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

Instructional Design Description

In my EdTech 503, Instructional Design course this week, we were challenged to create a fictitious job posting for an Instructional Designer job; write three reflections on a given set of questions; and post links to three actual Instructional Designers job postings. In reflecting on this assignment, I can see where many teachers feel as if they are actual instructional designers, because many do create their own materials used in their classroom. However, I have discovered this week there is more to being an instructional designer than just creating the materials used in the classroom. I look forward to learning more as this journey into instructional design begins!

The following are my reflections answers; my job posting links are located at the bottom of the page.

  1. How do the roles of teachers and instructional designers differ?

Instructional designers create the courses that teachers use to teach and facilitate to their students. Instructional designers analyze the current curriculum; identify areas that are in need of updating or could be instructed using different materials and/or methods. They design and develop the appropriate methods and materials needed for the teacher to be able to meet the diverse needs of all of their students. Then, instructional designers deliver, guide, manage, and/or instruct the teachers on how to implement the course along with the materials and methods they can use to ensure they reach all students. The instructional designers will receive feedback from the teachers though out the school year in order for the course to be updated and/or reconstructed if needed. Thus, the main difference is that instructional designers do not actually use the curriculum they design, the teachers use it to deliver classroom instruction.

  1. In what ways do the responsibilities of teachers and instructional designers overlap?

Instructional designers and teachers have to be good collaborators and work towards the common goal of ensuring that the overall needs of the students in a course will be met. The instructional designers have to collaborate with the teachers of the course they are designing because they are the ones that are closest or will be closest to the students who will be using the course. The curriculum needs to be set up for the teacher to be comfortable and fully understands what the designer intended. The teacher will receive feedback from the students in the form of projects, summative and formative assessments, and comments from the students about the trials and tribulations they encounter. In essence, the instructional designers is also a teacher because they need to “teach” the teacher how to use the curriculum. Where a teacher manages the outcomes produced from the students and adjust the way the lesson is taught; the instructional designers will manage the feedback from the teacher to manage the course design and make changes as needed.

  1. In a comprehensive paragraph, please connect the relationship between these two roles to your own personal experiences. If you do not have any personal experiences to draw on, create a hypothetical example that clearly illustrates the relationship between teachers and instructional designers.

The relationship between and instructional designer and a teacher can be looked at as a never ending circle that entwine with both ensuring the needs of all the learners are being met. Just as a teacher instructs, guides, and assesses the students, the instructional designers develops, implements, and manages the design of the course. Instructional designers and teachers should build a relationship so they are comfortable and are not afraid to step in when they observe an issue or concern with the course content. Instructional designs need to observe the teacher to make sure he/she is using the materials correctly. And it is up to the teacher when they encounter something not correct in the curriculum to get with the instructional designers as soon as possible so the kink can be fixed.

I do not have any personal experience in working with an instructional designer, however our district just introduced a new program to help out our ESL students in learning English. It is called the EXCEL program. Students and their families have the option to join this program, it is not mandatory. In this program the curriculum has been set up for all core courses to be taught in one location. The instructional designers have created the courses so that they can help ESL student be more successful in the core subjects, which at times the jargon can be confusing. Over the course of the last school year and summer my district worked to make sure they created materials needed for the teachers. I would hope since our school year has just begun that the instructional designers and teachers are working closely to make sure the materials are being used correctly and are garnering the intended results. If not, then the teachers need to go back and help the instructional designers in changing or creating a new device for the student to be able to use in order to create the intended result.

My fictitious job posting

Instructional Design Job Posting

SUNY Sullivan is seeking a Coordinator of Instructional Design & Online Learning

I chose this position because it was a part-time, temporary job. I believe this would be a great learning job for those that may just be beginning an Instructional design career in an education-type setting.

West Chester University is seeking an Instructional Design Specialist

I chose this position because it gave more details on the essential functions and minimum qualifications. WCU actually listed software programs that the potential candidates need to be familiar with in order to be considered for employment. It did not leave room for in interested person to question what what expected.

Amazon Corporate LLC is looking to hire an Instructional Designer-Mobile Design Training

This posted was chosen for a few reasons. One, it was an energetic read. One could sense the excitement for working for Amazon just from reading the posting. Two, however it seemed too wordy to me. I got lost in what the requirements are for the candidate. So, basically I chose this as a “what not to do” for a job description.