problematic. Bozekowski (2009) approaches health literacy using cultural relevant participatory strategies. These interventions, based on educator and philosophy Paulo Freire, encourage the individual to take greater responsibility for personal learning and well-being, thus reducing dependence patterns., Freire viewed education must be greater than ‘banking’ text. The ‘banking of text and facts’ kept marginalized groups political powerless. The process of education occurs through discussions, reflection and action served to liberate or empower individuals.
Recognizing the learner
Robert Gagne (1916-2002) suggests there must be conditions of learning, principles of information process and models of cognitive learning. “Instruction is a set of events embedded in purposeful activities that facilitate learning.” Analyzing and understanding the learner is critical for teaching because it allows the instructional design process to match the learner needs
Gagne recognizes that learning is a complex process influenced by many variables. Teaching tasks include selecting materials, assessing, managing, monitoring, facilitating and serving as a resource. Instruction is a process involving a range of activities to engage the learner. This process involves understanding the practice design, vision, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation. Instruction becomes a process of ‘intention’ as opposed to ‘incidental’ learning. Learning has desired and meaningful learning outcomes. These outcomes can be information learning or problem-solving skills. (Gagne 2005, p 1- 3)
Wolf(2009) believes the “that measures of literacy and health literacy are strongly correlated with specific and global tests of cognitive functions. The consideration of cognitive abilities in the act of learning about and managing one’s health may better clarify how individual skills subsequently affect health behaviors and outcomes.” (p. s276).
Shambaugh (1997) says models have three useful purposes. 1), understand and represent reality helps to explain complex systems (Cognitive). 2) Models help to communicate how the learner and designer perceive the environment (Behavioral). 3) Models reveal the hidden reality about “what our views are on learning, teaching or designing” (Constructivists).
Wolf (2009) views health literacy interventions should target the health system complexity. This requires deconstructing what is asked, how to understand the tasks and seek ways to simplified or eliminate tasks. Wolf provides a scaffold using from the fields of education, cognitive science, psychology research. This model approach involves “recognizing the known associations between a larger set of cognitive and psychosocial abilities with functional literacy skills. He describes this as a “health learning capacity.” This framework explains the fundamentals required for obtaining, processing and understanding health information and making health decisions. (Model appendix.)

Conceptual model of health learning. (Wolf, 2009)

Examining Learning:
According to Duffy & Conningham, constructivism shares similarities and differences between many learning theories; however, the basic tenets are (1) learning is an active process of constructing rather than communicating knowledge, and (2) instruction is a process supporting construction rather than communicating knowledge. (p. 2)
The primary idea of constructivism is the learners make self-judgments about how and when to modify their knowledge. Learning becomes self-directed, a method of organizing teaching and learning so that the learning is within the learner’s control. The goal of the self-directed learning is to become and accept responsibility for his/her learning. Self constructive learning requires a degree of self motivation.
Adult Learning Theory-An Andragogical Process Model for Learning:
In applying the adult learning framework, Knowles (2005) originally based andragogy on the five assumptions previously described. These assumptions were changed to seven principles or guidelines sought to teach independent and self-directing learners. For the adult learner, the instructor’s role is to facilitate or process the learning experience and not teach the subject content. This process model involves seven elements. These teaching guidelines or principles include:
1. Based on Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory, establishing an effective and conducive learning environment is important for learners to feel safe and comfortable in expressing themselves.
2. Learners mutually plan relevant learning strategies and content. This involves self-directed learning and requires the learner to accept responsibility for his or her own learning. Successful application of self-directed learning supports Self-Efficacy theory. (REF)
3. According to Knowles, learners assess their learning needs as a critical part of self-directed learning. Self-assessment triggers internal motivational drives. Assessment influences learning.
4. Leaders formulate their own learning objectives. Adults are mature, independent, self-directing and desire to have control of their learning. According to Allen Tough’s The Adult learning Projects, “when adults learn on their own initiative, they learn more deeply and permanently than what they learn by being taught.” (Knowles, p. 265)
5. Learners identify resources and develop strategies for using them to achieve their objectives.
6. Learners carry out their plans by supporting skills that involve building relationships serving as a resource, and encouraging individual initiative.
7. Learners evaluate their own learning by providing “opportunity for and support reflection on both the content learned and the learning process.” (Knowles, p. 193)
Table #: Comparative Learner Assumptions
Five Assumptions
Concepts Andragogical
1. Adults are independent & self directing
2. Accumulated a large amount of experience that is a rich learning resource
3. Value learning that integrates with the demands of everyday life tasks and problem solving
4. Interested in immediate problem centered approach rather than subject centered
5. Motivated to learn by internal drives rather than external ones
1. Concept of the learner
2. Learners experience role
3. Readiness to learn
4. Orientation to learning
5. Motivation

Instructional System Design
• Define
• Models – teaching and learning
• Basic Requirements

Application of Technology ( search literature – two example,
• Use of audio podcasts
• Blogs and other social media
• Technology emailing – text messaging,
• Interactive Multimedia

Discussion Issues:
• Older adults
• Isolated –
• Lack technology
• Networking / support system
• Navigating system – legal / regulator

How do we incorporate basic learning into health literacy:
(Listening, speaking, analogies, numeracy, language, questions and answering, stories, etc….

References.

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Week 11 _ Research in IT: Concepts, Paradigm, Methods, and Trends

Question 2: Based on research conducted in instructional technology field, what are your thoughts on the importance of the research questions and the effectiveness of the research methodologies? How good are these questions and research methodologies? What suggestions do you have regarding questions and research methodologies that the IT practitioners and research should be aware of?

1.     What are my thoughts on the importance of research questions and effectiveness of the research methodologies?

            The status and future of research in instructional design and technology IDT is dependent of the research questions asked and the utilizing the proper research methods support the question(s) asked. Research uses philosophy to guide their quest. For me, research is about life-long learning.

            Bentz and Shapiro (1998) authors of Mindful Inquiry in Social Research in the last twenty years, research and science has changed in major ways. The shift of thinking has moved into thinking of scientific research and disciplined inquiry. Research context and approach has moved from this idea of an individual researcher to a larger community of scholars. Bentz and Shapiro promote the concept that effective and efficient research begins with the individual that learning begins with inquiry. Bentz and Shapiro describe learning as being mindful. They write; “And because inquiry and research in the human and social sciences occur within a number of divergent cultures of inquiry and research traditions, you should work at comparing and critically evaluating several cultures of inquiry and the research traditions in which they are embodied in your area of intellectual interest of professional work.” (p. 10)  

            Research requires socialization into a community of learners. Bentz and Shapiro stated that the community of learners involves social learning. “This means that learning not about research methods in the abstract but the research methods that are currently in use and the controversies surrounding them. It means learning the language, and social conventions of the community.” (p. 12). The community determines the research agenda. The community follows “rational procedures of argument, criticism and evaluation and to get at that ever-elusive “truth”.” (p 12)

            In the mid to 1980’s, Hannafin and Hannafin (In Anglin, 1995, p. ) identified three variables that influence IDT research ; behavioral science research traditions, diffuse research identity, and attitudes of the field toward research.(p. 314). In identifying these variables, they identified research barriers; including 1) implicit research publication standards that limited publishing original research; 2) the expanding role of IDT creating diversity and dissimilar interests consequently “there was little research programs were in place, there was little collective correspondence across programs to evolving unifying empirical foundations for the field.” (p. 316-317. 3).There is minimal commitment to research and supported at academic setting that required providing support of time, resources or students.  These barriers restrict effective and efficient research and inhibit asking meaningful inquiry questions.

            Through identifying and acknowledge these barriers; the researcher begins the first step in is making a paradigm shift. According to Kuhn, the paradigm that guides our research necessarily delimits our problems, theoretical assumptions and mythologies.” According to Kuhn ‘numerous paradigm may view for acceptability and dominance.” (In Anglin, p. 322.)        

2.     How good are theses questions and research methodologies?

            Conn and Gitonga (2004) reported the status of training performance research using a content methodology approach and concluded Human Performance Technology (HPT), or performance technology “has had a significant impact on the instructional design and technology field.” Their study purpose was to identify the quantity, types and range of topics related to workplace learning and performance. HPT “focuses on eliminating the causes of ineffective workplace performance through the most costs effective method. This may include instructional or non-instructional solutions.” (p. 16). Five research questions guided them; 1) how much literature is related to workplace learning and performance. 2) In relation to learning and performance, what is the article focus? 3) What organizational setting are the articles presented? 4) How are performance intervention represented? 5) How are interventions evaluated?

            The above questions guided their analysis the authors concluded that journal publications “needs to encourage increased publications in the areas identified as gaps”. Based on their conclusion put forward a performance problem, and recommend instructional designers / technologies (IDT) should ask critical questions. Conn and Gitonga asked: 1) how can general framework of design for situational learning and performance be developed. 2) How can instructional design learning be streamlined, be cost effective, and able to meet “short training and product development lead times? 3) What is the IDT role in “designing and development of adaptable and flexible tools to support training process for various situations?” (p. 78)

         Following Conn & Gitonga (2004), Hew, Kale, & Kim (2007) reviewed and categorized empirical studies related to three major journals. They examine four areas using asked questions related to 1) the types of instructional technology topics conducted, 2) the applied methods, 3) the preferred data collection methods, 4) the conducted research setting for instructional technology.

            Their question analysis identified four main research topics: 1) media study; 2) psychology of learning and instruction; 3) instructional design approaches; 4) research and evaluation methodology. The results were media study and psychology of learning and instruction are topics commonly presented. (p. 290). Descriptive research methods are commonly preferred, using survey /questionnaire within higher educational and k-12 settings.

            Hew, Kale, and Kim (2004) study offers certainly implications that future instructional technology research can take. First, the effectiveness and efficiency of ID can take “is to validate the various instructional design and development models found in the field.” Second, is evaluating (DBM) design-based methods. DBM requires using educational interventions and systematical studying these forms in context to develop theories that target domain-specific learning process.” (p. 275). DBM research “entails a continuous cycle of design, enactment, analysis and redesign. (Collins, 1992) (In Hew, Kale, and Kim, p. 275) 

 3.  What suggestions do you have regarding questions and research methodologies that the IT practitioners and research should be aware of?

            Thomas Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolution, Kuhn says at this point in research, “The developing nature of inquiry of instructional systems, the field should embrace a wide variety of research paradigms and not yield to the dominance of any one. The implications of inquiry at this point “can lead researchers to creative solutions to research problems.” (In Anglin, p. 322) Holding a narrow belief or view, restricts our asking important questions related to instructional design technologies models and their implications. The consequences are great. If important questions are not asked then the incorrect methods are not utilized and the consequences are creative solutions are not discussed or evaluated.

            For me, as budding researcher, I must balance and be respectful of the historical achievements, but also acknowledge and understand current research process. It is crucial to acknowledge and recognize research a paradigm shift can occur, but it is important to validate using scientific methods of inquiry.

            It is also critical to recognize that other factors can influence IDT. According to Driscoll, these social, political, or economic problems impair technology effectiveness. Driscoll suggest using a system-based designs “will enable use to determine what makes technologies effective in some settings and not others, so when will be less likely to discount a technology simply because it was not the solution to a particular problem.” (In Anglin, p. 326)

            It is also important to recognize that future IDT systems, including model, theory development and validation is determined by more diverse groups of learners. As individuals grow, new problems will arise, requiring new analysis techniques. As an example, adult learners are problem-based learner as opposed to subject-centered learners. The choice of technology should be driven by the needs of the learners and the context, which they are working or learning, not by novelty.

            In instruction design, different learner methods suit different learning needs. Conn & Gitonga (2004) studies reflect the importance of research related to human performance technology, in contrast to Hew, Kale, and Kim (2004) examined empirical studies. They found common research studies reported are media and instructional design models, instructional process, and community theories used.

            For me, I believe we must cognitive of an ascribed active research community that is based on practice; however, one cannot ignore the importance of personal reflection, professional judgment, and both formal and informal observation. One’s peers ultimately judge performance; this includes meeting scrutinized academic ethical and moral research standards.

Summary:

            Effective and efficient research begins with a personal commitment and interest in inquiry. A research community determining the expected agenda guides inquiry, Effective research methods and intervention process selection must match the research question(s). In deciding, what question deserves asking, Driscoll refers to Thomas Kuhn (1970) author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Driscoll writes; “When deciding on which problems most urgently require solutions? It is important to answer this question because adherence to a particular research paradigm may affect which problems we are ultimately able to solve.” (In Anglin, p. 322). Research should seek solutions

            Conn and Gitonga (2004) focused their research and recommendations related to workplace learning and performance. Hew, Kale, and Kim (2007) focused their research to analysis of empirical studies related to instructional technology, their descriptive findings provides a “potential direction” that can guide future instructional design and model development.

            Social, economic and political forces influence technology. These variables can affect effective and efficient instruction design and development. Technology adoption and diffusion are often determined by through market place cost effectiveness and cost analysis. (In Anglin, p. 326)

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Week 10_ Digital Technolgies_ Interactive Technolgies_

Question: Are the claims and enthusiasm about using interactive technologies in an organizational justified? What methods will enhance the ways of training employees by incorporating such technologies?

             The best use of on-line learning resources are those that offer best evidence. The choice of technology is driven by learner’s practical work needs and the context of the learning environment. Learner’s needs should not be driven by technology novelty.

            Carl Rogers (1969) in explaining his views on teaching stated; “Teaching, in my estimation, is a vastly over-rated function.” He defines teaching as a means ‘to instruct’; however, Rogers states he is not interested in imparting knowledge or skills or to make to know. He defines the role of the teacher as that of a facilitator.

            In supporting this position, Rogers writes, “But if there is one truth about modern man, it is that he lives an environment which is continually changing”, and therefore, the aim of education must be the facilitation of learning. (pp. 104-105). The critical role element required is the personal relationship formed between the learner and the facilitator.  (In Knowles¸ The Adult Learner, pp 84-85)

            If the aim of education must be the facilitation of learning, what is the role of integrating interactive technologies (i.e. Web 2.0) into a corporate learning environment? Why should this occur? Do interactive technologies support the principles of adult learning? How do interactive technologies embrace the attitudinal concept of facilitation that Rogers identifies?

Question: What is the role of integrating technologies and why should this occur?

            The world is changing, and these changes are reflected in the workplace, jobs, and skills demands required. According to 21st Century Skills (2004), future required jobs skills include “using collaboration, and communication tools with educational methods that also promote these skills such as project based learning” Four categories skills, identified by North Central Regional Educational (NCRE) (2003) required for the 21st century include; digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity. (Solomon & Schrum 2007, p. 19)

            I am sure there is no disagreement theses categories skills are required if the corporation is to remain viable and competitive. These skills support employee and corporate growth. An employee possessing these skills are valued by corporation because it assures the individual displays independence, maturity, self-direction, personal responsibility and motivation to contribute to the organization mission. These skills support collaboration.

Question: Do interactive technologies support the principles of adult learning?

            According to Rogers, change is inevitable, if this is true, then assessing change is a crucial requirement. For change to occur, Gladwell (2001) identifies three factors that are necessary for change, “exceptional people who drive change by their own habits, stickiness or memorable qualities of the ideas to move others to act, and the power of contest, which includes the skillful use of groups and the power of communities. (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 22)

             The application for adult learning is based on the learning needs assessment. In a corporate setting assessment is crucial, because it leads to changes in practice, reducing resources losses, improves employee productivity, and strengthen market profitability. Effective and trained employees are the organizational greatest resources. According to Knowles, learners need to feel a necessity to learn. For constructive learning experience, the learner must identify ones own learning needs.

 Adult Learning Assumptions:

            There are five assumptions about how adults learn, their attitude towards and motivation for learning. These assumptions are:

  1. Adults are independent and self-directing.
  2. Adults have accumulated large life and cultural experiences that are rich resources for learning.
  3. Adult’s value learning that integrates with their everyday life.
  4. Adult’s value problem centered learning rather than subject centered learning.
  5. Adults are motivated to learn by internal drives rather than external ones.

 Question: How do interactive technologies embrace the attitudinal concept of facilitation that Rogers identifies?

             Web 2.0 resources has been describes as “An every growing array of tools that people sue to aggregate and interact with information, in which that are useful to them.” These interactions include multiple collaboration, using free, open source and shared content.

            Web 2.O offers the adult learner a safe learning environment to construct learning. The advantages of integrative technologies are it creates new learning experiences and expands the learner’s vision. The features of interactive technologies are supports interconnectedness, immediacy, interactivity, communications and community. Interaction allows individuals to engage, collaborate, consult, and share data. This process fulfills the idea of community building. For the corporation it allows the employee (adult learner) to be motivated by both internal and external drives. (Solomon & Schrum 2007, p. 24)  

            Web 2.0 allows the learner to engage by building on their experiences, connect instantly to relevant content, share information, and reflect.             ,

Question: How will corporations utilize interactive technologies? 

            Facilitating learning is a complex task because each learner varies in physical, social, emotional, cognitive and cultural characteristics. Staging the learning environment is as important as imparting knowledge or sharing expertise. Staging the environment reflects a facilitation process. The facilitator roles is to provide a safe learning environment where the learner my feel safe to experiment, voice concerns, identify their learning needs and reflect. The role of facilitator is to organize learning so it is within the learner’s control and help the learner accept personal responsibility.

Summary:

            Should corporations adopt integrative technologies? Personally, I believe the claims and enthusiasm about using interactive technologies in a workplace are justified. As an example, Facebook has more than 500 million users. Corporations and business are now promoting Facebook accounts. These accounts are useful marketing tools, but also provide data and information sharing between the user and the organization. The technology becomes the facilitator to improve learner between the user and the organizqation. Technolgoy facilitates  learning, community building and collaboration through social networks. Most recently, changes in global economies has created workforce reduction, requiring individals to make career changes. At the same time, if offers corporations new opportunties. Many adults are using integrative technolgies to improve their employment marketabilty.  

            Web 2.0 tools offer feedback and create a democratic learning environment that emphasizes “proactive control over the sequence, the nature of experiences and the depth of exposure to learning materials.” (Schwier, in Anglin, 1995, p. 120) Integrative technologies support a constructivists learning environment. It embraces the assumptions of adult learning. Adult learning emphasis a facilitative approach. Integrative technologies support innovative, multiple learning and creative methods for the learner to identify their particular learning needs. Adult learners offer maturity  have experience problem solving skills.  Integrative technologies offers a learning environment where these experiences and skills can be shared. Four important category acquisition skills related to the 21st century are related to digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity.  Theses are skills are essential to the 21st century organization and the adult learner.

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Situation: Implementation Change and Adoption – Developing a Plan

Situation:

The State School Superintendent, recently notified the county school superintendent the high school English program county scores are not meeting state standards, additional the state has recommended increasing integrating technology within the English curriculum and instruction.

You are an expert in technology development and recognize the merits and benefits technology integration into the curriculum including the use of blogs, wiki’s, social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter), and web design. Research studies have established the value of the innovative tools.

The superintendent asks for your assistance, in working with the English faculty members to increasing technology adoption into the standard curriculum. Faculty members are concerned because the test scores dropped, but they remain satisfied their current instructional methods are adequate. Several teachers, voicing their opinions, remain unsure that increasing and integrating technology within their curriculum will result in significant changes.

The superintendent goal is to raise the English performance scores, and recognizes a department effort is required. The superintendent has the three options (1) ‘to order’ faculty to change, (2) not act on the situation and allow the process to self correct, (3) work with the faculty members. Selecting the third option is preferred choice. The superintendent asks for a summary plan how will work with the faculty members in integrating existing technology innovation into the English instruction and curriculum. The superintendent is responsible to the elected Board of Education members.

Search for Relevant Theory:

          Theories are important, because they serve to influence how problems are perceived, defined, and how potential solutions are framed. Theories provide a conceptual framework for innovation and technology approaches that are already accepted. Theories draw on a broad range of disciplines. For this problem, it involves behavioral change (psychology and sociology) leadership and management (communication),

          Rogers (1995) work on diffusion offers and provides the best guidance. The diffusion and innovation theory is the most appropriate for investigating the adoption of technology into higher education and educational environments. (Medlin, 2001, Parisot, 1995, in Sahin 2006, p. 14).  There are four components required for diffusion theory, (1) the innovation, (2) communication, (3) time required and (4) a social system.

          Rogers (2003) states adoption is a decision of “full use of an innovation as the best course of actions available.” The decision not to adopt an innovation is rejection.

          This problem situation requires both technology and innovation adoption. Rogers describes innovation: “An innovation is an idea, practice or project that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption.” (Rogers, 2003, p. 12)

          Rogers claims that reduce the uncertainty of innovation adoption or rejection it requires “that individuals be informed about its advantages and disadvantages to make them aware of all its consequences.” These consequences are desirable or undesirable, functional or dysfunctional, direct or indirection the results may be direct or anticipated. (In Sahin, 2006, p. 14)

          According to Rogers, the second element required for diffusion of innovation process is communication channels. Rogers describes communication as “a process in which participants create and share information with one another in to order to reach a mutual understanding.” (p. 5). Diffusion, according to Rogers, requires communication “that involves interpersonal communication relationships.” (Rogers, 2003, p. 19)

          The third requirement of diffusion theory is the element of time required to adopt. The final element of the diffusion theory is a social system. Rogers defines the social system “as a set of interrelated units engaged in the joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal.” (P. 23) Diffusion occurs within a social system, and the social system affects individuals.

          The innovation and decision process involves a five-step process, including knowledge phase, persuasion phrase, decision, implementation and confirmation phase. This five-step phase occurs through communication channels and social system.

          This problem requires the technology expert to manage change According to Dormant (1986) change models include four factors (1) the people are asked to be changed, (2) the change itself, (3) the context in which the change is proposed, (4) and context in which the change is proposed. (p. 239) Being cognizant of these factors is important because this is how the plan will be implmented. 

          Dormant synthesized Rogers’s five-step phrase process using management communication techniques. According to Dormant, the  individual moves through five adoption stages. These stages are a) awareness, b) self-concern, c) mental tryout, d) hands on trial, and e) adoption. To support user adoption, appropriate strategy must be utilized. The technical instructor is the change agent. For the change agent to be effective, it requires implementing an appropriate strategy supporting user adoption. These management, communication, or marketing strategies include a) advertiser, b) counseling, c) demonstrating, d) instruction, and e) providing technical assistance.

Adult Learning:

          Although new technologies or adopting innovations may not be better or worse for teaching and learning, the motivation for adopting innovaton  is driven by the needs of the learners. It is crucial that we recognize the context of the problem. Adopting for novelty sake is inadequate reason.  Improved efficiency offers a reason for adopting the innovation. Adoption must become practical and become relevant to the individual daily practice.

          Assessing the needs of the learners, in this case of adults, is a crucial stage in the educational and adopting process that will lead to change. Is becomes crucial to determine what the learners know, want to know, and are expected to learn. Using this assessment improves respect for the learner, and improves the chance for adopting the innovation. In the adoption process, it requires the learner to self-invest. Rogers uses four conditions for assessing knowledge, theses are 1) previous practice, 2) felt needs and problems, 3) innovations, 4) and normal of the social system. (In Sahin 2006, fig. 2.1, p. 15)

          Rogers’s five-step process and Dormant management five processes provides practical formal and informal communication channels. Different learning methods suit different adult learners. Recognize that learning is a both a personal and socialization process. Learning and diffusion occurs within a social system, and the social system affects how individuals learn and adopt innovation.

Summary:

          Theory provides a starting point, in designing and formalizing a professional improvement plan. For adult learners, it is crucial the individual internalize the need to adopt. They must identify their own learning needs as part of their own everyday instruction and teaching. For this problem, to make technology or innovation adoption meaningful it should be come from the learner, and not a superintendent requirement. For the learner, the technologist is an instructor, facilitator and resource.

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Week 7: Making a case for worker or program member evaluation

Problem Situation:

 Often workers or community organizational members do not fully recognize, understand or value the importance and evaluation process. For the worker, s/he is concerned if evaluation results in improved job training, job satisfaction and retention. Community program and its organization members depend on grants and program support to solving community social issues or addressing specific problems. My position reviews key evaluation concepts and its importance to a company employee or community member or for social program issue success.

Finally, I have provided a video link showing an instructional system design evaluation video presentation on organizational training. The presenter references Donald Kirkpatrick model (about 5:30 into video). The video duration is 10 minutes. The video offers information for your self-learning. Viewing the video is not required to evaluate my blog. 

Defining Terms:

Evaluation is a disciplined inquiry to determine the worthy of programs, products, procedures or objects. (Kifer, E. in G.F. Anglin, 1995, p. 35)

Why Evaluation:

In companies, evaluation is valuable because it serves to save a business from wasting valuable resources, including time and labor, and the product produced assures an adequate and efficient financial return. For community organization, evaluation serves to determine if programs or selected intervention aspects are appropriate and effective.  Adequate, appropriate, efficient and effective are terms associated with the process of evaluation. (Thompson, NJ & McClintock, HO (2000) p. 7)

 Often business managers and workers believe that their work is producing desired results, but lack quantifiable evidence to demonstrate the organization or program success. Evaluation serves as that component evidence. Effective evaluation results in increased production, improved quality, decreased costs, reduced frequency of injuries, or protection of capital resources, and higher profits (Kirkpatrick, 1998, p. 23)

 Community programs, interventions or strategies that produce successful results, facts and data are more likely to receive future funding or grant support. Those programs or interventions that are inappropriate and ineffective are less likely, and rightly so, to receive future financial or public support.

What Evaluation Supports:

  A common belief is evaluation only demonstrates what is wrong; while this may be true, it also allows a business or community program manager to improve the situation. All evaluation produces four informational categories, first it informs a program is successfully working, second program improvement is required, third new informational data is required, and fourth information data indicates the program / intervention needs improvement. (Thompson, NJ, 2000, p. 10-11)

  Kirkpatrick (1998) describes in general terms why business evaluation training is needed: to justify the existence of a training program ‘by showing how it contributes to the organizational objectives and goals”, to continue or discontinue program training, and gain information to improve future training. (Kirkpatrick, 1998, chapter 2, p. 16)

 These justifications are applicable to educational instruction or community programs. As example, in a health care program that seeks to change tobacco use, evaluation does a particular intervention, educational activity or policy produce the desired outcome expected. Perceived business or corporation benefits may be measures of improvement in sales, productivity, quality, morale, personnel turnover, reduced injury mishaps, and profits. (Kirkpatrick, 1998, Chapter 2, p. 18)

 Well-designed evaluation demonstrates what is working well and what needs improvement. The first step in evaluation requires identifying, selecting a competent evaluation trainer or teacher. Bratton (1995) suggests that evaluators possess the evaluation credentials that are performance oriented, as opposed to experience, education, or philosophy an individual may have accumulated.

  Bratton (1995) believes competent evaluators should possess the skills necessary to conduct basic research, produce useful decision-making data related to broad or specific problems, communicate and interact effective with managers and users. For instructional design, the consult should have the skills to sequence performance objectives, specific instructional objectives, design materials and evaluate training, design, plan, and monitor instructional design system and projects. (p. 394)

Assessment is Crucial:

For instructional system designers, the primary evaluation assessment is to examine teaching, training and learning efforts as it relates to the organization, its workers or its membership. Evaluation begins with a needs assessment, according to Kirkpatrick (1998). Needs assessment may include asking participants what their needs are, asking supervisors to determine workers or members needs. Consulting with others familiar with specific job requirements, learning objectives or program outcomes or using an advisory committee are practical suggestions. (p. 2) Program assessment is essential because is formalizes and offers recommendations to decision makers regarding funding future worker training or support future program funding. Assessment assures that company or organization goals and mission is accomplished.

Summary:

In summary, adequate, appropriate, efficient and effective evaluation must produce tangible and positive results. Program evaluation results communicate if a program or intervention  strategy should be continued , modified or discontinued. Assessent begins the process of evalution. 

References:

Bratton, B., (1995) Professional Competencies and Certification in Instructional   Technology. In G. J. Anglin (editor) Instructional Technology: Past Present and Future, 2nd edition, pp. 393-397, Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.

Kirkpatrick, D.L (1998). Chapter 1, 2, 3. In D.L. Kirkpatrick, (2nd Ed) Evaluating-training Programs: the four levels. Berret-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco.

Thompson, NJ, McClintock HO. Demonstrating your Programs Worth: A Primer On Evaluation For Programs To Prevent Unintentional Injury,  Atlanta, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2nd printing March 2000.

Video

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Valuing the Adult Learner

Week 6_Presentation_Valuing the Adult LearnerWeek 6_Presentation_Valuing the Adult Learner

  This presentation examines characteristics of adult learning and applies these characteristics to instructional system design  (ISD).  ISD is “the process of specifying the conditions for learning.” (Seals & Richie, 1994, p. 30)   The presentation will focus on the following instructional system design structures: content, course design and development, constructive learning principles and media selection.

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Does Media Affect Learning?

            I will be honest, I am a visual learner, at least that is what I think and believe. There is ample evidence our lives are enriched using media technology. Although television is designed for entertainment, it also has redeeming educational value. A proven winner is the Children’s Television Workshop program called Sesame Street. This show, with its characters such as Big Bird, Oscar, Bert, Ernie and Count and other Muppets as well as live actors, has captured children attention. Ok I will admit, even as an adult I still get my kicks watching a few minutes of Sesame Street.

            Studies show that children that watching the showed reported significant learning benefits. “The more they watch, the more they learned about naming letters, letter sounds, initial sounds, sight words, naming numbers, counting, relational terms, classification, sorting, naming, geometric forms, matching forms, naming body parts, functions of body parts, left-right hand orientation, addition, subtraction, roles of community members and emotions.” (Wall, 1999, p. 79-80)

Here is two Sesame Street Videos to prove my position.  This is graduate school…Acadmic Freedom….

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ71rVt2zm0
  2. http://video.tvguide.com/SESAME+STREET–3a+LEARNING+ABOUT+LETTERS/3590415

             Have I proven my point? See media has improved learning. Ok, my class activity is competed, now how all need to do is post my blog and wait for the comments to arrive. My conscious reminds me that is too easy, did you really examine the two view presented?

            Let us reexamine the articles in our class readings. Kozma (1991) ask the question does media influence learning. Kozma concludes, “Various aspects of the learning process are influenced by the cognitively relevant characteristics of the media; their technologies, symbol systems, and processing capabilities. In contrast, Clark (1983) contends even if there are differences in learning outcomes, they are due to the method used and not the medium. Kozma writes, “Clark creates an unnecessary schism between the medium and method.” (Kozma, 1991 p. 205) Clark supports that method over media is more important. Clarks supports his belief using learning theory.

             Ok, I have changed my mind maybe Clark is correct. This is allowable; it is my reflection, besides, I am adult learner constructing my own learning experience.

            If Clark is correct, then maybe I need to create a personal learning foundation. According to Slattery (2006),author of Curriculum Develooment in the Postmodern Era, states teaching involves separating learning into cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning. Such categorization is useful for in designing research but also can distort our understanding of learning (p. 53-54)  

            Clark (1983) using Meta-analysis studies to prove his position advocates that “media are delivery vehicles for instruction and do not directly influence learning. However, certain elements of different media, such as animated motion or zooming, might serve as sufficient conditions to facilitate the learning of students who lack the skills being modeled. Symbolic elements such as zooming are not media but allow us to create sufficient conditions to teach required cognitive skills.” (p. 453)

            In reviewing Sesame Street, I believe Clark analysis is correct. Consider the Sesame Street lesson, counting letters, I would argue that you can separate learning into cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning. In the case of the Sesame Street video, Clark is saying that symbols are “operational vehicles for methods that reflective the cognitive process necessary to successfully perform a given learning task.” (p. 454)

            Clark (1994) encourages us to think and consider learning and theory. He asks us to consider the question is there other media or another media attributes that yield similar learning gains. His reasons are in instructional design we must chose the less expensive way to achieve a learning goal. As adults, we have gained certain ways of thinking about learning, and acting to facilitate our own learning, or to help children learn. Learning depends of many factors, but learner engagement is crucial. For children watching Sesame Street their engagement is influenced by motivation to learn.  

            There are three types of learning. 1) Behavior learning states “learning is a change in behavior after experience or practice” .That is we can observe or measure. 2 For, Process learning the learning becomes a process that is shown by a change in behavior after experience of practice”. The process is internal, unobservable that an individual might or might not overtly demonstrate. 3) Neural learning “is a change the neural association structure of the brain after experience of practice.” (Wall, 1999, p. 6-9)

            Clark is advocating that when measuring learning we must use theory to design and develop instruction. Theory provides the ‘the underlying structural features of the shared properties”. (p. 22). As instructions system designers we cannot ignore theory. Theory provides the foundation. Contiguity theory explains how we learn connections between stimuli and response. Contiguity means togetherness in time or place. In learning letters, the letter and symbol are introduced together in both time and place. Using Cognitive theory, learning involves the formation and reorganization of the structure of the information or knowledge.  Cognitive theory is not a stimulus and response but about learning and thinking. It is about formation, modifying connections and within your knowledge structure. As adults we this, but you can also see it in children. One can observe it with your own children watching Sesame Street.

Summary

            Teaching and learning involves multifaceted human beings in complex interactions. Many variables confound learning. Clark claims that media are “mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievements any more than the truck that delivers our groceries cause changes in our nutrition.” It is important as designers we select the least expensive and most cognitively effect way to represent and deliver instruction.” We must use cognitive theory that supports the structural elements of cognitive processing during learning and transfer. (p. 23)

            Rethinking Sesame Street, it has all the ‘bells and whistles’ it entertaining, and the technology use is exceptional. Also consider, for centuries, parents and teachers working with children, providing stimulus, cultural and environmental experiences have resulted in human beings to learn and produce new knowledge. As a global society, we must recognize that not all developing nations’ children share the same learning using Sesame Street media. I agree with Clark’s statement, “It is what the teacher does – the teaching – that influences learning. Most of the methods carried by newer median can also be carried or performed by teachers.” (p. 457). As instructional designers, we must be effective and efficient. This requires that we develop an instructional system that involves using cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning. We must recognize all learners are individuals and apply different but appropriate models of learning.

References:

Wall, Richard. T. (1999) Psychological Foundations of Learning, West Virginia University.

Slattery Patrick (2006), Curriculum Development in the Post Modern Era, 2nd edition, Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

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