Troop ESCU: Professional Development Jamboree

Nicole DragisicTexas Region 18 Education Service Center

Session Abstract

Come celebrate the delivery of online professional development with troop ESCU. Learn the keys to getting adult buy-in, building a community around your offerings, and increasing your non-compulsory return enrollments. Discover how to leverage multimedia elements and LTI tools to increase retention and deep comprehension.


ESCU got into professional development during the 2nd generation of eLearning, one-way multimedia. After a period of time, they moved into the third generation (tele- & audio-conferencing). Fourth generation eLearning is asynchronous – they remained here for a period of time, but it removed the human interaction (ex: Articulate Storyline). Now we’re in the fifth generation.After the history lesson, Nicole provided some statistics on completion rates and, more importantly, return rates. Return rate is the percentage of users who complete a course and then return for another. Low rates indicate that students completed the course but didn’t like it, so they didn’t take another.Things they indicated don’t work:

  • Gamification – adult learners completing professional development won’t play games.
  • Single media presentation – must be mixed media.
  • Long video or audio presentations

The long video/audio presentations is not a surprise. We find this all the time. A large majority of their users accessed the online course either during conference time or right before bed. To take into consideration their users’ time spent on the course work is chunking. Making sure that each activity, reading, etc. can be completed within 30 minutes.Another thing that they do are digital souvenirs. This may be difficult for institutions to do (giving course content away), but it’s important with adult, non-traditional users to provide something that they can download and either 1) search within the document, or 2) print out to read. One of the issues that they run into is mixed media. To combat this, they implement UD to develop the best content delivery methods. They use text-pictorials (text next to photos) and short videos. They make a point not to use opening graphics in the videos and that the videos are 3 minutes or less. They find that including the opening graphics immediately disengages the user – get right to the point.

“When someone purchases professional development, they want something that is whole. You’re doing a disservice by offering something that doesn’t include human interaction.”

This is very true  – when someone needs help with a topic, they need the human interaction. Make sure to include question prompts similar to:

  • How would you use this in your class?
  • How would you alter this for your ELL students?


This was a good session. There was a LOT of information and she (admittedly) rushed through it, seeing as she normally does a similar training in 8 hours. This session makes me want to do more short-term professional development through Canvas. But as always, time is a factor. 

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