City Project: Instructor’s Guide and ARCS Table

This week, we were asked to create two documents allowing us to consider the instructional events associated with our projects. By completing this portion of the ID project, I was able to look at the individual steps of the instruction and begin specifying how I will motivate my students, what materials I will need and what steps I will take in the instruction.

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Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Learning goal: After three, one hour classes, student will create a weebly.com blog, write and publish their first blog post, and comment on two other groups’ blogs.

Learning objectives:

1.0  Students can…

1.1.   List common blog characteristics.
1.2.   State the benefits of using reflective journals.

2.0  Students can…

2.1.   Create a group name and login information
2.2.   Successfully log into weebly.com

3.0  After logging in to Weebly.com, students can…

3.1.   Choose a theme.
3.2.   Choose a layout for the home screen.
3.3.   Upload a photo from the user’s collection.
3.4.   Drag elements into the blog contents area.
3.5.   Write a description of the blog
3.5.1.       State the purpose of the blog
3.5.2.       Introduce the participants.
3.5.3.       Explain how the blog will develop over time.

4.0  For each blog post, in collaboration with group members, students can…

4.1.   Create a title and add the post under the home menu in hierarchical order.
4.2.   Write a reflection of the city experience.
4.3.   Embed a Youtube.com video.
4.4.   Post photos.
4.5.   Include appropriate links.
4.6.   Evaluate the quality of the post based on the provided rubric.

5.0  Using a rubric to provide guidance, students will…

5.1.   Relate similar experiences.
5.2.   Offer additional information.
5.3.   Request more information if lacking.
5.4.   Offer praise or critical feedback on the experience or mechanics of the post.
5.5.   Evaluate the embedded YouTube video using the video creation rubric.

Learning Task Analysis

Description of ID project: Students participating in the freshmen English PBL project ‘My University City’ will create a weebly.com blog and collaborate on group posts.

Learning goal: After three, one hour classes, students will create a weebly.com blog, write and publish their first blog post, and comment on two other groups’ blogs.

Type of learning: The goal above can be classified under the description of ‘intellectual skill.’ Students will need to learn the procedural rules of the task first and then progress onto problem solving by applying “unique sequence[s] and combination[s] to solve […] previously unencountered problem[s] (Smith & Ragan, 2005, p. 81).

(Click on the following charts to see them in Google Docs)

Information-Processing Analysis for Creating a Weebly.com Blog post:


Prerequisite Analysis for Creating a Weebly.com Blog and Initiating a First post:

Learning objectives:

1. Discuss blog post characteristics.

1.1.    List common blog characteristics.
1.2.    State the benefits of using reflective journals.

2.Create a weebly.com blog account.

2.1.    Create a group name and login information.
2.2.    Successfully log into weebly.com.

3. Create a static homepage for the blog.

3.1.    Choose a theme.
3.2.    Choose a layout for the home screen.
3.3.    Upload a photo from the user’s collection.
3.4.    Drag elements into the blog contents area.
3.5.    Write a description of the blog.

3.5.1.  State the purpose of the blog
3.5.2.  Introduce the participants.
3.5.3.  Explain how the blog will develop over time.

4. Create a blog post.

4.1.    Create a title and add the post under the home menu in hierarchical order.
4.2.    Write a reflection of the city experience.
4.3.    Embed a Youtube.com video.
4.4.    Post photos.
4.5.    Include appropriate links.

5. Comment on classmate’s posts.

5.1.    Relate similar experiences.
5.2.    Offer additional information.
5.3.    Request more information if lacking.
5.4.    Offer praise or critical feedback on the experience or mechanics of the post.
5.5.    Evaluate the embedded Youtube.com video using the provided rubric.

References:
Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2004). Instructional design (3rd ed.). Wiley.

ID Analysis

My project in instructional design will achieve the following goal.

To better scaffold the reflective process in a problem based learning project, my university students will participate in hands on instruction with the specific outcomes of proficiently creating, collaborating on and managing a weebly.com blog.

In order to achieve this goal, I will use the innovation model. I feel this model best fits the learning context for which this project is designed. The broader scope of my project is to allow my students the greatest possible opportunity (within my power) to see improvement in their English communication skills. The current system works to some measurable degree. However, it is my intention to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction by incorporating problem based learning into the curriculum. Within this project, new learning goals arise and must be accommodated.

The nature of the change comes in the form of requiring students to create and participate using digital tools and media. By incorporating the creation and utilization of blogs to reflect on experiences and offer feedback to classmates, students must learn how to appropriately manipulate a weebly.com blog. By shifting the focus of classroom instruction away from traditional language learning approaches, students will be required to understand different processes and do new activities. With careful instructional design, this knowledge can be taught.

With the inclusion of this problem based learning project, learning to use weebly.com becomes a necessary goal. There are adequate resources available and the new goal enhances previous goals. However, the inclusion of the problem based learning project may conflict with current teachers and/or senior professors. These professors may feel students are already taxed with an abundance of homework and dismiss ‘blogging’ as irrelevant to their future aspirations of teaching. (My students will be elementary school teachers in Korea upon graduation and successful employment). Also, affected instructors teaching on the freshman English program may object to the new approach and feel it does not ‘fit’ their style or method of instruction.

The needs assessment I intend to conduct will likely happen in three ways. First, I will interview the affected instructors with a list of carefully planned questions regarding their attitudes towards the implementation of the project. Second, I will provide a survey for the teachers requesting information regarding their technical proficiencies. Finally, I will approach senior professors with the proposal of implementing the PBL project, explaining in detail how it fits and moves beyond the current approach.

The learning environment in which my project is situated may present hurdles for implementation. First, as stated above, some teacher may object to the new materials or approach. Additionally, other teachers may have trouble or lack expertise in regards to utilizing digital media and tools. These teachers are competent, experienced and well practiced in their current positions. They understand their learners and have created methods and styles they view as effective. The new instruction will be designed to fit within the current curriculum. The new materials can be seen as an enhancement of the curriculum. Multiple computer labs with high speed Internet are in place and each lab has a projector and screen. These will be key components of the instruction.

Learner characteristics will play an important role in my ID project. I will focus on four characteristic areas to assess to best design for instruction. The first area will be general cognitive characteristics. I will need to know how student’s language levels as well as their reading levels will affect their comprehension of the instruction. The second area is specific prior knowledge. What do my students already know? Are they familiar with blogs or commenting on blog posts? This will allow me to be more effective and efficient. The third area is affective characteristics. I will need to know if my students are motivated to learn and if mediated forms will promote that motivation. Also, I will need to understand their level of anxiety when using English in a public forum. The last area is social characteristics. By assessing these characteristics, I will have a better understanding of the students feelings about working in groups and assigning roles for collaborative activities.

Some possible sample questions are as follows:

  • How comfortable are you using a computer?
  • Have you ever created a blog?
  • Do you currently use Facebook or Cyworld (Korean Blog)?
  • How often do you comment on blog posts?
  • Do you have a Google account?
  • Are you familiar with uploading video and photos to websites?
  • Do you feel you can use English when surfing the Internet?
  • Do you have access to a computer with high speed Internet?
  • How do you feel using social media to practice your English?
  • Are you comfortable receiving comments on content you create?
  • Are you comfortable commenting on content other students create?
  • As a group member, what role will you take in blogging with your group?
  • Do you feel this activity will help improve your English?
  • What can you do to make this activity successful?
  • Do you like or dislike teachers using technology in the classroom? Why or why not?
  • If you wrote a blog post about the city in which you live, what would you tell people?

References:
Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2004). Instructional design(3rd ed.). Wiley.

Initial Thoughts on Instructional Design

Design

As an avid mountain biker, design plays an enormous role in my life. Bike design has developed exponentially in the past decade through a relentless cycle of analysising rider needs and evaluating rider feedback. This enables riders to continue pushing the limits of body and machine. Design not only encompasses creative solutions to complex problems, but it does so in an aesthetically appealing way. Take a look at any current mountain bike magazine and you will see beauty and attention to detail designed into every frame and component. Design is the marrying of form and function to meet specific needs.

Instructional Design

“The term instructional design refers to the systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials, activities, infromation resources, and evaluation.” (Smith and Ragan, 2004) To me, this means that through careful analysis, designing opportunities for learning is developed and implemented under constant evaluation. This analysis establishes clear objectives and guides the systematic development process. Therefore, it seems to me, instructinal design is a valuable process capable of enhancing the effectiveness of instruction.

Systematic

The inclusion of the word ‘systematic’ ameliorates greatly the meaning of ‘instructional design.’ First, it focuses attention on using models and processes to achieve greatest results. Second, it establishes the idea of a repeated processes by being iterative in nature. By this, I mean that, as a designer (or trained educator), one repeatedly reapplies the process of design in most instances of instruciton.  And finally, “it is a systematic process [because] every component (i.e., teacher, learners, materials, and learning environment) is crucial to successful learning.” (Dick, Carey, and Carey, 2005)

Experience

As a native EFL instructor working in a Korean university, I function almost completely autonomously. By this I mean I am given a course title and left to develop and implement lessons falling with this title. In many ways this is wonderful as I can do almost anything I like and that I feel will best allow for student improvement. Therefore, at the start of each semester, my students are provided a survey that functions in three ways. First, through careful wording, questions are designed to provide me a basic understanding of students’ abilities. Second, it asks the students what they would like to learn. And finally, it asks the students to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. Once I have collected and collated this data, I am able to adapt the contents of the course to address specific student needs. Many of the topics and learning goals expressed by students repeatedly appear on the survey which allows me to refine and reuse previously developed lesson plans. One of the ways that I refine these plans is by finding ways to effectively incorporate technology.

Because I see my method of creating lesson plans and learning activities as bordering on instructional design and I feel that technology is a powerful tool for enhancing learning, the connection between them becomes apparent. Educational Technology is an essential element of education and instructional design must harness and teach these tools. Together, form and function provide exceptional opportunities for learning.

Project

My project in instructional design will achieve the following goal.

To better scaffold the reflective process in a problem based learning project, my university students will be able to proficiently create, collaborate on and manage a weebly.com blog after two hours of hands on instruction.

References:

Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2005). The systematic design of instruction. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Smith, P. L. & Ragan, T. J. (2004). Instructional design (3rd Ed.). Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons

ID Job Description

For my first assignment in EdTech 503 at Boise State University, I was asked to create a fictitious job posting for an instructional design position. For my job posting, I chose to create a ‘dream job’ for myself if ever I were to seek a position as an instructional designer. I based this structure loosely on a current position open at Google but adapted the responsibilities and qualifications for life in the mountains.

Part 1: Fake Job Posting

Whistler Bike Park is hiring for the position of Promotional and Training Program Administrator. The successful candidate will coordinate, design, and develop instructional programs and projects for mountain staff and promotional information materials for guests. This person will work closely with administration and staff to coordinate instructional projects. As a member of the Whistler Bike Park crew, your skills will help enhance the unique experience of this legendary mountain resort.

Each year, enthusiasm for Whistler bike park grows. Over the past few years, more mountain bikers visit during the summer than skiers and snowboarders do in the winter. With this influx of passionate gravity thrill seekers, it is necessary to maintain the highest level of trained, dedicated staff as well as keeping our guests informed and prepared for the Whistler experience. Instructional designers know what our staff and guests need to know and how to teach it. By delving into your extensive background, you will develop training programs by assessing Whistler guest and staff needs, creating instructional materials and delivering this content to stakeholders. Training programs can take on many forms from face-to-face instruction to collaborative webinars and it will be your job to tailor each program appropriately.

Responsibilities:
Collaborate with administration, staff and guests to develop learning solutions for each stakeholder group.
Identify learning objectives.
Create instructional objects including web content, informational videos, and print materials
Analyze business needs and propose innovative learning solutions.
Train-the-trainers and facilitate live courses as needed.

Minimum Qualifications:
BA/BS degree in instructional design or related field.
Experience with creating learning content using multiple types of media
Expert knowledge of digital editing software and social media tools
Experience using web authoring tools like Adobe Creative Suite and Flash
Experience with creative video production including storyboards and current, extreme sport video capture techniques.
Ability and desire to work with a team

Preferred Qualifications:
Two years of instructional Design
Proven ability to connect with youth culture
Avid mountain biker with DH/FR leanings

Reflection:

Teachers should first be subject matter experts (SME) with the knowledge of how tasks are to be performed. They must also be responsible for providing performance objectives and evaluating acceptable performance levels. Teachers are expected to employ specific, pedagogical methods to implement defined curricular objectives and foster an environment that inspire students to meet set standards. Teachers are expected to help students acquire a broad range of knowledge and skills. They must also motivate students to learn. Additionally, teacher need to be capable of implementing classroom management strategies to ensure that all students have the best possible opportunity to learn. The above description is what I strive to achieve as an educator. I try to create lesson plans and deliver materials engagingly, allowing my students the greatest opportunity for improvement. Through formative and summative assessments, I regularly evaluate the performance of my students while also asking for my students to provide feedback on the effectiveness of my class and teaching methods.

Instructional designers rarely work directly with students, but instead work with faculty to structure learning activities. By first addressing the needs of the students through needs assessments and evaluations, instructional designers tailor materials to enhance the learning experience. This is achieved by developing and managing learning management systems, providing online course modules and selecting the optimal method of presenting course information. The instructional designer is able to understand the topic content but does not have a deep knowledge of the subject. Instead of using a pedagogical approach to creating materials, instructional designers are guided by ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate). I feel that I am quite lucky in my current profession and place of employment in that I am allotted a significant amount of time for developing course materials. Though I was not aware of ADDIE, I feel that I have, unknowingly, implemented this design model, at least at some level. I look forward to further delving into this systematic approach.

Narrowing the differences between teachers and instructional designers, three major areas remain. First, teachers deliver the materials to the students. Instructional designers create the method the materials are displayed but do not often interact with students. Second, teachers are experts in their subject and know what the students are required to learn and how best to manage learning. Designers can work with educators from various fields and apply ADDIE to create materials to support each instructor. Third, teachers are required to do more than implement materials. They must communicate with parents, interact with students, foster a positive learning environment, grade and evaluate/modify lesson plans. Instructional designers design tools that allow students to best grasp concepts being taught and evaluate the effectiveness of the tools created.

Job Links:

http://tiny.cc/3w5vjw Google
http://tiny.cc/b18vjw Pacific Lutheren University
http://tiny.cc/r08vjw University of Washington
http://tiny.cc/lz8vjw King County Emergency Medical Services