Here’s your cover letter. What I need for you to do is to go through the red items and write them in more specific terms. Remember your ABCD’s: Audience, Behavior, Condition, Degree.Oh, wait, that’s for writing performance objectives. Still, it will work for you:Audience – Answers the question “Who?” in the form of a problem statement. Could be donors, management, or even patients in the hospitalBehavior – What specific steps you took to solve the problem.Condition – What were the obstacles you overcame?Degree – What were your success criteria, usually in terms of dollars made, dollars saved, units collected, loss prevented, new donors added, etc. Something quantifiable, even if it’s a percentage.
If there is a theme to today’s post, it would be “out of my mind.” While you all might agree that I have a few screws loose, here are a few distractions from this morning that fell out of my head so to speak:
I was visiting Ologie’s web site today. They are a Columbus area design firm and they had some very good advice for writers. While this may be particular to them, I wish more companies had the puckishness to list something like this as the basis for their style guide.
And when it comes to the value of design, it’s no mistake that eBay is starting to look a lot like Pinterest. In a visual medium, you gotta catch the eye.
And for those in the job search, if you’re looking for an infographic on what skills employers are looking for, this is the place to go.
So if the internet is graphics heavy, why none here? I’m a writer, not a graphic artist. Although if any of you readers want to volunteer and send me some pictures to use, I’m more than happy to oblige.
I picked up Daniel Pink’s latest book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, from the library and started it. I’m limiting myself to a chapter a day. His first chapter concludes that we all sell. However, he also defines selling as “non-sales” selling. How does he do that? By defining sales as persuading or educating someone else to do something in exchange for something else. I’ll keep you all posted on what I learn. At this point, the jury is still out as to whether this is a profoundly seminal book or a mere statement of the blooming obvious.
FastCompany is apparently watching this discussion with some interest. They’ve posted a follow up article that has a pros and cons list with each bullet item leading to an article. If you want to join in the fray, just comment on any one of the threads related to the articles. Have fun and play nice.
FastCo published an article on The Future of Education Eliminates the Classroom. The author avers:
“Socialstructed learning is an aggregation of microlearning experiences drawn from a rich ecology of content and driven not by grades but by social and intrinsic rewards. The microlearning moment may last a few minutes, hours, or days (if you are absorbed in reading something, tinkering with something, or listening to something from which you just can’t walk away).”
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But what does it look like? Mostly people standing or sitting around talking and if someone has a question, someone else whips out their smartphone, clicks an app or browser link to ascertain the facts and then reports back to the group. A family using the Internet Movie Database to settle a dinner-time argument qualifies as a “microlearning moment.”
Even better, a bar bet settled with the Guiness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe It Or Not qualifies as well.
Somehow I don’t see the ability to settle bar bets or end family quarrels as presaging the end of the classroom. We’ve had “microlearning” for centuries. And we’ve had classrooms for about the same amount of time. I look for neither to vanish any time soon.
It looks like the Game Wars have begun at Learning Solutions Magazine.
Ruth Clark posted this last week on Why Game’s Don’t Teach.
Karl Kapp joined the fray this week with: Once Again Games Can and Do Teach.
Ruth’s big throw-down was this:
“A couple of recent technical reviews have carefully evaluated documents on games, looking for credible evidence of what works. The consistent conclusion is that there is insufficient well-designed experimental research on which to base many conclusions. For example, Hays initially identified 274 documents on the design, use, and evaluation of games. Of these, he discarded 62 percent because they were opinion-based rather than data-based. His final review included 105 documents, of which 48 reported empirical evidence of game effectiveness. Based on the 48 studies, he concluded that there is no evidence to indicate that games are the preferred instructional method in all situations, allowing, however, that some games can provide effective learning for a variety of learners for several different tasks such as math, electronics, and economics.”
Karl’s response was:
“In a paper titled “Does Game-based Learning Work? Results From Three Recent Studies,” the author, Richard Blunt of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) group, reported on three causal-comparative exploratory studies. ADL, founded in 1997, works with business and university groups to develop consensus around standards for training software as well as associated training services purchased by federal agencies.”
In a word, it looks like a Difference of Opinion. Officially. Would love to get these two heavyweights in an ID cage match and see who comes out on top.
FastCompany posted this article by a disgruntled telecommuter: http://www.fastcompany.com/3006478/why-working-home-worst-both-worlds
- WFH is for responsible adults. Period. If you are the kind of person who needs someone standing over your shoulder making you work, then WFH is NOT for you. If you like surfing the internet, watching cat videos, checking facebook, and re-tweeting pithy comments from others more than you like doing your job, then WFH is NOT for you. Don’t start. You are not a responsible adult and cannot be trusted with this level of responsibility.
- WFH is best in a “results only work environment.” See: http://www.gorowe.com/ for information on this. If you are a manager who believes that most of the people who work for you are slackers who need someone to crack the whip and keep their noses to the grindstone, then having WFH employees is not for you. If you look out in the parking lot at 5:00 p.m. to take note of those who leave on time so you can identify who “doesn’t have enough work” then WFH employees are not for you. As an employee, if you work for a manager who feels it’s more important for you to “be there” than it is for you to get things done, then you will have a hard time succeeding in a WFH environment. On the other hand, if you have a manger who cares only about the quality and volume of your work, then by all means, see if WFH is for you.
- WFH is for time/location independent work only. Or mostly. If you do work that is not necessarily tied to a specific time & place, then you may have an ideal WFH job. Writers, editors, instructional designers, graphic designers, and others who work in an environment with intermittent or indirect stakeholder contact may be ideally situated to a WFH arrangement. If you absolutely, positively do NOT have to have it done right now, then WFH may be for you. But if you have to have constant direct interface with your stakeholders, then maybe you should go in to the office.
- Inability to focus on work when at home
- Lack of work/life boundaries
- Inability to trust staff to do their jobs