Chapter 9 - Emerging Digital Resources: Easy and Accessible Online Tools
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e M e R G I n G D I G I T a l R e s o U R C e s : e a s Y a n D a C C e s s I b l e
o n l I n e T o o l s
Learning is a process of seeking and connecting information from different sources, which can take
place in a community, network, or database (Siemens, 2009). In this article, I demonstrate how to build
learning collaboration into advisor training through audio, video, web sites, learning management sys-
tems, and online tools. When advisors contribute, create, and interact with training content, they gain
in-depth knowledge, experience ownership in the process, think critically, and become full participants
in their learning. With the increase of simple creation and editing tools, many advisors can utilize and
access online technology to produce a training program that is user friendly, cost-effective, accessible,
emerging Technology Trends for Training advisor training.
and Development In education and training, technology can be
For academic advisors to grow professionally, defined as the utilization of theory, systems, pro-
institutions and departments need to implement cesses, and tools that advance society by improving
learning technology that increases value, flexibility, skill sets, promoting global and local connectivity,
and interactivity in training and development pro- and increasing the productivity and knowledge of a
grams. Learning technology includes a broad range society (U.S. Department of Education, 2006). With
of communication, information, and related technol- the emergence of interactive, collaborative, online
ogies to support learning and teaching (Association tools, training coordinators can take advantage of
for Learning Technology, 2007). Advisor training multidimensional learning to increase job perfor-
and development programs that incorporate online mance and satisfaction. Through the introduction
resources enhance self-directed learning, provide of Web 2.01 interactive online tools and open source2
consistent instructional methods, and include ongo- learning technologies,3 advisors are able to make
ing professional-development initiatives. Most advi- connections that improve their work experiences.
sors utilize electronic resources and job aids for Training and development evolve to become social
their daily work, so they naturally embrace online and connected.
Web 2.0 (2004–present) is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing,
interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration online. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities,
hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folkson-
omies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0). “Web 2.0” was coined by Tim O’Reilly at the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0
conference in 2004: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html
“Open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source
materials—typically, their source code. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic meth-
odology. Open source gained hold with the rise of . . . the Internet and the attendant need for massive retooling of the
computing source code; software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the. end-product
(and source material) available at no cost to the public” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source).
“Learning technology (also called educational technology) is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning
and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources”
(Richey, 2008, p. 24).
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Social learning theory is based on the premise ing online tools for training, assessment and research
that one’s understanding of content is socially con- must be conducted. Training coordinators, whether
structed through grounded interactions, especially administrators, faculty members, or departmental
with others, around problems or actions. The focus advisors, should determine the purpose and objec-
is less on the material learned than on the method tives for any advisor-training program. A complete
of learning (Brown & Adler, 2008). Because methods needs assessment will determine training gaps and
of practice and protocols are often passed from one identify areas where online tools may be most use-
advisor to another, planners should design training ful. Online advisor training and development should
and development programs that reflect this learn- complement, not hinder, the current training model
ing pedagogy. for advisors at the institution.
benefits and Challenges to online advisor Using Interactive Web Tools
Training The regulation of Web 2.0 resources for learning
Higher education institutions are attempting also creates concern. As many users have access to
to keep the pace with the ever-changing academic these online multimedia tools, personnel are not
environment to best support student success. Advi- always able to police for the copyright, libel, and pri-
sor training and development programs must evolve vacy legislation to which educational organizations
to address the needs of these educational chal- must comply (Richardson, 2006). When developing
lenges. By developing a set of strategies learning objectives and considering poten-
and options involving technology, advisors tial delivery platforms, they must consider
can participate in a learning environment Online the legal issues associated with student
with the physical space and tools needed to advisor information. When training materials need
achieve effective learning outcomes.Online training to be secure, training coordinators might
resources have become popular due to the development consider using access-limited platforms,
ease of set-up and maintenance, and elec- should such as Blackboard, that require the user
tronic resources still maintain online secu- to log in with a password. Security guide-
rity and privacy features.
complement, lines should address regulations on posted
During economic downturns, aca- not hinder, content and responsible web use. Online
demic advising units seek cost-cutting the current community resources should be viewed
strategies for training and development training through a critical lens. During the needs
(Nutt, 2009). Departmental budgets are model for assessment and planning process inclusion
trimmed, including those for learning and advisors of various team members, such as admin-
development functions. At these times, istrators, advising staff, and information
many advisors find that continuing their
at the technology (IT) personnel, may prove help-
ongoing professional development at con- institution. ful. Campus IT professionals can assist
ferences, seminars, and courses is difficult; training coordinators to best identify use-
therefore, administrators find online training and ful online resources, clarify institutional computing
development opportunities appealing to the depart- policies, and assist with general web support during
mental budget. Shared, collaborative learning for development.
departments, among advising groups, and through- Most advisors have access to some technology
out campus is a favored initiative to train new advi- resources. Although they may have varied experi-
sors, support continual growth to retain advising ences with digital literacy and online proficiency,
professionals, and provide professional development many adapt to online training if the learning objec-
for faculty advisors. Training coordinators know tives are clear. Trainers can share slides or screen-
that the success of academic advising is rooted in cast a conference presentation, or they may provide
the quality of training and development programs. a demonstration on sharing content, knowledge, and
Administrators must place value on professional ideas online (Guertin, 2008). Screencasts are useful
development and personal growth for both the advis- tools to demonstrate a computer task on a desktop
ing team and individual academic advisors. or demonstrate the steps for an online system.
Using technology for the sake of employing new
Needs Assessment tools should not be purpose of a development activ-
With regard to technological resources for advi- ity, nor should it be a deterrent for learning. Many
sor training, some argue against the migration or faculty members and professional staff are willing
addition of digital development. Before implement- to engage in online learning if it is suitable for the
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expressed advisor-learning outcomes. 9.1 are answered during the planning and develop-
Online training components often result in more ment phase.
accessible training opportunities and the ability to
archive materials. Participants may find that an online Resources for advisor Training and
online training platform provides multiple ways to Development
connect with the material and results in a deeper Online education and training often are favored
understanding of the material. Whether an advisor by training coordinators because advisors can access
is retrieving information from an online manual or the training any time, anywhere. Online resources
hearing an audio podcast for a staff tutorial, training are accessible and inexpensive on a per participant
programs can be user-friendly for a variety of learn- basis. Many academic advisors are utilizing online
ing styles. Online training sessions allow advisors resources and investing in online communities
to review materials at their leisure and thus further such as NACADA electronic mailing lists, advis-
support their regular advising practice. ing blogs, and Facebook groups. These venues can
help advisors adapt to the delivery of local training
online Training assessment and Planning and development materials via online technologies.
Many online tools and resources support aca- Table 9.2 lists a few resources that advisors utilize
demic advisor training; however, the assessment and to collaborate with peers, share ideas, and connect
planning processes are critical parts of tech- in the advising profession. Many of these
nology implementation. Coordinators must sites may be used to deliver local training
review the training curriculum to ensure
Many online and development.
that it aligns with the mission of advising tools and
and meets departmental needs and train- resources Current examples of online advisor
ing goals (Brandon, 2006). The training support Training
coordinator or group responsible for advi- academic Institutions and academic advising
sor training and development should con- advisor units value the use of collaborative, online
duct an online training-needs assessment tools for advisor training. The Hutchinson
using the procedures outlined in Chapter
training; Community College (HCC) online training
2. The group planning for online delivery of however, the program (see pp. __) utilizes a password-
training and development materials should assessment protected online format to deliver four
be comprised of the training coordinator, and planning training and development modules. These
advisors, faculty and IT staff members, and processes are units help advisors learn more about HCC
administrators who will contribute to the critical parts students, institutional policies, and pro-
development of the program. When review- cedures as well as provide instruction in
ing the results of the needs assessment,
of technology conceptual and relational issues that will
planners should determine the training top- implementa- help participants become more effective
ics that lend themselves to online delivery tion. advisors.
and identify those best delivered in tradi- The University of Iowa Academic
tional venues. They also need to consider the technol- Advising Center introduced an interactive training
ogy skills level of the intended audience as well as the manual Wiki (see pp. __) using university-owned
types of online tools available and most suitable for software, Confluence (Atlassian, 2010). This staff-
the desired training curriculum. The online training development initiative includes participation of
needs assessment (Table 9.1) provides step-by-step shared knowledge and contributions across the
review questions that training coordinators should department and advising staff. Many sections of
answer before initiating an online model for advising the Wiki were designed to be interactive and engag-
training and development. ing, yet they allow for regular updates and additions
During the review and planning process, as that meet the needs of the advising staff. Inside this
outlined in Table 9.1, training coordinators should staff training manual, one finds standard text docu-
identify the content most suitable for the program to ments as well as web links, pictures, videos, slides,
determine the best delivery method for training and and other multimedia content.
development. The content of the training and devel- The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
opment program must be accessible and meaningful Advising Center at the University of Maryland–Col-
for the advising group. The initiation and creation lege Park implemented an online advisor-training
of the first online advisor-training program will be program through its learning management system
easier and more effective if the questions in Table (LMS) Blackboard. This internal-portal system
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Table 9.1. Online training needs assessment
step one: Determine Training Goals
• What are the training and development needs of the advising unit or campus advising system?
• What are the long-term training and development goals for the advising program? What are the
learning objectives for the development program?
• Are there gaps and needs in the current training model?
• Can these gaps and needs be addressed with online learning initiatives?
step Two: Determining Resources
• Who should be a member of the training design team? (Advisors? Administrators? IT staff?
Department Chairs? Others?)
• What are the available resources to support training and development needs?
• How will online resources be researched? Who will experiment with these resources?
• How will the most appropriate training and development tools be determined?
• How will research be documented and shared for training development?
step Three: Create and edit
• What roles will be assigned to the design team?
• What are the implementation steps for the project?
• What is the time line for the project?
• Who must be involved in the development of the training?
• Who will provide technical support?
• What are the desired learning outcomes?
• When and how will feedback be provided from the advising group?
• What rules should be established for creative development?
step four: Pilot the Program
• Who will be the sample advisor-training group?
• What will be the format for the feedback?
• Will feedback include an online survey? Focus groups?
step five: Review and evaluation
• What worked with the training program?
• What needs to be changed?
• Will the content of this training program meet advisors’ needs?
• Will the delivery format meet advisors’ needs?
• Can any technical glitches be improved?
• What is required to maintain the program?
• What is required to update the program?
step six: Updates and Development
• What are the ongoing needs for training?
• Who will support training-development initiatives?
• How will assessment continue?
• How will the effectiveness of the program be evaluated?
• Who will be on the technical support team?
• Who will determine the content of the training and development program?
houses an online training manual, learning modules, tice (pp. __) and exists at Temple University. At
and information for multiple advisors to access. As Temple, academic advisors complete a variety of
training needs change and grow, various online tools Blackboard modules designed to update and test
are available to enhance development and engage advisor knowledge on a variety of informational
academic advisors. A similar system is described in issues from student characteristics to academic
the Fox Valley Technical College Exemplary Prac- major requirements. For more information about
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the Temple program contact Susan McCaffrey at tice and have connected to various online networks,
email@example.com. listed in Table 9.2, to share ideas with peers at other
institutions, collaborate on projects, and support
Moving beyond Campuses their professional growth.
Many advisors utilize online communities and NACADA, The Global Community for Academic
electronic resources to enhance their work. Advances Advising, recognizes the need to educate advisors
in social media and the distribution of online net- on ways to effectively implement technology into
works have helped the advising profession thrive their practice. The NACADA Technology in Advis-
and capitalize on available tools for training and ing Commission continues to thrive and support
development. Over the last few years, advising net- new initiatives to address the advising needs within
works have moved beyond e-mail contact and grown the profession. During the 2009 NACADA Winter
into accessible online connections. More academic Institute, the first hands-on, interactive NACADA
advisors recognize the benefits of social media (e.g., Technology Seminar (Pasquini, Steele, Stoller, &
Web 2.0) and online technology for advising prac- Thurmond, 2009) introduced participants to a con-
Table 9.2. Online resources for advisor training and development
Type of service Resources
The Personal Web Blogger: http://www.blogger.com
• Blogs4 Wordpress: http://wordpress.com
• Microblogs5 Typepad: www.typepad.com/
• Photo sharing6 Twitter: http://twitter.com/
• Video Flickr: http://www.flickr.com
• Social bookmarks7 YouTube: www.youtube.com
• RSS feeds8 Vimeo: vimeo.com
“Blogs: “a contraction of the term web log; [it] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual [who posts]
regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are com-
monly displayed in reverse-chronological order . . . . Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject;
others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web
pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an
important part of many blogs.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)
Microblogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as
photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group that can be chosen
by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging,
E-mail, digital audio, or the web. The content is typically smaller in actual size and aggregate file size than in blogs.
“Photo sharing is the publishing or transfer of a user’s digital photos online, thus enabling the user to share them
with others (whether publicly or privately). This function is provided through both websites and applications that
facilitate the upload and display of images. The term can also be loosely applied to the use of online photo galleries”
that are set up and managed by individual users . . . “most photo sharing sites provide multiple views (such as thumb-
nails and slideshows), the ability to classify photos into albums as well as add annotations (such as captions or tags)”
and comments . . . generally using peer-to-peer networking. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photo_sharing)
Social bookmarks [offer] “a method to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file
sharing, the resources themselves aren’t shared, merely bookmarks that reference them. Descriptions may be added
to these bookmarks in the form of metadata, so that other users may understand the content of the resource without
first needing to download it for themselves. Such descriptions may be free text comments, votes in favor of or against
its quality, or tags that collectively or collaboratively . . . also called social tagging” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
“RSS feed (rich site summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites,
weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. [It allows subscrib-
ers] to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites” in which they are interested. RSS feeds can
save time since each site need not be visited individually. Subscribers ensure their privacy, as they do not need to join
each site’s e-mail newsletter to get the information they want. (www.whatisrss.com)
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Table 9.2. Online resources for advisor training and development (continued)
Type of service Resources
audio & Video Content SlideShare: www.slideshare.net
• Slidecast9 Jing: www.jingproject.com
• Screencast10 SnagIt: www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp
• Screen grab UStream: www.ustream.tv
• Streaming live content Elluminate: www.elluminate.com/
• Video and Audio Chat Skype: www.skype.com
Google Talk: www.google.com/talk/
learning & Collaborative Web Blackboard: www.blackboard.com
• Purchased and licensed Moodle: http://moodle.com/
learning management Google Docs: docs.google.com
system (LMS) Google Apps: www.google.com/apps/
• Open source learning Zoho: www.zoho.com
management system PbWorks http://pbworks.com
• Wiki11 Wetpaint: www.wetpaint.com
naCaDa online NACADA Webinar Series:
• Conference presentations http://nacada.ksu.edu/Webinars/events.htm
• Social networks and groups NACADA Technology Seminar: http://nacadatech.net
• Blogs and microblogs NACADA group on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=73549)
• Seminars and workshops NACADA Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NACADA?ref=ts
• Webinar series NACADA Twitter: http://twitter.com/nacada
NACADA First Generation Interest Group Wiki:
NACADA Region 8 Blog: http://nacada8.wordpress.com
NACADA Webinar Series:
UStream of Region 3 Conference 2009:
Note. For further explanations about the online resources, visit the Common Craft (2010) to view the In
Plain English videos on technology.
Slidecast is a new multimedia format for viewing slide decks synchronized with an audio file. It is for conference
talks, musical slideshows, audio picture books or whatever else you can imagine (www.slideshare.net/faqs/slidecast)
and is an audio podcast combined with a slideshow or diaporama presentation. “It is similar to a video podcast in that
it combines dynamically-generated imagery with audio synchronization, but it is different in that it uses presentation
software, such as PowerPoint, to create the imagery and the sequence of display separately from the time of the audio
podcast’s original recording. Slidecasting may be useful for the display of relevant photographs or text, and are an
alternative to camera video recordings.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slidecasting)
“Screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often contain-
ing audio narration. . . . Just as a screenshot is a picture of a user’s screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of the
changes over time that a user sees on [the] monitor.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screencast)
“A Wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web
browser using a simplified markup language. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to cre-
ate collaborative wiki websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in
knowledge management systems.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki)
versation about technology in advising. To share ous student populations. Other examples of online
expertise and resources across the globe, NACADA NACADA development and training initiatives can
continues to support online webinars (National Aca- be found on commission group Wikis, regional blogs,
demic Advising Association, 2010) on topics rang- slide sharing web sites, and daily on the NACADA
ing from student persistence to working with vari- Twitter stream (examples listed in Table 9.2).
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A renewed emphasis on collaborative learning
in the higher education community has coincided Brown, J. S., & Adler, R. P. (2008). Minds on fire:
with the explosion of interactive online platforms. Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0.
Learning for both student and advisor has become Educause Review, 43(1), 16–32.
more transparent and global. The further develop-
ment of social networking and collaborative tools Common Craft. (1010). Videos on technology in plain
that facilitate learning opportunities noted by the English [Video]. Retrieved from www.commoncraft.
2008 Horizon Report (The New Media Consortium com/videos#technology
and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, 2008)
challenges training coordinators to develop more Guertin, C. (2008). Moving teaching online: Scre-
effective ways to measure training development encasting. Retrieved from hwww.uta.edu/english/
progress. The growing use of social media and online ecreate/downloads/screencasting-workshop.pdf
tools, combined with collective intelligence and mass
involvement, is gradually but deeply changing the National Academic Advising Association. (2010).
practice of learning (The New Media Consortium Webcasting. Retrieved from www.nacada.ksu.edu/
and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, 2008). Webinars/index.htm
Electronic technologies are effective tools in the
pedagogy of training and development that includes The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE
increased participation, self-paced learning, and Learning Initiative. (2008). The 2008 horizon report.
continual assessment and feedback. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from www.nmc.org/
The interactive platforms introduced in the Web pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf
2.0 movement have helped change the expectations
for finding and learning information in a rapidly Nutt, C. (2009). Academic advising in a world of finan-
transitional world. When advisors contribute to cial uncertainty. Retrieved on from www.nacada.
their training and development, they gain in-depth ksu.edu/web/index.php?option=com_content&view
knowledge, experience ownership in the process, =article&id=8&catid=2&Itemid=2
think critically, and become full participants in their
professional development. Whether the vehicle is an Pasquini, L., Steele, G., Stoller, E., & Thurmond, K.
electronic training manual, shared online files, or (2009, February 12-14). 2009 NACADA Technology
digital tutorial videos, advisor training and devel- Seminar. Clearwater Beach, FL. Retrieved from
opment must become sustainable and fluid for all http://nacadatech.net
advisors. Whether trainers create audio slidecast
presentations or digital tours of an advisor Wiki, Richey, R.C. (2008). Reflections on the 2008 AECT
21st century advisor training and development must definitions of the field. TechTrends, 52(1), 24–25.
include the utilization of online resources. These
tools have an important place in meeting the learn- Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and
ing objectives established in advisor training cur- other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand
ricula. As they are exposed to interactive tools and Oaks, CA: Corwin.
experiential online training activities, more advisors
will demonstrate effective content knowledge and Siemens, G. (2009). What is connectivism? [Audio
contextualize the advising experience. presentation]. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from
Association for Learning Technology. (2007). Learn-
ing technology and learning technologist: Defini- U.S. Department of Education. (2006). A test of
tions. Retrieved from www.alt.ac.uk/learning_ leadership: Charting the future of higher educa-
technology.html tion. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/
Atlassian. (2010). Confluence. Retrieved from www.
Brandon, B. (Ed.). (2006). 382 Tips on the selection
of an LMS or LCMS. Retrieved from www.elearning
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