Great, but did anyone learn anything?

I just received a very nice email from the organizers of a professional conference at which I spoke earlier this year. Here is an excerpt:

Your combined speaker ratings from the onsite and virtual attendee evaluations may be found below.

Please note that our rating scale is: 5 = Exceptional, 4 = Better Than Expectations, 3 = Met Expectations, 2 = Below Expectations, 1 = Unsatisfactory

Session Title: Shut Up and Eat Your French Fries: Asking Effective Questions

  • Knowledge of Subject Matter:          4.81
  • Presentation Skills:                                4.72
  • Topic Relevant to My Practice:          4.55
  • Usefulness of Materials:                      4.48

You may use the following overall Speaker Rating averages as a basis of comparison for your scores:

  • Knowledge of Subject Average:        4.71
  • Presentation Skills Average:              4.50
  • Relevance Average:                               4.48
  • Materials:                                                   4.29

And, this means…

The good news, it seems, is that “on average” the attendees liked what I had to share. They thought I was a skilled and knowledgeable presenter who had something relevant for them to hear and useful materials.

The bad news, I have no idea if anyone learned anything.

This is a major problem in all professional education. Think back to your days in school and college. Do you remember rating your professors? The comfort of the chairs? Me, either!

When professionals are asked questions during CPE (Continuing Professional Education) sessions online it is only done to make sure they are paying attention. Yeah, THAT shows a high level of trust!

My take

If the professions wish to remain relevant, it is time for them to rethink the way they have implemented CPE.
Amazon

Flunking My Son’s Report Card

My son, Sean, got his report card last week, oops sorry his “Student Assessment.” I think he did well. I am not 100 percent sure, because with all the education jargon it is difficult to really tell.

In fact, in order to decipher the gobbledygook (as my friend Michelle Golden calls it) I was sent an email from his teacher explaining it. Here is the email in part. I say in part because each of these required a full paragraph to explain the details.

  1. The Report Card- The specific skills addressed and assessed this grading period are listed with your students achievement.
  2. The First Grade Report Card Addendum- Indicates your student’s Independent reading level at this time.
  3. Student Success initiative (SSI) letter- this will inform you of how your student is performing compared to the grade level standard. 
  4. Math Inventory form- this form reports your student’s scores on the District Math Assessment given to all first graders.
  5. DRA Report- This is your child’s independent reading level.
  6. TPRI Report- This report has their beginning of the  year (boy) testing and middle of year (moy) testing for this assessment.

Now, while I am very grateful to his teacher for her assistance with this, I am dumbstruck with the amount of bureaucracy this must create. Each of these is assessed on a quarterly basis!

Notice the duplication of the second and fifth items. Actually, it is triplication because the first item covers reading as well.

If you want to know why the education budget is completely bonkers look no further. Think about the cost of driving all this crap through the system!

Please note, I believe my son is getting an excellent education so far, but I must say it is in spite of, not because of, all this nonsensical garbage with which teachers must concern themselves.

On the grading system I recall using, I give this an F!

With New Employees It Is Easier to Put in Good Habits than to Change Bad Ones

Once your employee has learned a bad behavior, changing it will take considerably more time than would have been required to put in a good one. I am sure someone will have the answer to why it happens, but all too often a employee will learn a bad behavior in a split second that can be very difficult to change. Putting in a good behavior to replace it will take more time and more repetitions.

Do not feel your employee knows and will consistently offer a wanted behavior simply because he does it a few times on command. Often, we desire a behavior to be automatic with no command. If we are consistent, that behavior will become a natural and accepted habit.

Initially we provide guiding actions, controls, and controlling equipment, such as checklists. We also control with our voice and our body. Plus, we lure, reward, and reinforce the wanted behaviors to show our employee what is expected in everyday situations. Do it enough and the behavior you are guiding him into will become a habit. A well-behaved employee is simply an employee with good habits!

When training an employee, it is important that we do not make mistakes that create an unwanted behavior. Think ahead. Do not make a big issue out of imperfections, but learn from them and work to create a better action and avoid the imperfection the next time.

We are really helping the employee to learn. The employee should come to see our actions as rewards or non-rewards — and not be fearful of us in any way. The “reward” can be praise or another positive result. A “non-reward” does not mean punishment, but simply that you withhold the positive result. This way he will want to work with us and please us within the partnership. By thinking ahead and using common sense, we can achieve that.

Think training and education are still the same thing, click here for the original article. Don’t offer training to your employees and customers – educate them instead!