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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


The Work Ethic Site

by Roger Hill
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 08, 2001 by Teacher Education
Overview: This site ?provides a central resource for materials related to work ethic, affective work competencies, and employability skills for work force development. It is designed to serve both educators and human resource professionals. The on-line instructional resources provided here are designed for use in schools or training programs where people are being encouraged to appreciate the importance of work ethic, further develop their own work habits and attitudes, and improve employability skills. The curriculum materials were developed to address interpersonal skills, initiative, and being dependable, constructs which were derived from extensive work ethic research.?
Learning Goals: The curriculum materials were developed to address interpersonal skills, initiative, and being dependable, constructs which were derived from extensive work ethic research. Specific learning goals stated for each lesson are:
1)?To understand why work ethic is so important in the information age workplace and why it will continue to be important in the future.?
2)?To understand what work ethic is and to recognize related worker characteristics that employers are seeking.?
3)?To examine the role of interpersonal skills as an aspect of work ethic, to better appreciate its importance in the workplace, and to develop strategies for improving interpersonal skills.?
4)?To understand initiative as a part of work ethic, to evaluate one's own initiative, and to learn to use initiative in appropriate and productive ways.?
5)?To understand the importance of being dependable, to identify areas for improving personal dependability, and to further develop the characteristic of being dependable.?
6)?To examine employability skills related to work ethic and to identify key characteristics which are important for success in the information
Target Student Population: Secondary students, college students, and adult learners.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: This site deals with basic information and introductory information related to work ethic for a variety of levels of knowledge and experience. No special skills or prerequisite knowledge are needed. Reading level of most materials suitable for high school students and above.
Type of Material: Could be used either a tutorial or as resource/reference material.
Technical Requirements: The entire site could be viewed in the browser. If users wish to download the PowerPoint slides, they must have the software (at least PowerPoint Player). Another option allows the user to download the History of Work Ethic section as PDF files.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: There is a great deal of need for instruction related to work ethic. This website provides instruction and guidance to help learners better understand their own work ethic, as well as the relationship between work ethic and employability. There is a fairly extensive section on the History of Work Ethic that provides an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand documentation on work ethic. The content is broad, but not so deep as to be intimidating to user. The site is quite extensive. The lessons include useful assignments. The inclusion of self-administered inventories provides for appropriate interactivity. The use of built-in feedback to some of the assignments is also good for students who are not experiencing the assignments in a regular classroom setting. Every lesson begins with learning goal and definitions. Each lesson provides some opportunity for interactivity and links to other activities, inventories, and information. PowerPoint presentations to accompany each of the six modules begin with a stated learning goal. These can be shown from the web or downloaded for use during instruction. Extensive additional resources (13 pages) on the history of the work ethic are provided for those interested in additional information. Links to other sites all work and all links add value to the information presented here. Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI) offers comparative information to other users who have completed this survey. Employability Skills Assessment (ESA) doesn?t provide this information yet, but author appears to be collecting these data.
Concerns: On the ?Materials in Print? link, there is discussion about the different instruments used on the website and that they can be obtained prior to class for use. It is not clear if that statement and opportunity pertains only to University of Georgia classes or if that applies to others who might use this resource beyond UGA. If it is only for the UGA, it might be helpful to others who might use this site to move that explanation to the UGA link.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is a highly effective site for teaching and learning The materials provided are extensive and complete. For each of the lessons, objectives are clearly defined, both for the learner and the instructor. The content is broken up into a number of ?chunks? which makes the materials more flexible for different instructor?s use and application, which increases the avenues for application. This site could be used by itself or the instructor could add additional materials. Lessons could be done in order or users could skip around, which indicates this site has a lot of flexibility. For example, this site could be assigned as independent work or used during class under guidance of an instructor. The lessons offer lots of opportunity for small-group interactions if lessons are used in class. Groups could also be asked to discuss lesson assignments via email or via online discussions if site is used in a distance-learning situation.
This website is classified in MERLOT as related to vocational education, and it most definitely is. But given its use and potential use with welfare-to-work program participants, and school children of all ages, it is also has applicability for the higher education training of other programs ? such as social work, guidance and counseling, student affairs, potentially nursing, etc. The site could certainly be used for first-year college students to provide an orientation to work and proper work behaviors. Some students are not familiar with many of the concepts presented in the lessons. For these populations, this website is a potential tool to learn about work ethic and the application of the information, beyond typical class content.
Concerns: The results of the self-administered inventories might confuse some students. Some additional information about how these inventories function would be a welcome addition for students and instructors.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is very user-friendly. All the links worked well and the site was easily navigable. The links are logical and clearly laid out. The screen design is clean and easy to read. All pages are well designed with plenty of white space and a reasonable amount of text. Some form of interactivity is present in all modules. Nice interactive feedback is given to the user on some quizzes, which makes the website more enjoyable. Compared to other websites that attempt similar instructional modules, the ease of use of this website is greatly appreciated. Although it might appear simplistic to more sophisticated users, because this website can be accessed and useful to individuals who are not experienced web users, the simplicity is necessary and laudable.
Concerns: An instructor who uses this website has access to PowerPoint presentations for instruction, but must have knowledge and experience in the area ? the website will not provide all information for instructors. Users might get lost once they begin a PowerPoint slide presentation. Once PowerPoint slides are started it is difficult to get back to the rest of the site. Perhaps some further instructions would clarify these points.
There were a few times that branching went to a point where it was not apparent how to return to original site easily, but the branching was never so deep that it was difficult to get back. Novice users will not have a great deal of difficulty working their way through the web site. It would help the user, who is trying to find his/her way around the website, if the home page provided an explanation of what is available at each of the different links, or a site map that would accomplish the same task. It would save the user browsing time.