September 06, 2013

Announcement of First Meeting of IEC Ethics Training Methods and Ideas Committee, Sept. 20

The IEC Ethics Training Methods and Ideas Committee is being resuscitated!!! Get and share ideas for improving your agency's Initial, Annual, and specialized population (e.g. Procurement and Grants Personnel, Political Appointees, IPAs and SGEs, etc.) ethics training and employee ethics job aids such Ethics Flipbooks, podcasts, social media...does your agency have an employee ethics app? You Tube site? Twitter feed? Learn how to do the famous USAG DAEO's Ethics one pagers for senior officials? Do you know how to incorporate current ethics events into your ethics training? Do you have an interactive agency Ethics website with games, info papers, etc?? If you do, come show others how you did it! If you don't come to our meetings and learn how to energize your ethics office training and outreach!

WHEN: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm, Friday September 20, 2013

WHERE: FEMA HQ, 500 C Street SW, Suite 840, Washington DC. (Entry requires Gov't I'd or FEMA Escort). FEMA is located in the middle of the Capitol Hill Holiday Inn, one block from the L'Efant Metro station (Maryland Ave exit) Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green Lines

Please contact IEC Ethics Training Committee Chair Paul Conrad prior to September 20 if you plan to attend the meeting, so I can speed your entry into our secure office space. Paul Conrad, Senior Ethics Attorney (Training), FEMA Office of the Chief Counsel Paul.Conrad2@fema.dhs.gov

Paul Conrad Phone Contact: 202 646 4025 Desk 202 531 6547 Blackberry 540 993 9459 Personal Cell

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers, Training Aids, Training Tips | Permalink

August 08, 2013

Materials from August 1 IEC Meeting

Handouts and powerpoint from Paul Conrad's presentation at the August 1 IEC meeting are attached.  Paul spoke about using various media in ethics training and the copyright issues that are involved. 

Download FAQ about Copyright

Download Know your copy rights[1]

Download Using Current Events in Ethics Training from YouTube TV Movies and Print Media2

Download IEC Training Tips

Posted by IEC Team Leader in IEC Meetings, Technology and Ethics, Technology for Trainers, Training Aids, Training Tips | Permalink

May 01, 2012

Training Tip 24: Using Title Slides Effectively

Every slide show needs a title slide, right?  The title slide is the right place to give your audience basic information like the name of your presentation, the name of the sponsoring organization, the date, and your name.

When should you display the title slide?  Nearly always, presenters assume it should be the first slide.  That's probably a safe choice, but when you want a little extra oomph in your presentation, consider using a trick from James Bond movies and TV shows like Jennifer Garner's late, lamented show Alias.  Not that the technique is particularly new.  In fact, the Iliad (vintage 8th Century BC)  starts "in medias res" (in the middle of things).  

Showing your title slide only AFTER you have grabbed the audience's attention is a great way to get things off with a bang. For example, for a presentation about the role of the Inspector General in handling ethics issues, I began not with a title slide, but with a sequence of slides about various scandals in the federal government.  I had one slide illustrating each scandal, and then another slide illustrating the IG response.  The subliminal message was: the Inspector General was the "solution" in each case.  The message was conveyed more effectively because I did not have to say it.  The selection and sequencing of the slides communicated the message more effectively than I could say it.

On another occasion I was giving a presentation to a group of criminal investigators.  There is a custom among some members of law enforcement of "professional courtesy."  One police officer may overlook a minor offense committed by another police officer.  Showing a badge is a way of asking for professional courtesy.  See, for example, Stroud v. Department of Treasury (upholding punishment of policy officer who showed badge during traffic stop, with hope of obtaining professional courtesy).

This issue should be addressed in ethics training for this audience, but it is tricky.  At least a few in the audience are likely to be at least somewhat sympathetic to an officer requesting professional courtesy, and it's possible some have engaged in the practice themselves.  Instructors who condemn the practice in an unconvincing way run the risk of looking like an unrealistic Goody Two Shoes and losing credibility. 

My first three slides were:

  1. The mug shot of Senator Larry Craig, arrested for solicitation in an airport.
  2. An excerpt from the arrest report indicating that Craig had shown his Senate ID to the arresting officer and, in an apparent attempt to intimidate him, asked "What do you think about that?"
  3. A picture of the front page of the Senate's Public Letter of Admonition to Craig for misuse of credentials.

Having gotten the audience's attention in a major way, then and only then did I move to the title slide.  When I subsequently used a slide about the Stroud case, I immediately followed it with a reprise of the Craig mug shot.  Not a single audience member spoke up in favor of "professional courtesy."

Why does beginning in medias res work?  Audiences tend to remember best the first part of the presentation and the last part.  Why waste the audience's prime attention on a boring title slide?  Start off with something important, something you want them to remember, something that will support a key point you intend to make later, like the Craig/Stroud connection.

Will beginning this way confuse your audiences?  Only the ones who have never seen a James Bond movie, an episode of Alias, nor any of the many similar T.V. shows. 

Starting your presentation in medias res is an example of a theme we will be exploring further in future columns: Making your shows more appealing to a generation of people who have grown up watching television and surfing the Internet.

Provide your suggestions and examples in the Comments section below. Biographical information about our Training Tips columnist is available.

Posted by J. Lawson in Technology for Trainers, Training Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 23, 2012

FEMA Leads the Way in Podcasts

Anyone who visited the FEMA booth at the last OGE conference could only be impressed by FEMA's aggressive, sophisticated approach to employee education. Since the publication of our most recent post on podcasts, we learn they are ahead of the pack in this area as well. Paul Conrad advises us that FEMA OCC has been doing podcasts on various legal topics at OCC this past year, including several on ethics topics. They are distributed via FEMA's OCC internal website. 

With Mr. Conrad's permission, a couple of transcripts are available:

Download 2011_Holiday_Activities_Ethics_Podcast_Script-EAJ_v3_11-23-11FINAL

Download Script FINAL Hatch Act Podcast 9-9-11 rbb pec bjk

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers, Training Aids | Permalink

April 07, 2012

Use of Educational Podcasts Grows

We note with interest that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center has converted its 2012 FLETC Legal Division Audio Handbook into podcast format and placed it online. The sophisticated organizations with training needs are embracing podcasts provide a model for ethics trainers wishing to embrace new delivery mechanisms. Jerry Lawson's September Training Tips column contains more information, including the following observation:

We see the biggest value of podcasts as a low-cost, low-hassle supplement to the rest of your ethics program, including a way of reaching certain "high value targets" like senior managers, many of whom are into multi-tasking. With so many prestigious organizations using them successfully for other training, this appears to be an area with enormous untapped potential for ethics trainers.

A subsequent post provided links to how-to advice on implementation.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers | Permalink

February 01, 2012

Training Tip 20: Computer Slide Shows: Boon or Bane?

“Slideware may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for the speaker can be punishing to both content and audience.”

Edward Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint

Computer generated slide shows like Microsoft PowerPoint have gotten a bad rap in some circles. For example:

  • The quotation above from respected Yale professor Edward Tufte is one of the milder criticisms in his pamphlet-sized anti-slideshow rant.
  • Peter Norvig’s Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation is an hilarious demonstration of how slideware would have destroyed Lincoln’s famous speech. Norvig posits the question an imaginary listener would ask: "Doesn't he realize this presentation is a waste of time? Why doesn't he just tell us what matters and get it over with?"
  • Former OGE Director Bob Cusick began a speech at one OGE conference with the comment “I don’t have a slide show.” The audience cheered.
  • Some U.S. Army Generals have banned the use of PowerPoint from military briefings.
  • A Swiss political party has even undertaken to have slide shows banned altogether.

Are the criticisms justified? To some extent, yes. Too many users of slide shows don’t understand what they are doing or don’t put in enough effort, or both. A high percentage of slide shows are painful for audiences.

However, the story is not that simple. Contrary to the views of the anti-slideshow camp, slide shows don’t cause people to be bad presenters. Slide shows are merely a tool used by many speakers, both good and bad.

An excellent speaker without a slide show will be better than a poor speaker without a slide show. However, a good slide show will probably make an excellent speaker even better. And it can sometimes make an average to poor speaker noticeably more effective.

Slide shows make sense for trainers who understand how to use them and are willing to invest the time to produce a decent product. Understanding how to create and use slide shows is a powerful tool in the trainer’s arsenal. We’ll be devoting our next Training Tips columns to exploring the right way to use PowerPoint and similar software, and we hope you enjoy the ride. 

 

Provide your suggestions and examples in the Comments section below. Biographical information about our Training Tips columnist is available.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers, Training Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 21, 2011

Training With an iPad?

Love your iPad? Ever thought about using it for training?

A Law Technology News article explains how one law firm used an iPad in a high profile personal injury case. Of course, the same persuasive educational techniques will work just as well with an ethics training audience:

In view of our focus, and the challenges the case presented, we decided to take an entirely different approach — and turn to an Apple iPad for our trial evidence presentation. We would still use a couple of documents blown-up on foam boards, for effect — but we didn't use TrialDirector or bring in an independent IT professional. Everything was managed directly from counsel table with minimal hardware and technology.

A related podcast is available.

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers, Training Aids | Permalink

September 16, 2011

Podcasts as Educational Tools

Following up on Jerry Lawson's September 1 Training Tips column, "Mobile Learning," here are two related podcasts explaining how to be a skilled consumer of this new source of information:

 

Posted by IEC Team Leader in Technology for Trainers | Permalink

September 01, 2011

Training Tip 15: Mobile Learning Options

Fueled by the widespread adoption of smartphones, iPods and similar devices, Mobile Learning, aka MLearning, has become a major educational trend. Such training is frequently delivered in the form of "MP3" files, delivered through a mechanism knownn as "podcasts." While Apple iPods are wonderful devices and seem ubiquitous, it's important to note that nearly any smartphone (iPhone, Droid, etc.) or personal computer can also play podcasts with the help of earphones or speakers. The USA.gov web site has a section explaining podcasts

Many organizations are taking advantage of this new training vehicle. For example, the Legal Talk Network distributes podcasts of interest to lawyers, and legal technology guru Dennis Kennedy has an article about the value of listening to podcasts. Previous IEC Journal posts have provided examples of the successful use of MP3 files or podcasts by other respected organizations:

The latest POGO example is a lecture by the Office of Special Counsel's (OSC) Adam Miles, who reviews OSC's interaction with federal whistleblowers. This training was originally part of a series POGO provides to educate congressional staffers. Other podcasts from the same series are available.

The Office of Government Ethics has also at least put its toe into the water, having prepared a podcast of "the Senate-confirmed nominations process and video clips that provide scenarios for discussion during training sessions on ethics restrictions on seeking employment."

We see the biggest value of podcasts as a low-cost, low-hassle supplement to the rest of your ethics program, including a way of reaching certain "high value targets" like senior managers, many of whom are into multi-tasking. With so many prestigious organizations using them successfully for other training, this appears to be an area with enormous untapped potential for ethics trainers.

In a future column, we will share nuts and bolts information on creating podcasts to make it easier for those inclined to explore this exciting new training option. In the meantime, we encourage any federal ethics trainers already using it to share with the IEC Journal any products we can distribute to other agencies.

Provide your suggestions and examples in the Comments section below. Biographical information about our Training Tips columnist is available.

Posted by J. Lawson in Technology for Trainers, Training Aids, Training Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)