Archives for August 4th, 2004

THE PFEIFFER HANDBOOK OF STRUCTURED EXPERIENCES

Book News, PublicNet: 4 August, 2004

By Jack GordonThe author includes more than one hundred learning designs that target personal and professional growth and development. The experiences are organized according to the level of participant involvement, beginning with relatively low-risk activities, and progressing to highly involving exercises. With the emphasis on individual development, there is no requirement that learners work together on the same team or for the same organization. Consequently, these designs are as much at home in the consultant’s toolkit as they are on the shelf of the in-house training professional. The book includes more than 100 ready-to-use training designs with clearly-stated outcomes. It offers robust and proven instructional-design principles to help create structured experiences including a section with targeted exercises that promote facilitator growth and development.

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SABBATICALS PILE ON THE PRESSURE

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 August, 2004

A scheme to give teachers in challenging schools a 30 day sabbatical for reinvigoration and refreshment produced the opposite result. Sabbaticals resulted in more work rather than less for the participating teacher. The added pressure came from the need to prepare for the sabbatical, including arranging work for the supply teacher who took over the role for 30 days, catching up after a sabbatical, and in some cases completing a sabbatical task after the end of the period of time out. The scheme was slow to get off the ground because of suspicion amongst many eligible teachers that sabbaticals would result in extra workloads.The sabbaticals involved information gathering and general research. Many focused on teaching and learning issues and whole school issues such as school management, ICT or curriculum development. The specific areas covered ranged from pastoral and child centred issues through to administration and management strategies. They also covered behaviour, special needs issues or matters associated with disadvantage.

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TECHNOLOGY FAILING TO DELIVER BENEFITS TO COUNCILS

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 August, 2004

Customer relationship management systems, which bring together customer records to a single point are not delivering the predicted benefits for telephone or personal callers. A survey by NDL Ltd found that many councils are using CRM systems as a call logging facility rather than as a business efficiency tool. Integrating existing systems with a new CRM system is proving a major challenge. The difficulty lies in the need to re-engineer the processes and in many cases to re-structure the organisation to support new ways of working.The survey also found a cultural barrier to making radical changes necessary to get significant benefit from CRM systems. The researchers found that in the traditional council environment staff have become used to a particular way of working and, even discounting the concern that technology may replace jobs, there is the fear of learning new computer systems and business processes.

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