Socially Acceptable in Schools

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Social media has become so engrained in many individuals daily practices, so much so, that some don’t know how to cope without it. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc. have widened the doors of communication. We can now communicate to each other through photographs, videos, status updates, etc. While these social media venues are great for our daily social interactions, they seem to have a bad rap when it comes to being in our daily lives at school.

My question to all of you nay sayers or those of you on the fence, is this: Isn’t learning supposed to be a social experience? 

While there are large concerns like safety, privacy and ownership surrounding the use of social media, there are some wonderful benefits to utilizing these tools within the classroom. There must be some groundwork laid on our part as educators, simply because most of our current classroom practices are not ready to introduce the use of social media as an acceptable use of learning. Our students are also not accustomed to the use of social media for learning. In order to introduce and successful integrate the use of social media into the classroom, we must teach our students how to safely navigate and interact with social media for learning purposes. We must teach them about privacy and how anything posted leaves a permanent digital footprint. We must teach them how to properly borrow/share others original ideas, and how to protect their own. This will take quite a bit of time and effort on quite a few peoples part, however, the impact it will have on the learning experience can only be positive. “Social networking tools offer opportunities for innovative, participative pedagogical practice within traditional institutional frameworks. However, tensions continue to develop within this space: between creativity and security, personal and professional identity, privacy and openness. We argue that iSchools are uniquely positioned to create proactive, adaptive policies guiding the pedagogical use of social media and offer initial recommendations toward the crafting of such policies. If we expect information school graduates to be proficient and critical users of perpetually evolving social media technologies, we need to create learning environments that support the ethical, reflective and effective use of these tools” (Nathan, MacGougan, and Shaffer, pp. 112).

The last argument that I would like to make, is pointed out in the quotation above. If companies are expecting to hire technologically savvy individuals who are well versed in an array of social media, then we must take the time to use these tools in our schools. Starting them off in college is not enough time for our students to figure out how to use social media tools for learning. I would go so far as to say that by college most of the students have been using social media for at least 5 to 6 years. That’s five to size years of untapped potential!

Here is a great article by Edutopia that will help you determine if social media is relevant, what the myths surrounding the use of social media in the classroom, and 12 ways teachers are already using social media in the classroom. Click here to read the full article:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/guidebook-social-media-in-classroom-vicki-davis

References:

Nathan, L., MacGougan, A., & Shaffer, E. (2014). If Not Us, Who? Social Media Policy and the iSchool Classroom. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 55(2), 112-132.

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Are schools businesses?

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When we hear the two words ‘project management’ the business world comes to mind, not a school. However, this particular study proves that business practices have a place in a school setting. For years, schools have struggled to meet new education initiatives like “No Child Left Behind”, especially in urban areas where there are large socio-economic disparities. After reading through the study, I was quite impressed with how apparent business practices like quality management have become in educational settings. I see the connections, now, more than ever especially with the new educational standards (Common Core State Standards) and the new teacher evaluation systems (like SEED). The study identifies three levels in which quality management is applied.

“The first level is to the management processes of a school. Sample school processes include strategic planning, recruiting and staff development, deploying resources, and alignment of what is taught, how it is taught and how it is assessed. The next level is teacher quality to students. Students are recognized as both customers and workers in the educational system. Administrators need to involve students in their own education by training them to evaluate the learning process and accept responsibility for their learning. What the learning will look like is no longer predecided. Educators know what they want to evaluate, but there are many choices as to how the students arrive at the goals set my them and by their teachers (Herman and Herman, 1994). The highest level of quality principles is in learning. This is where it impacts the classroom. To achieve the desired results, educators must question their core teaching and learning processes and methods. Quality standards are established for each work process that results in improving grades and test scores. When the focus becomes instructional processes and student learning, the impact of quality management is the greatest” (Goldberg and Cole, pp. 10).

So, let’s look at the first level they discuss in the quoted segment above. From an administrative and human resources standpoint, there is an abundance of project management practices in place. For example when a district engages in the hiring process, there are certain steps and activities that need to be completed before, during and after the hiring process. When a candidate is being considered there is typically some type of criteria they are being measure against. If they are hired, they must complete the same paperwork, and go through the same training so they are all on the same page at the beginning of the school year. The study also points out that there is a large lens at a district level that focus specifically what is taught, best practices for teaching, and how it will be assessed. The new SEED program (CT’s new teacher evaluation system) takes a close look at the last two parts, where as the new CCSS looks at the content of the curricula.

The next level points out one of the most important aspects of the learning process and a successful educational environment; that in order for our students to be the most successful they must be INVOLVED in their education. As teachers, we must provide them with the tools to reflect, assess and improve their learning process and accept responsibility for their learning. All of the new technology that we have access to in schools is helping us to achieve this. Students have access to more information now than they have ever had before. In order to oversee and facilitate this type of learning environment, there needs to be some form of project management to govern the actions that are taking place. Project management practices help us to establish a system of checks and balances.

The last level the study addresses is how, as a professional, we must stay current and evaluate our own practices. In order to maintain a high level of quality in the classroom, we must self reflect. If we are performing at our highest level, our students are bound to as well.

Do think ‘project management’ has a place in education? Do you see any parallels? What is your take on the article?

Here is the full article: http://nassar2000.tripod.com/services2007/3.pdf

References:

Goldberg, J., & Cole, B. (2002, April 9). Quality Management in Education: Building Excellence and Equity in Student Performance. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from http://nassar2000.tripod.com/services2007/3.pdf

Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?

communication

When you are taking on a large project, clear communication can be difficult. There are many factors that can hinder communication, like: perception, beliefs, attitudes, values and noise (Cox, pp. 154-155). Large teams of people can make it hard to get on the same page, and poor communication can negatively impact so many facets of the goal. “Communication affects performance. Therefore, if you want high-performance teams  working on a project, you need effective communications entrenched to make sure you get these kinds of results. Without well-established channels, it is likely that the project will fail. Successful project managers typically have good communications skills that include being able to effectively present the issues, listen and act on feedback, and foster harmony among team members” (Charvat, 2002). Performance is essential to any project management team, without it nothing would ever get accomplished. In order to maintain a high level of performance a project manager must have an effective communications plan which would include:

    • Facilitate team development
    • Be used throughout the software development process
    • Make it easier to update stakeholders
    • Save on creating additional project documentations

(Charvat, 2002)

What else might you do as a project manager to make sure that communication was as clear and concise as possible? What tools might you use to make your communication effective?

As a project manager, you may find that having a large group of people presents its own unique issues, like beliefs. We all have our own set of beliefs, which have been influenced by many experiences and people. “Our individual field of reference is a composite of our unique beliefs, attitudes, and values. A belief may be described as a convictions that something is true or false or that it is probable or improbable. A conviction may be based on evidence, experience, faith, or confidence. Some beliefs may be based on false evidence, incomplete data, or may be distorted by emotion; nevertheless, these beliefs play an important role in perception and communication” (Cox, pp. 154).

How would you overcome a diverse set of beliefs within your teams? How might you address them without offending any one?

Visit this website to find out more about strategies you can use to overcome barriers: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/communicating-students/telling/effective-communication-barriers-and-strategies

Happy Communicating!

References:

Charvat, J. (2002, November 13). Project communications: A plan for getting your message across. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from http://www.techrepublic.com/article/project-communications-a-plan-for-getting-your-message-across/

Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: a practical guide / Dorcas M. T. Cox.. Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse Inc

What came first? Task analysis or sequencing?

Original Drawing: M.C. Escher Digital Elements: Coles
Original Drawing: M.C. Escher
Digital Elements: Coles

Both are vital components to instructional design and project management. Let’s take a look at what each one is:

Task analysis is essential to any instructional design project because it helps the designer determine what needs to be done. While sequencing can assist the designer in determine the order in which those tasks should be accomplished. “Before populating the design document, it is important to differentiate and sequence tasks according to the job, task and/or content analysis. This ensures proper flow of the training program. The steps to follow are outlined below.

  • Differentiate between primary tasks (the overall task), main tasks (tasks that must be completed to achieve the primary task), and supporting tasks (tasks that must be completed to achieve the main tasks).
  • State whether tasks are psychomotor (physical) or intellectual and/or cognitive.
  • Write tasks statements in the same sequence in which the job is performed.
  • Edit task statements and correlate with duties on the sales officer’s duty schedule.
  • Rate task statements on time spent, difficulty, and level of significance.
  • Derive a task importance value for each task (task importance value = difficulty x importance + frequency).
  • Rank task statements according to their importance value” (Cox, pp. 53)

The steps mentioned above are directly related to sequencing. Once the task analysis has been performed, the designer can go through each of these motions to insure the the whole training program functions successfully. It can also help the project manager determine the order in which the tasks are to be completed and it can help to identify the areas of important focus. Once could argue that task analysis and sequencing are different because sequencing has to do with the order in which the tasks are completed. The task analysis helps to determine what needs to completed to develop the training program.

However, some type of sequencing needs to happen to perform a task analysis. While the task analysis helps the project manager and instructional design plan the rest of their actions, some type of events organization needs to happen for the task analysis. For example, you wouldn’t distribute a survey without discussing what needs to be on it, or actually making the survey. Ultimately, one could argue that both work symbiotically with one another. In some ways, it reminds me of M.C. Escher’s hands drawing, where one had is drawing the other, making it a cyclical process. This same type of balanced relationship was also noted in the last blog between project management and instructional design. What do you think?

If you are in the process of developing a training program, check out these websites for useful tips on how to start your task analysis:

http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/task-analysis.html

http://www.behavioradvisor.com/TaskAnalysis.html (**While this website talks about task analysis of behavior, it is helpful because it discusses how to break down behaviors into smaller parts. If your program focuses on behaviors, or you need the participants to do something a certain way, you will need to break down behaviors).

References:

Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: a practical guide / Dorcas M. T. Cox.. Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse Inc

Projects vs. Operations

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In the world of instructional design, it is important for the designer to recognize when a potential job is a project or an operation. What’s the difference? “Projects are defined as temporary endeavors with a beginning and and end. Once you have completed all of the steps in designing, developing, and delivering the training program for the launch, your project work would be considered over, and operations would have begun” (Cox, pp. 6). In thinking about the ADDIE model of instruction, it provides a clear beginning and an end. It starts off with an analysis, works its way through design, development and implementation; and finally ends with an evaluation of the whole project. Operations hold a more permanent place in whatever environment they function within. “Operations are defined as permanent endeavors that produce  repetitive outputs. Resources are assigned to operations are expected to perform basically the same set of tasks according to the policies, procedures and guidelines that you put in place for your business” (Cox, pp. 6). In the case of ADDIE, the development and use of operations might come from a project.

So, let’s take a few minutes and look at what projects and operations might be in the classroom. Let’s take a look unit within a curriculum:

Unit: Illuminated Manuscripts

Major Summative Assignment: The students will be creating an original illuminated letter for a class-wide illuminated alphabet book which will be distributed to the local elementary schools in the district. (Each class will be making a book, so there will be more than one created.)

Project Aspects: The whole process involved in making the illuminated alphabet book falls inline with the ADDIE model, and here’s how:

    • Analysis: The teacher will analyze the curriculum, the students capabilities and skill sets, the desired outcome, etc.
    • Design: The teacher will design a model that meets the needs determined by the analysis and addresses the goal of the unit.
    • Development: The teacher will develop a differentiated lesson that uses the designated model to achieve the goal and desired outcome of the unit.
    • Implementation: The teacher will implement the lesson in the class. The students will create their illuminated letter for the illuminated alphabet book.
    • Evaluation: The students and the teachers will evaluate their work, and the overall project, making sure assess the success of the overall unit.

Operation Aspects: The teacher will utilize the classroom management and instruction practices they have developed and refined over the year. The students should be acquainted with these, and have a clear understanding of what the expectations are in the class. For example, if a student misuses a material, the process is a repetitive one. The teacher would provide the same consequence for each student who misuses a material. Another example would be the presentation of the lesson. In the art classroom, there is always some form of demonstration before the students use the materials. Therefore, this process is also repetitive, and in intended to be similar in procedural outcomes.

If you look at any business, school, or home life, I bet you can find projects and operations. We are involved in them non-stop! However, it is important to understand the difference and know that they both serve a purpose and affect one another.

Before you head out, check out these links, they shed some additional light on the differences between operations and projects.

http://www.pmchamp.com/3-things-you-need-to-know-about-projects-and-operations/

http://www.pdu4pm.com/pmpblog/operations-vs-project-management

References:

Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for instructional designers: a practical guide / Dorcas M. T. Cox.. Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse Inc

Wait! Before you go…

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Our young pup, ADDIE, has grown up and is ready to go out into the big world on her own. However, before we send her off to embark on her new journey, there are few things we would like to share about the last stages of the ISD model, ADDIE.

We’ve briefly touched upon the topic of evaluation, however, that had more to do with evaluation during the whole design process. But, before we get to that, we must cover implementation. The last blog discussed the importance of pilot-testing, which essentially gives the designer a chance to complete some dry-runs before administering the real thing. In short, the implementation phase is when the actual course is put into play, and the learners learn. They complete the various activities, sessions, and assignments along the way, and hopefully meet the objectives outlined at the beginning of the course. As Hodell points out, there are some sticky situations you can encounter in the implementation phase if you are the designer and the facilitator. “Designers who do not teach are not necessarily following a faulty line of reasoning. In fact, it is probably a good idea for designers not to teach. Designers who are also facilitators have a tendency to believe they can improvise a fix for missing or faulty design elements on the spot. This is usually not the case. The ability to make alterations on the fly is normally the domain of the designer. Facilitators are not always experienced or capable of making a faulty lesson plan work as designers might want them to be” (Hodell, 2011). This can be a difficult concept to wrap your mind around especially if you are a teacher, like me. I find that most teachers pride themselves on being able to adapt a lesson on the fly and make changes. However, when it comes to training, and a more formal approach, like ADDIE, adapting a lesson might not be the best thing to do. Like Hodell says, sometimes the facilitator is not trained or skilled enough with the tools to modify the lesson, which in turn could create more issues for the learner than there already are.

Once the implementation phase has concluded, that last step is to evaluate the whole shebang and determine if it was effective in meeting the objectives and goals. A guy named Donald Kirkpatrick divided the evaluation phase into four parts: reaction, learning, behavior and results (Hodell, 2011). The learning phase requires the designer to assess learning level in relation to the established objectives by using evaluation tasks. More simply put, items like formative and summative assessments can help provide the designer with important information regarding the objectives. The other phase that is really important is the reaction phase. This acts like a survey. Kirkpatrick includes topical questions about the whole training, like:

    • “Was your time well spent in this training?
    • Would you recommend this course to a co-worker?
    • What did you like the best?
    • What did you like the least?
    • Were the objectives made clear to you?
    • Do you feel you were able to meet the objectives?
    • Did you like the way the course was presented?
    • Was the room comfortable?
    • Is there anything you would like to tell us about the experience” (Hodell, pp. 67)?

These questions are great building blocks for your own survey, however, they do not provide enough guidance when it comes to the specifics of your training. As you develop your own evaluation, you must consider the smaller aspects. For example, if you embedded websites that the participants must explore, or texts they must read, consider asking them how effective they felt they were. Ask them if they felt the assignments and tasks were authentic, and helped them to better understand the concepts. Another thing you must consider is what type of evaluation will you administer. They are typically done through a survey format, but format will your questions be in? A Likert scale, open-ended, etc.? Nowadays, the go-to place to develop surveys is http://www.surveymonkey.com , which is great because you can make your own or use a template. It cruches the numbers and organizes the data for you, which can make your job easier in the long run. They also provide a ‘Survey 101’ crash-course on developing your survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/survey-guidelines/?ut_source=header.

ADDIE and I would like to wish you the best of luck with your instructional design endeavors! Keep in touch and design like you have never designed before, just remember ADDIE’s name and you’re good to go!

References:

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD From the Ground Up (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Upgrading the Dog-House…NOT your typical tests

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In this day an age, the term testing and education seem to go hand-in-hand, in a not so nice way. All of the students in today’s public schools have never gone a year without some form of standardized testing, whether it is practice or actual testing. However, testing has a different connotation when it comes to instructional design. In the ADDIE model, the development phase requires testing….pilot-testing.

Pilot-testing is often associated with experiments in the world of science and engineering, however, they hold great significance in instructional design. Why is it so important you ask? Well, “Pilot testing is a chance to evaluate a project before it goes into full implementation and is a key component of the development stage” (Hodell, 2011). There are some hiccups that are associated with pilot-testing because you may not always have the ideal audience, or the target audience. However, you can address a number of questions, which help to improve the success of the training in the long run. Here are some questions that can/will be addressed by pilot-testing:

    • Does the lesson plan work?
    • Are the directions to the facilitator clear and concise?
    • Are the facilitator’s materials appropriate and thorough enough?
    • Are the learner’s materials appropriate and thorough enough?
    • Are the support materials (slides, overheads, handouts, and the like) what you expected?
    • Does the timing of each of the segments match your estimates?
    • Are the technology components (audio, video, computers, and so forth) appropriate?
    • Do the instructional methods work as planned?
    • What does not work they way you thought it should?
    • What needs to be changed?

(Hodell, 2011).

What other types of questions might you ask and/or address through the use of pilot-testing?

Feedback, both positive and negative can help the instructional designer evaluate all aspects of the training. This article helps to point out the importance of pilot-testing, problems encountered in pilot-testing and why the data collected from them is still considered informal. Think back to the last blog post about the difference between formal and informal evaluation. The same principle applies here. The informal data gathered from a pilot-test helps to inform the instructional designer about what works and doesn’t work. Much like a recipe. You wouldn’t publish a recipe in a mass-produced cookbook without trying it out a few times.

Happy cooking!

 

References:

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD From the Ground Up (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

ADDIA…a new and improved dog house…

In recent news, the ISD model formally known as ADDIE has filed to change it’s name to ADDIA. Through numerous discussions, it seems that the E, evaluation, is really found throughout the whole design process. In this blog, we are going to take a closer look at what this changes means.

my isd model

To recap, ADDIE is an acronym for an instructional design model that follows the following steps: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. It was discovered that the evaluation phase of the model really happens throughout the whole process. “Evaluation doesn’t deserve to be listed last in the ADDIE model because it takes place in every element and surrounds the instructional design process. Evaluation is a constant guard at the gate of failure” (Hodell, pp. 25). Evaluation is an ongoing process that happens formally and informally.

The instructional designer starts out with the analysis phase, where they collect data of all sorts, ask all kinds of questions and determine whether or not a program is the solution to the presented problem. During this phase, the instructional designer is informally evaluating the information coming in.  As they progress through the model, the designer informally evaluates the decisions regarding the design plan, lesson structure, goals and objectives. During the development stage, informal evaluation is essential because the designer will put the potential program through a rigorous testing. They need to informally evaluate a variety of things to make sure all parts come together, work well, and will help the participants achieve the desired goals and objectives. As the designer rounds the final corner in the model, the implementation is when the program goes live. The instructor and designer must work together in this stage to determine in the planned course is working, and therefore, must informally evaluate how the program is working. Now onto to the new stage of the model: Assessment. This phase is the formal evaluation of the whole program. The instructional designer must collect information to determine what worked and didn’t work, what they need to change, what they need to develop, etc. The are assessing how the program worked.

So two terms have been thrown around in this blog: informal and formal. What does that mean when it comes to the ISD model? Well, informal connotes a sense of casualness. In the case of the instructional designer, they casually collect information throughout all the various phases to determine the successes and failures. When the ISD model arrives at the last phase, then they start a formal investigation. Formal implies there is a specific procedure to follow and must meet certain standards. The information collected in this part helps to determine the successes and failures, but also produces definitive, quantitative and qualitative results that the designer can use in the future.

As you venture off into your instructional design endeavors, make sure you think about how the new model ADDIA is met in your design. The website below, holds some great tips on how to be successful, and what qualities you must possess.

http://www.learndash.com/9-essential-instructional-designer-skills/

References:

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD From the Ground Up (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

ADDIE…not just a name for a dog

Meet Addie.

addie blog 1 image edu 623

ADDIE is a great name for a dog, but it is also a great name for an Instructional Design Model. The instructional design model is actually an acronym. ADDIE stands for: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. But what is ISD? “Teaching and learning are ingrained behaviors, and instructional design at its core is simply a more efficient way to pass knowledge” (Hodell, p. 12). That being said, ISD comes in many shapes and sizes.

The ADDIE model is a universal model and most other ISD models utilize the five elements that make up the core of ADDIE. The best part is that the ADDIE model can help develop effective learning systems across all types of environments like education, business and military. So how to all of the ADDIE elements work, and come together?

The first part of the ADDIE model is Analysis. This is the data-gathering portion of the model, or the input element. The designers of the module collect an assortment of information to help them accurately inform all other elements. The data collected here ranges from potential challenges, problems, content, materials, instructors, students, etc. Based on this information, the designers can determine if a module is the solution, and what steps will need to be taken next to develop a module.

The second phase of ADDIE is Design. Designers get down to the nitty-gritty details of the module. They draw up blueprints that establish the best system for delivery of content based on the necessary requirements which were concluded from the analysis. In this phase the designers develop a rationale, objectives, module description, evaluations, etc. This acts as the skeleton for which all content is based off of, in the next stage.

The third phase in ADDIE is Development. One might argue that this is the longest stage of the model, maybe aside from the actual implementation (which all depends on the planned duration). All of the content, the learning environment, instructions, etc. is all drafted and put into place. Once that part is completed, it doesn’t move onto the implementation, it moves onto the test drive. It’s just like anything else, you test things out before you make them official. You wouldn’t marry Joe Schmoe right off the street before you dated him for a bit. The designers date the newly developed module, get to know is assets and pitfalls, and try to improve them. Depending on the designers, learning population and content, the dating process can be short or long.

The fourth part in ADDIE is Implementation. By now, the learner population is engaged in the actual module. The module becomes active. During this time the instructor is assigning and evaluating formative and summative assignments to determine the success of the module, and actively modifying instructional approaches. This information is evaluated based on reaction, learning and behavior.

The fifth part of the ADDIE model is Evaluation. While this is last in the acronym, it is really an umbrella term, which actively occurs within all of the other elements. Evaluation is a continuous process, which is necessary to make the module successful. If we jump back to the dating scenario of Joe Schmoe, both people are constantly evaluating interactions, conversations, and any other part of the relationship. Evaluation provides both qualitative and quantitative information, both of which are essential to all parts of the model.

The five elements of the ADDIE model provide a sound basis for other models to use. Some of the other models reconfigure, add in, take out parts of the ADDIE model, but at their core, lie the same elements. “As an instructional designer gains experience, the ISD elements combine in a way that works uniquely for him or her. Derivations of any model are necessary to meet different design strategies. Different designers write objectives differently, and no two surveys ever look exactly the same. Every designer eventually evolves to create a unique model of ISD based on their same fundamental ADDIE structure. It is not uncommon in some ISD models to see an additional level of analysis or evaluation or another element added to meet a specific design or organizational need” (Hodell, p. 29).

I think as teachers we naturally utilize an ADDIE model in our classrooms, having a better understanding of how each component works, and how they work with each other will helps us to elevate the individual learning experience for our students. Stay tuned to find out more about how ADDIE works, and see what modules I develop.

In the meantime, check out this series of videos that explains ADDIE in a simple way…

Analysis Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdv5lrJs4U

Design Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhLIiF9QyTo

Development Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzYDNWhQWYA

Implementation Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8yky6-P1Uw

Evaluation Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBoI0wBo4vw

 

References:

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD From the Ground Up (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Making Education Work…What Will Your Seeds Be?

elearning photo

The basis of education is grounded in the process of learning something. Many of our educational experiences have happened within the walls of a school, or another location. Papers, packets, presentations, conversations, studying, quizzes and tests; they are still very present in school. The digital age and advancements in technology have made access to knowledge far superior to that of any and all library combine. So why is it that schools are still slow to take up hybrid and online courses?

Instructional design is an important aspect to take into consideration when schools make the transition to hybrid or online courses. There are many models of instructional design and many factors that go into developing courses. For example, the diverse needs of students, the expanse of content and demonstration of knowledge all need to be incorporated into the modules. There are several benefits to having courses online, like reaching a broader student body, offering a learning environment that can be accesses from a wide range of locations, and an environment that can be visited and revisited while storing information for later reference/.

The tumultuous currents of education make it difficult to plant the seeds of change, but it all starts with conversations and the willingness to try things out. In my current educational setting there have been small initiatives in place to introduce a diversified learning environment for our students. Currently those who are in danger of failing or ones who need an alternative education are enrolled in online learning. The district is also rolling out the use of Google Apps for Education across all of the schools. My goal would be to start conversations with our administration and curriculum coordinator to discuss how the same learning environments can be incorporated into our regular education program for students. It would be wonderful if students could engage in their learning experience other than attending school and sitting in a typical classroom.

As I progress through this course, I am finding that in order for education to stay afloat with societal and technological changes, it is imperative that education follow suit. Instructional design and technology will play a large role in making sure those changes happen, and in an effective manner. Changes like this would make education progressive rather than regressive and stuck in industrial molds. Furthermore, learning would become a more collaborative process because it would join a larger group of individuals together. The utilization of the advancements makes education far more tangible and accessible to all users, education just needs to make the jump! I still think it is important to provide hands-on, in-person learning experiences for our students. However if those are combine with eLearning, then we can exceed their learning experience far beyond what the walls of a school can offer.

Do you think this is something we will see in 5 or 10 years? Do you think online education will offer the same benefits as traditional education?

 

-Leigh Anne