Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Senior Management Un-Meeting

It took a number of attempts and rescheduling but I FINALLY introduced our Senior Management to Moodle. This took a bit of politicking on the Boss's part and some formal letter skill on mine. Below is the letter I used to bribe them to put together a meeting:

[Insert wonderful practice administrator name here]:

I have been in the process of putting together a Learning Management System (Moodle) to help us keep track of the tutorials. This tool will be an important part of the upgrades scheduled for next year, including TW v. 11 and FlowCast 4.0.

It will give your staff and providers more access to training (rather than waiting for a week or more) and gives them more learning choices. For users who are in and out of the MFA (Residents and Med Students), they will be able to receive training as they need it, rather than just take 1 June course and not use the system until 4 months later when they are on rotation.

The training in the tutorials, will be more consistent than face-to-face sessions and the users can go back to any tutorial they see fit. You will also be able to get reports showing who has been trained on which material, how much time they spent on particular items, and how they scored.

The tool will not replace the face-to-face sessions we provide.

I would love to have an opportunity to show this tool to you.

Please let me know what dates and times are most convenient for you this week. I hope to open this system up to your staff and providers within the next couple of weeks and would love your feedback.

I look forward to hearing from you.


For the first time in memory, 4 of the 5 practice administrators agreed to meet at exactly the same time! WITHOUT THE CEO!!!!! The 5th I had already given access to and she has been playing around in the system. Of course, this may have more to do with the Boss's "behind-the-scenes" politicking than my persuasive writing skills.

I tend to walk into these meetings expecting to get jumped. They did have a bunch of questions, but they liked my answers. 3 things turned them on about Moodle:

1) Flexibility - We are not wedded to a set structure for a course. I even put together some experimental areas for the PGAs to play. One already has been in the system digging around and manipulating course settings. VERY exciting when someone wants to get their hands on something - then actually DOES so.

I have started putting together some "Project" courses to serve as collaboration spaces for cross-departmental projects. Much easier than e-mailed documents and NT folder permissions

2)24/7 access - Currently, our tutorials reside on our intranet. If the person is not in our building, they can't get to the tutorials. We will have outside access turned on (hopefully) next week. Other big advantage - the managers will not have to wait for trainer availability or for classroom availability for training.

3) Reporting - Managers like reports. One report they all wanted to see us develop: Tutorials scores vs. time in position. (or....if they flunk the course, how quickly do they wash out).

Not knowing anything about the HR system that has just been implemented (only HR knows anything about this HR system - IT was not involved), I want to investigate whether we can hook directly into this mystery system (maybe as a web page) or if we need to come up with some other solution (database course, new fields, etc).

The PGAs also thought that a pre-employment course would be a good idea. Since I mentioned that our reporting will be based on users rather than departments (too much float between departments), we can run reports on 2 accounts (the Novell + the manual account that has to be generated before employment) so that we can get a total picture of that person's activity. (Of course, the issue with the pre-employment course is that we need someone to tell us what should be IN that course. That's a whole 'nother issue....)

As a result of the meeting:
- I have been invited to present Moodle to 20 division managers next week. It appears that course requests and material will be coming to me from the Manager level in our organization.

- I have already opened up Moodle to general access, if the practice administrators want to give the current URL to their end users.

- Vandana and I will be sitting down with the back-end database building reports. We are going to try and get as many of these reports available through the end-User Moodle interface as possible. This should be interesting......

I figure that December and January will be Pilot months. The pilot group will be (relatively) self-selecting. A combination of new employees taken there by excited PGAs and curious, self-motivated current employees. I think this will give me sufficiently broad metrics so that when it really counts (February), we have everything working and the scoring reports most accurately reflect our needs.

1 comment:

Tony Karrer said...

Congrats Wendy! Sounds like the hard work is starting to pay off - or is that a snowball? :) No really, congrats.