Our 3-day Orientation will be an active-learning environment. While there will be formal workshops taught, much of the instruction will be in pairs or small groups, working together to figure out equipment and practice on computer systems that they will use on the job. To keep us all on track, there will be a list of deliverables / mastery chart that the students can keep track of their own progress. Each student will be responsible for completing the required assessment for each terminal objective which will range from quizzes to performance-based tests to 3-D printed name tags!

To determine the best way to measure their learning, I relied on the ASSURE model with the standards and goals determined by utilizing Backward Design. (Heinich, Molenda, Russel, and Smaldino, 2013) We determine the core competencies of each software package based on 5 years experience supporting student projects and knowing what the students are expected to be able to do. The MM need to be able to help the students, so their skills need to be at a higher level. Using Backward Design, I structure the lessons and modules to get them to that level – not in the orientation, but ideally by the end of 4 weeks. (Wiggins & McTighe, 2013)

  • (A) Each student has completed a survey of their experience with several software packages. Those surveys will be used to determine their starting points in the training arc. Each new mentor will be paired with an experienced MM or 2 who will quiz them on their knowledge and be able to address any gaps.

  • (S) Students are given the core competencies for each software or skill and rubrics to guide their efforts

  • (S) (U) Specific modules or tasks will be assigned to introduce and reinforce those skills to bring them to the expected level. Modules will consist of guided multi-skill lessons, self-paced instruction of simpler skills with written directions, and group problem solving tasks. The students must perform the task or skill in order to get credit for that section.

  • (R) Students will be given as much time as needed to practice and reinforce the skill/knowledge. Each task or skill has an active learning component. They need not complete them in any order. Some skills take more time to learn and practice.

  • (E) Instructors ask for feedback from students as to level of difficulty, pacing of instruction, usefulness of documentation and use that information to revise the training.

As you can see, this training is primarily self-paced with checkins and sessions held with me and the senior Media Mentors. Each students will be responsible for what needs to be done and making sure that if they don't feel that they have complete confidence in their skills, they know what path they can take to gain that mastery.

Some more specific examples of assessment types will be:

  • Match the Utility software to it's purpose (study sheet, then quiz on paper, then finally a scenario-based oral presentation to the student supervisor to apply learning to actual lab situations)

  • Learn the Check In/Out system (short lecture by senior Media Mentor, then role-playing using scenario-based problems and transactions, performance test for senior Media Mentor or Supervisor to show mastery)

  • Learn the basics of Final Cut Pro (hands-on session held in lab with instructor, followup guided lab time for practice and exploration, documentation provided for refresher, final assessment is a video produced within 3 weeks with specific criteria included - media from external sources and skills shown)

  • Learn the basics of 3-D printers (short lecture and hands-on demonstration by Instructor, written documentation as refresher, final assessment is to print a 3-D Name tag for when you are on duty at the desk.

One example of a scenario-based problem to determine the correct Utility program might be:

  • A student wants to use a clip from a news broadcast on CNN. The video is in their archives but is not downloadable. There are multiple tools to capture screen recordings, but only one that will allow the best results. How can you help them capture this footage with the best quality?

Instructional (2013) Backward Design Model (Wiggins & McTighe) Retrieved from