Landing : Athabascau University

Reflection - Angie's Presentation on Online DACUM by Neera Arora

Angie’s Presentation

Angie’s presentation focussed on a Design Based Research study plan to examine the effectiveness of online DACUM for improving organizational effectiveness while managing operational and fiscal efficiencies. Having had experience in Dacum and other forms of competency mapping to develop training programs, I enjoyed the presentation. I thought the presentation followed a good plan and Angie did a fine job of providing the background and setting the context. I could completely understand the challenges she shared about working in the Oil and Gas industry. In this industry while there is a high need to have develop highly technical and job-specific curriculum that ensures safety, improved productivity and employee progression, it is this area that gets negatively impacted during a downturn. At a time when labor pools are diminishing and companies are insisting on broader and deeper skill sets from employees and looking for ways to do more with less, an online Dacum seems like an effective approach, especially with the technology advancements and tools available to collaborate in a virtual environment.

The presentation had an easy and organized format that helped to stay in sync with viewing the slides and paying attention to Angie’s explanation. I find it quiet overwhelming and quickly lose interest if the slides are too cluttered or are text and graphic heavy. Design Based Research seems like a good choice of methodology where Angie would be able to participate in the study as a practitioner with the rest of the participants. I find the double Dacum process quite fascinating and definitely see value in the validation stage. As I review the deck, I do have a couple of questions –

  • Is the two-step Dacum with the same participants, ie, part of the study is done in f2f environment and the other part fully online in synchronous environment? OR
  • Are the two Dacums unique with different participants and the finding of one informs, the other?

Although, Dacum process capitalizes on the power of group synergy, interaction, and consensus and provides a credible and defensible framework for developing job descriptions, identifying training needs, and prioritizing employee development initiatives (DeOnna, 2002), I see the facilitator requiring a sound understanding of pedagogical principles and process embedded within an instructional design framework. This makes the role of Dacum facilitator to be an important one. Just wondering if Dacum facilitators require a desirable qualification and skills-set and if these are different when facilitating in an online environment!

Wood (2001), share another perspective and advantage of virtual dacum i.e by building and delivering "dynamic" curricula through a well defined curriculum analysis and design process, the organizations can also us the system to identify, recruit, and retaining quality employees/instructors. I agree with the point as there are times when through such expert advisory panels, one engages with expert that don't just have the subject matter expertise but also the experience to validate the findings and recommendations for curriculum improvements. with the recent unpredicatability in econmoy, job reductions to manage operational efficiencies, there is a lot of excellent pool of talented and well-calibred individudals that academia can leverage on.

I see online Dacums becoming very popular not just because of the cost-effective aspect but also because of the ease of access resulting in a rich and global resource/ expert pool. I wish Angie the very best and look forward to the reading the research findings.



DeOnna, J. (2002). DACUM: A versatile competency-based framework for staff development. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 18(1), 5-11.

Wood, R. A., Graber, D., Phelps, G. L., & Rohlik, G. (2001). Revitalizing Advisory Committees and DACUM through the Web.


  • Hi Neera!

    Thanks so much for your comments about my presentation. The feedback I've received from you and our other classmates will make my project a lot more rigourous.

    To answer your procedural question, I will do an online DACUM (the junior/entry-level psychometrician) with a group of 6 experts. I will note and report on what worked and what didn't. As you know, DACUM is a pretty reliable process. If the result of the online DACUM is not comparable (number of competencies and tasks) to a F2F DACUM, I suspect the causes will be with me, as the facilitator, or the online process/tools, or a combination of both. I will make changes to the my facilitatin technique and/or the online process/tools in a second, related DACUM (senior psychometrician) with the same group of experts.

    This is not ideal. But I believe it will provide enough information as an exploratory study to "plant a stake in the ground" from which further research may be done.



    Angie Parkes March 6, 2017 - 1:09pm

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