Virtual HRD Presentation

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Presented at the American Association for Adult & Continuing Education (AAACEs) Conference on October 29, 2010

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Virtual HRD Presentation

  1. 1. Virtual Human Resource Development PresentedattheAmericanAssociationforAdult &ContinuingEducationConference on October29,2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, ABD Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Tyler Elisabeth E. Bennett, PhD Tufts University School of Medicine and Baystate Health Donna S. Mancuso, M. S. Texas A&M University Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  2. 2. Virtual HRD: Tools for Enhancing Practice or Paradigm Shift? • There is a vast array of digital options for virtual communication and collaboration. • The time is right for dialogue in the field of HRD to push the boundaries of research and practice to develop a greater understanding of technology-mediated work, learning, and human development. • It is vital we understand that “humans shape and are shaped by…technology” (Palloff & Pratt, 1999) and vHRD seeks to examine both the human and the technological components of the phenomenon. Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  3. 3. Two Definitions offered for vHRD • “a process of developing and unleashing human expertise for the purpose of improving individual, team, work process, and organizational system performance within technology-enabled environments” (McWhorter, Mancuso & Hurt, 2008; Swanson & Holton, 2009, p. 4). • “a media rich and culturally relevant web environment that strategically improves expertise, performance, innovation, and community-building through formal and informal learning” (Bennett, 2009). Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  4. 4. Table 1: Model of Virtual LearningTransferin vHRD Proximal Intermediate Distal The organization opens direct portals or links to on-line resources, training programs, virtual worlds, and knowledge networks. Learning is both explicit and tacit, although explicit learning is more likely to be identified as important for success of a strategy. As needs arise, organizations and individual professionals participate in on-line resources, training programs, virtual worlds, and knowledge networks for learning and skill development. Learning is both explicit and tacit. Professionals participate in on- line resources, training programs, virtual worlds, and knowledge networks out of general interest in the resources but stemming from an overt organizational strategy. Learning that occurs is less likely to be explicitly connected to organizational strategy but it still impacts work. We suggest that virtual learning transfers to the work environment and adds to the knowledge, skills, and perspectives of adult learners. Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  5. 5. Emergence of VHRD • Once only considered a useful tool for training or learning, the Web has become an integrated dynamic environment where the work of virtual HRD (vHRD) is accomplished through the advent of virtual teams, virtual learning, virtual learning communities, virtual communities of practice, virtual mentoring, virtual career development and virtual worlds. • The Emergence of vHRD was explored over the past 20 years by analyzing the impact that technology has changed the way we research and practice. • The shift from technology as tool to technology as an integrative environment can be demonstrated by deeply analyzing the published literature. Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  6. 6. ExploringAdult Learning in Virtual Environments • Technology has had an enormous impact on adult educators and learners. • Knowles, Holton, and Swanson (2005) suggested that technology provides a “rich learning experience in the andragogical” tradition (p. 237). • Virtual environments can enable lifelong learning by providing flexibility in the pace of learning for the learner’s own competence and circumstances (Macpherson, Elliot, Harris, & Homan, 2004). • An empirical study within a virtual world explored the construct of adult learning in the 3D environment. • Results included both enablers and barriers to success in a virtual world which may be useful for adult educators. Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  7. 7. Table 2: Discussion of Empirical Study in a Virtual World Enablers of Adult Learning in a Virtual World Participant Extracts Discussion1 A variety of educational topics are available. “I have more of a variety of people to meet. Thus, increasing the variety of topics I learn with this method.” Participant linked greater social networking opportunities to an increase in educational opportunities, reminding us of what Nussbaum (1999) called the need for affiliation. Second Life™ provides opportunities for multi- disciplinary collaboration. “As an engineer, I view SL™ as another tool for helping me collaborate as well as a tool to help me in designing RL [real life] projects…I have a “code house” to show the building code in 3D.” Participants’ comments reveal how Second Life as a tool leads to new multi-discipline collaborations and an increase in opportunities not only for learning but for work. Second Life™ facilitates collaboration across geographical boundaries. “This is a fantastic medium for social networking and for educational forums…conversed with others that I would have never done in RL [real life] due to cultural, geographical and economical and time constraints.” This quote illustrates the value Second Life™ users place on making social contacts in a virtual environment 1Collaborative analysis with Dominique T. Chlup Copyright 2010 Rochell R. McWhorter, Elisabeth E. Bennett and Donna S. Mancuso
  8. 8. References Bennett, E. E. (2009). Virtual HRD: The intersection of knowledge management, culture and intranets. In G. McLean, Y. Cho, & E. Cho’s (Eds.), HRD’s Role in Knowledge Management, Advances in Developing Human resources 11(3), 362-374. Knowles, M. S.,Holton, E. F. H. III, & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The Adult Learner (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier. Macpherson, A., Elliot, M., Harris, I., & Homan, G. (2004). E-learning: Reflections and evaluation of corporate programmes. Human Resource Development International, 7(3), 295-313. McWhorter, R. R., Mancuso, D. S., & Hurt, A. C. (2008). Adult learning in a virtual environment. In T. J. Chermack, J. Storberg-Walker, & C. M. Graham (Eds.), Refereed Proceedings of the 2008 Academy of Human Resource Development Annual Research Conference (pp. 1148-1152). Bowling Green, OH: Academy of Human Resource Development. Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Swanson, R. A., & Holton, E. F. (2009). Foundations of human resource development (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

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