What Will You Learn In This Blog?
In this blog, and over the next few months, you’ll learn the following skills and skill sets…
Describe, deﬁne and demonstrate an awareness of the basic tenets of the practice of instructional design, contributors to the ﬁeld, what an instructional designer is and does, and what an online instructional interaction looks like, is and does.
Review and describe seven prominent theories of learning, as related to instructional practice and experience.
Review, describe and make use of seven sets of instructional principles that have been developed by contributors to the ﬁeld, and which are used on a profession-wide basis when developing instruction.
Review and use concepts related to the assessment and analysis of instructional elements, including conducting learner, task, and concept analyses, and distinguishing between norm- and criterion-referenced tests.
Review and use provided resources primarily for PowerPoint 2010, but also 2013 and 2016, if you have any of these newer versions: The online tutorials and provided materials will review and use instructional design elements and models, overview the concepts and structure of online simulations, and explore 20 different types of digital interactivity across 10 levels of interactivity.
Review and use formative assessment practices on developed and tested instructional materials and interactions, and “close the development loop” via edits and revisions to your materials.
Collect data and comments regarding your instructional module or course, and use these in the revision of that module and course. Build an instructional module or a brief course. Become Familiar with Pioneers in the Field You will also review an introduction to the concepts and processes of different instructional design models–and the persons behind them. The concepts related to and the processes that have evolved from these models over the last sixty or more years–ever since the training needs of World War II became blatantly obvious in light of the few systematic resources to respond to them–didn’t develop overnight.
On the Shoulders of Giants
Theorists’ contribution after contribution were used to build upon what are these days considered basic concepts and prerequisite skills–sequencing, analyzing tasks and concepts, objectifying the outcomes that one wanted to see in the learner, and setting criteria for how well, how fast, or how accurately the learner is supposed to grow and perform with time and experience.
Later theorists borrowed and built upon the work of that of earlier theorists; some model aspects were embraced, some were dropped, but each adoption was cast in a new light provided by the zeitgeist of the times. As models grew and evolved, they’d be used in the Real World, showing what worked and what didn’t. Models were revised based on data and experience, and become more responsive with time.
Some models grew too complex, and were eventually pruned; others started too simple and eventually became subject to added layers of complexity. Regardless, the evolution of learning models continues with the work of present instructional designers and will, no doubt, continue as others enter the field.
Use Graphic Formats
Next, we’ll identify and use a wide variety of graphic formats in lieu of the standard PowerPoint formats. There’s a revolution taking place in terms of the ways in which developers can present information in a much more visual sense than was ever possible before in PowerPoint.
Become Knowledgeable in the Ways of Instructional Design
Next, we’ll review an introduction to the fields of instructional design and technology. Instructional design provides us with ways of analyzing content and assessing learners to determine if our instruction is having an effect. Instructional technology – in this context – has nothing to do with networking or large scale institutional operations. Instead, it has everything to do with the tools that will let you the designer rapidly develop the information portrayals based on the plan that you have developed. When considering instructional design, think architect and plans; when considering instructional technology, think in terms of contractors using tools to build instruction based on the plan.
Use an Instructional Design Model
In terms of planning for instruction, there are numerous procedural models that can be adopted. In fact, there are many instructional design models in use today. Let’s take a brief look at the use of and composition of instructional design models.
These models provide the developer with a stepwise sequence in terms of what activities to do first, next and last. In the real world, these steps are hardly ever linear–that is, you may step through steps one through five, then step back and alter some aspect of the plan by revisiting step three, then on to six and seven, then back to five momentarily. This iterative “back and forth” aspect is an important part of applying the use of these models when designing and building instruction; refining early elements as you proceed brought the steps results in a tighter, preliminary prototype that can be used.
With time and experience, you’ll be building in such modifications as part of the original step, thus saving you time as you develop later learning projects.
In a few weeks, we’ll have another blog entry dedicated solely to Instructional Design Models.
Analysis and Assessment
And finally, we’ll examine the role of analysis, assessment, and evaluation in the development and deployment of online instruction. In the field of education, the terms are often used mistakenly and interchangeably. In practice though, the terms have different definitions, are used for different purposes, and result in different information that may or may not help the learning process. We’ll examine some of these differences and the issues related to each.
This text takes a rather broad view of these fact-finding activities: if the activities and the information that directly results from these activities can be used to improve instruction– allowing learners to learn faster, better, and for longer periods of time–then the activity is of worth.
If not, it’s a waste of everyone’s time, including the student’s.
Bottom Line: People who design instructional courses, module and digital handouts follow of a set of procedures that are more complicated than simple lesson plans. But because they are doing it digitally, they’ll use the learning object for a longer period of time, reach a greater number of students, and will update the learning objects more often as that’s easily done. The procedures are nested in what are known as instructional design models; these models provide the teacher or instructor with a roadmap in terms of what to do first, next, and final.
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