Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Proposal to Build a Countrywide Community Learning System for Somaliland

Download Proposal :http://api.ning.com/files/f3Cpy2Teci3W0C9FV7vjbo1nWag9KsLjW2SL0qhxUA3k*xrzFQMfJy40stj4xeQ19BCyEMTVnVo0bCqrsd8lO6kZ*s3vMb7N/SomalilandCommunityLearningSystemUSAIDFinal.pdf

We are trying get a countrywide Internet learning community off the ground in Somaliland. When I was search for contacts I though it might be helpful for you with some ideas.

We are trying to launch a country wide Community Learning System for Somaliland that should be ground breaking platform for other developing countries to use. I thought you might be interested in looking at it for some ideas and perhaps point us in the right direct to locate some grant funding.

Here is an intro to the program and copy of the proposal.
We are looking to embark upon building a Somaliland country wide Community Learning System with the help of both Amoud University and Somaliland University of Technology. We have sent a request into USAID DIV fund but I thought you might have some guidance for us. 
This be a bold project that could unite the academic, business and community influences in Somaliland. It would also be a remarkable case study for other countries.
Here is the information on the program.

We are about to embark on developing a countrywide Internet program for Somaliland that integrates Social Networking with global: eLearning, cyber library, community development workshops. This unique country collaborative sytem will be free to the Somaliland people, NGOs, K-12 education, Higher Ed and Adult Learning programs. Although historically this would be an impossible quest with today’s preexisting technologies it will be relatively easy to accomplish.

While the technical part is easy we will concurrently launch community development workshops and curriculum available to any not for profit and for profit organizations.

Unlike trickle down programs this will be a Democracy of Education imagined by John Dewey on a countrywide scale. We will also train community leaders how to solve community problems and launch economic development using collaborative Project Based Learning methods for community development.

We have chosen Somaliland for its size, need and support of the two leading Universities. Amoud University has already pledged faculty support for phase one research and workshops. Somaliland isolation will also facilitate accurate research on the program’s impact. We are also looking at Lesotho, South Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya as target countries after this program is build within a year. We will share our development and materials worldwide.

Please take a moment to review our proposal and reflect on how your organization might help with phase one of the planning and prototype process.

Richard C. Close CEO
Chrysalis Campaign, Inc.
Cell: 1.860.248.5424

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Apply for Grants on Values Impact on Surviving Trauma

Request Funding for Education Research

This is a request to fund a one year study on the impact of how values from poverty, war and trauma impact learning and success in life. More specifically to uncover the values of those who beat the odds of trauma and excel in life. Our target group is the 2,000 Lost Boys of South Sudan transplanted in the US. We will open the study to other groups. Upon completion of the research generate online curriculum on transformation of survivors for educators, counselors and volunteers. The research from Chrysalis Campaign and SSHO is for 50.000 USD.


Core values from personal experience, culture, religion and education systems greatly impact our motivation to survive and grow when presented with adverse conditions. Time and again remarkable evidence of survival/success from war and poverty surface. From President of the US, sport stars to simple becoming a good parent and provider people beat the behavior odds of social statistics. Even entire organizations such as Sony Corporation surface from the ashes of Hiroshima. Our research is to identify the values that set people free of negative social patterns in order to identify methods and techniques that can help others to beat oppressive conditions. For this we will research the Lost Boys of South Sudan and other groups willing to participate.
It is our intention to team up with South Sudan Health Care to research the narrative histories of the Lost Boys of South Sudan for common threads of values and beliefs that contributed to their survival and success. The Lost Boys’ history spans across multiple wars along with racial injustice in the US. Based on discussions with Lost Boy Jacob Atem (a PhD Candidate at University of Florida and TEDx speaker we would like to examine the deeper driving values and forces (Mentors etc.) that help so many of the Lost Boys of South Sudan (and other surviving trauma) thrive in the US, UK and other locations.
This research would take a year to compile and contain both quantitative and qualitative date. Recording of life testimonies would be posted on the UNESCO seed portal “I am the Story at http://i-am-the-story.ning.com.

We feel that this body of research would provide an invaluable methods for both NGOs and public school system counseling and curriculum development. It would also serve as an encouraging guide-roadmap for other who must pick up the pieces of broken lives and carry on.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Solving Corporate Problems with Training

I remember the days when Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model and ADDIE came on the scene both methods work fine for the corporate training bubble that must prove results to maintain training budgets. However blinders on evaluation and measurement can be a self-justifying delusion. It is one thing to prove someone learned the knowledge you present to them and yet another that is solved a corporate problem or boosted sales. Are we measuring grades of sales people, or are we measuring revenues. Drilling deeper, did the training program address the real problem why the company invested in the training program.
Case in point: the training department can prove they trained everyone in sales the sales channel. Even that they knew in information. However because the product is poor and management does not listen the real outcome of increased sales can never be achieved.  
Kirpatrics: Reaction, Learning, Behavior, Results. Does not take into account Malcolm Knowles Andragogy, about learner being individual based, and perhaps represents a total disconnect from Adult Learning theory. In my 25 of sales marketing I have been in untold sales and product training programs that were complete mismatches with attitudes and feeling of the trainees.
ADDIE and Kirpatric methods are also weak in the business analysis and the human background parts of solving organizational issues. Will the business both accept and be ready to handle the changed behavior? Will the audience go beyond tests and change behavior, like sexual harassment? These must be in sync.
In the case of my High School Training Video “The Physics of Shop Safety” the issue is fooling around in class and fear of how to handle power tools.  The experience of power tools with them is completely new, loud and aggressive. Over a three-week period we leverage the messages in the video to provide the student with a feeling of mastery, control and self-confidence. The results of this mentoring were quite remarkable. The video along with the multimedia PowerPoint works with handouts and sets the stage for the hands-on mentoring.
In contrast to Kirkpatric the “Human Performance Technology” model takes a broader view on situation analysis. What is key to any training program that request change of the student is that the surrounding environment must change with it? Corporations by their nature are top down obedience instruction. Senior and interdepartmental managers must also adopt the changes and be ready for the new changes requested of students. If the environmental/social issues within the corporation we synchronized with the training we are wasting time in the minds of the student.
The problem is that corporate training departments, usually under HR or marketing, do not have that kind of corporate leverage. An instruction designer cannot say to the VP of sales that the sales force is angry because they are told to call dead leads, and that is why sales are failing. Or tell an assembly line filled with defective parts that quality is job one. If you want to hide in your figures use testing outcome numbers Kirkpatrick is classic corporate stuff. If you have the leverage acquire the actual performance numbers Human Performance Technology is your choice. Training someone to be a formula one racer does you no good when you return them to their 1970’ AMC Gremlin.
Remember outcomes do not change until the true causes of the problem are altered. To drill down deeper refer to “Human Performance Technology.” Below is a PDF to Chyung entire book Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology which is an excellent walk through Performance Technology.

Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model: Analyzing Training Effectiveness. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2014, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/kirkpatri

Chyung , S 2008 Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology, Page 163, HRD Press, Inc. . Amherst . Massachusetts Retrieved November 10, 2014 from: https://downloads.hrdpressonline.com/files/3420080326114240.pdf

Close, R. 2014 The Physics of Shop Safety By Richard Close. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ehSY4pD4NU&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Visual vs. Collaborative Learning

Chapter five of “Interface Design for Learning” by Dorian Peters (2014) is an excellent overview of the dos and don’ts of educational design media. Peters declares in the chapter title that "Learning is Visual." Peters also provides many solid tips about how graphic design can grasp a learners attention. Another key theme is about removing clutter with simplicity. The book provides valuable checklists, such as tips for “readable text” on page 94.

 In my 2010 development work  "I am Africa This is my story….” UNESCO project on digital storytelling workshops with African youth, we had to pay keen attention that all lessons were simple, localized and relevant.

Instructional designers can perseverate on the cognitive relationship between the student and learning media as the way of student change. However the truth may be that the visual process represents and smaller stake when deeper transformational experience requires a human collaborative process. The acid test of if eLearning works is not in the LMS testing records. Book/media learning may keep someone’s attention or may even deliver good  recall for a test on Friday, but this may not lead to transformational change or the long-term memory retention required for some types of learning.

Andragogy Theory of Knowles points out that the lesson must avoid conflicting with the values/experiences of the learners. On page 110, Peters agrees when the concept of “interference” is brought up. Let’s say we are developing a federally mandated sexual harassment course for a hospital. From a design point of view, the course can be an excellent attention getter, yet without emotionally charged staff meetings (a collaborative element), the course can backfire with employees feeling management is not really dealing with the problem. The design team may be happy with high completion rates and scores, while at the same time, a disappointed compliance officer sees a spike in sexual harassment cases over the following months.

We must be cautious in understanding that digital media is an aid to learning and not the total learning experience. It is one thing to learn Ohm’s law from Kahnacademy.com. It is another to learn how to ride a bike or a give great kiss. The role of graphics is to facilitate human collaboration or change will not take place.

The Instructional designer is often not considering the values of the unseen individual or the environment the knowledge will be used in.  When cultures and methods collide I have seen many sales motivation training or ethics flop. They were professionally designed courses yet are laugh at in bar a few hours later because they sales force knew management did not back those ideas.

In reflection, media can move people into action such as in NGO ads. There must be fertile ground for the lesson to sink into. Relevance seems to be found on two levels: first inside the person's own values system and second is if outside the course there is fertile ground for new ideas to grow.

Case in point: In the US, a student who believes they can be a Microsoft Certified Professional will gratefully embrace the training experience, knowing that a job is waiting for them. Yet women who are certified by Microsoft in Ghana may not find a Microsoft job and be forced back into a marriage and poverty.

In conclusion, the state of the learner and the environment are as critical as the interface itself.

Knowles, M. Holton, E. F., III; Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (6th ed.).Burlington, MA: Elsevier. ISBN 0-7506-7837-2. LCCN 2004024356.

Peters, D. (2014). Interface design for learning: design strategies for learning experiences. United States: New Riders.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Project for Full Sail Masters The Teaching Kitchen

Click on Vimeo - Password is "full sail"
This is for and AboutMe iMovie project for Full Sail University Master Instructional Design

The Teaching Kitchen - Transformational Learning by Richard C. Close from chrysaliscamp on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Distributive Cognition

The paper, “What Does Distributed Cognition Tell Us about Student Learning of Science?” is a multi-layer analysis of Distributive Cognition research by (Hollan et al. 1999; Hutchins
1995). Distributive Cognition is acutely relevant for today’s education theory because of our collaborative society. Even though we have a global collaborative knowledge base (the Internet) that transcends and bypasses the academic system, most academic theory is not social by nature. The collaborative learning theories of Distributive Cognition have strong relevance in both collaborative web learning and classroom Project Based Learning. What is ironic about this contemporary theory is it establishes the importance of experiential learning theory (that is social) as set forth by Dewey (1916), Lendmen (1927) and Knowles(1980) years ago.

From this paper, Lave (1988) is quoted about Distributive Cognitions theory:

There is a reason to suspect that what we call cognition is in fact a complex social phenomenon. The point is not so much that arrangements of knowledge in the head correspond in a complicated way to the social world outside the head, but that they are socially organized in such a fashion as to be indivisible. Cognitionobserved in everyday practice is distributedstretched over, not divided amongmind, body, activity and culturally organized settings, which include other actors (Lave 1988, p. 1).

This paper provides Distributive Cognition empirical evidence in science classes in a way that demonstrates that learning is a social process. Learning as a group is and more multi-dimensional and contextual than the student-textbook methods. We cannot learn to ride bikes, play baseball or be a physician from books and testing. This research demonstrates how immersion with other people merges cognitive learning in the full context of the human experience, thereby making learning relevant.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: The MacMillan Company.
Hollan, J., Hutchins, E., & Kirsh, D. (1999). Distributed cognition: a new foundation for human-computer interaction research. TOCHI Special Issue on Human-Computer Interaction in the New Millennium, 7,174196
Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the wild. Cambridge: MIT.
Knowles, M. S. (1970). The modern practice of adult education; andragogy versus pedagogy,. New York: Association Press.
Lindeman, E.  (1926) The Meaning of Adult Education, New Republic, inc. in New York  2,11,2014 Retrieved
Xu, Lihua; Clarke, David. (1999) What Does Distributed Cognition Tell Us about Student Learning of Science? Research in Science Education. May2012, Vol. 42 Issue 3, p491-510. 20p
Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.