Bob’s Project One and Info-graphic, version two, ED 653

Bob’s Project One

Original Post

February 24, 2015

EI Infographics

Week 5, Project 1, “make an infographic”

5 thoughts on “Bob’s Project One”

  1. Tatiana

    Hi Bob,

    this is a very nice attempt at creating a graphic. I like your use of colors. They work well for bringing attention to important elements of the content.
    I do have couple of suggestions… Because your graphic is really hard to read and follow as you have too many font sizes and text going different directions I would maybe situate the text one direction and use a very light background of different colors to help differentiate between it. Another solution would be to make all text the same size, but use bold style to emphasize between important and not so important elements. Using numbers might help to bring a little bit of order as well.

    Here are some examples of different infographics that might help:


  2. Owen

    Hi Bob,

    I’m with Tatiana on her suggestions. This is a bit visually daunting. The design elements create a bit of a barrier to my perception of your intended meaning rather than easing my approach. Specifically, I like the four tiles with the arrows and associated text. The red circle with a slash, however, is jarring. I’m not sure about an intended order or pathway through these ideas? I like each point, however. Each has meaning or significance, but some sort of organization or pathway leading us or helping us find an “entrance” would be of assistance, and/or helping us prioritize your points.

    Visual design isn’t my strongest suit, so I understand where you’re coming from.

    I’d suggest maybe freeing yourself from the software. Print each piece of text, or write them down, cut separately, and see if you can’t arrange in some sort of flow, even if there are multiple points of entry/egress… Play around with the images and ideas and see if a pattern emerges.



  3. Bob

    Thanks to both of you for suggestions. Thanks Owen for letting me leave the digital space, that actually is a very useful suggestion. Tatiana, I actually think this version sucks. It is too heavily dependent on text. However, the bind I’m struggling with is something I touched in thinking about Kim’s image. The switching between images and text creates a self-conscious switching and then interrogation. I rarely get through any examples of infographics because of the extensive work to make any sense out of them. I was trying unsuccessfully to limit that through staying with the text.


  4. Kim

    Hi Bob,

    Your content is fantastic. Not only good training content, but also a lot of good reminders! I thought a bit about how I would simplify the organization, but, design is a really personal process and its hard to make suggestions when there are thousands of directions you could go. Here’s just one idea… create four pull out boxes with corresponding colors from the four boxes in the central graphic. Then group the text into the box that it most exemplifies. Like with like and color coded to the main idea. Have fun!


  5. Owen

    I second Kim’s comment that this is some great content. Very substantive.

    Info-graphic, version two

    March 2, 2015

    Original Post

    EI infographic Version 2

    4 thoughts on “Info-graphic, version two”

    1. Kim

      Hi Bob,

      The source you sited, Susan Cain and The Power of Introverts caught my eye (because the redesign allowed for things to catch you eye!) so I went and looked her up. I listened to her TED talk…and LOVED it. Introvert as opposed to extrovert is a fundamental core difference in how people approach the world, and so often causes hard feelings and misunderstandings. She is beautifully eloquent on the topic and I just added her book to my summer reading list. Truth be told, I might not be able to wait:) Thanks!


      1. Kim

        PS love the redoux.

        I would suggest you skip the top section. Your actual topic starts with the headline Develop Your EQ Today and the cute lead in adds cuteness but draws attention away from the power of the meat of your graphic.


    2. Owen

      Much better! I really like this, Bob.

      I like the content at the top, the horrible bosses and beatings will continue (I’ve always liked that meme? Is that what one calls it?). I like what you’re going for – contrast. Maybe your design concept would be best served by a contrasting infographic? A whole piece centered around poor EQ practices, and poor management? That might be really fun to make, and read, and would open wide the door for your (now) strong piece on EQ. …

      Good work!


    3. Bob

      You guys…. This is, for me, a complete joke. I have situated online gaming memes next to each other, the PvP pirate, and the rainbows and ponies of Carebears. I’m making light of the medium and of the topic (PvP pirates drink the tears of their Carebear victims — hardly in touch with their EQ).

      Owen’s suggestion to break the two into contrasting info-graphics is a good one. Creating the “horrible boss” one would be fun and probably such an exercise would force me to take the topic more seriously. Or, more probably I would be bad and find ways to burlesque the medium and topic even more with all the additional room.

      I have a new co-worker, she is a young librarian, and this is her first job with her new credentials. She is working on becoming our Social Science and Data expert. I stopped by her office the other day and she gave me a tour. One stop was her bulletin board decorated with info-graphics about data. I mentioned my struggle with image/text congruence how easily I get distracted by in-congruence. She just laughed at me. She pointed to one of the images which had a row of icons across the bottom, purely decorative.

      I think for me to make a good info-graphic is going to require a lot of work. First, is content. Second, is summarizing. Third, is making associations between images and ideas. Images that do real work. And I do think source citation has a place in a legit info-graphic. I don’t know… the irony is that to get good at it I would have to practice.

Bob’s Assessment, ED 653

Original Post

The performance I really need to assess occurs in the workplace, at the service desk, in employees various interactions. Wiggins and McTighe define “authentic performances” in six ways:

  • Is realistically contextualized….
  • Requires judgment and innovation….
  • Asks the student to “do” the subject….
  • Replicates key challenging situations in which adults are truly “tested” in the workplace, in civic life and in personal life….
  • Assesses the student’s ability to efficiently and effectively use a repertoire of knowledge and skill to negotiate complex and multistage tasks….
  • Allows appropriate opportunities to rehearse, practice, consult resources, and get feedback on and refine performances and products. (Wiggins, 2006)

My quick and dirty assessment is that I have addressed the first four elements. My first draft falls down in two places concerning the last two elements. Both my learning outcomes and my journal assignments need revision with these elements in mind. A profound difference in this context is that my instruction is blended/flipped into the workplace. I am assessing their performance for continued employment and possible promotion. Turning to the work I need them to do because of this training, I identified these five performances:

  • use of effective listening skills in conversations with customers, employees and supervisors.
  • service interactions will be higher quality and more efficient.
  • increased confidence in their performance.
  • navigate difficult conversations successfully.
  • choosing to have difficult conversations more frequently.

I chose to emphasize learning journals for two reasons, one selfish and one pragmatic. The selfish reason first, a graduate school mentor, before the advent of online instruction used learning journals, alas; his life was cut short by cancer. I want to experiment with journals, in part, in his remembrance. But, some of the best demonstration of learning comes out of the tradition of journals, the Lewis and Clark expedition, Darwin’s, Voyage of the Beagle, and a personal favorite, The Log from the Sea of Cortez. My pragmatic reason is that I do not want the work in the online environment to over shadow the work at the service desk rather I want it to support it. If I get into required essays, or quizzes, I have slipped back into schooling for the sake of schooling. In fact, something I need to help these young people to keep at a distance. They are excellent at schooling. They are not so good at real life. So, returning to my assignment:

Let us think of the forums as our journals. Journal entries do three kinds of work: first they record what we have seen and heard in the training videos, (slides, bullet points, interesting turns of phrase, ideas we encounter for the first time), then, second we turn to reflecting, we record our reactions, feelings, judgments, and learning, third we engage in analyses:

  • What was really going on?
  • What sense can you make of the training video?
  • Can you integrate theory into the workplace experience/online training?
  • Can you demonstrate an improved awareness and self-development because of the training and our work in the forums?

Unlike our private journals, this is a shared journal. As such, we have responsibility and accountability to each other. We need to be both courteous and hardheaded. If we simply pitch each other softballs, our learning will be limited. If we are rude to each other, no one will participate.

A quick and dirty literature review shows that a lot of the scholarship around learning logs was done in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. A lull occurs until the early 2000s (Babcock, 2007; Hurst, 2005). The most recent articles however are not exploring the use of this tool in the online context, forums and blogs. I think these mediums are ready-made sites for these teacher-student/student-teacher, and peer-to-peer interactions. Returning to Wiggins and McTighe I am reminded to ask about the evidence I need to confirm learning.

  • What specific characteristics in student responses, products, or performances should we examine to determine the extent to which the desired results were achieved?
  • Does the proposed evidence enable us to infer a student’s knowledge, skill, or understanding? (Wiggins, 2006)

Because this journal is shared in real time, it is possible to engage in formative assessment rather than depend on summative assessment for proof of learning. At any time, we can step out of the conversation to ask about the conversation hence one important aspect of assessment. I can look for key words, or synonyms, “explain, interpret, apply, express perspectives, empathize, and self-knowledge” in their journaling and commenting.

As I have said elsewhere, I really care most about what employees do at the service desk. Accordingly, the rubric I want to work on is focused on the workplace not the journal. We have created documents, over the years to help us do our work, training checklists, and performance evaluation forms. Like many workplace documents, they are organic and local. The notion of workplace rubrics inspired me to do a little Googling – see what other people are doing. I stumbled on the Arizona Workplace Employability Skills Project (Arizona Department of Education in partnership with the University of Arizona and Corporate Education Consulting, 2012) which is simply a great resource for the task. This is their rubric in an outline.


However, Owen’s point is that we practice writing rubrics. Right now, I am content with the two elements of core communication so provisionally I will let them stand. “Sensitive to diversity” is a serious hot button in both the workplace and in higher education. We have not really grappled with serious and focused training — we give protected classes and harassment a salute. We have not treated it as a core skill (mental note we have work to do here). The technology piece is in many ways assumed (mental note we have work to do here). We do talk about privacy laws. We talk around the matter of brand integrity.   Therefore, I have a lot of work to do both in terms of refining training but in defining this rubric. Alas, the actual evidence for relative competence offered in the Arizona report is of limited use hence why I leave it out of my summary. So yes, this is feeling overwhelming. Our authors say, “If the thought of using so many rubric traits seems overwhelming, start small. Go back to the two basic criteria – quality of the understandings and the quality of the performance. Add a third for process when appropriate, and other rubric traits as time and interest permit”(Wiggins, 2006).

I need to refine the technology criteria of this core skill set. We use a telephones (voice and text), email, and Google calendar, one of my Library Coordinators uses Facebook as well, in our communication strategy. Therefore, I will rephrase the criteria being specific “Exercises competence in using telephone, email, Google calendar, or Facebook for work place communication.” I will rephrase the brand integrity criteria to say, “Represents the library in a positive manner.” Regarding laws, I offer this formulation “Abides by privacy laws and library policy protecting customer information.” The criteria “Matches technology to content” reminds me of matching affect appropriately to the situation (laughing when someone is crying as a negative example). Perhaps, I can do a parallel formation one in the core workplace skills and one in the technology section. These are heavy on performance and light on evidence of understanding. Through posing “why” questions I may better formulate both my learning outcomes and facilitate the employee’s attempts to offer evidence of understanding along with practical performances.

Full stop, I am worried about using rubrics in the workplace because of misplaced concreteness and misplaced emphasis. I do not want student employees chasing points on assignments I want them chasing excellence in a real world performance in all of its ambiguity.   The right answer in service situation does not exist once and for all. Rather it is negotiated repeatedly instance by instance. Yet I sense the value and merit of rubrics for supervisors in having a touchstone, a standard for evaluation even as we negotiate this best possible version of Colby College libraries.

I think that I like the Arizona rubric in the context of a student employee’s workplace performance.  I like the 4 stages of progression, novice to leader.  However, in the context of blended/flipped online instruction supporting workplace performance, and my emphasis on learning logs,  I prefer the rubric that Tatiana offers: clarity, analysis, relevance, and self-reflection.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I am teaching the precursor material at the same time I am developing this unit.  What I am seeing in that is almost a hunger among the student employees for this kind of interaction.  One where I and my library coordinators’ engage with them on the topics and coach them on these necessary life skills.  The engagement and self-reflection is extraordinary and I am right to be cautious about developing a rubric for grading in this instance.  I get that I need to learn more about writing rubrics, but, that is a different situation.

Arizona Department of Education in partnership with the University of Arizona and Corporate Education Consulting, I. C. (2012). Arizona Workplace Employability Skills Project: Rubric Development Workplace Employability Skills Project Phase II. Arizona.


Babcock, M. J. (2007). Learning Logs in Introductory Literature Courses. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(4), 10. doi: 10.1080/13562510701415615

Hurst, B. (2005). My Journy with Learning Logs. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(1), 4. doi: 10.1598

Wiggins, G., and McTighe, J. (2006) Understanding by Design (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Communication, ED 653

Original Post

Right now, I am imagining a section that precedes this that focuses on “Taking the Step up….” I expect this communication section to take about a month. I am still toying with what to follow this section with – right now, I am thinking of shifting to very pragmatic elements of supervision, delegation, for one example.

Third enduring understanding: Communication, communication, communication getting it all done depends upon excellence in communication in all forms.

Communication (core)

  • Effective and extensive listening skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Crucial conversation (the ability to say the truth and maintain trust and respect)

Learning Outcomes

  • explain the five listening skill sets (recall details, understanding the big picture, evaluate content, notice subtle cues, empathize) and name your strongest and weakest skill set.
  • interpret the communication situation and demonstrate several techniques for clarifying your role in that situation.
  • list the effective listening behaviors and interpret situations offer reasons for selecting a strategy apply it appropriately in the situation.
  • explain what emotional intelligence is.       Explain why developing emotional intelligence at work is important. Discuss strategies for cultivating emotional intelligence in the workplace.
  • demonstrate self-knowledge through the four steps detailed in the instructional video: self-knowledge, interpreting feelings, accurate self-perception, and cultivating self-esteem.
  • extend that self-knowledge into skills focused on self-regulation. Interpret the self-regulation techniques: triggers, personal integrity, goal setting, and flexibility and agility, as they are directly relevant and important in your experience working the service desk.
  • shift perspectives and empathize with others through the five skills for creating emotional awareness: building relations, empathy, anticipating needs, social awareness, and appreciating diversity.
  • apply this knowledge to the workplace, and to your knew role as supervisor: training, facilitating teamwork, managing conflict, leading for and through change, becoming influential and being an inspirational leader.

Learning Resources (Attn: ED 635 students I have written this for my target audience. However, if you access through the UAF Library your student login will give you access to these trainings, assuming they spark your interest. I really recommend the Leading with Applied Improv.)

Go to this url, and follow the instructions on logging in. Once you have access view the video training listed below. It is fine to do this during your regular but quiet shift (please just remember to leave one earbud out so that you can still hear the phone, or face-to-face customer questions).

Effective Listening

Listening is a critical competency, whether you are interviewing for your first job or leading a Fortune 500 company. Surprisingly, relatively few of us have ever had any formal training in how to listen effectively. In this course, communications experts Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes show how to assess your current listening skills, understand the challenges to effective listening (such as distractions!), and develop behaviors that will allow you to become a better listener—and a better colleague, mentor, and friend.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are all around us in the office, and it is important for leaders to understand how to harness them to cultivate productivity and positive relationships. In this course, director of learning and development Britt Andreatta shows how to develop emotional intelligence to better lead teams, work with peers, and manage up. Learn what emotional intelligence is and how it factors in at work and discover concrete techniques for raising your own emotional quotient (EQ). This includes perceiving yourself accurately, exercising emotional self-control, practicing resilience, and developing empathy. Then turn those lessons around to build your awareness of others and learn to inspire helpful communication and manage conflict.

We will be viewing these two instructional sessions together. This is to create a foundation of thought and skills on the topic of communication. They allow us to compare and contrast the instruction by the various presenters as well – that is we interpret between the two and make our own sense of the topic.

  1. View Emotional Intelligence, Introduction, and section one and two, Understanding Emotional Intelligence, Developing Self-Awareness, and View Effective Listening, welcome and section one, Assessing your Listening Skills
  2. View Emotional Intelligence, section three, developing Self-Regulation, View Effective Listening, section two, Challenges to Listening
  3. View Effective Listening, section three, Effective Listening Behaviors, and Conclusion, and View Emotional Intelligence, sections four and five, Building Awareness of Others, and Building Relationships

Let us think of the forums as our journals. Journal entries do three kinds of work: first they record what we have seen and heard in the training videos, (slides, bullet points, interesting turns of phrase, ideas we encounter for the first time), then we turn to reflecting we record our reactions, feelings, judgments, and learning, third we analyses:

  • What was really going on?
  • What sense can you make of the training video?
  • Can you integrate theory into the work place experience/online training?
  • Can you demonstrate an improved awareness and self-development because of the training and our work in the forums?

Unlike our private journals, this is a shared journal. As such, we have responsibility and accountability to each other. We need to be both courteous and hardheaded. If we simply pitch each other softballs, our learning will be limited. If we are rude to each other, no one will participate.

I want you to practice the skills your are learning about with customers as you help them transact business. I also want you to use them with co-workers and direct reports. Keep notes on these interactions and report in the forums on your experiences. Finally, as you interact with outside businesses (grocery store, clothing, liquor, and restaurants for examples) apply the communications skills again keep notes on these interactions and report to the forums on your observations.

Assignment three takes us in a slightly different direction. Accordingly, we will adjust the work a little to match the different content. This section is about attuning ourselves to others. Seeing how they struggle to communicate and seeing their emotional stumbles or equally possible we can observe their excellence and intelligence with communication. So, again list and record what you learn from the training, but now shift your attention to observing co-workers as they interact with customers and each other and reflect on how skillful or inept their communication is. The point here is not to judge but to observe and to begin to plan for helping them improve. This is the rudiments of job assessment and an important aspect of a supervisor’s role. Record both good and weak performance (out of courtesy do not report the person’s name) and report to the forums on performance and suggestions for improvement. Together we will analyze these examples you provide.

Learning Resources (Attn: ED 635 I am considering pairing the Emotional Intelligence and the Leading with Applied Improve and leaving the Effective Listening, first and Having Difficult Conversations, last as stand-alone bookends on the unit. Any thoughts on that alternate structure?)

We will be viewing these two instructional sessions together. Their content is less directly related to each other though there are points of overlap. However, both connect well to the previous two trainings we watched and so watch for that.

Having Difficult Conversations

Leadership coach and director of learning and development Britt Andreatta shares her tips and strategies for having difficult conversations. In her four-phase model, you will discover the situations that lead up to difficult conversations, decide when the conversation is warranted, prepare for the interaction, and monitor outcomes to ensure success. Along the way, learn the secrets of turning difficult conversations into successful interactions that enhance communication and rapport. Improve both your professional and personal relationships, finding your way back from conflict through mutually successful outcomes.

Leading with Applied Improv

Improv theater was designed to help actors solve problems on stage. In this course, facilitator, coach, and former stand-up comedian Izzy Gesell demonstrates how to use the skills, practices, and mindset of improv to develop critical leadership qualities of presence, acceptance, and trust. Izzy shares some games you can play with your team members or coworkers to “practice spontaneity” and incorporate the improv mindset into your everyday life.

Learning Outcomes

  • explain what constitutes a difficult conversation.
  • interpret communication situations in terms of the matrix of difficulty. Diagnose and anticipate when conversations go badly. Explain the four phases of successful conversations.
  • apply the instruction in the emotional intelligence training to understanding the “buildup phase” in a workplace situation leading to a difficult conversation. Compare and contrast what was said in these two trainings.
  • explain the eight techniques listed in the section on reflection leading up to the difficult conversation. Based on the previous training you will recognize both knowledge and skills, and strengths and weakness you saw in yourself apply both the tools and the self-knowledge to these eight techniques
  • strategize approaches to difficult conversations.
  • apply the nine techniques for difficult conversations in practice scenarios.
  • explain why the follow-through phase is as important as the conversation itself. You will describe developing an action plan and how and why acknowledging efforts to change has importance in this phase.
  • recognize and explain what to do if the intervention is not working.
  • explain the critical leadership qualities: presence, acceptance and trust.
  • list and describe the games to practice improvisation
  • apply the several reflections and principals of leadership in the video to your broader life experience, work, school, family, etc.
  • reflect on yourself and what you need to do to become the leader you would follow


  1. View the welcome, section one and two, Understanding Difficult Conversations, The Buildup Phase of the Having Difficult Conversations training. View the Introduction, and sections one and two, How Applied Improve (AI) Works, and Applying AI to Leadership/
  2. View section three, The Reflection Phase, in the Having Difficult Conversations training.
  3. View section four, the Conversation Phase, in the Having Difficult Conversations training. View section three, Improve in Practice of the Leading with Applied Improv training video.
  4. View section five and the Conclusion, of the Having Difficult Conversations training video. Finally view, sections 4 and the conclusion of Leading with Applied Improv training.

As in the previous set of assignments, some of the work here is to learn new material. Accordingly, we are looking for recording, a list, a set of bullet points, which identifies skills, tips, and techniques that you learned from the training videos. We are looking for you to explain insights and to ask questions as well. However, beyond that we are looking for you to make associations with the first two videos and to select, interpret and apply among the tools these four training videos offer. Thirdly, we are asking you to interrupt you existing patterns of communication, or to venture beyond what your existing comfort zone is and to do that you will have to practice these skills regularly. So, first try these skills out in your interactions with customers, dorm mates, professors in the classroom, parents. Obviously celebrate your successes, more difficult consider sharing your failures.   Through peer review and coaching on these forums and our face-to-face sessions, you have amazing resources available to improve your communication skills please take advantage of this opportunity.