Christopher “Eddie” Kline joined our staff as the new Director of Records Management Training program in May and we asked him a few questions.
1 First, What is your general background?
Prior to coming onboard at NARA, I served as a training Section Chief and lead instructional systems specialist with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. I was responsible for training development, design, assessment and evaluations that supported the organization’s digital documentation improvement and change management plan. Previously I worked for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service as an instructional systems designer for technology based training/delivery. I participated in setting agency evaluation training standards for instructional events.
- What did you know about NARA before you started working here? (Other than from watching National Treasure)
While I have seen National Treasure, most of what I knew about NARA was through the museum and exhibits at Archives I downtown. I also knew that NARA preserved such historical documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Now working here, I realize that the mission is much more than displaying historical documents. We are truly the Nation’s Recordkeeper.
- How familiar were you with records management and specifically records management training at your previous agency?
My familiarity with records management training was limited. At my previous agencies I always completed the annual records management training. This was basic information; such as, what is a record? And that was about it. At the time I did not fully grasp the scope of the records management field. Since being at NARA, I can see how records management is key to success at any federal agency.
- Why did you get involved with training as a profession?
I first became involved in the training field during my time in the military. Successful training is at the heart of every operation. I saw the first hand impact of successful and unsuccessful training. I wanted to learn more about training, what makes training good and what are the pitfalls. Most importantly, how do you create training that is engaging, learner focused, and performance based. While completing my degree in education, I worked as a supplemental instructor and an educational technologist. This is where I focused on all aspects of instructional design; analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate processes.
- You are an Instructional Design Specialist. What does someone with that classification do?
An Instructional Design Specialist develops and helps to implement instructional materials, projects and programs, which can be delivered face-to face or online. They focus on the building blocks of instructions and training, planning and analysis. They focus on how the instructional content is structured for materials, projects and programs. They collaborate with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from different departments and agencies to uncover performance gaps that customizable instructional solutions can improve in closing the specific gap. Instructional solutions can be presentations, training modules, training programs, updating existing curriculum, the integration of educational technologies, or building performance competencies for examples. They are usually not SMEs themselves, but work with them to get their content out to people. They identify ways and actionable items to continuously improve instructional items by reviewing data and evaluation information.
- What things do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy working out and most days you can find me doing some form of exercising. It’s a great stress reliever and it is always relaxing no matter what the day may offer. I enjoy reading mostly nonfiction topics; such, as educational psychology, sociology, performance support, and health and fitness.
Welcome aboard Eddie!