Saturday, December 17, 2016

 A Need for Improved Diversity in Higher Education

In today’s society, we are a huge melting pot of various ethnicities and multi-cultural individuals.  Every one is unique, and deserves a chance to integrate, and have a chance at academic opportunities, such as attending college.  On the other hand, we know that our society is diverse and heavily populated in the United States, but what about our academic society?  Is there a huge concern about the current diversity in higher education?  Some often ask: how does higher education actually treat diversity?
 Some students that are considered “low-income” may not be on the call list for admissions advisors at colleges.  Some admissions officers may not realize the unique opportunities of recruiting students that have financial burdens but are gifted academically.  Therefore, we can conclude that cultural diversity and internationalization do not automatically lead to intercultural contacts and intercultural learning experiences.   One begins to realize, how are universities adopting diversity? Is it accepted or declined? What can be done to increase it, and how far have we come since the early 1900’s?
Diversity Acceptance Statistics in Ivy League Schools
Moreover, there are various elements within diversity that have to be taken into account.  The elements are the following: African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, Caucasian LGBT, and Asian American individuals. However, let’s analyze the statistics of a pioneer Ivy League school, such as Harvard University.   There were fewer African-American (10.2 percent), Hispanic (11.2 percent), and Native American (12.1 percent) students accepted in 2016 alone. Yet, Harvard accepted more Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians but only ten percent of international students were also accepted.  Meanwhile, Princeton has a different approach when it comes to diversity and acceptance.  In 2016, the admitted class comprised from all 50 stated within America and 73 countries. Of the admitted class 97 % are in the top 10 percent of their high school class 50.6% and are male and 49.4% are female. Furthermore, out of the percentages, 47% are students of color. (Ivy Coach, 2016).  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of Blacks and Hispanics has rose from the year 2000-2013. Black college students rose from 11.7% in 2000 to 14.7% in 2013.  The percentage of Hispanic student increased from 9.9% to 15.8% over the same given time period.  Yet, 30.5% of college students identifies as Black or Hispanic. However, the ratio to faculty within university leadership is unfortunately quite low, and only 11% college faculty identify as Black or Hispanic. (Mrig, 2015).

Diversity Initiatives
For years, there were many attempts to increase diversity at schools, and even initiatives have been set in employment and hiring practices. For instance, East Carolina University has a diversity initiative that assists in being present when a minority applicant is being interviewed to make sure of fair treatment, and that individual is treated with the highest moral fiber possible.  Hence, the impact of diversity and equality in academia has fostered these diversity initiatives, and helped bring in qualified applicants from minority populations. The goal at some universities, especially when job-seeking candidates apply, they will state, is  that minorities and African-American women are encouraged to apply.


Comprehensive approaches that Universities can use to diversify Faculty & Administration
§  Remove biases from the hiring process
§  Create more inclusive environments
§  Onboard new hires
§  Align incentives and reward systems with stated priorities
§  Facilitate mentoring across campuses.
(Mrig, 2015).

In summary, diversity and equity is a very important concept that academia should embrace.  In today’s society, we live in a very diverse and multicultural society that embraces concept and change according to our ethnicities and genetic nationalities.  In addition, the same would apply to our academic arena within higher education and administration. The hiring of minority leaders and faculty members is continually low, and universities across the United States would work hard to increase that extremely low number of minority faculty and administered percentage number.







References:
Ivy Coach (2016).  2016 Ivy League Statistics. Retrieved December 16, 2016 from https://www.ivycoach.com/2016-ivy-league-admissions-statistics/
Mrig, A. (2015). Seizing the Moment. Retrieved December 17, 2016 from https://www.academicimpressions.com/news/improving-diversity-higher-education-beyond-moral-imperative



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Annotated Outline





Annotated Outline


 After review of the articles that I have added for my annotated bibliography, I have outlined 3-5 overarching ideas that join them together cohesively.  The contrast of the research study on virtual worlds and how it is used in education are the following;   
                            I.     Virtual worlds are useful as an educational tool.
                          II.     Interactions using virtual worlds are beneficial, and helps disabled students, students, and educators effectively with their academic and social skills.
                        III.     Pedagogies and implementation of virtual worlds in distance education increase social skills activity.
                        IV.     Virtual worlds reviewed as an effective instructional teaching method
                          V.     Issues and uncertainty is current when using virtual worlds for education.
These main ideas are summarized in all of the references that have been compiled for my annotated bibliography.  The research theory will help researchers understand the validity of virtual worlds and the uncertainty of using it in academia.  Therefore, there are many instructional methods that are very effective, but not as engaging as the social skills and interaction that a virtual world provides.   More insight on this particular research can validate the basis of using virtual world platforms as a powerful educational tool. 




References
Aldrich, C. (2009). Virtual Worlds, Simulations, and Games for Education: A Unifying View. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 5(5).

Bradshaw, Q., Tomaso, P., Keeling, R., Martinez, J., Lavieri, E., McGinnes, E., Shaffer, M., Calongne, C., Archiquette, S. & Bisson, L. (2011). Into the Twilight Zone: Innovations for Education, Virtual Worlds and Emerging Media. In Proceedings of TCC Worldwide Online Conference 2011 (pp. 29-42). TCCHawaii.

Jestice, R.J. Learning in virtual worlds: Results from two studies. Ph.D. thesis, State University of New York at Binghamton.

Ouyang, Y., Yang, S., Franklin, T., Michaelson, K., Morge, S., Sheybani, E., Hayden, K., Narayan, S., Tagliarini, G. & Talaiver, M. (2010). Games, Sims and Virtual Worlds in K-20 STEM education. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 2024-2028). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Savin-Baden, M., Gourlay, L., Tombs, C., Steils, N., Tombs, G. & Mawer, M. (2010). Situating Pedagogies, Positions and Practices in Immersive Virtual Worlds. Educational Research, 52(2), 123-133.

Sheila Webber and Diane Nahl (2011). Sustaining learning for LIS through use of a virtual world IFLA Journal, March 2011; vol. 37, 1: pp. 5-15.

Steinkuehler, C. & Duncan, S. (2008). Scientific Habits of Mind in Virtual Worlds. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17(6), 530-543.

Stendal, K., Balandin, S. & Molka-Danielsen, J. (2011). Virtual Worlds: A New Opportunity for People with Lifelong Disability? Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 36(1), 80-83.

Suzanne C. Baker, Ryan K. Wentz, and Madison M. Woods (2009). Using Virtual Worlds in Education: Second Life as an Educational Tool. Teaching of Psychology, January 2009; vol. 36, 1: pp. 59-64.

Wang, F. & Lockee, B.B. (2010). Virtual Worlds in Distance Education: A Content Analysis Study. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 11(3), 183-186.



Literature Review


Literature Review
  
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore using virtual worlds as an educational tool in higher education.  Whether in a traditional environment or a distance education environment, interaction and social abilities speaks volumes with disabled students that lacked the social skills needed in higher education environments.   This study will analyze the validity of using virtual world environment platforms as a social instructional method for students to learn.  Distance education environments can benefit from using the social and avatar-to-avatar that can directly replace the face-to-face interaction gap that maybe lacking.  If this study were conducted, virtual world designers, mixed methods research, interviews,  and surveys will be used.






The Benefits of Using Virtual World Environment Platforms in Education


 Virtual worlds are a useful educational tool that can be used in the way that students can effectively learn.  Suzanne C. Baker, Ryan K. Wentz, and Madison M. Woods (2009).  The interactions and enhanced technological capabilities with virtual worlds add a benefit to disabled students.  Students that are disabled  often lack social skills that are needed to cooperatively communicate and learn in academic environments.  When a disabled student participates in using a virtual world as an instructional teaching method, the student accumulates the social skills that are often lacked.    Stendal, K., Balandin, S. & Molka-Danielsen, J. (2011). 

Educators can benefit from the amount of interaction and stimulated social implementation of using a virtual world in education.   Therefore, pedagogy implementation helps distance education students that have implemented the use of virtual world environments in online education.   Savin-Baden, M., Gourlay, L., Tombs, C., Steils, N., Tombs, G. & Mawer, M., (2010).  Online learning can be enhanced when using this particular technology, and can encourage social facilitation and education.   Moreover, virtual worlds are being reviewed as an effective instructional method that consists of issues and uncertainty.  Wang, F. & Lockee, B.B. (2010).

For instance, past researchers worried about the security and privacy issues that occurred when using virtual worlds.  This is something that many are hesitant about when implementing the instructional use of virtual worlds in education.   The security concerns of the anything goes environment in virtual worlds such as nudity, exposure to hacking and sensitive information was a growing deep concern for many.


Review of Literature
Virtual World

 Virtual worlds can be supportive in a various number of ways.   There are various reasons why educators use some form of instructional technologies to teach their students the subject matter at hand.   However, using a virtual world environment is not the same as using a Learning Management System, or LMS that is often used in the world of academia.   Utilizing a virtual world environment platform as an educational tool is something that was being analyzed for a new way to instruct students.   Students have a sense of community and social interaction amongst their peers in the realms of higher education.   Some students are outspoken while some are status quo and introverted.   When suing a virtual world simulation such as Second Life, students can build an image for themselves “in-world.”  There’s no distinction of popularity, but there is a huge level of importance of individuality and virtual world social psyche. 




The Avatar

When using a virtual world, the first thing that has to be done is for an avatar to be created to define that level of virtual social presence.   The avatar is often created according to the individual’s personality and character preference.  This is what helps the user find themselves and claim ownership of their identity in a digitized environment.   The avatar is the digital projection of the actual individual, and in the virtual world environment, the avatar can be anything that id desired.  For instance, some individuals create avatars as dragon, fairies, vampires, werewolves, and even human in nature.  The avatar is a mirrored reflection of the user’s personality, and gives that user an social identity. 

Virtual Worlds as a Educational Tool

Baker, Wentz, and Woods (2009) explain how effective virtual worlds can be when used for education.  Virtual worlds mask a huge level of intrigue and interest that is has been analyzed as a supportive educational tool to use.   This particular study utilizes virtual worlds, and how they are used as an educational tool when using Second Life. Virtual world environments are very interactive and include using content that consists of the use of avatars, text messaging, online discussion groups, and blogging, to say the least.  Educators find that the use of virtual worlds can be quite useful when using it for online teaching.  Interaction through the use of a virtual world can build the sense of community for learners and help educators help students by instruction and control amongst students. 

Virtual Worlds in Distance Education

Wang & Lockee (2010).  In online environment platforms, there are many ways that students can learn educational content material.  This article analyzes a three-dimensional 3D virtual world that has examined extensively as a potential medium for online distance education.  Despite there being difficulties during the empirical research study, minimal documentation on how the study was actually conducted or found.   Using virtual worlds platforms can foster student engagement and virtual presence through the use of the digital avatar identity.


Virtual Worlds: A New Opportunity for People with Lifelong Disability


Balandin & Danielsen (2011) During this study, we are analyzing how virtual worlds have been used in the past to train individuals with intellectual disabilities and lack of social skills.  The research study that was conducted was designed specifically through a virtual environment for two adolescents that have autism spectrum disorder.  The advantages and opportunities of social value for individuals with disabilities in a virtual world are potentially valid.   Implementing the virtual world platform can increase the social acknowledgement of situational learning. 





Situating Pedagogies, Positions and Practices in Immersive Virtual Worlds


This literature analyzed how immersive virtual worlds and e-learning environments that emphasizes the technology has led the pedagogy.  They have also examined how implementing the learning included flexibility and supporting diversity.  The article also examined current arguments for the use of virtual worlds in higher education, and the impact of using these environments have on teaching and educators.  Teams of researchers has conducted a comprehensive review of issues within the pedagogy, staff role and digital illiteracies, and explore perspectives that may inform the higher education communities about views on the use of virtual worlds.


·      Can virtual worlds be an effective instructional method for students in higher education?

·      Can learning in virtual world environment such as Second Life become a possibility?

·      Will learning in a virtual world be considered a normalize way of learning?

·      Will immersive learning facilitate social skills that are effective for disabled students that lack those skills?



Into the Twilight Zone: Innovations for Education, Virtual Worlds and Emerging Media.

Moreover, other research examined an constructivist learning, implementing emerging media and online collaborative tools for education.  Therefore, we will be using an augmented reality, web technology, game-based simulations, artificial intelligence, and holographic displays in virtual worlds. During the study, the constructivist-learning techniques offer excellent opportunities for students to create the future.  During a creativity exercise, an emerging media class used online collaborative tools to share their visions for the future.  The featured topics included augmented reality, innovations in web technology, game-based educational simulations, and artificial intelligence in knowledge management, research in holographic displays, and requirements for the Virtual World education Grid.   
Conclusion
In summary, there are various ways that students can learn and benefit when using virtual worlds for that particular purpose.  This can help both educators and students learn in a variable way so that they can retain the material.   Educators can introduce technology and help their students feel immersed and engaged in the class while using collaborative learning methods to bridge the gap of emerging media technologies.  According to Bradshaw, Q. (2011) “This innovation proposes the capability to rapidly create game simulations for role-playing, digital storytelling, engaging games and learning. 







































References


Aldrich, C. (2009). Virtual Worlds, Simulations, and Games for Education: A Unifying View. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 5(5).

Bradshaw, Q., Tomaso, P., Keeling, R., Martinez, J., Lavieri, E., McGinnes, E., Shaffer, M., Calongne, C., Archiquette, S. & Bisson, L. (2011). Into the Twilight Zone: Innovations for Education, Virtual Worlds and Emerging Media. In Proceedings of TCC Worldwide Online Conference 2011 (pp. 29-42). TCCHawaii.

Jestice, R.J. Learning in virtual worlds: Results from two studies. Ph.D. thesis, State University of New York at Binghamton.

Ouyang, Y., Yang, S., Franklin, T., Michaelson, K., Morge, S., Sheybani, E., Hayden, K., Narayan, S., Tagliarini, G. & Talaiver, M. (2010). Games, Sims and Virtual Worlds in K-20 STEM education. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 2024-2028). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Savin-Baden, M., Gourlay, L., Tombs, C., Steils, N., Tombs, G. & Mawer, M. (2010). Situating Pedagogies, Positions and Practices in Immersive Virtual Worlds. Educational Research, 52(2), 123-133.

Sheila Webber and Diane Nahl (2011). Sustaining learning for LIS through use of a virtual world IFLA Journal, March 2011; vol. 37, 1: pp. 5-15.

Steinkuehler, C. & Duncan, S. (2008). Scientific Habits of Mind in Virtual Worlds. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17(6), 530-543.

Stendal, K., Balandin, S. & Molka-Danielsen, J. (2011). Virtual Worlds: A New Opportunity for People with Lifelong Disability? Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 36(1), 80-83.

Suzanne C. Baker, Ryan K. Wentz, and Madison M. Woods (2009). Using Virtual Worlds in Education: Second Life as an Educational Tool. Teaching of Psychology, January 2009; vol. 36, 1: pp. 59-64.


Wang, F. & Lockee, B.B. (2010). Virtual Worlds in Distance Education: A Content Analysis Study. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 11(3), 183-186.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Art of Business Education


The Art of Business Education

The Art of Business Education adapted alternative from the Legendary Sun Tzu “The Art of War.”    Mark Mc Neilly written the Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers.  6 Transitional principles from Sun Tzu Art of War to Sun Tzu and the Art of Business.
1)      Win All Without Fighting: Capturing Your Market Without Destroying It.
2)     Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness: Striking Where They Least Expect It.
3)     Deception and Foreknowledge: Maximizing the Power of Market Information.
4)     Speed and Preparation: Moving Swiftly to Overcome Your Competitors.
5)     Shape Your Opponent: Employing Strategy to Master The Competition.
6)     Character-Based Leadership: Providing Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times.
(McNeilly, 1996).
This can be used by applying strategic initiatives that will increase student retention at Southern New Hampshire University.  Business Education can benefit from implementing the following within business studies at Southern New Hampshire University. This can be done by revision of the business education curriculum, using mythical models of innovation, applying strategic thinking process, using the baseline model and adopting digital intelligence perspectives, etc. There are many ways that the art of organizational structure, student mentorship, group collaboration and teamwork can help increase student retention rates in business education. The art of business can apply to each element mentioned.  

Reference: McNeilly, M. (1996). Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. 

Why should HPT practitioners care about the organization’s strategic direction?

Why should HPT (Human Performance Technology) practitioners care about the organization’s strategic direction?

It is very important that human performance technology practitioners analyze each criteria for success within an organization.  When predicting the success of any performance technology, practitioners like to evaluate all of the parties that are involved within the organization.  This can be done by pinpointing the following strategic alignment phases.
Ø  Phase One: Performance Analysis- The evaluation of the strategic plan of the organization and objectives.
Ø  Phase Two: Cause Analysis-Analyze the performance objectives at both individual and group level which will directly categorize misalignment being the cause of the performance gap.
Ø  Phase Three: Intervention, Selection, Design, and Development-Strategic objectives are aligned with measurable criteria and prioritized throughout departments within the organization.
Ø  Phase Three: Intervention, Implementation and Change-Evaluation of the strategic plan of the organization to identify that implementation strategies are aligned with present and future initiatives.
Ø  Phase Four: Evaluation-The analysis will be evaluated to determine the impact results on the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives. (Pershing, 2006 pgs. 205 & pg. 206).
Organizations should take advantage of evaluating the strategic objectives of an organization.  It is essentially important to characterize pertinent strategic principles. I like when businesses, managers, and HPT Practitioners adapt strategic principles from Sun Tzu.  Sun Tzu has a brilliant military strategy that can be evolved into the business model strategy.  There were six strategic principles that transitioned from Sun Tzu’s Art of War to Sun Tzu and the Art of Business.  These six strategic principles are the following:
1)      Win All Without Fighting: Capturing Your Market Without Destroying It.
2)      Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness: Striking Where They Least Expect It.
3)      Deception and Foreknowledge: Maximizing the Power of Market Information.
4)      Speed and Preparation: Moving Swiftly to Overcome Your Competitors.
5)      Shape Your Opponent: Employing Strategy to Master The Competition.
6)      Character-based Leadership: Providing Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times.
(McNeilly, 1996 pg.7).
However, as you can see the aforementioned are strategic principles that can help any organization stay competitive.  Therefore, as a result remaining strategically aligned with their company mission.  In addition, HPT practitioners can benefit from each analysis and evaluation of impacted measurable goals that can directly affect every party involved in the organization.

References
McNeilly, M. (1996). Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.
Pershing, J.A. (2006). Handbook of Human Performance Technology: Principles, Practices, and Potential (3rd, ED). San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc.



Why should we care about ethics and standards?

Why should we care about ethics and standards?

One should care about ethics and standards because it is something that should be embedded in our moral fiber.   Living in a large society, ethics and standards are often compromised.  However, how does these two elements fit in human performance technology?  Ethics is heavily supportive of values and establish a set of principles that are perceived to be right and what it ought to be. The HPT foundation of ethics consists the following: 1) Add value, 2) Make use of and promote validated practices, 2) work collaboratively, 3) Continuously improve efficiency, 4) Exhibit integrity, and 5) Uphold confidentiality.  (Pershing, 2006 pgs. 1036-1037).
 It is in our nature to want to strive for what is morally right. For instance, I have to state that I have always respected and admired Greek Philosopher, Aristotle.  Aristotle have originated the complacency of virtue ethics.  Virtue ethics is supportive with helping people develop good character traits such as honesty and responsibility.  It involves the negative traits such as greed and dishonesty. (Pershing, 2006 pg. 1028). However, it is up to us to recognize right from wrong and what is morally right versus what is morally wrong.  For example, there are laws stating that it is wrong to steal and punishable by imprisonment and fines.   Now ethically, sometimes it can differ especially is someone was poor stealing just to feed themselves or their family.
 Ethics and moral standards are what helps our society keep walking the line on the straight and narrow.  Doing something that is for the greater good, rather than for selfish gain.  I really admire stating that I am an honest person and it would bother me morally from the way I was raised to do something wrong or be dishonest.  Coming from a family of 13, my parents have always emphasized how important it was to be an ethical and moral individual.  If our society did not care about ethics and standards, we would not have laws, rules, and regulations helping to defend what is right and handle what is wrong. In summary, our society cares about ethics and standards. We can take the examples of the types of laws that have been mandated and enforced to keep us at our highest moral obligation.  HPT must maintain value and ethical standards within an organization and improve business processes.
Reference
Pershing, J.A. (2006). Handbook of Human Performance Technology: Principles, Practices, and Potential (3rd ED). San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Performance Technology Landscape: Systematic Approach

Performance Technology Landscape: Systematic Approach

The human performance landscape covers a variety of elements that make an integrated performance approach a viable one.   Systematic approaches are used to organize projects within an organization or institution.   First, one must know and understand what performance technology is. Performance technology is characterized of a range of variables that may affect human performance.  (Pershing, 2006 pg. 38).  However, the element that intrigues me the most of the performance technology landscape is the systematic approach.   As an employee at Grantham University, in this approach is great because it also include sub-elements which consists of; needs, results, what, how, do, and evaluate. 
§  Need-identify and review the problem or opportunity with the client.
§  Results: impose current performance against expected results and distinguish requirements for success.
§  What: pinpoint sources of current performance and recommend solutions.
§  How: design and develop selected solution.
§  Do: implement improved solutions put change-management processes in place.
§  Evaluate: monitor performance against the expected results defined initially. (Pershing, 2006 pg. 42).
 This is a sub-elements that is admired the most because in order to fix something that may or may not be broken is the main reason why performance improvement is needed. This approach is needed and utilized to follow a series of steps to identify needs and recommend solutions.  Each sub-element can increase the human-performance initiative to increase the organizational processes. As a result, it will make the employee a productive and efficient worker by apply each step systematically.  Being in computer science, and working in the IT industry every program has solutions. Therefore, each need with the systematic approach is first directly identified and solutions are to be recommended.  Systems approach and thinking is often upgraded and with that flexibility it if pertinent to organizations.  I find value in using this approach because it can help nurture and help the critical processes throughout the entire facility.



Reference

Pershing, J.A. (2006). Handbook of Human Performance Technology: Principles, Practices, and Potential (3rd ED). San Francisco, California: John Wiley & Sons Publishers, Inc.