Write a reflection about class overall. What did you learn? What would you like to learn more about in the future related to instructional design theories and research? Did the course have any real impact on your life and your professional work as you see it going forward?
This course has provided me with advanced knowledge in instruction design with exposure to many different models and related learning theories. Although I do not have time to take additional tools courses in my program, and graduate any time soon, I do plan to pursue additional tools on my own, as time permits. I want to develop commercially viable e-learning courses for adults, of the self-learning type.
Also, Reflect on what you feel needs to be changed in this course so that we may forward this feedback to the course designer.
Since there is not an introductory course to ID at the doctoral level, I think it would be helpful to add one assignment using course authoring or an e-learning course. I was fortunate enough to also take LTEC 5210 this semester, where I was exposed to a couple of tools, it would add value to this course for students to create a course with commercial quality.
Reflect on the outcome of Project B. How did it go? What did it learn? What would you do differently next time? What went well and what was a struggle? How will you use what you learned in the future as a professional?
Project B was very informative for me, seeing as I needed a tools course for my PhD. I was wondering when we were going to get to the tools for the first few weeks, but when Beth took over the class, it all came together. I had never heard of Articulate Storyline until this class, but I found it intuitive to use, and had only minor issues figuring it out myself.
I surprised myself how fast I was able to put together a large course using content I had developed in 2012 for a class I taught in the Philippines. Articulate was a little less intuitive in how to move slides and scenes around after they are first developed, but I figured out ways to do what I needed. I was surprised again, when researching it on the internet, that Articulate was ranked number 1 among similar course authoring tools. It was nice to be practiced in the best one, so kudos to Beth or whomever made that decision.
I need to teach a similar class in a couple of months at work, so although my trial will have expired, and my company uses a different tool, this experience will make it easier to develop the course in another tool.
Think about instructional design in general. What have you learned this semester about instructional design and development? What about process? What else?
Academically, instructional design (ID) is similar to, but more comprehensively taught, than the software development life cycle. In reality, they are more similar, in that both must take into consideration why a product is being built, because figuring out the why often tells of motivational factors that can be used when designing the products features. Additionally, establishing the goals and objectives up front, in instructional design, although also important in software development, ID does a much better job in teaching us than the software development life cycle. Process is everything, in my mind, and ID is way ahead of software development processes in providing a method or process by which one can trace back to goals and objectives in a systematic way.
Also, what did you learn from the Evaluation of the product? What would you do differently next time? How much did you learn from the process and evaluation that will make you a better future instructional designer?
Evaluation is the feedback mechanism that drives process improvement. Like process improvement, evaluation or feedback, should be constant in order to make instructional designers better, as well as they products they produce. The key is knowing what to evaluate (Piskurish, 2006), which is based on what we are going to do with the evaluation. For example,, if you want to find out if trainees liked the course, then evaluate for that. If you want to know if learners learned what they were supposed to learn, then evaluate for that.
Piskurich, G. M. (2006). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. (2nd ed.). San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
How do you feel about your research design? Does it all align to the learning theory that guided the instructional design? What could be improved?
I feel good about the design overall, because it addresses a real world problem of how to help software projects succeed. Having over 30 years of experience in the software business, and a great deal of that, eliciting, documenting, validating, testing, and teaching requirements, I feel that my design truly addresses some of the root causes of poor software requirements. In working with over 60 companies, I rarely find BAs or BSAs that know the simple techniques that will be taught in this course.
The course design is based on behavioral theory because we are changing behavior of the BAs and BSAs. However, we are doing this through LTCA by increasing the interaction between instructor and learner with a lot of back and forth coversation about what makes a requirement good. In turn, the BAs and BSAs will also utilize LTCA in eliciting requirements because the real trick to good requirements is communication with the right stakeholders, and lots of it. Validation is key throughout the requirements gathering process. Then, at the end, formal approvals, preferably with signatures, serves as a final review by the ones providing the requirements, of their accuracy and completeness.
There is always an opportunity for improvement, and no course is perfect. That being said, other than administering a pre-assessment, and a final exam to compare with, I believe the design is pretty solid.
What has surprised you about Instructional design? What have you learned that you did not know?
I am pleasantly surprised by the rigor that goes into ID. Having decades experience managing software development and implementations, I appreciate a systematic approach to anything system-related. I believe this contributes greatly to teaching designers and teachers how to achieve consistent results in meeting the goals and objectives of a course, and how to improve learning outcomes. When I was first learning about ID, the first thing that caught my attention was ADDIE. This mirrors a software development life cycle, in which I have developed deep expertise over 30 years in software. Of course, this gave ID immediate credibility due to that experience.
It was interesting for me to analyze each step in ADDIE and relate it to my experience not only developing software, but the formal software engineering process for companies like Citigroup, as a consultant. Although some software methodologies argue that Testing (Evaluation) is included in Implementation, I can see the value of breaking it out separately, especially considering the expanded definition that ID gives evaluation over just testing.
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.