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Evolution of Basics of Recordkeeping Training

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Evolution of Basics of Recordkeeping Training

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A brief overview of how the Design for Learning program enabled me to make an outstanding training unit for recordkeepers in state government. Helen Linda is a Records Analyst at the Vermont Agency of Transportation in Montpelier, VT. Her capstone project is a series of three online trainings teaching basic records management concepts to staff as the first leg of training to the Agency's new records management program. This overview was presented at the 2017 Design for Learning Online Conference for the Instructional Design Module.

A brief overview of how the Design for Learning program enabled me to make an outstanding training unit for recordkeepers in state government. Helen Linda is a Records Analyst at the Vermont Agency of Transportation in Montpelier, VT. Her capstone project is a series of three online trainings teaching basic records management concepts to staff as the first leg of training to the Agency's new records management program. This overview was presented at the 2017 Design for Learning Online Conference for the Instructional Design Module.

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Evolution of Basics of Recordkeeping Training

  1. 1. Evolution of Basics of Recordkeeping at VTrans Helen Linda, Records Analyst Vermont Agency of Transportation Design for Learning Online Conference – Foundation Module May 10, 2017
  2. 2. Work In Progress – February 2016
  3. 3. Making The Case – March 2016
  4. 4. Take Two – March 2016
  5. 5. Instructional Design Plan – April 2016
  6. 6. Further Iterations – Pilot to Live
  7. 7. What I Learned 1.Simplify, simplify, simplify –concise as you can, then try another round simpler 2.Focus on the Learners – keep going back to that, know your learners first and best 3.Provide Lots of Access – how many different ways can students get content

Editor's Notes

  • When I took my job at VTrans, this training program was already in draft form. My first meeting with the RIM Board was the presentation of my unit’s training draft. These are some slides from that draft. The reaction from the board was crickets, they tactfully tried to navigate around how poorly this might be received. The focus at this point was entirely on content and not on the learners. I had just started D4L and saw an opportunity just waiting to be taken advantage of!
  • I hadn’t even begun the Foundation module when I made this draft because I only had a month and I initially fell behind in D4L because the tight time frame to put this draft together. I had to make a case to our RIM Board for a total revamp and share a draft of the new program. But, D4L was already influencing the outcome through the Orientation module by focusing me on learner needs and the conversation that was happening in the Foundation module, which I hadn’t yet begun in earnest but was following the conversation. The case I made at this stage was that, above all else, the trainings needed to fit together, be short, and focus only on the most necessary information.
  • Prior to even starting the Foundation Module, I understood that I needed clear objectives and review of the key points. I needed visuals to keep minds stimulated but also to illustrate difficult to understand concepts. I had not yet learned to keep text to a minimum and, while I had trimmed a lot of extraneous detail, I hadn’t done the deep cuts I would eventually do for the final product. If I had not learned what I did in the Foundation Module and had to create and instructional design plan for this program, this is as far as intuition and a learner focus would have gotten me. It’s better, but it’s not great.
  • I got approval to follow this new path at the same time as I started the foundation module. What the instructional design planning process allowed me to do was focus first on learners, then on existing materials I could use to make less work, then flesh out the outline of training as a whole, which impacted some of the parts. For instance, this diagram was a great exercise for me early on, and it forced me to ask questions about the WHY of doing the training and how to chunk it. Learning outcomes and motivation helped keep the focus on them, and not on us. It was tempting to keep looping back around to “what do we want.” Then developing the materials was easier, because it was all mapped out. Evaluation was and continues to be a struggle in terms of what we really want to know, but we’re getting there.
  • The pilot was developed alongside the instructional design plan and the live deployment added in the feedback to make what was called one of the finest trainings ever delivered at my Agency. It ended up being 21 minutes of content over three units, down from 48 minutes over 1 unit. We ended the delivery period with 98.5% completion.
  • Always ask yourself if there is a more simple way to explain a concept. Sometimes, the answer will be no, but if you make everything else as simple as possible, students will have more mental energy the hard stuff.
    Even though the trend right now is microlearning, and I planned my units with best practices around shorter chunking, it turns out our learners want to do their training all at once, which made the units too repetitive. In future iterations, we’ll make them one training at about 15 min in length. How our learners learn is the most important.
    Universal Design for Learning challenges us all to a plus one way of thinking. So, every time you create something, think, “is there one more way I can provide access to this.” And you a guaranteed more successful completion.

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