Blended Learning

classroom-adults.jpgThis is Alia Vaz-Heaven’s first post on CaribHRForum.

Learning is a part of daily living; it may take place unconsciously or in a structured mode. According to Smith and Ragan (1999), learning is a relatively permanent change in a person’s behaviour due to experience based on the duration of change, the locus of the change, and the cause of the change. For learning to occur within individuals in a corporate context, HR Professionals need to use the best learning approach to engender the pervasiveness of knowledge within the organization. One unique approach to learning is blended learning. It is unique because it taps the reservoirs of different learning approaches, such as classroom-only learning and e-learning, in an effort to offer the best approach to learning.

There are several alternative names for blended learning such as integrated learning, balanced learning, hybrid learning, magic-in-a-mix, the perfect solution, and the best of both worlds. It is clear from these alternative names and even the word “blended” that blended learning seeks to put an end to the divide between traditional and online instruction, promising the best of both worlds by offering some of the conveniences of online courses without the complete loss of face-to-face contact.

So, is blending different learning modalities more effective for human resource training and development than the traditional approach to learning? Some companies are using a 50-50 combination of classroom-only and e-learning to form blended learning, while others are trying to move all learning out of the classroom and into the digital world. Either strategy moves away from having a classroom-only approach.

While face-to-face classes allow for interaction, it is done in a constrained synchronous mode where the instructor and a few participants often dominate the opportunity to interact. With its varied delivery options, blended learning takes interaction beyond the classroom and allows those who were limited in the classroom to obtain yet another opportunity to get knowledge from other subject-matter experts, such as supervisors, managers, or assigned mentors.

HR Professionals must remember that varied options do not mean blended. Instead learning becomes truly blended when a learner embraces the availability of these options, such as breaking away from the traditional views of learning (thinking that learning can only happen in a classroom setting) to see learning as a perpetual process, unbounded by the walls of a classroom environment.

When this mental paradigm shift takes places within learners then they will find it easier to solicit knowledge from peers, mentors, or experts, where they see this strategy as a continuing learning process solidifying or expounding on what has been taught in the classroom or through other learning options.

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Balanced Scorecard Implementation

balancedscorecard.gif This is Denise Ali’s first post on CaribHRForum.

This article seeks to document and share my experience and knowledge with designing and implementing scorecard systems in organisations.

The first order of business before embarking on a scorecard implementation is to conduct a thorough literature review regardless of how much you think you know about the BSC.

The literature review will inform or validate the choice to implement the BSC. The organisation should be very clear on if they are using the BSC as performance management tool or as a strategic management tool and they must understand the difference and its implications.

The BSC implementation is not the whole responsibility of the Human Resource department. One organisation actually placed this responsibility initially within HR and the results were disastrous especially since the entire leadership team were not in full support of the BSC. An Executive Sponsor should be appointed to drive the implementation. Many case studies cited the formation of a steering committee as being very helpful to dislodge obstacles and to drive acceptance and buy-in.

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Employee Engagement … A Moving Target

istock_000000340142xsmall.jpgWelcome to the first of 12 weeks of blurb from the desk of Monique and Felicia. We’d firstly like to thank Francis for giving us the opportunity to contribute to this blog and we shall certainly do our best to keep the topics provocative and interesting ‘a la’ the brief we’ve been provided!

This week we decided to look at that area of Human Resources that has become a hot topic on the lips of many …..Employee Engagement.

What is employee engagement? Is it another fad? Is it the perfect marriage between employer and employee?

As with many other areas within our field, mention employee engagement to the average worker and you will see a blank face, eyes glazing over, a shift to the left then right and well….you know the rest.

So we take a stab at defining employee engagement so that at a minimum we provide you with our frame of reference. But why reinvent the wheel, we liked the definition provided by the customer experience consultants McDaniels and Partners. You make up your own mind:

Employee engagement:

is commitment to the organization; job ownership and pride; passion and excitement; and commitment to execution and the bottom line”.

Source: http://employeefactor.com/2007/10/employee_engagement_starts_wit.html

Sounds simple enough but is in fact easier said than done, let’s break it down, there seems to be 4 key themes here:
Continue reading “Employee Engagement … A Moving Target”

Escaping the Cubicle

cubicles.jpgI have this conversation frequently with HR professionals — it starts with them saying “I’d love to go out on my own.”

I tend to encourage the thought, and I also sometimes remember to refer them to an excellent blog that focuses on making the transition from cubicle-dweller to entrepreneur.

I made the transition 15 years ago and while it hasn’t been easy, it has been tremendously rewarding. This blog focuses best on the parts of the journey that I have found to be the most challenging.

Click here to be taken to the blog — “Escape from Cubicle Nation.”

CaribHRForum on Facebook

facebook.jpgWhile the Discussion List on CaribHRForum is the heart and soul of cross-regional communication in the HR community, it also serves a powerful social networking function.

 

Before it existed, all that existed were a handful of relationships, plus the occasional conference attendee from another island. The Discussion List has made it easy for people to get to know and trust each other, and even to do business together — without meeting in person.

 

Facebook is an application that has made a quantum leap in making it easy to do social networking. It’s only natural that a CaribHRForum group be formed on that social networking site also.

 

I recommend that regional professionals find themselves on Facebook as fast as they can as it makes the effort of networking so very, very easy it serves as a major time-saver. Given that it’s free, it also saves on telephone bills, plane fares and postage stamps.

 

While some (if not many) will resist it at first, those who adopt it are discovering an immediate boost in their ability to network.

 

So. if you are on Facebook, join us on the page for CaribHRForum.

Bringing in Expats

istock_000002337283small.jpgAs the influence of CSME expands, it’s more and more likely that HR professionals in the region will be involved in assisting an employee to transition from one country to another.

The skills they need to help the employee are not easy to obtain, unless the HR practitioner has some direct experience themselves in being transferred.

I tackled the question in my blog, and also in a recent issue of FirstCuts.

In my blog, I talked about the fact that the skill of transitioning expats is an emerging trend.

In FirstCuts, I tackled the question of Caribbean expats moving from one country to another, and the lack of preparation that is provided coming from an expectation that transition in the Caribbean “must be easy” because “we are all Caribbean people.”

It is an area of the profession that has not gotten a lot of attention, but perhaps this might change in the near future.

Students and CaribHRForum

students-res_yasa.jpgFellow HR Practitioners,

One of the initiatives of CaribHRForum, started last year, is to encourage students of HRM across the region to join the network and begin dialogue with potential employers, mentors and HR colleagues. We consider students and young HR professionals not only the future of the profession, but also the lifeblood of organisations, and need their input and ideas to ensure our profession does not grow stale.

We have already approached some tertiary educational institutes in Trinidad, including UWI, but need your help to increase awareness and participation amongst our HR students. Last year I began by emailing the regional HR Associations to ask for their support in promoting the efforts with student members as a start.

How do you think we can increase both the awareness and appeal of CaribHRForum to young practitioners ? I am open to suggestions and look forward to hearing from you.

Lara Quentrall-Thomas
CaribHRForum Student Coordinator

P.S. Hit the large orange Comment button at top right to leave me a public reply to this post.

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