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Saturday, December 01, 2007

CAC: Fall 2007 Corporate Advisory Council Event ReCap

Twice a year corporate professionals from the fields of instructional technology, e-learning, and instructional design arrive in tiny Bloomsburg Pennsylvania to evaluate students in a our instructional technology graduate program. This year we had over 35 corporate professionals and at the end of the week, we have 11 companies interviewing 16 students for jobs. It was fantastic.

The three day event works as follows. On the first day, the students observe presentations done by the members of our Corporate Advisory Council. Representatives from different companies present what they are doing in the field to the students and to fellow professionals. This year we also had a panel discussion which focused on contractors and what they need to consider when going solo. You can read about each presentation below.
On the second day, students presented. Their presentations are part of a class I teach called Managing Multimedia Projects in Bloomsburg University's Instructional Technology Program.

In the class, I form students into teams and have them each team create a Proposal based on a Request for Proposal I design specifically for the class. The students must write a 40 page response to the RFP, create a working prototype and then deliver a 20 minute sales presentation. Once the exercise is complete, one team is awarded the "contract" but they are all winners because it prepares students to write and respond to RFPs and gives them insight into the business aspects of the e-learning field.

This year, the RFP was focused on the topic of creating a certification program for sales representatives. The idea behind the RFP was that the company issuing the RFP already had a training program in place and wanted to have the "vendor" recommend a certification process that would ensure that the sales representatives knew their stuff before going into the field to sell. The students did a great job researching the topic and determining the best solution.

The first student team to present was Think Fast. Their solution had the benefits of high interactivity between the user and a virtual doctor, instant proof of certification of new employees to sell products, the assessments were self-paced and the solution was provided by experienced experts in the field. The team members were Matthew Monahan, Sunita Adhikari, Steven Davis, Ruth Houck and Garrett Metz.

The second team was Sparta Learning, Inc. The solution they proposed was based on a system they had developed called PACES-Personal Assessment and Certification E-Learning System. Their solution consisted of a series of quizzes leading to both the knowledge and behavioral assessments. The team consisted of Stan Yann, Jennifer Cerreta, Nicolas Hanhan, Aman Tyagi and Lance Collier.

The third student team to present was eJewel International. eJewel's solution consisted of two parts. The first was subdivided into three multiple choice knowledge assessments in teh areas of physiology, human anatomy and various mechanism of action for pain relief. The second was an interactive role playing activity that assessed employee selling skills such as building credibility and other assessment items. eJewel was the overall winner of the exercise. The team consisted of Chase Winters, Danny Collins, Kate Krasnokutska, Mach Meas, and Melanie Campbell.

Over 35 e-learning professionals attended the event and evaluated the students. The students present for 20 minutes and then answer questions about their solution for 20minutes and then receive feedback on how they did. They don't always enjoy the feedback at the time but, in the long term, the feedback and insight provided to them by the professionals helps make them stronger professionals in the field.It really helps in the search for talent to see the students perform in a pressure situation.

That evening the CAC members and the students have dinner together and enjoy discussions in a more informal setting.

On the third day, the Corporate Advisory Council members have a chance to interview the students for jobs and internships. And hear about the initiatives that we are doing at the university and give feedback and input into our curriculum to keep us current and on track. As mentioned earlier, we had 11 different companies interviewing and speaking with the students.

We do the entire event all over again in April, it is a great experience for the students, faculty and CAC members. The connection between what they are learning in class and their future profession is made very clear in this event.
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2 comments:

Nick said...

I enjoyed being a part of Managing Multimedia Projects, it is an excellent experience , for me it was my first presentation with professionals in the U.S. I think whatever the grade that I obtain from this class, me and all students are winners. Even if I am not chosen for any position , the interviews were great on Friday . The whole process gave more confidence not just in what we did as a group but in what we can do in the real work environment. At the end of the course we learn from our own mistakes.

Aman tyagi said...

Thanks Dr. Kapp, for being a great guide all throughout RFP. I wish i had more classes with you.
Warm Wishes,