Final Project, ED 653

Original Post


You should have an e-mail from my instance of Moodle inviting you to view the course.

Please login and have a look around.  One lesson learned from teaching my last unit is to have only the welcome and the first lesson visible to students and to reveal the course as we work through it.  I’m not doing that for you all simply to keep this straightforward. I look forward to your feedback.

8 thoughts on “Final Project”

  1. Owen

    Hey Bob,

    I thought your opening paragraph setting expectations very interesting. I like how you say, basically, that learning how to do your job may require time out of work. I thought about this in light of student expectations regarding learning content. We are so used to negotiated effort agreements, I found your approach refreshing. “This is going to involved work on your part. This is life.”

    Under Communications– Section 1, there’s a heading titled, “Assignments” I think these points might benefit from some type of organizational device other than what you have. Here’s your first item:

    1: View Leading with 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

    This is workable but might reorganize somehow? Here’s a thought. (my formatting options are somewhat limited in this post).

    1. Leading with Emotional Intelligence:
    Introduction, Understanding Emotional Intelligence, Developing Self-Awareness
    2. Effective Listening:
    Welcome and Assessing your Listening Skills

    I really like your thoughtful inclusion of the videos. They’re great and should lead to some valuable conversations in your discussion forums. Running through the unit, I wished I’d had such a learning experience when I was younger – would have saved me a lot of wandering in the darkness.

    Bob, overall, a great unit. There’s a few bits waiting to be completed, but your effort is hugely ambitious – which I give you credit for.

    What are your thoughts? What are you most satisfied with? What are you least satisfied with? What next?


  2. Owen

    I appreciate also the Moodle hosting decision. Moodle can be a bit text-heavy and visually non-remarkable. That being said, there is a lot of content here and the visual simplicity helps keep the focus on just that.



    1. Tatiana

      Moodle-shmoodle can put you through scrolling hell! I have a love/hate (bordering on hate/hate) relationship with it. But I don’t hate it anymore than Blackboard (or any other LMS system). I actually found that you can design more visually stimulating and better organized course with Moodle than BB (which for me was a huge surprise), but it takes a lot of exploring and figuring out of tools in order to do it (learning curve is huge as Moodle is largely counter-intuitive and overwhelming — too many un-needed tools and options and too many gems buried underneath all these options). However, it is FREE ?


  3. Tatiana

    Bob, I did not receive the email ? Could you try and email it to Thanks!


  4. Bob


    Thanks as always for your generous comments.

    I was struck profoundly by the differences between classroom teaching/teachers and the workplace and supervisor roles throughout this course. I mentioned this last class too, I miss my team. For example, I have an employee who is a genius with proofreading, grammar, and copy editing. It is my strategy to get her involved and invested in these kinds of projects by relying on her strengths. The young people who do the training will at the end of it tell me how to make it better, as another example. I wonder if I have a freedom to take risks with training/learning that others in this class cannot?

    I have to admit that Kim blew me away with the video content that she created for her website. I worried about over relying on in this context. In my own context it is the obvious answer. Moreover, this summer I will pay a couple student employees to make training videos that will be used in these training’s. But, where does that get me in developing my skills, in learning something new? In my context these answers are appropriate. However, I do think there is an important insight about personal development that I wasn’t anticipating — so I will be spending more time with video and podcast creation this summer.

    I think you are right Owen some of the assignments are still roughly phrased. I think some of my intentions with certain resources are underdeveloped (The Step up to Supervision book, for example) and so I can do some more work on integrating that resource to subsequent sections. I was surprised and satisfied with how the final project for this class turned into a section that I had no intention of developing. I wasn’t going to spend time on theory only on practice. I’m glad to stumble into a way to do better than that.

    One of the most satisfying bits of feedback we hear from former employees is, “I learned to work in the libraries, thank you.” I guess I am trying to do this better with both the Professional Demeanor unit and this Step up to Supervision unit.

    Tatiana, I sent you another invite on this new e-mail. And, I agree that Moodle can be an exercise in scrolling. My strategy for this course is progressive revealing and hiding of sections. So that the learner only sees the introduction and the current section, less scrolling. We will see what the feedback is from the young people on that. Obviously my employer owns this training and accordingly it will be behind user id/password, and firewalls, so creating it in Moodle here makes sense in my context. “Open learning” just isn’t a good fit for this purpose.


    1. Kim

      Hey Bob,

      Sorry I’m a bit late chiming in. I really liked what you did here and appreciated what you are trying to do. I once ended a conversation with an employee “the problem isn’t that you were late, the problem is that I wasn’t’ surprised that you were late.” He got that, and the problem was solved. It takes enough of my time trying to teach new employees a position each semester that I don’t have much left to also teach them how to be good employees. And yet, I think that is what student employment is about in many ways. So, bravo! Taking on this aspect of employee training is huge and a place not many go.

      Also, I kind of liked the ‘rough edges’. I felt like it wasn’t canned or rehearsed and edited to exclusion of all personality. As a matter of fact, I feel like your voice was very authentic throughout. Then you through in the Lynda stuff, which is super polished and edited, and it creates a kind of balance.


  5. Owen

    Hey Bob,

    I hear you on the resources. I think you bring so much to the process via the frame of inquiry (essential questions) and the learning activities, (learning logs, discussions, etc…) that the course doesn’t have the feeling of simply a playlist. … And it does seem appropriate that there area few holes you find and fill in (the personal development piece) as you go.

    Kudos to you and your team on the positive feedback from your former employees. As I said above, I wish I’d had some training like this early in life. It would have placed and contextualized much of my working experience… Even still, I find some of the content extremely valuable.



Bob’s Project 4, 4/11/2015, ED 653

Original Post

Project 4 – Web-based Tools

Use web-based tools to design a learning activity. Review your strategy map to locate an appropriate activity. Remember that students benefit more from active learning experiences (something they do or create) than from passive activities (something they view or listen to). Be creative in designing your learning activity! Write clear instructions to support students in completing the activity. Will the activity be graded? If so, include grading criteria.


I started by brainstorming with Wordle to create a word cloud focused on transactional leadership.

Transactional Leadership wordleWord cloud based on text from:

Transformational leadershipwordleWord cloud based on text from:

I copied and pasted the text from the website into a Word document. I then used the “replace all” and exact word function to strip out articles, prepositions, and passive verbs. I did this to focus on active verbs, and subjects and objects. I think based on both of the word clouds I could do some additional editing of text to further focus and refine the impact on key concepts in a final version.

This led me to start defining an assignment around leadership styles. Depending on one’s approach, the number of styles defined can range from three to a dozen. However, the work of definition is done (at least, at the lower division undergraduate level) a few keyword searches and the literature on the topic unfolds. Therefore, the more interesting work is making the connections between the styles and exercising a personal interpretation of appropriate use of the styles – tools in a toolbox – as it were.

  1. Starting with these several, resources (but not limited to) research, define and explain leadership styles for yourself.

Write a short forum post that lists the styles you think are most distinctive and important (some styles might be subcomponents of others, for one example) and define the styles in your own words additionally comment on two posts by co-workers.

  1. Interpret the relationships between styles. Here we want to explore how styles might be in opposition or how they might be related to or complementary to other styles. With this kind of work, we run the risk of glossing over the difference and focusing on shared attributes. Hence it is important to refer back precisely to the literature of the style as we do this work of comparison and contrast. Rather than an historical description, we need to focus on a functional comparison/contrast of the styles.

Mind map example:

Lewin's Leadership Style

You may use one of these tools to help you construct your mind map:

Alternatively, you may use an old school approach graphing paper, colored pens, cut out construction paper. Then scan or take a picture of the map and share it to the forums. Those of you using one of the online mappers should download an image or share a link on the forums. Describe your process and summarize your thinking about the connections between the styles you defined.

  1. Finally, we want to consider the value of styles in specific situations. For example, it is an easy gloss to say that transformational leadership is better than transactional leadership and is always to be preferred. However, is that true in an emergency, or a combat situation, for example?   Again, the point of this exercise is applying styles to situations. Alas, this is necessarily interpretive work and as such, one needs experience in order to get experience, accordingly we are as interested in our reasons, our process, as we are in our answers.
  • Active Shooter (anticipate, survive an attack and rebuild after)
  • Daily operation(re-shelving books in book stacks (think about policy and procedure))
  • Project management(new software (you have been charged with identifying a new program to train use of library of Congress call numbers)
  • Company reorganization/turnaround (imagine that we will be adding personal computing support to the service we offer at the service desk)

Pick one of the cases and think about the lifetime of the scenario, express your perspectives, relate to, and reflect on leadership styles switching appropriately between them across the lifetime of the scenario. Create a Prezi to tell the story of your switching between the styles as you navigate the leadership scenario. Again, participants may use the forums as resource to storyboard and develop their Prezi.

These “assignments” reflect the “what” and “why” of our assignment but we need to explore the “how,” now. All of this work is situated in our LMS presentation. It also represents a departure from the work I have already done. In what I have worked up so far, I have been very pragmatic and not overly theoretical.   I need to think through where this work might fit in the sequence of the training. I also want this theory-based knowledge to be actively engaged with. While this three step assignment has the potential to be worked into something interesting I think it might be too much for my on the job, LMS training. Rather something like it might have value in a traditional class.

While the work in my training will not be graded in a traditional classroom sense, none-the-less it seemed fruitful to search a bit for rubrics related to student leader training. Texas A&M, Harvard, and Florida A&M linked below offer some very interesting rubrics for assessing both leadership and learning about leadership. The Texas A&M site is a real treasure trove. Again, because I am uncertain that I will actually incorporate this series of assignments into my training, yet because it does seem like a fruitful set of ideas, I want to chase this matter a bit further.

One insight that is… dawning on me as I continue to do the work in this online instruction venue is working its way into my thinking about coaching supervisors. I have observed for a long time that we often engage in the faulty analysis, poor performance needs retraining. Accordingly, we put huge energy into training, imagining that by doing so we will not have to spend time on retraining. The insight comes from shifting our attention exclusively to performance, to perfect performance, to excellence in customer experience, rather than training. Alternatively, in the language of instructional design, we are looking for measurable outcomes, clear rubrics, and performance evaluation. This forces us to get training into perspective, training gives knowledge but that is only a third of the work of the supervisor, skills require practice, and perfection requires feedback and coaching.   Excellent supervision also has to recognize when we are rewarding poor or mediocre performance or equally detrimental, punishing excellence and then reconfigure the workplace to correct these dysfunctions. These elements taken together along with a healthy dose of self-reflection and supervisors are more likely to get his/her direct reports to achieve excellence.

So, rather than continue to play the “ungraded” card, and because my last attempt at a rubric was limited.  I, for the exercise, made an attempt to rough out a rubric for this assignment.  Feedback is welcomed.

DefinitionForum posting shows extensive and thorough familiarity with leadership styles. Learners’ cite linked resources and may cite sourced beyond those linked.Forum posting shows understanding of most styles. Learner’s uses several of the linked sources in their explanation.Forum posting is incomplete or shows errors in understanding.   Learners’ do not refer to linked sources.
InterpretationMind maps are rich, thoughtful and well laid out. Inclusion of concepts and connections are clear and well demonstrated. Reference to source material is included.Mind maps are complete and connections are clear.   Linked sources obviously inform the work.Mind maps are incomplete and connections are poorly chosen or illustrated. Reference to source material is lacking.
ApplicationPrezi presentation flows well; shifting between leadership theories is fluid and logical. Details both in theories and in use of scenarios are present. Switching between styles is present and facile.Prezi is complete both in terms of content and slide show effectiveness. The learner shifts between theory and application in the scenario. Also, shifts between several styles. Linked sources are evident in the work.Prezi slide show is used poorly (inadequate number of slides, or poor transitions, for example) or not at all. Errors in understanding or misapplication of styles to the scenario are present. Source material is not used or cited.

Document Accessibility, ED 653

Original Post


Ok, so in the end, it is a pdf, rather than an MS Word document, but I think that might even accomplish more in terms of accessibility.   I took my product review paper and based on chapter 3 of:

I added a bunch of formatting and images per Owen’s request.

This was a good practice for me since so much of what we do in the workplace is quick and dirty Google docs.   The downside is that a 5-page paper is now nearly double that.  An interesting practice in both Word and Adobe was to use the “read out loud” feature of the respective programs to review my work.