How to Design MOOCs for Maximum Performance Improvement

Posted by Ann K. Fuerst, Ph.D., Chief Learning Strategist

You may be wondering what a MOOC even is. In its purest sense, a massive open online course (MOOC) is a course of study made available over the Internet without charge, to an open-ended audience. In the corporate setting, the term has been adapted to apply to an innovative, blended learning approach offered within the confines of the organization.

MOOCs have generated a buzz since they burst onto the learning scene over two decades ago. Reviews have been mixed in their corporate applications. Fortunately, the concept and design premise has evolved since it’s early inception. Many of these learning experiences are no longer massive or open. MOOCs can be very powerful tools but only when well designed and supported.

There are also many myths out there about MOOCs these days. They are not just another form of self-paced online learning. In fact, they will never be able to replace traditional modalities of training. Also, they are not blended learning courses just packaged a different way. There is no standard way to approach designing a MOOC, yet when designed well, MOOCs can deliver true performance improvement. But how do we get there?

Qualities of a successful MOOCs include that they are:

  • Cohort-driven, creating a personalized moderated experience
  • Time-spaced learning to apply new concepts over time.
  • Micro in nature, meaning that there are short bursts of content and activities spaced throughout this continuum
  • Social, meaning that there are communities of practice interacting and learning together.

In order to create an excellent MOOC experience, designers should follow Sekhon and Albert’s Seven Cs framework of MOOC design which includes:

  1. Create content that is a value add to the audience.
  2. Give the learning context so that learners need to know is how they can apply new concepts to their particular job.
  3. Curate and co-create both as a part of the course creation and during the experience to gain learner input from the course in real time and present it back to the audience.
  4. Communicate so learners know exactly what is expected of them and when.
  5. Collaborate to increase the likelihood for on the job behavior change after the course with tools such as discussion exercises, and observation opportunities.
  6. Create opportunities for competition to feed off the driving motivation for any group of motivated professionals.
  7. Offer certification to add credibility to the completion of the program.

Whether you are creating a course that’s internal to your organization or an outward-facing customer experience, MOOCs can be a strategic way to repeatedly engage your audience over a period of time. This engagement pays dividends to both learners and customers. And when you’re ready to build one, TCC is here to help.

To learn more about TCC’s Performance Technologies solutions, please visit our website http://www.e-tcc.com/performance-technologies.

 

TCC Sponsors the 2019 NAEYC Public Policy Forum

Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Analyst

Early childhood national conferences provide state policy makers and advocates with rich learning and networking opportunities that advance our capacity to better serve families and children.

The 2019 NAEYC Public Policy Forum was an important way for us to come together to be heard on issues critical to early childhood education and educators; to sharpen our advocacy skills, to build our networks, and to strengthen our relationships with representatives on Capitol Hill. The event was held February 24 -26, 2019 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

At last count, 45 states sent teams to participate in the Forum. In just one day, NAEYC affiliates held nearly 300 meetings with their legislators to educate them about the importance of early childhood education and to advocate for continued and increased investments.

TCC Early Childhood Data Systems – Solutions that Work for States

Over the past 20 years, TCC has developed data solutions that support an array of early childhood programs, including: Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) subsidy program, child care licensing, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), pre-K management system, and professional development registry (PDR) systems.

We’ve taken our extensive experience and subject matter expertise to develop products that can be configured to meet any state need.

  • States use Ascend to manage the complex system of early childhood programming and better inform their short and long-term program, policy and investment decisions.  https://www.e-tcc.com/ascend
  • States use eXpedite as an off-line, mobile solution to capture licensing inspection and other early childhood data that may be collected onsite. Field data can be synched to Ascend or any back-end system in a matter of seconds. https://www.e-tcc.com/mobile-workforce-software

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/early-childhood or email Mike.Boyle @e-tcc.com.

Open Mainframe Project and Modernization of Applications on IBM Z, Project Zowe

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

By serving as a focal point for deployment and use of Linux and open Source in a z/OS mainframe environment, the Open Mainframe Project’s goal and objective is for the increased collaboration across the mainframe community to develop solutions, shared tool sets and resources. Their overall vision is to ensure that “Open Source on the Mainframe as the standard for enterprise class systems and applications. Furthermore, their mission is to build a “community and adoption of Open source on the mainframe by:

  • Eliminating barriers to Open Source adoption on the mainframe
  • Demonstrating value of the mainframe on technical and business levels
  • Strengthening collaboration points and resources for the community to thrive

In summary, what is the Zowe project? Its main objective is to offer modern interfaces that can interact with the mainframe z/OS architecture and infrastructure in a process similar to what is experienced on today’s cloud platforms. These interfaces can be used as delivered, simply out of the box or via plug-ins/extensions that are created by the client themselves or via third-party vendors.

Zowe is made up of the four main components:

  • APP Framework – contains a Web user interface (UI) for a full screen interactive experience. This includes 3270 terminal interactions and Web interfaces such as z/OSMF.
  • Explorer Server – a process that provides for a range of APIs for the management of jobs, data sets and z/OS UNIX System Services/files.
  • API Mediation Layer – which is an API abstraction layer by which APIs can be discovered, catalogued, and presented uniformly.
  • Zowe CLI – which is a command-line interface that allows interaction with the mainframe remotely; allowing common tools such as: Integrated Development Environments, shell commands, bash scripts and build tools that result in a set of utilities/services that application developers can become more efficient in supporting/building z/OS.

Having been a mainframe geek since the 1970s and still going strong, I see this project enabling organizations to take advantage of the zMainframes’ five nines for RSA (Reliability/Serviceability/Availability) in providing an efficient suite of applications and service.

Read more on the Open Mainframe Project and Zowe at:

https://www.openmainframeproject.org/

To learn more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

TCC Seeks a Data Architect

Posted by Kelly Grant, TCC Senior Technical Recruiter

When you join the TCC team, you join a team of exceptional individuals who are experts in their fields.  At TCC, you will have the opportunity to use technology to make our clients’ lives easier and their businesses more profitable.

The Data Architect is accountable for the design, development, and maintenance of multiple software projects and managing, directing, and developing other technical resources. The Architect works with product management to translate requirements into working software by the creation of development plans, architectures, and workflows. He or she works and communicates directly with end clients.

Responsibilities
• Interpret business technical and functional requirements and design software solutions to meet those requirements
• Develop, unit test and conduct data migrations from client legacy system(s) to TCC customer software systems.
• Communicate with clients to define requirements for data migrations from legacy systems.
• Document data migration requirements, business rules, processes and field level mapping.
• Produce reporting to verify accuracy of data migrations and identify discrepancies.
• Assist TCC Business Analysts in defining and documenting interfaces between TCC systems and external systems.
• Process data changes, conduct ad hoc reporting and research data-related questions and issues as requested by client and development team.
• Work with the rest of the team and Quality Assurance to identify and solve performance and functionality defects in the software
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Able to work independently and be customer service oriented.
• Acquire and maintain additional technical skills for professional development.

Qualifications
• Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a comparable degree, or equivalent work experience
• 6+ years of experience participating in collaborative development environment
• Demonstrated experience in successfully converting data from legacy systems.
• Strong data analysis skills.
• Extensive experience with Microsoft based technologies:
o C# and .NET technologies
o Microsoft SQL Server, Transact-SQL, SSRS
o Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code
o Team Foundation Server, TFS User Stories
• Experience with defining business processes and developing requirements
• Experience with working with external customers and vendors
• Experience working on multiple projects at the same time and the ability to properly manage efforts so that all projects are completed on time
• A proven track record of software delivery
• Prior experience as a leader within a software development team
• Experience with peer code review practices

Travel Requirements
• May require occasional (10-20%) travel out of state

Benefits
• Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
• Employer-funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
• Company sponsored 401k
• Paid Time Off

About TCC
Founded in 1996 in Indianapolis, IN, The Consultants Consortium (TCC) is an innovative solutions provider committed to designing and delivering high-value, cost-effective IT consulting services and application technology solutions for both the private and public sectors. With a team of more than 250 IT and business professionals, TCC serves clients nationwide, from state and federal government agencies to commercial sector customers. TCC is committed to providing the most cutting edge solutions, and with that, ensures they stay up-to-date on crucial certifications and affiliations. Among these are the highly accredited Microsoft Certifications.

At TCC, we know that having a strong company culture is paramount in sustaining the success and stability of the company, especially within the information technology industry. That’s why we place our focus on the people who make our success possible: our employees, partners and clients. We strive to create an environment that preserves and fosters growth while still promoting the DNA of our company.

Our core values:
• Building strong, reliable relationships with our employees, our partners and our clients
• Upholding integrity, honesty and respect
• Supporting our local community
• Encouraging continued education and development

To see open positions at TCC, please visit our website http://e-tcc.com/open-positions.

Accessibility: If you need an accommodation as part of the employment process
please contact Human Resources at Email: tcc.recruiting@e-tcc.com

Equal Opportunity Employer, including disabled and veterans.

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