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April 26, 2006

ID Model Reflection

Action Research: the reflection.

First off, I was glad that Stephanie thought of this as an idea since I'd never heard of this one before. It seems to me that this idea, whether or not it really is an ID model, is a formulation of what many teachers do all the time in the field. They may not always follow a "model," but this kind of thing probably goes on all the time in classrooms. Teachers often don't have time our resources to do many of the ID models in the course of their everyday work. Getting completely unbiased and removed analysis isn't always practical. This method allows seemless integration into their teaching and actually having the students knowingly participating can be a benefit. There is reason to believe that this buy-in can be a positive motivator.

I think it can be argued that this is either not a true ID model or perhaps a method that can be used within an existing ID model or learning situation. The point was raised about the difficulty of using this model as it can be problematic to get reliable performance data, which seems to be such an issue in education today. In any case, Action Research should be looked upon as another tool, among others, to improve learning. I also liked the idea that Stephanie brought up where in practice, results of Action Research were added to an existing knowledge base that many educators can draw upon. Action Research will have different applicability depending upon the situation, but more critical, even scientific analysis of the learning situation can have real benefits for education.

And also thanks to the class for the interesting discussion items; it was tough to go after the JuiceMasters!

April 24, 2006

Week Twelve: Artists v. Engineers?

First off, a big thanks to Charlie for running the class last week; it was fun and interesting to see some new stuff. I was aware of the ASL program/project he'd been working on as Simon H. had talked about it in a previous class. But this is the first time I'd really seen it in action and you can color me impressed. The interface is well thought out, seems to work well technically, and has been designed carefully with the learner needs well considered. Charlie had some great points about all the considerations they had to make when they built this thing. Very cool and I have no doubt that this will really go somewhere.

Another interesting thing he brought up was the question of where today's "designer" fits in with regards to being in the "artist to manufacturer" spectrum. Much of it seems to be dependent on the scope and nature of the product being worked on. Some things are done by an individual who does all aspects of the project where others have teams of people who are much more specialized. As with many things in ID, it's tough to nail it all down to a single model or job description and makes the case for people in this field to be as multi-faceted as possible, which conveniently falls into the area of being and indispensible employee in the work life. Learn the art, learn the programming/technology....it'll all be useful at some point.

April 18, 2006

Week Eleven: Technology, what's it really good for?

Hmm, this is probably week 12, but we didn't have class one week and I was sick another week...oh well, it's the thought that counts right?

I'm sure I'll have something better to reflect on after tonight's class, but for now other than continuing work on my final project, I have this tidbit.

Last week, I attended a meeting of the Educational Technologists Forum where they had a panel of students present to discuss the use of technology in their higher education environment. I believe they were all undergraduates. Much of the discussion was centered around tools such as WebCT, which is to be expected as we all pretty much have our likes and dislikes regarding this tool which is becoming more and more commonplace in our academic lives.

The point that was most interesting though was question put to them near the end of the session: Beyond convenience, which is in itself a reason for using techology, has technology actually changed or improved the way you learn here at the University? The students had made it clear that they all used technology, like most students today, all the time. It has become a part of their everyday lives. However, none of them could really come up with a solid way in which technology has changed the way they learn. One thing they could have mentioned was related to the way they communicate with faculty. Just having email to communicate between students and faculty has been a positive thing in many cases, but does it change the way they learn? I'm not sure, but it took me back to one of Aaron's good old "Great Media Debates." In particular, the debate over whether or not technology improves learning. Perhaps technology has changed they way these students learn, but they weren't able to recognize it. Or is it just another tool that doesn't make as much of an impact as we might think.

OK, enough of that, time to go do some IM and email!

April 3, 2006

Week Ten: Flying ID Monkees

Well, the Case Study assignment/presentation has come and gone. This one was interesting for me as it really had some different problems than most of the others that others have presented in class thusfar.

Davey Jones: What can I say about Davey? For one, if you rely on the case study, he doesn't seem to have any problems with the team he's working with. By that I mean there aren't any obvious political or communication problems with the group. Sure, they may not know exactly how to stick all of this mountain of previous company information into the respective buckets...and maybe this is the point. How do you do this exactly? The people on the team may have very different ideas and it's going to take some good management skills to make it all come together, especially in a company as large as the "Widget" company. I also don't have the foggiest idea how they would evaluate the EPSS they want to build. Perhaps there's something in the previous learning systems that would give them some guidence in this area.

We had a good time with the presentation and got some great discussions going in the groups: thanks class!

One thing that's coming to mind right now is the whole media selection part of my ongoing final project preparations. I get to a section of the module and start thinking of all sorts of media that could convey the material, but have gone back over things to the point where I have come to the conclusion that there are some things in an online learning module that can be over-produced with too much media. Some things may be more directly expressed by text with images and others do well with videos and interactive clips/Flash stuff. It's very tempting to overdo things and often a second/third look at the planning can give a bit of perspective. Not to mention all the case studies, readings, good/bad design topics, etc...but duh, that's the way it should work!