Study of Contractors in Learning and Development in Canada


An announcement in French  follows.

Can you also please share with your contacts who might meet the characteristic sought for this study?

Dear Colleague:

Do you work as a contractor in Learning and Development in Canada—either contracting yourself with a client or working through an agency to find work?

If so, what are your characteristics and which factors affect satisfaction with your work and its balance with your family life?

The first Study of Contractors in Learning and Development in Canada is intended to explore this issue. The study is being conducted by researchers at Concordia University in Montreal and identifies these factors. The results should provide you and your clients with insights into this working arrangement and factors that might strengthen it in the future and will be communicated through the Institute for Performance and Learning, as well as through academic publications and conference presentations.

To participate in the survey, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, please visit this link:

The survey will remain open through December 16, 2016.

Thank you for your time. We hope that you will visit the link and participate in this survey.

Françoise Munger, M.A. Student

Department of Education

Concordia University

Montréal, Québec

Saul Carliner, PhD, CTDP

Professor, Department of Education

Concordia University

Montréal, Québec

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Pouvez-vous s’il vous plaît partager avec votre contacts qui ont les caractéristiques recherché pour cette étude?

Cher collègue et membre de l’Institut pour la performance et l’apprentissage,

Êtes-vous un travailleur autonome dans le domaine de la formation et du développement des compétences au Canada – soit en obtenant des contrats de travail directement avec les clients ou par l’entremise d’une firme?

Si oui, quelles sont vos caractéristiques et quels facteurs ont un effet sur votre satisfaction au travail et la conciliation travail-famille?

La première étude sur les travailleurs autonomes dans le domaine de la formation et du développement des compétences est destinée à explorer cette question.  L’étude dirigée par des chercheurs de l’université Concordia de Montréal détermine ces facteurs.  Les résultats de l’étude devrait permettre à vos clients et vous-même de comprendre l’organisation du travail autonome et les facteurs qui pourraient le renforcer dans l’avenir et seront communiqués à l’Institut pour la performance et l’apprentissage, ainsi que dans des publications académiques et   présentations à des conférences.

Pour participer à l’étude, d’une durée d’environ 15 minutes, veuillez cliquer sur le lien électronique suivant:

Le sondage sera disponible jusqu’au 16 décembre 2016.

Nous vous remercions de votre temps. Nous espérons que vous cliquerez sur le lien électronique et participerez au sondage.

Françoise Munger, étudiante en Maîtrise

Département de l’Éducation

Université Concordia

Montréal, Québec

Saul Carliner, PhD, CTDP

Professeur, Département de l’Éducation

Université Concordia

Montréal, Québec

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Is It Me, Or Does LinkedIn Really Understand Higher Education Well Enough to Offer Advice?

This morning, I received an invitation from LinkedIn to a webinar that the company is sponsoring on”Reaching Today’s Prospective Students: Insights and Best Practices from LinkedIn.”

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It has become increasingly challenging for higher education marketers to convert prospects into enrolled students. In fact, nearly 60% of admission directors did not hit their 2015 enrollment goals.*
Yet, thanks to the widespread adoption of social media and advances in marketing technology, marketers have more tools than ever before to deliver relevant, targeted messages to key audiences.
Join our webinar as we present new research from LinkedIn revealing the keys to influencing prospective students with relevant content marketing. Register today, and you’ll learn:
•     Who the key influencers are in the higher education decision process
•     What types of content prospects are most interested in at each stage of the decision journey
•     Best practices for developing an effective always-on content marketing strategy with Sponsored Updates and InMail
Hope to see you there!
* Inside Higher Ed, Survey of Admission Directors, 2015

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On the one hand, now that the company owns, I understand that it might see itself as an education provider.  On the other hand, it’s not clear that LinkedIn differentiates between training and higher education.

First of all, what evidence does LinkedIn have about the online social behavior of prospective higher education students?  If LinkedIn has data on prospective undergraduates, most high school students do not have a LinkedIn profile. In fact, most traditional undergraduates and many graduate students do not create a LinkedIn until late in their degree programs. By then, students have not only chosen a university but LinkedIn has lost the opportunity to track most of their  behavior while students (much less, their search and selection behaviors while searching for an academic program).

The primary exceptions will be students who participate in a Cooperative Education program as they are usually encouraged to develop LinkedIn profiles before starting their first job search, and non-traditional students who are returning to school to fill in gaps in their undergraduate education or furthering a professional career through an additional academic certificate or degree.

Second, the use of language in the invitation was a bit off-putting. Although Recruiting departments in higher education might use different language than academic units, we don’t “market” to students; we “recruit” them. Similarly, those who actively seek prospective students are called “recruiters” not “marketers” except, perhaps, in the for-profit sector of the industry.

Third, the issue facing most higher education institutions isn’t converting “prospects” into enrolled students, as suggested by the notice. That’s because all “prospects” must go through an admissions process.  When confronted by the admissions standards and process, many “prospects” realize that they’re not a good match for an institution.

No, the more pressing issue is that many “admitted” students choose to enroll at a different institution. In other words, the challenge is not as simple as turning prospects into purchasers.

This shows a further lack of awareness on the part of the invitation. Not only is the real issue of conversion from admitted to matriculated student, not mere prospect to student, but that decision to matriculate varies by level of education and the context in which the student is applying.

Consider the context of highly selective undergraduate programs in the US.  Because of high rejection rates by most of these schools in the US (that’s why they’re called highly selective), applicants are hedging their bets by applying to more schools.  As a result, the schools expect a low matriculation rate because application numbers are somewhat inflated.

In contrast, less selective private colleges in the US face the real issue of whether the students they have admitted–especially those who come from modest means and have also applied to less expensive public institutions–can afford the tuition. That, in turn, is based on the financial aid package offered by the institution.

The decision to apply to graduate school differs from the undergraduate school, and does not seem to be covered as widely. But even within that context, several different student populations exist:  full-time students coming right out of an undergraduate program, full-time students returning to school after a gap of time; and part-time students who work part-or full-time.

Social media might play a role in understanding these complex contexts but if the invitation is any indication–and LinkedIn could actually have some great information about the last two student populations applying to graduate school, given that they’re the group most likely to have LinkedIn profiles and whose online behavior can be tracked by the company.

But it’s not clear from the invitation that LinkedIn even understands what information it has–and what information it does not have.  That the speakers are all marketing staff from LinkedIn) only fur

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Transitioning from One Career to the Next

Consider this discussion of how to leverage a job that doesn’t work for you into one that does:

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How Long Should You Toil at a Career You Love, But Doesn’t Pay Well?

Check out the advice to a young journalist at

BTW:  The site on which this appears is a unique professional resource for the journalists of Canada.  This is a terrific, collaboratively published and maintained site, that serves the journalism community in Canada.  It includes a mix of industry news, industry events, news about academic programs, commentary, and career advice.

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Not Dead Yet

Despite the popular belief that TV viewers have migrated to the Internet, AdWeek recently published an eye-popping assessment of viewership in the U.S. Over 280 million Americans watch TV each week, watching over 140 hours on average per month. 

In contrast, only 155 million Americans watch TV on their computer or mobile device each month, for an average of about 6 hours per month.

Perhaps that’s why television still commands significantly higher advertising dollars than the Internet.

Experts suggest that television watching on the Internet will continue to increase, but, as one person quoted in the article commented:

“There’s a Silicon Valley expectation that there will be a desilo-ization of TV imminently, [but] not even the most ardent online people, thinks that’s the case.”

These statistics offer insights for those of us producing more practical instructional and technical content. They suggest that we need to pay continued attention to traditional media for both delivery and promotional reasons, even as users transition to new media. Just as we cannot afford to ignore new media because we’re more comfortable with traditional media, we also cannot ignore traditional media just because new media demands an increasingly large amount of our attention.

View the entire AdWeek article at:

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The Impact of the Digital Media on the Ecosystem of Reading

Most of the recent discussions about books has focused on the rise of e-books.  But the entire ecosystem of reading has been affected by the internet, including libraries, the system for reviewing books, and the types of employees hired by book stores.

A recent New York Times article, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader, explores this situation.  Check out the article at

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Observations about Jobs and Training from the Website of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

While conducting a little research on the list of occupations at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, I made some unexpected observations

Of the 538 occupations listed there:

(1) Instructional designer isn’t listed anywhere.  My guess is that they’re included in Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists, All Others.

Yet training managers get their own separate listing.

(2) Don’t look for User Experience (UX) designers.  My guess is that they’re included in I/O (that’s Industrial/Organizational) Psychologists.  But the description of that job reads like a therapist, which does not reflect the work of an I/O psychologist, not a UX designer or management-focused I/O psychologist..

(3) On-the-job training is characterized for each occupation. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics defines that as:  “Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.”

And how much on-the-job training is needed:

  • For 193 jobs, none, including aerospace engineers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians, chief executives, editors, financial managers, Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists, lodging managers, network and computer systems administrators, and occupational research analysts (like the ones who prepared this report). (Apparently, a degree is enough to prepare these people for their jobs, even though many of these jobs only see degrees as preferred—not required—credentials and only offer voluntary certification.)
  • For 113 of the job categories, only short-term on-the-job training is needed, including gaming cage workers and technical writers)
  • For 135, moderate-term on-the-job training, including gaming dealers and parts salespeople)
  • For 57 categories, long-term on-the-job training, including writers and authors.
  • For 25 categories, an internship or residency is required, such as dentists, doctors, and dieticians
  • For 15 categories, an apprenticeship is required, including real estate appraisers and carpenters

Perhaps one of the reasons we have so few apprenticeship programs in the US is because so few jobs require one.

And perhaps the reason that overall spending on training has dropped over the past two decades (after adjusting for inflation and growth in the labor force) is that nearly 40 percent of the jobs do not require any on-the-job training, and another 20 percent only require some.

Furthermore,  given the number of jobs that require little or no on-the-job  training–but do have corresponding degree programs–perhaps we also have an explanation for the pressure that employers place on universities to prepare students for jobs.

Check out the database for yourself at

What are your thoughts about these observations?  Please share in the comments section.


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