1. Provide a project update. What is your working title?

Assessing Competencies for a Professional Development Course in “Creative Problem Solving and Decision-making”.

  1. How is your project connected to eLearning?

An eLearning format will be used for training working professionals. This is in contrast to the usual f2f format

  1. How is your project relevant for you?

With an eLearning Certificate my goal is to reinvent myself as a consultant, development, trainer and evaluator of both f2f and eLearning professional development programs. The audience for my services are corporations and other institutions that conduct professional development programs.

  1. What are the three most interesting/relevant/informative/important articles in your bibliography for your project?

I am currently in the process of rethinking resources for my project. I am reading a somewhat different body of literature more akin to the revised project.

Specifically, with the movement from a more expansive—and theoretical—study on assessing andragogy and adult learners to a more practical project (i.e., an assessment schema that demonstrates professionals’ competencies with creative problem solving and decision-making techniques) much of my annotated bibliography entries is not applicable.  Three articles with tangential relevance are

Holton III, E.F., Wilson, L. S., & Bates, R.A. (2009). Toward Development of a Generalized Instrument to Measure Andragogy. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20 (9), 169-193. doi:10.1002/hrdq.2014.

Hussein-Faraj R, Barak, M., and Yehudit, J.D. (2012). Lifelong Learning at the Technion: Graduate Students’ Perceptions of and Experiences in Distance Learning. Proceedings of the Chais Conference on Instructional technologies Research.

Kenyon, C. & Hase, S. (2001). Moving from Andragogy to Heutagogy in Vocational Education. Procedings of the 4th Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Conference, Aledaide, Australia, 1-9. http//

  1. What is authentic assessment in your context. Please explain important details like grade level, content area etc.

Since this is a professional development program geared to adult learners. The audience members will likely be:

At minimum college graduates. Course concepts require post high school training.

In that company’s workforce for at least 1+ years. Participants need to understand the corporate culture and organization before implementing any of the techniques taught in the program.

Holding at least a managerial or leadership position. To effect change, a managerial or leadership role is required. Being in a leadership role makes the data collection implementation of a plan easier.

Lastly, employee responsibilities (e.g,. department affiliation) is irrelevant. Specifically, the tools and techniques taught in the program are generic and can be transferred to specific departments, used in a matrix organization or in a task-force setting.

  1. What are three types of portfolios? Choose one type of portfolio and explain how you could implement it in some eLearning setting.
  • Working Portfolios. Working portfolios shows the progression of work products from its project inception to the final product. In essence, working portfolios demonstrate progress.
  • Display, Showcase, or Best Works Portfolios. A display portfolio shows and individual’s best work products. These portfolios are frequently used in the design industries as well as the visual and performing arts.
  • Assessment Portfolios.  This a demonstration of what has been learned. For example, test results outcomes of a grading rubric can be used to assess learning. Assessment portfolios can be used 1) for comparative purposes (e.g., differentiating two students) or 2) to measure one students progress towards a final grade.

[N.B. All three assessments share the same drawback: they do not show how the learning is going to be applied back in the workplace.]

  1. What is competency based learning? How could this impact your career?

Competency-based learning contains several characteristics. Depending on how it is rolled out, competency-based learning focuses, at minimum, upon:

Flexibility in delivery, including: f2f, online, blended, etc.

Student-focused learning that produces engagement. This can include 1) an appreciation that not all students acquire information in the same ways and 2) making the material relevant to the learner.

Vis a vis my career, my interest has always been upon the design of professional development programs that result in learnings that go beyond the training room. And, some of my f2f techniques can readily adapted to online environments. For example, I have implemented 30 and 60 day follow-up reminders, as well as post-training initiatives where program participants realize a goal defined in the program.

  1. Evaluate your participation in the discussion this week. Provide at least one quote from the discussion that supports your evaluation.

Lorraine’s project description provoked a discussion—and a thread—that produced greater insights both into her project and the challenges of teaching writing to K-12 students. While my comment was simply exploratory, her response demonstrated deep learning and a comprehension of her topic.

  1. Identify the student you- think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Again, I think it is Lorraine who contributed most to the Blackboard discussion. It is not one specific quote, but her ability to describe the project in lay terms, go into greater detail when asked and field a series of questions from different colleagues.

  1. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

The distinction between different portfolios is something I knew implicitly, but not explicitly. In other words, I knew the concepts, but not the names.

As part of that learning, I was reminded of the limitations of portfolios. As stated in the portfolio question, all three portfolios are focus upon past performance; they do not deal with predicting or facilitating the application of learnings going forward.

Moving forward, I intend to continue creating and/or refining post-training program initiatives. These initiatives add value to the employer sponsoring the program.



  1. Brian, I concur with your comment about heutagogy. My concern is the measurement. While the cited reference does talk to measurement, a number of other references– that I don’t have in front of me right now–make the case that measuring heutagogy is not viable. It must remain a concept.

    The only way I can think about assessing heutagogy would be a two step process. Ideally it would involve a:
    1) post training program intervention, like those stated earlier in my blog
    2) What might work is a very brief 3-4 question post-intervention survey that may or may not include an assessment questions. One set of questions might be

    “How comfortable are you with the you applied during the intervention period?”
    “Which techniques are you willing to apply going forward?
    “How likely are you to in using the you applied during the post facilitation assignment?”
    “Please forward a copy of the product you completed over the past 30 days”a

    Past days a a researcher tell me that the question “Have you or are you likely to return to the content covered in the program? will most always result in a lie or a downright “No”.

    Problems with several questions are twofold. Unless manager applies pressure downward, most of the respondents will:
    Lie or respond “No”. or
    Ignore the question because of what I call the “bottom of the drawer” scenario:Here a participant returns to their job with the “best laid plans” only to find that they are so behind and their day-to-day pressures force them to put the binder in the bottom right hand drawer of their desk. Tje binder remains buried until manager is fined,is promoted or leaves the company.

    As with my past assignments, I am willing to go out on that limb, but doing so may require a bit of latitude on your part when it comes to not creating the scenario for to assess actual competency.


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