What does it mean to manage/regulate yourself (self-regulate) and others? How does it bring you towards goals? How important is communication in this process and what helps/impedes it?
Managing yourself, means having the discipline to do what is needed in a timely manner without the benefit of having someone tell you what to do and when to do it. Managing others requires knowledge of what must be done, and sometimes how to do it also, as it may require coaching and mentoring others. However, the biggest difference between the two is soft skills. Knowing how to motivate your self and knowing how to motivate others can sometimes be a completely different skill set due to human nature.
No one likes being told what to do, unless it is done very respectfully, and without undo burden of time. Not everyone knows how to get things done through others because it is much different than getting yourself to do something. I may be motivated to do excellent work, on time, every time due to being unemployed the past two years. However, my employee with whom I am trying to negotiate to do something they either don’t want to do or have never done, may have worked at the company for 10 years, and feels no fear of being unemployed because they have never been unemployed for a long time. A manager must find what motivates others in order to maximize their productivity. In a recent example, I am dealing with a long time employee who doesn’t really want to do some of his job requirements. In order to motivate this person, I am giving him extra attention on some items that he is unhappy with regarding his job, making sure he sees that I am trying to help him. He is now more willing to do as I ask of him.
This bring us both closer to our goals of high job satisfaction and performance. Communication is key in that it provides the conduit for cooperation required for accomplishment.
I noticed that in the Anytown design, they started with developing the virtual environment first, before the instruction, learning objectives, and learning activities, which came about in the second phase. This is incongruent with many popular instructional designs that specify learning objectives should be determined first. However, this approach reminds me of other more teacher-centric models where content and objectives are determined simultaneously, but for different reasons (Gerlach & Ely, 1971).
The authors design seemed to fit even closer with modern software development techniques that include multiple phases and iterations, in order to enhance functionality to more closely align with the learning goals and objectives of the course. These iterations support the social constructivists instructional methods that all knowledge develops as a result of social interaction and language use (Lynch, 2016). Learning goals, in this case, were to increase student engagement with literacy tasks and improve student learning. The authors also wanted to develop a reusable system that could be reused by teachers to customize for their own classes. They used such design principles as artificial conflict, win scenarios, and a rule-based system that could be combined with instructional design principles (Warren, Stein, Dondlinger & Barab, N.d.).
Gerlach, V. S., & Ely, D. P. (1971). Teaching and media a systematic approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Lynch, M. (2016). Social constructivism in education. The Advocate. Retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/social-constructivism-in-education/
Warren, S. J., Stein, R. A., Dondlinger, M. J., & Barab, S. A. (N.d). A look inside a muve design process: blending instructional design and game principles to target writing skills. Unpublished manuscript.
Although my client was very cooperative and amenable to my design, my client is very busy with two different jobs, so his availability was limited. What worked well, was the ability to follow Piskurich’s process while adhering to my clients goals and objectives. The challenge came when I put all the learning outcomes he wanted into the design. He then changed his mind and wanted the class split into two courses, which I did not have time to do. However, the positive in this determination was that the beta I delivered, uncovered the need for two classes, considering there were basic and advanced topics in the course.
The strongest aspect of the design process, was tying learning outcomes to the original client objectives. If the courses would have been built, this would have allowed any student assessment or testing to tie back to the learning objectives, which is a sign of good design because this is the only way the instructor and instructional designer would know that the learners learned what the analysis said they should learn (Piskurich, 2006). The weakest aspect of the design was the short beta test we had to do because of my clients’ busy schedule. That experience taught me that my next client will need to commit more time to better assess the course design in deference to the learning outcomes.
This reflection will review Understanding by Design, also called Backwards Design.
This is a popular K-12 model of curriculum, and has three stages or steps:
- Identify the desired results. That is, what should the student know, understand or be able to do? I love this step because you are looking at the end result as a way of designing curriculum. This is why it is also called backward design because you are first looking at the end result. This follows the same idea with managing software projects because you first have to look at the end result, by gathering functional requirements of a business department paying for its development. This makes perfect sense to me based on many years in this field.
- Determine acceptable evidence. How do we know students have achieved desired results? This also relates to software development in that a project manager will typically document acceptance criteria of the final product early in the software development life cycle. This drives design, development and testing of the required functionality. This is in addition to eliciting detailed requirements because there may be 400 or more requirements for a large custom software project, yet the project sponsor from whose budget the cost of the project comes, will typically specify some high priority capabilities that the software must have or it will not receive final approval and acceptance.
- Plan learning experience and instruction. What activities will provide students with knowledge? Ensure alignment with steps 1 and 2. To me, a long time software project manager, this relates to the second phase of project management, which is Planning. Planning is the most important part of a project because if you don’t plan for the right resources, with an appropriate schedule, the project / product will not meet the needs of the client. This particular step is important in deciding what activities will provide students with knowledge, along with any technology used.
Pro: Clearly defined goals, outcomes and activities.
Con: Extremely time consuming and does not allow for multiple goals.
The Method of Loci
I have never heard of the Method of Loci before this class. This, and other memory techniques is valuable in learning, and I whish I had known about them earlier in life. I found this exercise a little too over-the-top for regular use. Spending 5-10 minutes walking around my office is very boring as it is 10’x15’. I am in it for hours each day, so I didn’t feel I needed any time walking around it for familiarization, but I understand how it might be useful in some cases. I found it interesting that this technique dates back to 500 b.c., and was the most popular mnemonic until the mid-1600s (Mohs, 2019). This article also mentions the techniques that replaced the Method of Loci, the phonetic and peg systems, which I will have to review.
The Method of Loci did work with me eventually, but I often struggle with visualizations when I am short on time, as I am tonight. I would need to try it in a relaxed state to achieve maximum results.
Implementation and Evaluation
What changes will you make before implementation? Why? What did you ignore in the client’s feedback? Why? What did you ignore in your peer’s feedback? Why?
I changed the course to two courses, per my clients recommendation due to the first three modules being remedial for advanced business analysts, The advanced course will skip the first three modules and go deeper in detail than the beta.
I didn’t ignore anything.
Sir Ken Robinson spoke at the TED2006 about creativity, and how we are educating kids out of having it. He said that creativity is as important in education as literacy, and we should give the same status. I agree with this out of personal experience. From ages 5-18, I was a musician, a drummer. I loved the creativity and playing for an audience, but at age 18, I realized that the competition was tough, and my chances of making it big, were remote. Also, at age 18, I had to sell my drums to pay some bills, and I never owned another set. However, I still loved music, until I went to college, where I realized through trial and error, that listening to music, and learning accounting, didn’t work. Accounting was hard for me, so I gave away all my albums, and focused on school until I graduated.
About 5 years after graduating college, I once tried to play the drums, but had lost the creativity and passion I once had. Education also changed my personality. I made me much more serious, and I am no longer the happy-go-lucky, funny guy I once was.
Another truism Sir Ken Robinson said was that if we are not prepared to be wrong, we’ll never come up with anything original. In our society, being wrong is bad, in most professions. One cannot be wrong taking accounting or math courses, if you want to pass. One cannot be wrong at work if you want to keep your job. However, one of the nest computer programmers I ever met, told me that 90% of what is does are mistakes. The thing about him, was that he could figure out things other programmers could not because he wasn’t afraid to be wrong.
Due to business travel, I was unable to attend last weeks class and hear the presentations. My new job has caused a couple of misses this semester, but it pays very well and is related to higher education, so I need to keep it. I have tried, unsuccessfully to communicate with my team, but the back and forth has not been ideal. In fact, I only received one reply, which was insufficient to prepare for class on March 4th. However, at the instructors request, I will attend anyway to see if I can contribute in another way.
I do expect to miss class additionally on one or more occasions this semester, so I’ll need to work out a better communication strategy with my team (constative, dramaturgical).