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Archive for October, 2007

Did have much time for a post this morning so I thought everyone would like to spend some time with the trunk monkey!

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Traditionally we’ve separated hard skills or technical skills and soft skills.  What we hope is that if we teach them separately people will figure out how to use them together.  Unfortunately, this seldom happens.

I had a long discussion with a technical college that is well known for their competency based education.  What they say is that they teach people how to fix a water heater but they end up with very poor skills in dealing with homeowners.  This is true for automechanics as well.  They can fix a transmission but can’t explain to a customer why it’s going to cost them a $1000. 

The key is that you have to teach them together and practice all the situations were technical people have to interact with others.  It’s the reason you have to start working on bedside manner with doctors in med school.

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Consider this … the student experience in every classroom in America is different.  If you have 50,000 different 3rd grade history classes, that’s a tremendous amount of variation.  Even with the same textbooks or lesson plans they still have a lot of difference.  It’s virtually impossible to make improvements that have much of an effect.  With everything else, quality goes up as variability goes down.  You can only take advantage of best practices when everyone is roughly on the same page.

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A lot of needs assessments and instructional design is based on identifying competencies.  Competencies are often the skills, knowledge and attitudes or atributes required to do a specified task or function.  And I admit, it’s nice to know what the competencies are. 

However, it’s a lot like cutting up a picture for a jigsaw puzzle.  You’ve got the pieces with no idea of how it goes back together.  It’s seldom that you use only one competency at a time.  Usually, you are using two, three or more especially in a multi-tasking environment.  What I suggest is that after you lay out competencies that you go back and regroup them and look for key combinations.  It’s not walking and chewing gum, it’s really walking and chewing gum at the same time.  Much different skills level and requires a lot more than learning them separately.

Competencies tend to lead to curriculums rather than trying to figure out how people really learn things.

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I must be spending too much time on Youtube.  But here’s another video that shows the change in how the new generation learns or wants to learn. 

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Boosting Morale

This is part of a series of fun and entertaining videos about working in an office.  It started as a beer commerical but has expanded into its own smal industry.  Watch and enjoy Terry Tate Office Linebacker.

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I’ve been sending out this templates to trainers for almost 3 years now.  If you’d like to see it, you can click on the PowerPoint file below. 

slide1.JPG  fgtemplate.pps

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