The Importance of the Needs Assessment

In this week’s assignment, I decided to do a needs assessment on Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods Market is a grocery chain that is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. Whole Foods Market, which is often referred by customers as Whole Foods, specialize in organic products and foods and promote healthy living. The first thing that I would identify in the needs assessment for Whole Foods is the type of customers that Whole Foods target. I’ve found that Whole Foods customer base is primarily broad in age and range. Customers are typically between 25-60 due to the fact that Whole Foods products are costly. In the needs assessment I would want to get buy-in from the District Manager, Store manager, regular employees, and the customers. Some of the questions that I would ask the Supervisors include:
How do you keep employees motivated and encouraged?
What are the biggest issues that you have with new hires?
When do you recognize when an employee need extra coaching?
Do you have employee trainings that encourage employees to learn more about the products?
The type of questions that I would ask employees include:
What is a typical work week like for you?
Do you believe that management treats everyone fair?
What do you or don’t you like about your job?
Are you comfortable with explaining and promoting new products to customers?
The questions that I would ask customers are:
How long have you been a customer of Whole Foods Market?
What do you like most about Whole Foods? Least?
What type of service do you receive each time you visit the store?
Do you believe that pricing is expensive, just right, or inexpensive?
Do you receive adequate help when you are looking for a product or food?
Some of the documents that I may ask to see are employee evaluations, customer evaluations, incentive plans, new hire training materials, and monthly goals. Some of the techniques that I would employ are observation because it minimizes interruption of work and you are able to learn how processes work in that particular work environment. I believe questionnaires are also excellent because they are inexpensive and data can easily be summarized. I would do interviews with employees and management to gain a better understanding of how the market is ran and to also find out if everyone really enjoys their job. Interviews can uncover many issues that the market is having as well as provide solutions to problems. Last, I would also want to see documentation. The documentation is great for complex situations and also great for creating process work flows for new jobs being created.

References

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Chapter 3, “Needs Assessment”

Elevator Speech

Hello, my name is Tanisha Lindsey and today I’m going to change your mind regarding the need for training. Most people think that training is something can be done by anyone and that people can learn without the need of being guided along the way. This is an incorrect belief. The truth is that training not only instructs the learner on how to process information, but there are 3 three interesting things that you should know about training.

  1. Training is designed to teach a process or system that will help an employee function on the job better.
  2. There are many methods to training which include, Web Based Training, Instructor Led, or Blended Training it just depends upon the employee’s flexibility.
  3. Training can save an employee a lot of frustration in the near future. Training is actually taking a proactive stance to gain knowledge in an area that you wouldn’t necessarily have accomplished on your own.

There are so many more benefits of training. I hope that my quick presentation today have caused you to want to do more research on your own in training. If you have more questions, here’s my contact information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Have a great day.

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Chapter 2, “Strategic Training”

Fitting the Pieces Together?

 

The blog entry for this week revisits Week 1 of the course when students discussed their learning style. Previously I selected two learning styles that I assumed were dominant, Cognitivism and Constructivsm. After, learning about learning theories for the past 7 weeks, I believe that I actually take from all of the learning styles.

  • Cognitivism – The focus is on thinking and memory.
  • Behaviorist – Focuses on positive and negative reinforcement.
  • Constructivist – New information is linked to prior knowledge.
  • Connectivism – The way that an individual thinks and their emotions influence learning.

I would say that after learning more about connectivism and that learning is inspired through email, conversation, web search, email lists, and etc. I realize that I actually utilize connnectivism in my everyday life and not just when I am learning something new. For instance, I utilize email to communicate with friends and co-workers on a daily basis and I have found that this form of communication is very useful. 

Technology plays a huge role in my learning and also developing learning for others. I would say that 50% of my job is learning new technology to develop my courses. It is very essential that one not only learn the latest technology in learning and development, but to master the technology. Some of the technology that is used in the world of Instructional Design include: Camtasia, Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, and other E-learning tools.

I believe that now that I have studied and researched the various learning styles, that I will be able to apply my knowledge to developing more engaging and interactive training. Most of the time, an Instructional Designer uses Cognitivism as the primary learning style to develop training, however after doing research all of the learning styles play a major role in including technology.

References

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson. Chapter 1, “Overview” (pp. 1–16)

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4),50-71.

Retrieved on 8/18/2014 from http://www.connectivism.ca/about.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind Mapping

Connectivism_MindMap

Connectivism involves many different forms of learning theories. Connectivism provides the learner with a way of learning that integrates both emotion and cognition. There are also many different social factors that play a huge part in learning using connectivism, which include, email, web searches, community organizations, reading blogs, etc. I decided to create a mind map of my social network that influence my learning. In creating my mind map I selected four networks that affect my learning environment.  In the mind map that is displayed above the social networks that I included are: networking, Social Media, Technology, and Communication. My network has changed the way that I learn significantly due to the evolving of information, communication, and technology.

Currently, I am able to learn without leaving my home. I can log on to the Internet and find information on various topics. If I want to communicate with someone I can also send them an email. I can also join online groups to increase my knowledge of learning and instructional design. A few of my favorite online groups include American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), and eLearning Brothers. When I have questions or want to increase my learning about something, I usually go online and research my question. I also utilize e-mail and will send an e-mail message to a friend in the same industry as myself to get clarity on a question. My personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism by allowing me to learn and communicate using sources that are outside of the cognitive and behaviorism learning theories.  When using my personal networks they allow me to collaborate with others and to find out what they think about a subject. Also, my learning networks help me to keep up with the latest technologies and methodologies due to the industry changing.

 

References

http://www.connectivism.ca/about.html

http://www.mindmapping.com/

 

 

Considering a Role in Instructional Design?

Many people that I speak to do not know what an Instructional Designer is or what this individual does. When I tell them that it’s basically an individual that creates training courses, they usually belt out a long sigh of relief as if they understand. However, the role of an Instructional Designer is much more complex. It involves a creative individual that can take content and create a course that is both interactive and informative.

What Are the Traits/Skills of a Great Instructional Designer?

Creative

Analytical

Organized

Excellent Project Management 

Technical

Great Communication Skills

Excellent Information Gathering Skills

Patience

A Leader

Most companies desire to hire individuals with the above skills/traits to fill the role of an Instructional Designer position. In your spare time, take a look at Instructional Design jobs in your City/State and you will be able to identify similarities of skills and traits. Visit the following job boards including: http://www.indeed.com, http://www.careerbuilder.com, and http://www.simplyhired.com.