Design of the MMEHR curriculum Human Resources multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0
The design of the MMEHR curriculum is a fundamental step leading to the creation of the training course Human Resources multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0, which identifies knowledge gaps in the field of HR management and provides customised learning path tailored to the HR managers and students’ specific needs. The training course is made available as an open online course. Thus, the design of the proposed curriculum defines the appropriate framework for the preparation of the training modules and is dedicated to:
- Define a recognition strategy for identifying real talents and education of workers with a multicultural background.
- Understand the level of impact of multicultural issues on working productivity and communication flow.
- Adopt effective techniques for discovering and exploring "hidden" qualities of workers with a multicultural background and the value these qualities add to the labour market.
- Use the MEEHR OER ICT tools for creating and implementing a personal recognition strategic plan of workers' skills and competencies.
- Adopt the available MMEHR tools in the light of the gender dimension, in order to better support the specific needs of female workers with a multicultural background.
Based on their relevant expertise, the project partners provided their valuable feedback to build a complete and cohesive framework based on training practices and methods that blends the existing research material and best practices with new innovative material in applicable practical didactic methods for the project target groups and their specific needs. The design and learning content of the proposed curriculum were developed in accordance with the MMEHR Quality Guidelines which reflect recommendations from a group of 50 MMEHR experts from the project partner countries, also defining didactic principles, learning content and learning outcomes about recognition of multicultural skills in HR management.
Survey on the curriculum design×
The MMEHR curriculum design is a fundamental working material for the project team. In order to fully support this essential stage of the implementation of the project, the national consultation groups of experts were invited to provide comments to the designed curriculum and their feedback was considered to improve the design.
An appointed questionnaire was prepared. Answers from a total of 50 experts were collected from all partners’ countries Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany and Turkey. The majority of experts agreed with the curriculum’s structure and content. The overall comments from the experts were satisfactory, including some helpful suggestions in order to consider them for the development of the modules of the MMEHR MOOC. Some of the most significant points considered, are:
- Emphasis on intercultural education in relation to job market (include data on the openness of national job markets to intercultural and multicultural staff).
- Intercultural skills of migrant labour workers and global professionals could be described including soft cultural skills of these people.
- Diversity, minority rights, LGBT, gender etc. are crucial elements of today's multicultural and international HR management and should be included.
Curriculum Definition and Overview×
According to UNESCO-International Bureau of Education (2016), the curriculum refers to the development of competencies or capabilities such as critical thinking and it contains the broader domains of knowledge, skills and values. It reflects a deliberate and organized collection of knowledge, skills and values. In addition, the concept of the MMEHR curriculum represents a synthesis of material that organizes the processes of teaching, learning and evaluating by answering questions such as what, why, when and how students could learn.
The MMEHR curriculum design contains also the notion of quality, taking into account the development and implementation of change processes and its goals should be clearly defined. Thus, relevance, consistency, practicality and effectiveness of the curriculum and its contents are mandatory indicators. As a high-quality curriculum, the MMEHR curriculum includes and describes in a clear and consistent way the units, lessons and materials used in a course (e.g. videos, presentations, training sessions) along with the learning outcomes of the program. Three different types of curriculum design has been considered:
- Subject-centred design
This type of curriculum is developed on a specific subject or discipline and focuses on the subject rather than the learner.
- Learner-centred design
This type of curriculum, in contrast to the Subject-centred, takes into account the learners needs and knowledge gaps and tends to motivate learners in order to build the education path through choices.
- Problem-centred design
Similar with the learner-centred design, the problem-centred curriculum exposes learners to real-life problems and assist them on how to find a solution. By focusing on the listed types of design, the MMEHR curriculum and the developed training modules provide learners the opportunity to acquire all multicultural knowledge and skills, learning competencies, disciplines and attitudes for trainers and students necessary in the sector of Human Resources recognition/management. The curriculum designed for the purposes of the MMEHR project aims to include the above variables in an attempt to use and enhance the learning process for the target groups as well as all stakeholders.
The learner-centred pedagogical design for the MMEHR training program will be preferred in order to focus on the specific needs of the MMEHR target group.
The purpose of the curriculum is to identify the appropriate multicultural training strategies and activities required to reach the expected learning outcome during the implementation of MMEHR Project. This curriculum provides a clear overview of the procedures and methodologies that should be developed so as the final users will receive training in the knowledge and skills required.
Target groups and expectations×
The MMEHR training course is designed on the specific needs and requirements of the following target groups:
- Educators/trainers in universities and institutions in the project countries
- Students in the area of Human Resources (HR) in the universities and institutions in the project countries, in order to better match the requirements of the labour market
- Stakeholders in the Human Resources sector in the project countries, such as professionals, managing workers/employees (directors of HR/production departments in SMEs, large industries and authorities), head-hunters and talent scouts, officers of employment agencies and employment policy makers, having needs to update their skills and competences with multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0 techniques
- Work/job seekers having a multicultural background and needs to work in the project countries at their real education and expertise level. For the individuals in this target group, HR professionals identifying their real competencies will produce more appropriate working opportunities leading to improved productivity of the new employees/workers
- Underemployed individuals already working in the project countries, in particular women, but over-educated, hence having needs of being recognized their real education and expertise
The project MMEHR is expected to encourage the employment of Higher Education students thanks to the acquisition of digital skills, using innovative and learner-centred pedagogical approaches and enhancing digital integration in learning, teaching, training and youth work at various levels, and promoting access to learning through Open Educational Resources (OER) in order to build up innovative curriculum and using HR recognition and evaluation 4.0 techniques (Industry 4.0 'smart factories'). The aim is to improve students' employability and access to the labour market, as well as the acquisition of a series of digital skills that students can use throughout their careers. MEEHR is also expected to develop a multidisciplinary, real life problem-based educational curriculum for trainers and students as mentioned above, that particularly focuses on the sector of Human Resources recognition/management and identifies the training needs and transversal skills required for developing high level multicultural skills and competencies.
Learning approaches and procedures×
Deadrick & Stone (2014) highlighted the importance of HR Management to the success of any organization in terms of its operation and current services. Therefore, training programs should centralize the teaching methods on critical aspects of the HR management in order to ensure that learners will have a strategic role in the knowledge economy. Additionally, the key functions of the HR management such as compensation, work-life balance, diversity and multicultural management etc. should represent the main aspects in training programs in order to ensure that learners will become strategic thinkers (Hammer, 2018). According to Herman (2008), although the training courses on technical skills such as marketing, accounting and project/financial/operation management can be considered sufficient, it is important to enhance the teaching on soft skills required to work productively in a teamwork manner. With regard to adult education, Malcolm S. Knowles (1973), a pioneer of adult learning, indicated the following characteristics of adult learners:
- Need of motivation and having a purpose for learning something new
- Prefer practical learning
- They are problem solvers
- Prefer social interaction as a teaching approach
- Need to incorporate new ideas and concepts into existing knowledge
There are several ways to deliver learning material, both formal and informal. Some representative examples are listed below:
- Group/Team learning
- Classroom setting
- Face to face training programs
- Mentoring and coaching interventions
- Online or Self-learning
The project uses one or more of the learning methods and approaches that are most suitable depending on the content of the concerned course module, always taking into consideration the needs of the specific target group.
Learning Objectives and Outcomes×
The MMEHR Curriculum main objectives are the creation of possibilities among students and trainers on acquiring quality and relevant skills to teach and study Human Resources multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0 techniques. The curriculum represents a multidisciplinary, real life problem-based educational resource for trainers and students, involving the sector of Human Resources recognition/management, as an ally to identify training needs and transversal skills required for developing high level multicultural skills and competencies. The learning results of each module differ in offering the learner a wide variety of topics and issues related to HR management, recognition and evaluation. Learners have the opportunity to enhance both practical and theoretical skills required in the modern world of Human Resources. The learning outcomes clearly illustrate in detail on each module creation.
Practical Skills and Theoretical Skills×
Some indicative practical and theoretical skills that users will acquire (also included in the MMEHR Quality Guidelines) are:
|Skills and competences in software applications||Knowledge of role of HR in organizational and institutional management|
|4.0 skills in a multicultural environment||Active understanding of the concept of multiculturalism and diversity|
|Intercultural communication and psychological skills||Active understanding of principles of intercultural communication|
|Psychological and diversity management skills||Understanding of importance of ethics in multicultural HR management|
|Multicultural team management and recognition skills etc.||Understanding of concept of leadership etc.|
Description and overview of the course×
The MMEHR Course Human Resources multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0 is made available as a MOOC “Massive Open Online Course”2. According to the 2011 EU Modernisation Agenda enhancing lifelong learning via the creation of flexible learning paths, MMEHR promotes the development of ways to increase the rate of employability. The MOOC completion for trainers and students will provide them with the acquisition of quality skills and competences and, consequently, with a valuable opportunity for accessing the labour market.
Teaching and Learning methods×
The pedagogical strategy that is used in the MMEHR training program is based on the blended learning approach. Blended learning combines online learning, classroom arrangement, mentoring, tools and applications with self-managed learning in order to acquire the best outcomes of the training experience. According to a study conducted by University of Tennessee, blended learning is time and cost efficient while it is showed that enhances the learning outcomes in comparison with traditional learning approaches.
The development and implementation of learning and instructional design strategies relevant approaches and best practices are important, even when it comes to integration issues. There are six components that characterize the effective teaching methods in a curriculum process that should be used by educators:
- Content knowledge demonstration
- Learners knowledge demonstration
- Relevance of the learning goals
- Relevance of the resources
- Teaching cohesion
- Evaluation methods of learners’ progress
Finally, the methodology adopted is easily accessible and user-friendly without requiring any significant support to the learners. Through this approach the identification of knowledge gaps will be recognised and personalized assistance depending on the learner's specific needs will be provided.
Training assessment is a powerful way to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of a training program and its contents. Basically, it explores the training gaps and opportunities with regard to the learners and it contains evaluation of the different learning stages such as traditional exams. It determines the level of achievement of the training goals and objectives. Research shows that evaluation and assessment could be successful when it proceeds in ways that help students and educators gauge progressive learning.
There are different types of assessment for online learning:
Formative assessment, which is completed all the way throughout the training program, and it is based on the feedback received, whether it is a quiz or written assignment.
Summative assessment, in which all the information and feedback are gathered at the end of the course and it explores the level that learners have achieved the initial goals of the training. Typically, it results in a score or grade scale after a summative performance task.
A recommended assessment strategy is to include summative (at the end of each learning module) and formative (ongoing during sub-units) assessments. It is suggested to add assessments in different parts of the course:
- Initial questionnaire
The aim of the first questionnaire is to evaluate the previous existing knowledge of the learners and engage with them. For example, several quizzes could be used to gradually introduce the topic of the course. It could be useful to include open questions and ask learners to list their ideas and thoughts related to the program.
- Halfway through the course
The MMEHR ongoing assessment is depicted below:
- At the end of the course
The most valuable assessment insight will come from a final questionnaire that users will be asked to fill in after they have finished the course. Though the final assessment the level of knowledge that users gained as well as their overall performance will be identified.
After the completion of the course, learners will fill in a final questionnaire where he/she can evaluate the knowledge, skill and competences gained. The partnership aims to guide as much as possible through this procedure by asking the most appropriate and to the point questions depending on the content of the modules.
Some indicative approaches for the assessment/evaluation of the training course are:
- Assessment of knowledge / skills acquired after each module
- Opportunity of single-choice or multiple-choice assessment
- Listening comprehension exercises in a foreign language
- Final test with analysis of multicultural HR management case-study
- Recognition of successfully completed MMEHR training on base of 70 percent fully completed and correctly answered assessments
Content of the MMEHR MOOC×
The training course will consist of the following Lessons:
Lesson 1 Multiculturalism and Migration
Lesson 2 Identity and Cultural Diversity
Lesson 3 Multiculturalism and Human Resources
Lesson 4 Intercultural Education and the Job Market
Lesson 5 Cultural Diversity Management and Policies
Lesson 6 Soft Skills and Cultural Diversity
Lesson 7 People Management
Lesson 8 HR Manager & Digital Skills
The MMEHR training course is delivered online and freely accessible to the end-users. The learners will have access to the Lessons of the course and will be able to continue from one Lesson to the following one, compulsory after the successful completion of the assessment questionnaire at the end of each Lesson. In case of unsuccessful completion of a Lesson, the learner has the possibility to study the Lesson and repeat the assessment questionnaire.
Lessons structure and development×
A Lesson consists of 5 Units, each one developed by slides that are based on a common template.
The structure for each Lesson represents the following aspects in a clear and transparent manner:
- Introduction to the Lesson (description and general aim)
- Lesson objectives
- Learning methods and development methodology
- Learning outcomes upon completion of the Lesson
The content is presented in a highly applicable manner with adequate explanatory development that will allow end-users to completely understand and gain knowledge and skills.
The MMEHR Quality Guidelines provides the concept of the Lessons with the findings, including specific quality guidelines and recommendations, particularly in the whole chapter dedicated to the development of MMEHR HR training program (Recommended Quality Guidelines for Human Resources multicultural recognition and evaluation 4.0 techniques). Each MEEHR partner who authored the course Lessons considered these recommendations and further investigated the aspects concerning the learning contents of the selected modules.
- Deadrick, D. & Stone, D. (2014). Human resource management: Past, present, and future. Human resource management review. 24(3): 193-195
- Hammer Emily Ehrlich (2018). Teaching Human Resource Management: Approaches to Teachings’ Impact on the Job Search. West Texas A&M University, USA
- Herman, S. J. (2008). Teaching Contemporary Human Resource Management. Journal of Management Education, 32(2), 143–145
- IBE-UNESCO (UNESCO International Bureau of Education). 2016. “What makes a quality curriculum?”, 41p. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000243975
- Malcolm S. Knowles. The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species. Houston: Gulf Publishing Company, 1973. 198 pp