Advisor Training Academy:Promoting a Culture of Technovation Shelley Ostermiller & Kira Freed
Reflections on Training How many of you… participated in a formal training with your employer? received training from your colleagues? feel you were self-trained? feel that your training adequately prepared you to begin advising students? currently work at an institution that has a formal advisor training program?
Research Findings The CAS Standards (2008) emphasizes the importance of academic advising and training coupled with the student experience: Academic advising is a crucial component of all students’ experiences in higher education. Within this context, students can find meaning in their lives, make significant decisions about their future, be supported to achieve to their maximum potential, and access all that higher education has to offer. When practiced with competence and dedication, academic advising can enhance retention rates. In an age often characterized by impersonality and detachment, academic advising provides a vital personal connection that students need.
Research Findings NACADA surveyed advising professionals with fewer than three years experience regarding their training experiences: 10% participated in formal training 62% received training from colleagues 23% said they were self trained (Folsom & Scobie, 2010, p. 17)
Research Findings “A study of nearly 2000 advisors found more than three quarters believed their training inadequately prepared them to begin advising students. Several claimed they had to seek out information on their own or by simple trial and error.” (Brown, 2008, p. 310)
Research Findings“In all of the six ACT national surveysconducted on the status of academicadvising, respondents listed lack of trainingas a major weakness to effective academicadvising in all institutional types.” (Folsom & Scobie, 2010, p. 17)
Advisor Training in 2003 No formal training Consistedof a catalog and quarterly schedule New advisor spent time observing an experienced advisor’s student advising sessions Released after 1-2 weeks to see students No assessment or follow up Consequences of training this way Advisors made many errors Turnover was high
Revised Training, Phase I Brainstormed during weekly advising meetings Created list of important information that advisors need to know (e.g., admissions, testing, evaluations) Assigned topics to advisors Advisors worked with content experts in Student Affairs to develop the materials Set aside small amount of time weekly Developed first formal training program
Phase I Implementation New advisor assigned to a trainer or supervisor depending on specialty area Professional/Technical Health Occupations and Education College Prep and Transfer Advisor received integrated training through individually working through a printed advising manual face-to-face instruction
Revised Training, Phase I Training Manual Content Manual broken into modules Contained slide shows, quizzes, activities Face-to-face Interaction Meetings with trainer to review assignments and division-specific content Shadowing and reversed shadowing with experienced advisors Meetings with various campus departments
Training Challenges Printed manual Costly and time consuming to produce Information became quickly outdated Difficult to track trainees progress Workload Trainer must train in addition to regular duties Lack of consistency Needs vary depending on division, trainer and trainee Personal philosophies and training timelines differ
Revised Training, Phase II To address some of the challenges of the previous model, advising explored the use of blended training practices Integrating technology in exchange for some face- to-face time Moving away from high-cost printed materials to electronic tools Researched literature and resources in search for best practices in advisor training
Blending as a Training Practice Spectrum of blending practices: Face-to-face – training is enhanced by using technology, but not usually reduced face-to-face time Technology-enhanced – face-to-face sessions added to online training modules to give opportunities to apply newly learned concepts and skills Middle of the spectrum – balanced mix of two practices, generally reduces face-to-face class time by increasing time spent participating in online activities
Benefits and Challenges Benefits: Learning effectiveness Access, convenience, and consistency Cost effectiveness Maintenance of workload/process Provides “best of both worlds” Challenges: Finding “right” blend Demand on time Identifying strategies for both environments Can be “worst of both worlds” if not done right
Convenience and Access Documents and archives historical knowledge, allows work to continue even during the training process Online platforms provide numerous methods to connect with the information, which may result in a deeper understanding of the material “Advisor training and development programs that incorporate online resources enhance self-directed learning, provide consistent instructional methods, and include ongoing professional-development initiatives.” (Pasquini, 2010, p. 123)
Phase II Development Findings supported using an online Learning Management System for training delivery Recognized as a best practice by NACADA Research recommended delivering the following information through tech-enhanced instruction: Policiesand procedures Systems and software training Historical data Mission and vision, core values and other important organization information
Phase II Implementation Transitioned to Moodle, Clark College’s campus-wide LMS Translated advising manual to electronic modules with files and electronic resources Utilized institutional resources to develop Moodle training sessions Mentoring from eLearning staff Moodle help and tutorials available online
Advisor Training Academy Moodle Demo https://moodle.clark.edu/
Phase III, Future Directions Create learning objectives and outcomes for each training module Currentlytraining modules provide learners with a summary of topics only Learning objectives and outcomes increase effectiveness Measurable Give both the trainee and trainer competencies to assess
Phase III, Future Directions Additional topics and tools to consider: Self-reflections & assessments Allowsfor measurement of retention and understanding of material Case studies and Role-plays Cultural competency trainings Greater tie-in with the mission and strategic goals of the college
Before you go… Please complete your evaluation Don’t forget a handout Moodle Guest Log-in for NACADA session participants Contact information: Shelley Ostermiller – email@example.com Kira Freed – firstname.lastname@example.org
References Brown, T. E. (2008). Critical concepts in advisor training and development. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, & T. J. Grites (Eds.), Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2nd ed.) pp. 309-322. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). (2008). Academic advising programs: CAS standards and guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.cas.edu/getpdf.cfm?PDF=E864D2C4-D655-8F74-2E647CDECD29B7D0. Folsom P., & Scobie, N. A. (2010). The case for investing in advisor training and development. In J. G. Voller, M. A. Miller, & S. L. Neste (Eds.), Comprehensive advisor training and development: Practices that deliver. (Monograph No. 21.) Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association, pp. 15-18. Pasquini, L. (2010). Emerging digital resources: Easy and accessible online tools. In J. G. Voller, M. A. Miller, & S. L. Neste (Eds.), Comprehensive advisor training and development: Practices that deliver. (Monograph no. 21.) Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association, pp. 123-129.