HRM420 full course – September 2016

Week 1

Core Competencies (graded)

Core competencies are important to training and development
teams in human resource management groups. Review the lecture this week and the
information about Fermilab, the governmental body that is discussed there.
There are seven core competencies listed in the lecture and on the Fermilab
website. Let’s talk about core competencies and ways of determining them for
your company. To start, either discuss the Fermilab core competencies and what
you think they mean to employees and employers or review the mission statement
of a company where you work or one you have researched online, and provide your
thoughts on some of the core competencies that you would expect to find in that

ADDIE and Training (graded)

ADDIE training is discussed in the lecture and will be
utilized throughout the course to help you organize your thoughts about
training. Let’s talk about ADDIE and also about training you may have taken
part in at your current work, previous work, or even at school. To start, here
are three questions (pick either 1 and 3, or 2 and 3, and then respond to a
classmate’s post as well):

  1. Think
    about and describe briefly one of the best training sessions you have been
    involved with in the past or currently. What made it good? Did you find it
    improved your ability to do your job?
  2. Think
    about and describe briefly one of the worst training sessions you have
    been involved with in the past or currently. What made it so bad? Did you
    find it did nothing to assist you with your job? Or if it did assist you,
    why didn’t you to think it was good training?
  3. How
    did the trainer’s personality impact your answer to No. 1 or 2 above?

Your instructor will provide further direction on this as we
move through the week.



Week 2


SWOT Analysis (graded)

Review the lecture discussing SWOT analysis before
attempting to post to the thread. Then, please review the 10-K and/or current
event information about a publicly traded organization. The Assignments page
gives a link to the McDonald’s 10-K for 2012, but to find a 10-K, simply use
the search engine of your choice, and in the query box, type in the name of the
publicly traded company and 10-K. Review the first few sections of the 10-K and
consider the statements there. Using the SWOT analysis format, create a
mini-SWOT analysis based on the company’s 10-K and post here. Your SWOT should
be posted by Wednesday. Then respond to at least two of your classmates’ SWOTs
with at least two ideas on training needs that you think may exist based on
your classmates’ SWOT analysis. Respond back to anyone who posts to your SWOT.
Your instructor will participate as well and may have more questions. Your post
should include the following.

  1. The
    name and ticker symbol of your company
  2. The
    link where you found the 10-K (use the most recent one for your company
  3. Information
    for your analysis organized under these headings (about three to four
    bullets each)




Needs Assessment (graded)

Review this article.
Lucier, K. H. (2008). A consultative training program: Collateral effect of a
needs assessment. Communication Education. 57(4),
482–489. doi:10.1080/03634520802094305 (Academic Search Complete database)
Instructions on how to locate this article are on the Assignments page.

In your initial post, answer these questions based on your
opinion of the actions of Lucier in the article, and utilize at least one
concept from Chapter 3 of the textbook in analyzing the method Lucier used for
needs assessment at the bank.

  1. What
    was the initial reason that Lucier was called in to consult with the
    bank’s employees and manager? Do you feel this is in line with a
    traditional style of conducting a training needs assessment? Why or why
    not? (Opinions on this will vary; include at least one statement by Noe in
    your answer to support your opinion.)
  2. Explain
    one needs assessment method that Lucier used to conduct her needs
    assessment. State how she did this, and whether you feel this was an
    appropriate or inappropriate method considering the job she was asked to
    do for the project. If appropriate, why do you think that way? If
    inappropriate, which method would you have tried and why?

Throughout the week, your instructor will ask you more
questions about needs assessment. Respond to your classmates’ original posts as
well with thoughtful follow-up questions to their considerations.




Week 3

Adult Learning Styles (graded)

Your textbook briefly discusses the work of Malcolm Knowles
and David Kolb on adult learning theories. Using Internet research or our DeVry
library, find an article (not Wikipedia) about one or the other’s theories (or
both), and read the article. Explain in a one- to two-paragraph post something
interesting you learned about how adults learn differently than children and
how you would apply this knowledge to a training decision, method, or design.
Cite your source please. Then reply to a classmate’s post with a question or
feedback about how you think you would learn better because of the information
that student brought to the thread. Throughout the week, your professor will
ask further questions about how adult learning styles will impact your training
designs and method selections. Come back frequently and join in the


SMART Training Goals and Objectives (graded)

Assume you are a manager in the HR department of McDonald’s.
Review the SWOT analysis that was performed in the Week 2 Lecture. Utilizing
that SWOT and the information about McDonald’s you are aware of from your own
experiences eating there, determine a training need for McDonald’s that you
think would improve its bottom line. For your first post (by Wednesday),
identify the need for training you have identified, and write one training
objective for that training need. Write the objective in the manner that is
used in the lecture (using the three parts).

Then reply to at least one classmate’s learning objective
with a SMART goal analysis. Analyze how you could take that training objective
and make it SMART for future evaluation. Title your post with SMART analysis so
your classmates and instructor know that is what you are doing. If you get
confused, your professor or classmates will help.

Respond to one SMART reply of a classmate by creating the
SMART goal. Return often and debate this with your classmates. Further respond,
if you can, to questions your professor will ask about further thoughts or
clarifications about your posts or your classmates’ posts. Title your post with
SMART goal to differentiate this from the analysis. You don’t have to use the
same student who you did the analysis on, but you can. Help out your

This thread will prepare you for the homework this week. Immerse
yourself, and have fun!



Week 4


Costs and Benefits of Training (graded)

In this thread, we are going to only look at the costs and
benefits of different types of training. We will start with one sample training
need, and your professor will bring in one or two more during the week,
depending on how quickly the class moves through the material. As a group,
let’s compile all of the costs and benefits we can think of for each training
event or process. Then, as a team, we’ll come up with a cost-benefit analysis
or return on investment proposal for each training event. Assumptions of dollar
figures will have to be made.

Training Event 1: You are the library director
of a large public law school’s library. Over 300 students use the library on
any given week, and you also service local attorneys (who pay a monthly fee of
$45 for the right to use the library). The library fee for students is set by
the school’s board of directors, and it is $450 per student per year. The
school has 900 students (about 350 first-year, 300 second-year, and 250
third-year students). There are 250 local attorneys currently paying library
fees, but a market of 8,000 lawyers exist in the area who are potential future

A new service is being rolled out to lawyers and law
students called BriefLaw. This service is a brief database of all appellate
court cases and briefs that have been used in all appellate courts throughout
the country. Access to the database is in pilot form and is only available
through select law schools. This is a government service. Only one law school
per state will have access to BriefLaw for the first year, and then it will
slowly roll out to other schools and eventually onto WestLaw and Lexis (planned
for about 3 years from now if things go well.)

Training for librarians on how to use the service will cost
about $1,250 per librarian for the class itself. Travel from the university to
the training location in Washington D.C. will cost about $2,500 per librarian,
including airfare, food, hotels, and other travel costs. Training will last 1
week (5 days) and is only offered once. You are trying to determine all of the
costs of the training, as well as the return on investment. The library is
supported by the law school but also has to pay for many of its own expenses
through income from book fines and student and attorney fees. You estimate that
next year’s budget will be about 25% from your income, and you are hoping this
new service will entice more attorneys to sign up for the service. You are
considering a bifurcated fee where attorneys who want just the library services
continue to pay $45 per month but those who want both services will pay $75 per

From what you can tell, the training for using BriefLaw has
a steep learning curve. It is really complicated to set a proper query to get
briefs to pull up on topics. The technology itself has many steps. It is likely
you are going to have to devote at least two full-time librarians to training
students and attorneys on how to use BriefLaw, as well as helping them with the

You have 15 full-time librarians on staff, 22 part-time
librarians, and 20 student assistants. Discuss in your first post, or respond
to a classmate, about the following.

  1. The
    costs of training, both explicit and implicit
  2. The
    benefits of training, both explicit and implicit
  3. The
    opportunity potential of doing this training
  4. The
    opportunity costs of not doing this training

Your instructor will bring in more questions throughout the



Employee Development (graded)

Download the individual development plan template from Doc
Sharing and begin thinking about how you would fill it out if you were going to
submit it to your boss at work, your boss at your last job, or your boss at a
job you would like to have in the future. Start filling it out, because it will
help you start thinking about why employees fill these out and how complicated
it might be to have a discussion with an employee about this form.

For your first post, think about three things that an
employee would need to have available to him or her in order to complete the
IDP. These could be information about self, about future jobs, and so forth.
Think about some questions you would want to ask your supervisor before having
to submit a completed IDP form. Also think about some concerns you would have
about putting information down on this form.

In your first post, provide information about the following.

  1. Which
    section of the form do you feel you would need more information about to
    fill it in? What information do you need?
  2. What
    are your two top questions you want to ask your supervisor before filling
    out this form?
  3. What
    are your two top concerns you have about filling out this form?

For your second post, reply to one classmate with a very
brief e-mail providing him or her with answers to his or her questions and
providing reasons why he or she should not be concerned about filling out the
form. Assume you are your classmate’s supervisor. (For organizational purposes,
pick the person who posted directly above you to reply to. If you are first,
you get to reply to anyone.)

Your instructor will have more questions for you throughout
the week.



Week 5


Traditional Training Methods (graded)

Traditional learning methods include lectures, hands-on,
on-the-job training, self-directed learning, apprenticeship, case studies,
business games, role plays, behavior modeling, group building, cross and team
training, and so forth. Your textbook covers these methods in detail in Chapter
7. For your first post, please consider some kind of training you have taken
that falls into one of the types discussed in Chapter 7 (not Chapter 8, which
comes in the other discussion).

Briefly describe the training and explain the method that
was used. If you knew what the learning outcomes were for the training, provide
those. If not, come up with one or two that you felt were probably the learning
outcomes and provide them. Explain whether the training did or didn’t meet the
learning outcomes. In other words, did you learn what it seemed like you were
supposed to learn from the training? Did you feel this method of training
worked for the training you were involved in? Your professor will follow up
with more questions.

Please feel free to ask your classmates questions about
their training as well. (If you have never had training at work, talk about
some other kind of training you have had—sports related, the arts, etc.). Be
sure not to use a technology-based training in this thread, because that is
what we will discuss in the other thread. Only discuss traditional training,
such as is covered in Chapter 7.


Technology-Based Training Methods (graded)

Taking the topic you discussed in the other thread to start,
explain how you would morph the traditional training you described, taking into
account a technology-based training. Describe what technology method you would
consider using as an alternative way to deliver the training you took and
discussed in the other thread (perhaps this would be some hybrid of traditional
and technology).

Do you feel that your new technology-styled training would
have worked better or worse than the traditional training you took? Why? Do you
think it would have been more or less cost effective to do the training in that
way? Name at least one principle you would follow to create a positive
technical learning experience in this technical training, and reply to your
classmates’ ideas with other positive learning experiences that could occur in
their trainings. Your professor will bring in more questions throughout the
week. Return often!




Week 6


Kirkpatrick’s Levels and Transfer of Training (graded)

Review the information in Table 6.1, page 239. This shows
the correlation between Kirkpatrick’s framework for training outcomes and how
they can be measured. In the second discussion this week, we will discuss
specific instruments you may use for measuring training. In this thread, we
will talk about evaluation itself: the why, where, how, when, and so forth.

To begin, please provide a synopsis of the Kirkpatrick
theory for categorizing training outcomes and how the different levels of
evaluation are measured and ultimately used. How does Kirkpatrick’s theory help
us to know whether our training created transfer of training? In your answer
give your view of what transfer of training is. Examples to assist our
understanding of your post are appropriate. Be sure to read the textbook and
lecture to assist you with this. Do not simply copy and paste; this should be a
synthesis of what you learned or understand from your readings. Your instructor
will bring in follow-up questions to move this forward through the week.



Instruments of Evaluation (graded)

Instruments of evaluation are used at all of the levels of
Kirkpatrick’s (and Phillips’s) framework of evaluating outcomes. These
instruments come in many forms but include questionnaires, interviews, monitoring
with checklists, surveys, tests, benchmarking, and scorecards. Return on
investment measurements are the fifth level of evaluation, and we have already
discussed those.

This week, we will look at different instruments, discuss
which level of evaluation they pertain to, and also discuss evaluation
practices and designs. To start, let’s look back at last week’s training in the
lecture on the decision tree tutorial. If you were going to design an
evaluation method for that training, what method would you use? Include in your
answer (a) the level of Kirkpatrick’s framework you would utilize and why (but
not ROI), (b) which evaluation design type you would use and why (i.e.,
posttest, pre- or posttest, prepost with comparison, Solomon four-group, time
series.), and (c) what instrument or instruments you would use.

Your instructor will return with other questions.



Week 7



Employee Development, Improvement, and Gaps (graded)

Let’s consider the company of ABCs & 123s,
., a manufacturer learning toys for elementary schools. Angel and
Bob work for Ms. Missy in the human resource IT department. Angel and Bob have
worked in the department for 15 years each and were part of the company’s
original HRIS department. Angel was the supervisor and Bob her one employee
until last year. Last year, as part of a revamping of HR, the department was
placed under Group Vice President of HR Services, Martin Shorter, and Angel was
demoted to HR specialist, from manager. This demotion was a result of a new
company requirement that all HR employees at manager level and higher must have
either a PHR, SPHR, or GPHR designation (or California equivalent). Angel did
not have this designation, and refused to sit for the exam, and thus, Ms. Missy
was hired as the new manager of the team. Martin Shorter has all HR departments
under him; Ms. Missy’s team is his smallest team of employees.

Ms. Missy’s team is in charge of just one thing: an in-house
created benchmarking, metrics, scorecard, and performance and talent management
IT product called “HR By The Numbers” (or HRBTN as it’s known in HR circles).
All other HRIS is handled by outside vendors, including but not limited to
benefits, disability issues, and payroll. Along with being used by ABCs
& 123s, Inc
., HRBTN is vendor-serviced out to other organizations,
and it has won two awards for innovation in the last few years. This product
has actually turned the entire HR Department from an expense side of the
company, into a significant income producing portion of the company (which
justified the creation of the group vice president position.) Martin believes
that HRBTN is whyABCs & 123s, doing so well in the
industry—because they are able to quickly and efficiently pinpoint the highest
producing employees, products, as well as the problem areas, which allows the
company to quickly ramp up or lower support for each area. Productivity of the
company has increased 85% since the invention of HRBTN.

Angel and Bob invented HRBTN together and are responsible
for debugging and updates to clients and to the company. Both have significant
IT certifications, are degreed computer programmers, and highly efficient
workers. Neither have HR backgrounds, except that today, they are both
considered as HR metrics seminal engineering experts, as their product can be
tailored to each company’s benchmarking needs in a highly unique and patented
way (the company owns the patent). Martin Shorter is old-school HR and received
his SPHR designation in 1982, before education or experience requirements were
standard process. He is a very hands-off department leader, with a golf
handicap of two. Until now, this has worked well for Martin.

Ms. Missy recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in
business, with an HRM concentration. She has worked in the HR field for five
years and took and passed the PHR exam three months before being hired to
manage this team. She has no computer programming experience, but she did own
her own consulting firm for two years, and utilized QuickBooks to run her
business, so she feels she has enough computer software experience to
understand the ramifications of her department employees’ needs. When Martin
hired her, he said, “Look, this department runs itself. Just let it do so, and
keep things flowing smoothly.”

Since Angel’s demotion, problems have arisen. The updates to
the vendor serviced accounts have been requiring two-to-three attempts to push
and download on their customers’ side. Further, bugs in the updates have caused
two of their customers’ systems to require extensive network analysis and
repairs. Last year, Bob decided to allow the bugs in their customers’ systems
to create metrics for solutions, and he decided (once Angel was no longer his
supervisor) to start using the learning from those problems to impact when and
how he did updates to ABCs & 123s, Inc. in-house
systems. In the past, the company handled updates and changes in the opposite
way—testing them in their own company first, cleaning up bugs, and then pushing
them out to the customers.

Angel would never have approved the change in process, but
because Ms. Missy was new, and didn’t understand the ramifications or technical
jargon Bob used when explaining this, she approved the change. Angel
immediately realized what was going to happen but, still stinging from her
demotion, Angel said nothing.

In the past few weeks, the customer complaints from HRBTN
have created havoc in the company. Because this product is an outlier to the
core business, there are no systems in place to handle such complaints (which
is the main reason Angel had used the company as the update guinea pig, instead
of the clients.) Ms. Missy is trying to handle the complaints on her own, as
they are being pushed to her from Martin. Because Ms. Missy took over sales from
Angel when she was hired, and her time is being spent dealing with complaints,
sales of HRBTN are down for the first time since it was invented. Martin is at
a loss because in the past, the company handled bugs beforethe
customers got the updates (he doesn’t know of the process change.)

Bob explains (deceptively) to Ms. Missy that the problem
stems from companies who have upgraded to Windows 8. Angel sits on the
sidelines silently, knowing that has nothing to do with the problem. Ms. Missy
tells Martin the problem is Windows 8, not her team, and Martin (who had to
give up this week’s golf game as a result of this issue) sets up a meeting with
the customers to discuss them moving back to Windows 7 until this can be
resolved. At the meeting, he finds out that none of the customers with the
problem are using Windows 8, and Ms. Missy can’t assist as she sits dumbfounded
and silent. After the meeting, Ms. Missy meets with Martin and says, “I am
starting to think Angel is sabotaging the work in this department. All she does
is sit around, code, and cry. I have had it with her. I need you to talk to
her. I think Bob is helping her because they are mad I am the new supervisor.”

Before doing anything, Martin pulls out the performance
appraisals on Angel and Bob, which just occurred two months ago. Bob’s
performance metrics for this year were based on the company’s slowdowns from
bugs, not customers’ complaints, so within the first year of Ms. Missy’s
arrival, Bob’s performance numbers skyrocketed. Angel’s new performance metrics
were simply based on her coding speed, so her last performance review was
“exceeds expectations” although due to her demotion, she did not get a raise
(but she also didn’t get a pay cut.) Ms. Missy also earned “exceeds” because of
the income level of the department as well as a sign-on bonus of $2,500 when
she joined the company, and 5% raise after her first year.

Martin calls Angel into his office privately, and she spills
the beans on the entire problem while crying. She then quits and says, “I used
to wake up andrun to work every day. Since my demotion, I can’t
stop crying. I can’t work here anymore,” and she runs out of the room, gets her
things from her desk, and leaves.

Think about what you have learned this term about needs
assessment, gap analysis, person analysis, training and development, mentoring,
coaching, PIPS, and the IDP processes. Write a very short analysis of some
short- and long-term root causes of this problem. Feel free to use a SWOT to
assist you in this task. Pick only one or two focus points for your first post,
and then as a class, we will work through some learning concepts from this
scenario. In the event you feel that anyone in this scenario would be benefited
by training or a PIP, you can use that as a second post and create that plan.
Finally, we will talk about solutions together during the week.

Who wants to start?



Review for Final Exam (graded)

This term, we have covered eight Terminal Course Objectives
and focused on learning concepts for each objective in your discussions,
homework, papers, and projects. Here are those eight learning objectives.

  1. Given
    that human capital’s capabilities drive organizational success, identify
    core competencies in the organization, and examine methods to train and
    develop employees towards those core competencies.
  2. Given
    that training and development must align with the strategic goals of an
    organization, assess the organization’s training needs by creating a gap
    analysis using current HRM approved methods, including needs assessment,
    task analysis, SWOT analysis, and environmental scanning.
  3. Given
    the need to create assessment metrics for training adult learners, select
    SMART goals for training, and construct training objectives to align with
    the goals which conform to current adult learning (andragogy) theories.
  4. Given
    the economic reality that training return on investment will be a
    significant measure of training effectiveness, assess the financial costs
    and benefits of training activities, establish or work within a training
    budget, and evaluate the benefit of training through established ROI
    measurement methods.
  5. Given
    that HR trainers will need to understand how to create valid training
    plans and modules, describe experiential learning, identify learning
    methods and activities, and select and/or design the appropriate training
  6. Given
    the importance of transfer of training, use valid and reliable evaluation
    methods to assess transfer of training.
  7. Given
    that employee development and employee training have both similar and
    different qualities, differentiate between the two HR functions and create
    a plan for employee development which includes employee training, career
    planning, and individual development planning.
  8. Given
    that ADDIE-based training and development should address contemporary
    issues relevant to all employees, incorporate timely themes into training
    and development programs, included but not limited to the prevention of
    sexual and racial harassment, diversity, legal issues as they arise,
    wellness, safety, customer service, management, leadership, and team

For your first post, select one of the above Terminal Course
Objectives, and apply the learning you have received about that objective to a
workplace concern or problem that you have experienced at some time in your
working life (or the work history of a friend or family member.) How has your learning
from that TCO changed (a) your reaction to a workplace event, (b) your
understanding of why something was done that way at work, or (c) your desire to
do something differently at work? Explain the concern or problem, which TCO you
are discussing, how it applies, and your analysis of either (a), (b), or (c)
above. Respond to your classmates. Let’s try to cover all of the TCOs this week
to assist with reviewing for the Final Exam! Your professor will assist.