Self-Directed Learning Report
Assistive Technology Specialist
September 5, 2018
As part of my job, I train staff and faculty to create more user-friendly classes, offices, and other campus environments. Our university culture is such that accessibility is not the highest priority. It has improved significantly in the past decade or so but budget limitations, changes in leadership and other factors have led to a limited understanding of the need for a universally designed campus. There are many grassroot supporters but there is little support from the upper echelons of our management. With these challenges, the improvements are very slow and occasionally recede. There is no mandatory training for accessibility awareness and very few colleges have any procedures created around inclusive designs for curriculum.
My only option is to create training sessions that are purely optional and voluntary. Over time, I have found that the most effective way of attracting faculty and staff to be trained is to hold brief sessions within events where they are already in attendance. I volunteer to present at professional development sessions and conferences. I have even partnered with the campus expert who is a Professor of Special Education in order to be better accepted by faculty. I have trained at staff meetings and faculty orientations. I have produced a video for our Quality Matters program in the Faculty Resource Center (teaching and learning center.)
Although I get positive informal feedback after training, I don’t really have a well-established method of assessing how effective my training sessions are. I would like to come up with various ways of assessing learning that will fit the different venues and “audiences” for my presentations, workshops and sessions.
Effective methods for assessing learning
Strategies for choosing the different methods of assessments based on situational constraints
With these goals accomplished, I believe I will become better at choosing what style of training to use in which situation.
I have already done preliminary searches on assessing adult learning. It is difficult to find academic journal articles on this specific subject. I have collected a long list of keywords for my search and have met with a research librarian for some pointers on the research. I have begun to look at articles on the EPIC database.
I will also search the Social Sciences Citation Index in the Web of Science database for other academic articles.
I will review some of my textbooks that I have purchased during the course of this ILT degree work and look again at the assessment methods described.
I have an upcoming learning session in less than a month and will try to use at least one assessment method.
As evidence of my learning, I plan to draw a chart of my findings: methods of assessments and their effectiveness in different situations.
Using my chart of assessment methods, I would like to add real practical experience with assessments to better my training methodology. I hope to become a better trainer of adults and of faculty in particular. Having reliable assessments will inform on the effectiveness of my sessions.
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Dallas, B. K., Sprong, M. E., & Kluesner, B. K. (2016). Multiuniversity Comparison of Faculty Attitudes and Use of Universal Design Instructional Techniques. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, And Education, 30(2), 148-160.
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