1. Human Performance Improvement
My classroom goal is for each student to be accountable for their own performance in order to be successful in class. The desired workplace performance is for students to be accountable by keeping track of assignments and due dates, completing all assignments on time, and coming in for tutorials when assignments are missed due to absences. The gap in the desired workplace performance and the actual state of workplace performance is that only about 60% of students in each class actually meet these performance goals. The other 40% do not keep adequate track of assignments and due dates, turn in work on time half of the time, and usually do not come in for tutorials when they have missed assignments. About 20-25% of these students are failing or on the brink of failing because of these performance issues.
In evaluating the causes for this low performance issue, I have found that lack of information, feedback, tools, resources, expectations, and consequences have been the major contributors.
Lack of Resources and Tools: I have found that most students do not keep track of assignments and due dates. Last year, I started requiring students to keep a class folder which contained the course outline, assignments log, notes, and graded work. Most students have utilized the folder for class notes, but still are not keeping their assignment log updated regularly.
Lack of Expectations: I feel that student expectations for their own performance in technology based classes are not always very high due to their level of experience with technology. That has improved over the years, but I still find that there are many students whose expectations are too low.
Intervention Selection and Design:
After analyzing the causes, I have found several non instructional ways to try to improve this low performance issue. They are as follows:
· Electronic Performance Support: Last year, our school implemented a system for parents to be able to access their child’s grades online. Parents have to come to the office to request their log-in and password to access the online grade book. Some parents have taken advantage of this and have even given their child the log-in and password so they can check their own grades. I have talked to our administrators about the possibility of allowing all students the ability to access their own grades online as well as their parents. I know that the students who have access to their grades have become more accountable for their own performance. I really believe that if every student had access, more students would take more initiative in becoming more accountable for the completion of their assignments. This would force them to see the effects of their performance on a daily or weekly basis rather than just at the three week or six weeks mark; which can sometimes be too late.
My EPSS Definition Preference:
With my interest in accounting, I found that I prefer William Bezanson’s definition best. JIT (Just-In-Time) is a familiar accounting acronym that refers to a management philosophy that strives to eliminate waste by providing the right amount of inventory at the right time. I feel that an EPSS should provide an employee or student with the right information, tools, training, and help at the point that it is needed to enable them to improve their performance. I also agree with Laffey (1995) in that the EPSS should be a dynamic, ongoing synergistic input from users to keep the information that is provided current and relevant to the problems or situations at hand.
EPSS: Past, Present, and Future:
3. Blended Learning Approach and Knowledge Management
Changes in Career and Technical Education that were initiated this year have been astronomical. New TEKS, new courses, new clusters, and new ideas have some teachers scrambling to keep up. Many of the new course names are just new faces for the old courses that were offered previously, however there are a great number of courses that are brand new with no real textbooks or curriculums currently in place. Teachers who have had to start teaching these new courses this year have had to face starting the year with no textbooks and no real curriculum.
The SolutionThe Career and Technical Education unit of TEA answered teachers’ cries for help in a sense by using blended learning and knowledge management to aid CTE teachers. Most CTE teachers were required to go to workshop this past summer for training in their particular cluster. In the workshop, we were given a CTE manual with the new TEKS and resources for our cluster’s courses. We were also introduced to the CTE website that was created on the University of North Texas educational site. The site provides access to each cluster with TEKS, resources, and curriculum that teachers have created. Not all courses have curriculum yet, but we have been told that as soon as it is created, it will be posted to this site. The site also offers CTE teachers a CTE Community Forum to ask questions and share ideas and lessons as well as a blog for teachers to collaborate. The CTE website has become in a sense the knowledge management system for CTE teachers. It provides access and information to all CTE teachers, collaboration through an online community forum and blog, and codification through links that contain specific information for each cluster, tools for instruction, and training programs offered through workshops at our summer conference.
|Knowledge Management Components|
In attaining my teacher certification, I was trained through formal learning in my undergraduate classes. These classes helped me learn my content and how to devise a lesson plan, but that was really the extent of my learning. I really learned how to teach through informal learning experiences. These learning experiences came through my teaching internship, mentor teachers, watching other teachers teach, talking with other teachers at conferences and workshops, gaining ideas online through looking at strategies and methods other teachers were using, and especially through trial and error. Each experience gave me insight into the art of teaching. I was engaged in learning because I wanted to become the best teacher that I could possibly be. I am still learning informally. My role was and still is that of a student who is willing and excited about learning. There were never any real instructors in any of my informal learning experiences; just individuals who had expertise in the field that I came into contact with throughout the course of my teaching career.