EdTech 503 Reflective Synthesis Paper

As part of our final segment in the Instructional Design Project, we had to write a reflection describing the Instructional Design Process in metaphorical terms. The following is my reflection.

The instructional design process can be compared to having kids for the first time. When parents-to-be (PTB) first find out they are pregnant they are excited and joyful, just like one would be when given the opportunity to complete an instructional design. Then when the PTB settle down, the worry of “what will we need to do,” and “what do we need in order to do what we need to do” kicks in. This is the same as an instructional designer. At this point, the PTB and instructional designer go out, looking for someone or something that will aid in gaining the necessary information to help answer the important questions. PTB will go out and find books, talk to friends, and find possible subject matter experts (SME) like a doctor to help gather the necessary information. An instructional designer will go and gather information from those that will perhaps use the instruction, conduct research with the intended company or by giving a survey from those impacted by the design. Determining the needs is critical for PTB so they can understand what they will need to do and acquire during the nine months of pregnancy. Needs analysis is also a critical step for an ID, because this will help determine the focus of the design. Next, PTB need to start making plans, where will the baby sleep, what type of milk will be used the first year of life, will a daycare be needed and if so which one should be chosen. For an ID, planning is answering the following: what is the role of the instructor (if there will actually be an instructor or will it be computer-based instruction); what are the learning objectives and how do they tie into what the needs analysis data revealed; how will the instructor motivate the learners to stay focused and on task; what will the instructions for the instructor look like and how will they be conveyed to the students; what materials and what technology will be needed for this design to be able to fully function. Then there is the evaluation plan. Right before the birth of the child, PTB need to evaluate the steps they have taken to ensure all (or most) of the needs have and will be met. Things to be considered (evaluated): was the right pediatrician chosen; is the place where the baby will sleep ready; have all of the necessary items for a newborn baby been purchased i.e. car seat. The ID needs to evaluate the instructional design plan by ensuring the intended goals of the plan have been met by the design. The use of an SME to help evaluate the plan would be a good idea for an ID and for the PTB.  Parenting is an ongoing, ever-changing process, so is an instructional design project. The project will need to be evaluated every year (or every time it is implemented) because the learners will constantly be changing.

This course, Instructional Design, challenged me to think about all of the little things I took for granted. The things I took for granted were things such as what materials I would need to deliver the instruction, the readiness of supplemental items to help differentiate my instructions, and being more conscience of the learners’ actual needs versus what I thought they needed.  When I walked into my classroom for the first time I did not think about what went into all of the materials that were at my disposal. Now, I am more appreciative of the fact that there was (is) a process that helps guide the course. In Report #1 the Analysis of the Learning Context was probably an area I did not take into consideration before I took this class. Teaching in the classroom I am in, I have learned to “make do” with what I have, or do not have…like a door. So, in thinking about the little details that could hinder or disrupt learning I had to take a step back and try to look at it with fresh eyes so to speak. Then in Report #2, the Instructor’s Guide I saw how the little things could be forgotten. When I begin a new lesson and introduce it, I base a big part of checking for understanding on watching my students for their nonverbal cues. In the design process, I learned that I needed to include the instruction of observation to make sure someone else could understand. Again, it is the little things I do automatically that took the longest to put on paper in the design.

How will the design process relate to my future work in educational technology? I believe that with the knowledge of the ADDIE model (analyze, develop, design, implement, and evaluate) I will be able to use and implement this skills no matter what area of educational technology I will be working within. I think the design process relates to my current position because it has helped me understand I need to pay more attention to how I create lessons, choose lessons, and how I decide to implement the lesson. I am more conscientious as a teacher now.

EdTech 503 Final ID Project

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