Organizational Development Webinars Helping To Boost Online Registration

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Keeping up-to-date the skills of employees in various organizations is as vital a task as developing the skills of current students, within the Department of Learning and Performance Systems (LPS) at Penn State’s College of Education .

One way to do this is to organize webinars led by teachers in Workforce Training and Development as well as Organizational Development (OD); LPS also encompasses vocational and technical training.

“I hear from students and other faculty that there is evidence that the webinars we have hosted have helped our online registrations at a time when registrations are high,” said William Rothwell, Professor of Education. , workforce education and development. “One of the things we achieve is through monthly organizational development webinars.

“Organizational development is a way to facilitate change in organizations. Organizational development is a taste of the theory of change. OD’s change methods are bottom-up, which means we facilitate change among people in organizations rather than forcing change. This is what makes it a little different.

Organizational development is about harnessing the creative thinking of all workers and managers and using innovative thinking to face, manage and even anticipate organizational change, Rothwell noted. “Change affects everyone, and we are trying to make the world a better place by improving the management of change,” he said.

Rothwell and his colleagues Wesley Donahue, Hyung Joon Yoon and William Brendel provided their expertise. Donahue, education teacher (education and workforce development), spoke about leadership skills, and Yoon, assistant professor of education (education and workforce development), spoke about core research-based values ​​that OD practitioners follow.

Rothwell spoke about talent management and organizational trust. Brendel, Assistant Professor of Education (Education and Workforce Development), spoke about transforming organizational culture.

“We want to do this to let the university and the world know who we are and what we do, because we are different from other parts of the college in that we go beyond Kindergarten to Grade 12. to include a focus on lifelong learning, ”said Rothwell.

“We will use webinars to increase enrollment, strengthen our visibility and develop our term and adjunct faculty to keep them up to date. We also believe in giving adults the tools to continually challenge their own assumptions, reflect on their values, and strive to create organizations that not only benefit, but see prosperity for the good. to be employees, of inclusion, of a rewarding and personal job. growth.”

Rothwell said it was important to hone the skills of term and auxiliary instructors, those who might not be involved in research or funded projects. “One approach is to involve them in webinars where we bring in people from different parts of our field, engage them, and then insist that our term people and auxiliaries participate in these webinars, so that’s a way of development. faculty for an important group on which we depend for the success of our World Campus program, ”he explained.

Regardless of why the student is interested in further learning through webinars, they should hold the student’s attention.

“When it comes to education and workforce development, our primary focus is on people who are not in school,” said Rothwell. “And we need to make a link between lifelong learning and the issues that adults face. If you don’t have a job, you will be highly motivated to learn if you think learning will help you qualify for a job or keep a job. It appeals to the adult need for learning related to the needs of life.

“So rather than sitting in a classroom and listening to academic research and theories, you, as an adult, would much prefer learning focused on the real issues you will face at work. This is what we mean by fun, we mean we let learning be fun, because you are more likely to remember it and use it if it is based on practical experience with a real world focus. .

Rothwell also engages alumni, PhD and Masters degree holders, and helps them continue to learn and advance in their careers.

“We have many ways of working with graduate students and alumni,” he said. “We’re even going to ask them to do some of the webinars; some have already volunteered and we said OK. This is for them to get visibility; it will be a good opportunity for them to strut around and show people who they are and what they can do.

LPS Department Head Roy Clariana said the webinars reach a large group of people and improve their professional knowledge and skills. “This is in keeping with Penn State’s 21st century land grant mission, bringing the scholarship of education, research and public service to the state of Pennsylvania and the nation,” Clariana said.

“To date, our interactive webinars have attracted over 1,500 participants from all over the world,” added Clariana, “who serve our society in a wide variety of contexts, including international organizations (United Nations, World Bank, NATO, UNICEF and UK Parliament), corporations (Boeing, Microsoft, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Accenture), the federal government (Departments of Education, Energy, Veterans Affairs and Defense) and more than 20 universities . “

Brendel noted that the webinars drew attendees from many Penn State colleges, including colleges of medicine, nursing, education, business, earth and mineral sciences, arts and architecture. and agricultural sciences.

“Due to their wide appeal, we would expect the number of views of webinars to increase dramatically as they are shared through professional networks via social media,” said Brendel.


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