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Article Title: Personify eLearning

Publication: Integrated Learnings: eLearning

Summary: Numerous studies suggest that learners retain more from eLearning when its design creates a sense of human touch. From collaborating characters to conversational language, this article offers ideas for creating that human touch in eLearning.

The main character within an eLearning lesson could be someone who needs to learn along with the learner. Perhaps a fellow new employee or other acquaintance.

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Article Title: eLearning and an Aging Workforce

Publication: Integrated Learnings: eLearning

Summary: Media outlets frequently analyze the implications of our aging workforce and remind us that a growing proportion is in their fifties and beyond. This article examines what instructional designers should do to accommodate this growing population from an eLearning perspective, based on the principles of learning theory and learning styles research.

A common theme in the literature addressing generations and learning preferences is that older generations tend to prefer a linear learning structure while younger generations prefer a more exploratory structure. Maybe this is true, maybe it’s not. Regardless, this is an area where instructional design principles can guide us.

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Article TitleHow Should Organizational Leaders Use Employee Engagement Survey Data? (link connects to article abstract)

Publication: Performance Improvement Journal

Summary: This evaluation study explores how a nonprofit health insurance provider responds to the results of its annual employee engagement survey. The study answers two questions: (a) What do organizational leaders do with the data collected? and (b) How do leaders perceive the usefulness of the survey? It provides study results, discussions, and recommendations relevant to human performance technology practitioners, to help maximize the value of an organizational survey by increasing its usefulness as a catalyst for change.

Comments: I think almost every company I’ve worked for has conducted some kind of employee engagement or employee satisfaction survey.

Some organizations do all they can to communicate the results of the survey to its workforce and highlight positive changes that come as a result. Other organizations seem to let the survey slip off the radar, leaving employees to wonder whether their voice was heard. Skeptical employees even wonder whether the survey is worth their time to complete.

I opted for applied research when I chose my thesis study topic for my master’s degree. The study investigated how a non-profit health insurance company uses the results of its employee engagement survey and why. The article published in this month’s Performance Improvement Journal is an abridged report of this study.

Note: This article is co-authored with my thesis committee.

Click here to view the full article abstract from the Performance Improvement Journal site.


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Article Title: Take a Course…Then Take a Nap

Publication: InternetCE blog (insurance continuing education)

Summary: As kids, we resisted naps. As adults, we wish we could do it more often. As it turns out, napping might actually be good for professional development. This article summarizes two studies that suggest that napping can improve our ability to learn.

The researchers theorize that the memory consolidation that takes place during sleep not only solidifies newly learned information in long-term memory, but also clears some space in short-term memory for new information.

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Article Title: Multitasking Hurts Your Learning

Publication: InternetCE blog (insurance continuing education)

Summary: Multitasking is pervasive in our society, regardless of who you are – office worker, stay-at-home parent, or a sixth grader. It has captured the interest of the scientific community, inspiring numerous studies on the effects and effectiveness of multitasking. This article summarizes that research and offers tips for avoiding multitasking pitfalls while completing an online course.

Allow yourself to check messages at specified intervals. So close your email and silence your phone, but allow yourself to take a break from your online course to check them periodically. One of the best advantages of online learning is that you can take a break whenever you need to, because you set the pace!

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Book Chapter: Linking Practice and Theory

Publication: Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace, Volume 2, The Handbook of Selecting and Implementing Performance Interventions (link connects to table of contents)

Summary: The study of human performance technology (HPT) is an applied science that uses systemic and systematic problem-solving approaches. Practitioners often accumulate knowledge and skills based on their own experiences; however, one’s professional knowledge should also be grounded in the eclectic foundations of the field, including theories and research findings. This chapter connects HPT practices to their theoretical foundations.

Note: Co-authored with Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung and published under my maiden name, Berg.

Click here to view the book’s table of contents site.

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Article Title: The Role of Intrinsic Goal Orientation, Self-Efficacy, and E-Learning Practice in Engineering Education (link connects to article abstract)

Publication: The Journal of Effective Teaching

Comments:

Spoiler: The study found that supplemental e-learning activities improved the academic performance of engineering students.

I was an e-learning developer for the Materials Science & Engineering program at Boise State University for a couple of years. My position was funded by a National Science Foundation grant. The grant funded a study to determine whether supplementing an introductory engineering class with e-learning activities would help students learn.

Good news – it did!

During those two years, I was assigned engineering textbook chapters and tasked with designing and developing key content into e-learning activities. We tracked students’ use of those activities and their class performance.

And this study is the subject of a recently published paper called The Role of Intrinsic Goal Orientation, Self-Efficacy, and E-Learning Practice in Engineering Education. I know…it’s a mouthful. But that’s how it works with academic articles.

The article was just published in The Journal of Effective Teaching.

FYI – This is published under my maiden name, Berg.

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Article TitleFactors that Influence Informal Learning in the Workplace (link connects to article abstract)

Publication: Journal of Workplace Learning

Summary: This study investigated factors that influence informal learning in the workplace and the types of informal learning activities people engage in at work. More specifically, the research examined: the relationship between informal learning engagement and the presence of learning organization characteristics; and perceived factors that affect informal learning engagement.

This research paper received an Outstanding Paper Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009.

Citation: Berg, S. A., & Chyung, S. Y. (2008). Factors that influence informal learning in the workplace. The Journal of Workplace Learning, 20(4), 229-244.

Note: Co-authored with Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung and published under my maiden name, Berg.

Click here to access the full article.

 

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