DELTA Grants Training and Development Team Receive Multiple Awards
For Associate Teaching Professor Michelle Bartlett and Lead Instructional Designer Jessica White, what began as a DELTA Grant to create a new course led to a completely updated master’s program and multiple awards. They received the Best Paper Award as a team, and Bartlett received the SmarterServices Distance Education Leadership Award at the Distance Learning Administration 2021 Conference.
The key problems to be solved for this project were aligning the Master of Education in Training and Development program to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) competency model. Then, the team evaluated whether aligning competencies helped narrow the gap between course content and what students needed to apply in the workplace.
During their time together, the team, along with Steve Bader, spent a lot of time mapping and working with the Moodle Competencies feature to ensure that all 10 courses in the program were updated and aligned to the ATD model. They also created new templates, designed new course content and developed videos of industry experts.
Some of the challenges include the time needed for a project of this size, ensuring that faculty were implementing the competencies smoothly, and being intentional about what students were doing and why. For example, the team asked themselves if they needed one more paper as an assessment or if a more practically applied assignment would be a better fit. White notes, “It was like a puzzle, but typically you have all the pieces and they all line up; we had to kind of create some of the pieces.”
The hard work turned out to be worth it, as the team discovered that the course revisions helped students understand why they were learning the things they were learning. In job interviews, students were able to say that the faculty in their master’s program deemed them proficient in the ATD competencies.
Bartlett notes, “Adult learners want to know what’s in it for them and why it’s important that they’re taking this time; many of them are working professionals, and they’re here because they choose to be and they trust NC State to take them further.” Some students in the project management course even pursued and received the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification after the course ended, making them top-notch interviewees.
Bartlett notes that something unique about DELTA is that they not only fund projects with money, but with talent. Having such resources, from an instructional designer to the multimedia team, allows instructors to not only “be better at what we do, but also impact more students.”