February 20, 2005

CI5336 - 5 questions for instructional designer

I am interested in teaching non-credit classes about various computer skills in the community college/technical college system in Minnesota, and maybe elsewhere. This is part of a long-term strategy to find part-time work to supplement my full-time job now and my retirement income later.

So, I intend to interview at least one person who is teaching non-credit computer skill classes. I regard these individuals as instructional designers because they usually have to design and propose their own classes. The college may have a topic it wants to offer a non-credit course on, but it is up to the instructor to actually design and deliver the learning experience.

I would like to ask this person:

1) How do you gather information about the learners you expect to be in the class?

2) How detailed are the learner outcomes for the class? Does the college have to review and sign-off on them?

3) Do you have to come up with all learner activities? Do you design them from scratch or find existing materials, like a book or tutorial?

4) Do you have to test the learner's at the end of the course? Even if the college does not require it, do you go through some kind of assessment so the learners can prove to their employers (current or prospective) that their skills have improved?

5) How do you evaluate your course? A survey handed out to the learners at the end of the course? How do you use the evaluation to change the course?

I intend to conduct a face-to-face interview with the instructor, taking written notes and probably audio-taping the interview. I will transcribe the interview and prepare it for publication, probably doing some editing to clean up the grammar and improve the flow of ideas. I will make the interview available on my blog, probably as a pdf file attachment to a blog entry.

I may supplement the interview with an instructor by talking to one or more college staff members who organize and promote these non-credit courses.

Posted by burt0177 at February 20, 2005 4:16 PM