HRD Students Develop Podcasts to Promote Microlearning in Organizations


University of Houston Human Resource Development (HRD) faculty continue to incorporate technology to unleash human expertise within organizations. Developing creative assignments to teach students how to apply course material in real-world scenarios, results in students showcasing their skills acquired during the undergraduate program.

One such example of these creative assignments is occurring in HRD 4350 – Organizational Development (OD) and Consulting. The course focuses on organizational development theories, interventions, concepts, and the role of consultants to manage and implement change in organizations effectively. The course content allows students to understand the process of organizational change as led by an OD consultant.

Daiane Polesello, PhD, instructional assistant professor in HRD, has created a podcast assignment with the goal of assisting her students to become experts in at least one OD intervention. The convenience of podcasts has become one of the factors for its increased appeal in the modern world of technology. Through the utilization of podcasts, HRD students were able to produce their own, unique content that related to the actual course alongside their discussion of prior experience with specific topics related to OD.

Examples of topics covered through the assignment includes Mentoring, Coaching, Career Planning and Development, Work Redesign, Intergroup Interventions, Quality Interventions, Interventions in Mergers and Acquisitions, Organizational Culture Assessment and Change, Dialogic OD Interventions, and Appreciative Inquiry.

Throughout the podcast called “OD Intervention: Mentoring,” a group of HRD students - Rachel Dixon, Montserrat Duron, John Mai, Dana Pisapia, Jennifer Saavedra – provided in-depth analysis and shared their real-world experiences on mentoring, a process of constant training and development which impacts the correlative bond between a mentor and mentee.

As a successful example of an OD Intervention, the students underlined the objective, degree and expected outcomes of mentoring. The students also shared their insight into specific theories and the history of mentoring. Overall, these students gave a comprehensive outlook to their listeners as they looked to prepare for a professional career or further study in a graduate or professional program. For the full podcast episode on “OD Intervention: Mentoring,” click here to listen: https://anchor.fm/rachel-dixon3 

“The outcome of this assignment has been an enormous success since it allows the students to learn well about an OD intervention and let them flourish their creativity in sharing knowledge remotely in the organizational setting,” says Dr. Polesello. “In addition, microlearning initiatives within organizations have been beneficial to organization effectiveness in this dynamic economic context.”

More information about the courses offered in the Human Resource Development program can be found at uh.edu/cot/hrd.