Management Training: A Constructivist Approach

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Coordinator: Tatiana Pitstick Elaborators: Kate Wilcox & Terre Rohde Explorers: John Guglielmino & Zheng Yuan Recorder: Shawn Kumagai. Management Training: A Constructivist Approach. Presented to XYZ Company, Corporate Training Division by Team Pentagon. Problem Statements. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Constructivist Training

Management Training:A Constructivist ApproachPresented to XYZ Company, Corporate Training Divisionby Team Pentagon

Coordinator: Tatiana PitstickElaborators: Kate Wilcox & Terre RohdeExplorers: John Guglielmino & Zheng YuanRecorder: Shawn KumagaiIST524 - Week 5 Mini-report Discussion PresentationOctober 1, 2012

Guidance: Work in your team to create a PowerPoint presentation on "Constructivism: Its Benefits, Its Costs, and What We Should Be Doing." Specify an audience and setting, e.g., a professional development workshop for teachers, a conference of executive education specialists, etc.

Defined Audience: XYZ Company (fictitious organization) Training Division which presents management topics to employees

Team Pentagon is:Coordinator: Tatiana PitstickElaborator: Kate Wilcox & Terre RohdeExplorer: John Guglielmino & Zheng YuanRecorder: Shawn Kumagai1Problem StatementsCorporate training does not apply to what I actually do on the job.

Corporate training provides good information, but when I go back to work its business as usual.

Managers frequently complain that training takes them away from doing their jobs, is ineffective in giving them knowledge to apply to their real-world tasks, or is just not engaging enough. Adult learners want training which benefits them, integrates into what they already know, and provides opportunities for participation, contribution, and application of what they learned (Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011).2Constructivist ApproachConstructivism says that people learn by making sense out of the world they make meaning out of what they encounter (Dempsey & Reiser, p. 45, 2011).

Constructivism is a theory of learning where the knowledge is constructed by the knower based on mental activity (Reiser & Dempsey, p. 45, 2012) . It creates authentic learning situations, enabling learners to apply what they learn to real-world situations. By engaging in activities, learners foster a vested interest in the outcomes of the training.

Instructors facilitate learning by creating authentic situations, and learners build their own mental models based on those situations. As Dempsey & Reiser state in Trends and Issues in Instructional Design, The instructor shifts roles from sage on the stage to guide on the side (2011). This implies when you are actively engaged in a learning task, retention of the material improves.3Benefits of a Constructivist Approach

AUTHENTIC TRAININGTRAINEE BUY-INDEVELOP PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLSConstructivist training takes place in an authentic setting and incorporates realistic and applicable knowledge. Students are presented situations which require them to solve real-life problems and have authentic learning experiences. Constructivist training works effectively with adult learners who have similar experiences and a common corporate culture.

Trainee Buy-in: Participants have a vested interest and through active participation, therefore they value the solutions they develop in training.

Develop Problem-solving Skills: By promoting problem-solving and critical thinking, trainees will also develop the skills they need to accomplish complex (and frequently ill-defined) business tasks.

Authentic Training: Tasks are targeted towards specific outcomes linked to company policy.


Costs of a Constructivist Approach Prerequisite knowledge Curriculum development Assessment structure Continual supportAdopting a constructivist approach requires a considerable investment in time and money. To ensure success the organization must commit to a holistic training approach which typically include follow-on resources, a coaching or mentor program, and incentive programs. Although learners take a more active role in the constructivist approach, it is an iterative process requiring enormous effort from instructional designers. Its cost is high in terms of time, resources, and field testing.

Pre-requisite Knowledge: A constructivist approach is appropriate for trainees possessing ample base knowledge to assimilate and to scaffold new information. If the audience has a working knowledge of the organizational goals and policies, then the constructivist approach will apply.

Development: Developing authentic training scenarios requires more time (and cost) than the traditional behaviorist or cognitive approach. However, we believe ineffective and inapplicable training wastes employees valuable time and, ultimately, the companys money. Therefore, the return on investment warrants the additional costs.

Assessment: A constructivist approach requires resources to assess the learner and to develop assessment-based curriculum. Assessments must be carefully tailored to meet instructional and organizational goals.

Follow-on Support: In order to help trainees apply what they have learned to their jobs, a mentor must follow-up with them to answer their questions and provide additional on-the-job training as needed. A community of practice and/or a knowledge database can provide just-in-time resources for managers confronted with job challenges.

Every instructional design approach has costs. The only cost that might be more closely associated with the Constructivist theory is continual support. However, continual support is also a benefit and can be provided as electronic training or as one-time job aids. For example, Nikolova & Kovatcheva cite a case where CD-ROM training was used for on-going and supplemental training. Continual support may be viewed as a cost and a benefit at the same time. 5The Way Forward

Problem based learning (PBL) is the most effective method for XYZ Companys management training.Howard Barrows (1988) developed a model for centering instruction around a key statement of a problem, prompting team-based inquiry and problem-solving processes (Reiser & Dempsey, pp. 46-47, 2011).

Research illustrates that managers participating in PBL training have a higher capacity for learning with an increase in their functional, transactional, and professional competence. In Problem-based Learning: A Viable Approach in Leadership Development, Yeo states that as PBL develops and gets incorporated into their routine, they will ultimately become better and more proficient leaders, advisors and administrators capable of handling a wide range of challenges. More so, they will help make their organization a better workplace for their employees and take the organization to a much higher level strategically" (2007).

There is no one-size-fits-all or single best approach among behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. We shouldnt elevate one approach over all the others. We should choose the best approach for the learners and the information or skills they need to learn. Some of the most crucial design tasks involve being able to decide which strategy to use, for what content, for which students, and at what point during the instruction (Ertmer, p. 69, 1993).

Based on the content and trainees at XYZ Company, Team Pentagon proposes a constructivist approach as the most effective method for management training.6QUESTIONS?7ReferencesErtmer, P., & Newby, T. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 5072.

Nikolova, I., Luck, P., & Kovatcheva, E. (2006). E-learning for enhancing management skills. Communication & Cognition, 39(1-2), 7584.

Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (Eds.). (2012). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Stolovitch, H. & Keeps, E. (2011). Telling ain't training (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Yeo, R. K. (2007). Problem-based learning: A viable approach in leadership development? Journal of Management Development, 26(9), 874894. doi:10.1108/02621710710819357



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