Field of Action Times Four

By: babette09

Sep 01 2009

Category: Uncategorized

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As was suggested, I wrote several possible scenarios for my field of action. The first two are directly related to my Instructional Designer position. The third concerns a possible percussion group I would like to form, and the last relates to the farmer’s market I manage in the summer.

Question 1: Consortium of Instructional Designers

How can I begin a consortium of Instructional Designers in my area of expertise, to help organize IDs in my area and beyond? The goals are to bounce ideas and changes off of each other before adding pitching them to a company, and to develop valuable friendships with others in the field.

Forces For Change:
1)    More brainpower working together will bring about more ideas and better logic behind each idea.
2)    May be able to network with groups around the world, resulting in larger network of possible clients / customers.
3)    Local networks could meet for ‘brainstorming sessions’, which could also result is more clients. In addition, local group will give a face to the team, and offer more personable interexchanges of information.
4)    May be able to meet more IDs to suggest when working on large projects.
5)    Make friends who understand the ID world better than others who are not part of this.

Forces Against Change:
1)    It is difficult to plan meetings with people who are not physically ‘there’ at any given time.
2)    Geographic differences may present issues when scheduling meetings or overcoming language differences.
3)    If people drop off from the group and don’t give a reason, they are usually out of the network for good, due to geographical differences.
4)    Unless we are using a good video link, we will not see each other, making communication more difficult.
5)    There may already be an ID network of which I am not aware. If this is the case, my efforts will be for naught.

Q1FFA Graphic

Question 2: Subject Matter Experts Relationship

How can I improve my relationship with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), using new technologies that enhance our communication? There is a feeling of disconnect when working with new SMEs, and often it cannot be resolved in time for the end of the project. I would like to circumvent issues SMEs may be facing and / or encourage an improved working rapport with them.

Forces For Change:
1)    Relationships with SMEs would be improved. Aside from the obvious benefits, this would result in a better product (the course / curriculum).
2)    SMEs would enjoy the ‘buy-in’ value of feeling valued, so their own self-worth would improve.
3)    Course development standards would improve as a result of more buy-in from the SMEs.
4)    The use of technology would be elevated as a result of this relationship improvement, since we would use Web 2.0 tools to enhance our meetings.
5)    The improvements would also be reflected in a more sinuous timeline for course development projects.
6)    Lines of communication would open up more easily and quickly.

Forces Against Change:
1)    Some SMEs do not like to learn new technology.
2)    Even though many of the tools are free or nearly free, installation of new equipment is strongly discouraged or sometimes not allowed at all.
3)    There are individuals who would become ‘too busy’ to learn new technologies and be part of meetings. Note: Some of this could be related to point number 1 above.
4)    Although efforts would be made to ensure that new tools are inexpensive or free, some may be out of the range of company budgets.
I am a contractor, so there could be difficulty in exploring new tools and new relationships. There are times that I am only at a company for a number of weeks. In these cases, it will be extremely challenging to accomplish this task. To expect management or IT to listen to someone who is contracting for a limited period of time would be unrealistic.

Q2 FFA Graphic

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Question 3: Percussion Circle

How can I start a percussion band / circle that can regularly meet and hopefully help me when I record my next CD?
One thing I have always wanted to do, but never seemed to find the time to do, is participate in a large percussion band. I need to improve my skills to include more Latin and African beats in my music. I love what I’ve done so far, but I’ve gotten away from spontaneous jamming, and I’d like to get back into that.

Forces For Change:

1)    I would get to meet new musicians who can teach me valuable skills. I could also help others learn the things I know.
2)    Participating in this group would force me to practice more often. I could sharpen my skills at bongos, djembe and timbales, as well as handheld percussion. Who knows what else? I may start buying more percussion instruments again.
3)    I love to introduce musicians and songwriters/composers to each other. This can help us all when the time comes to perform or record.
4)    I could trade off performance and recording with others, to reduce costs of producing CDs (always a concern!).
5)    To emphasize the point of number 4, this would be cost-effective not only for me, but anyone else who is interested in a trade-off of performance / recording.
6)    I may reconnect with musicians with whom I have not kept in touch in recent years.
7)    I would be very happy if I could realize my dream of recording a global piece of music (using lots of new technology!) with others around the world. Starting a percussion group – or any group – usually results in finding new globally located musicians.

Forces Against Change:

1)    As with the ID group, percussion group like this may already exist. In that case, this effort is wasted.
2)    Some musicians are very ‘clique-ish’, that is, they are in a tightly knit team and do not want to meet others outside of that group. In that event I would not meet them. Similarly, some musicians are just a little too high to notice ads or online postings. I would miss that group too. ;- )
3)    Depending on whom I meet, there would be extra travel involved. We could meet at my house, but there would be times that wouldn’t be prudent.
4)    In addition, some musicians have a rehearsal space and want to use that. So it may also involve more cost if I were to join up and contribute to the rehearsal space effort.

Q3 FFA Graphic

Question 4: Farmer’s Market

How can I help the farmer’s market be stronger and more vital to the community in 2010? I would like to be able to help our park association strengthen the market so that it is a viable force not only for itself, but to augment the association in the alderman’s (and city’s) eyes.

Forces For Change:
1)    We could engage our vendors more fully and be in a position to recruit new vendors.
2)    With a stronger, more popular market, more volunteer residents would come out of the woodwork and ask to be a part of it.
3)    Holding such a popular events helps to solidify Portage Park as a vibrant park, worthy of beautification and other attention.
4)    In addition to encouraging volunteers to the market, the Friends of Portage Park association may also attract new members.
5)    Money from the city (i.e., mayor, alderman) may be handed to the park in recognition of the work that has already been done here.

Forces Against Change:
1)    Both the residents and the alderman may be apathetic to the cause of the farmer’s market and the park itself. It is difficult to incite people to action, even with good reviews.
2)    The vendor pool is limited, and positions in markets around Chicago fill up quickly during the off-season. If we aren’t assertive early, we may not get anyone new. In fact, the market could even lose vendors.
3)    The city is so possessed about getting the Olympics here in 2016, little else is going to be done around the city until the word is out. This will happen in October, so this may change as a factor.

Q4 FFA Graphic


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