Measuring The Learning Experience

Published May 1, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Spitzer (2007) contends that performance measurement focuses on the following three fundamental components: (a) perception, (b) understanding, and (c) insight. The ability to measure these elements can have an extremely transforming impact on organizations in positive ways. Spitzer suggests one reason performance measurement is not always able to effectively deliver positive outcomes, is because they are rarely socialized successfully. In other words, the outcome must have a positive effective that becomes a part of the social fabric of the organization. When assessment tactics are used for the purposes of improvement rather than to make judgments, the authentic power of performance measurement is unveiled. Organizational transformation measurements can lead to improvements in strategic execution, better investment decisions, increased value creation and value capture from diverse assets (tangible and intangible), improved relationships (customers, personnel, suppliers, partners, distributors, and others), increased synergy and synchronicity of resources, increased forecasting accuracy, staff that is motivated to operate at higher performance levels, greater organizational learning, and so much more (Spitzer, 2007).

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Education involves important questions about the structure and function of knowledge, the ethical imperatives of such knowledge, and the purposes to which learning must adhere to. It is a process of individualization and socialization. Learning programs and systems can be effective but are strongly influenced by the environment (Roberts, 2012). Learning about new software at a seminar for instance, is a very different experience than learning about it from reading the manual, sitting near a fireplace, sipping a warm cup of coffee. I conduct business in a virtual environment for example. My services as an independent contractor involve creating new systems for clients who are located in other geographic regions. As a sole proprietor, forms of measurement at this time do not include appraisal systems, financial reviews, knowledge testing, skill assessments or company surveys to ascertain performance and competency gaps. This presents however, many other learning opportunities for performance measurement as we examine our working relationship to determine what systems and strategies are effective and which ones are not as efficient. Initially, we implemented techniques from past experiences and methodologies that were effective, expanding on them to incorporate technological advances. The new methods also help monitor and act as performance measurement tools. For example, one learning measurement system we employ assesses client feedback and activity. Reports are created from spreadsheets that contain client information, identifies their industry classification (broker, loan officer, real estate agent, or private lender), dates with details of activity, the type of communication utilized (email, phone, text or snail mail), whether gifts were included as part of a reach out and connect campaign, and other relevant information. These systems provide clear records with detailed accounts of the individual that can help us identify competency gaps and other components that may reveal strengths and weaknesses.

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Spitzer believes measurement is a necessary condition for success and requires action. In other words, a high blood sugar reading is not useful if it is ignored. What makes measurement so significant is the capacity to instigate informed action that provides an opportunity for people to engage in more effective behavior (Spitzer, 2007). I recommend the implementation of systems that help organize information to keep track of client and personnel activity because in my experience, they can help monitor behavior and progress, efficiently and consistently. This strategy can provide data that will assist in creating a positive experience. In an intensely competitive marketplace, businesses today are required to operate outstandingly, effectively and reliably. Organizational leaders that comprehend this notion and use performance measurement to navigate strategically with systems and processes experience a tremendous competitive advantage and are likely to achieve high performance levels that are conducive to repeat business.

References:References:

Roberts, J. (2012). Beyond learning by doing: Theoretical currents in experiential education. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Spitzer, D. R. (2007). Transforming performance measurement: Rethinking the way we measure and drive organizational success. New York, NY: AMACOM Books.

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