Presently, I am Orlando, FL attending the 2015 Association for Talent Development International Conference and Expo, also known as ATD-ICE. Each year, I look forward to this event as a form of “rebluing.” It is my way to develop professionally. This year, I decided to take in a certificate program, specifically, the one on Blended Learning. It is a great way to prepare for a blended learning course we will be giving at Jamestown Community College.
This is the second certificate program I have sat in on, and I just have to say I am a fan of how ATD does it. Let me tell you why.
In both of the certificate program, the course materials were topnotch. The guidebooks were well designed. There was no doubt where you were in the course because the slide numbers matched the pages in the book. The participant guidebooks had detailed table of contents, well delineated modules, and appendices with extra resources and course scenarios. Goals and objectives were well established and clearly written. Also, each course activity was listed and explained in detail. These are some of the best participant guides I have seen written. Definitely a model document.
For each course, there was minimal lecture. Instead, the courses leveraged adult learning theory and solicited engagement from participants with various activities. Each course had unique hands-on or group activities to help pull content and discussion from the participants. Time flew by and I never once looked at my watch. Again, I will be integrating similar types of activities into my future courses.
This particular course mirrored a typical blended course in that we had to participate in both asynchronous and synchronous learning activities. We had pre-course work in the form of self-directed asynchronous activities. We then spent almost two full days together participating in face-to-face classroom activities. Finally, we will get together for a Webinar. It was great to have Nadine Martin model the course.
I am planning to take another certificate program in the future. The question is which one, there are so many to choose from.