April 4, 2005

Does the audience, content, environment, objectives, etc influence the methodology for instruction?

I have thought about this question a lot recently, because most of what I design is based around a behaviorist framework. Since behaviorism is the theory that I find myself least agreeing with, it is frustrating for me. I am in a corporate environment where taking a test at the end of a very prescriptive training approach is expected. Testing is almost a buzzword that is used as a sales point for our product. Unfortunately, the content that I have the quizzes is merely memorizing facts and regurgitating them to get the correct answer. This frustrates me because I know better. The problem is that I am not given a timeline that accomodates the creation of a more cognitivist or constructivist design. These approaches to no meet the objectives of my company for tutorial design. We have placed ourselves as the entry point to learning. Just the facts. We then expect that once the learner has used my tutorials, they will then have some hands-on training with the product and should be able to create a schedule from what they have learned in my tutorials. If I had an audience that was not limited for time, as stressed out restaurant managers are, I would design a more open ended design that would allow the learner to guide themselves through a more discovery approach.

Posted by lynch188 at 8:21 PM

March 29, 2005

Instructional Design - What is it? Why do we study it?

Instructional Design is important because it serves as a guide. My current job requires me to design instruction for tutorials based on our product. Up until this point (and I still struggle with this) I have been merely throughing things "out there" to be used and not paying attention to all of the necessary components, such as learner analysis and defining the need. It is a struggle to do things the right way when you are constantly being questioned as to why things aren't done yet. I even bought a mind mapping tool the other week and the owner saw me using it and questioned me as to how that would be useful to the customer. That comment made me very sad. There is little value placed on sound forethought in this company, which gives me an excuse not to do things the right way...and that is never a good thing.

Posted by lynch188 at 7:53 AM

Case Studies

Unfortunately I don't feel like all of the case studies are being reviewed with the class in a way that is effective. Many times we have merely reviewed the facts, but haven't taken that one step further to understanding how the facts affect the outcome. I don't feel we are spending enough time truely understanding why certain decisions are being made and why they are important. In the beginning of the course, I felt a better job was done at digging into the specifics and content that could affect decisions one way or the other. Now everything is rushed and doesn't seem as if real thought is being put into ID.

Posted by lynch188 at 7:48 AM

March 6, 2005

Methodology Used for Instruction

I definitely feel that the methodology used for instruction must change, depending upon the needs of the audience, environment, and objectives. A real-world example of this is my own job. I do not feel I am a staunch behaviorist, but most of what I design is based upon behaviorist principles. The reason for this is because my learners have definite concepts and skills that they must learn, within a short period of time. Therefore, when developing tutorials there isn't much room for learner exploration of concepts. There are demos, interactivity with skills, and a quiz. This is also what is demanded of the client. They want to test the learners knowledge. Whether that knowledge transfers to on-the-job training isn't part of the thought process for them. Most of the training departments I work, use my tutorials as part of the complete training package. They use what I create as the foundation. With this foundation they they have sessions to build and improve upon the learned skills. The clients training department many times allows room for exploration that would fall into the constructivist approach.

Posted by lynch188 at 9:26 PM

February 27, 2005

Role of metacognition - Does it help?

Metacognition has always been one of my favorite terms since my undergrad to be an el ed teacher. Thinking about thinking. It seems like an odd thought but really makes so much sense and is really the basis for why I am half on the fence of cognitivism and the other half constructivism.

I think it is important for teachers to help students understand this concept at a very early age and even more important that parents work with there children. Comments such as "Tell me the steps you took to complete that task", "What a clever idea! How did you develop the idea for it?" Getting students to understand what the building blocks were behind the their ideas. Therefore, if the idea proves to be effective or not effective, they know what they can change, if necessary for the future.

Because of my true belief in the need for metacognition, most of my friends consider me a bit overly analytical. Almost every situation can be analyzed and improved upon, whether related to work or home life. If overly analytical, you could develop into a perfectionist, which I have seen many times in students. I have worked hard on not being a perfectionist...because it is an unattainable feat!

Posted by lynch188 at 8:19 PM

February 18, 2005

Key Points of RWID Ch5

Chapter 5 discussed various delivery systems for eLearning. These types discussed were each addressed based upon their appropriate use, "The delivery mode and media assets are influenced by the context in which learners will receive the instruction and the context in which the client will deliver the content". The delivery options of synchronous or asynchronous were also discussed. Synchronous typically being the most effective, as it gives the opportunity for immediate feedback, thus the flow of conversation is not broken. The concept of formal vs. informal instruction is mentioned. Formal being more structured and classroom style. Informal instruction has broken the barriers of classroom walls and expanded into EPSS systems and larger knowledge management systems.

The ideas represented in this chapter coincide with my own views on delivery systems. I was particularly pleased with the learning event tables and showing examples of media types that are used to address various instructional activities. They help me to process any new information that I may be encountering and build on an thoughts that I may have already formed.

Posted by lynch188 at 9:52 PM

February 13, 2005

What does any of this have to do with teaching and learning?

Although every chapter of RWID that I have read has been extremely informative, I found this weeks readings to elicit a great deal of prior knowledge from me. The concept of chunking was always a very important concept to keep in mind when I was a teacher because I taught various grades. The concepts that categorized within one "chunk" would depend upon how much information was age appropriate for that grade to handle or perhaps based upon the personality of the class. I also focus on this idea when creating tutorials for my company. It is necessary to focus on the volume of new information the learner is being introduced to, but many times this volume can not be reduced, due to the complexity of the product. So a strategy I use is to include various concepts within different media. That way the learner can absorb the information, but it is not all in one format. There may be a graphic that shows the three types of cursors used in the product, but we only practice interactively with one.

Posted by lynch188 at 5:35 PM

February 6, 2005

What did you learn from the use of the case(s) and how do you believe it has assisted you in thinking about ID?

What did you learn from the use of the case(s) and how do you believe it has assisted you in thinking about ID?
This case seemed very applicable to many of the experiences I have had in the past in dealing with teachers and curriculum. It is very important that when discussing the methods they use in teaching their students you tread lightly. Teachers spend a great deal of time with their content and preparing it, at least at one time they did. Therefore, they don't enjoy the idea of recreating the wheel. On the other hand, teachers do what they do because they want to help others learn. So somehow the instructional designer must realize that the "client", in this case teacher, have the best interests of their students in mind. But they are also leary of a new type of training and don't want to redo what they have worked so hard at unless they know it will work. It is very important to always keep a positive attitude about the client and try to understand their reactions to your design, instead of becoming defensive. If you pay close attention to what they are really saying there is generally a great deal of insight they can provide to improve upon the end result of the project.

Posted by lynch188 at 9:04 PM

January 31, 2005

As an instructional designer, how do you provide learner analysis throughout all the phases of design?

I am currently creating a tutorial for one of our customers, based on the labor management software that my company develops.

Within the Define Phase I would first determine why the tutorial was requested. Why doesn't their training team implement the new software, as has been done in the past. I would then discover who I will be creating the tutorial for, managers, employees, trainers roling out software. What type of training has worked well for the learners in the past.

In the Design Phase, I would try to meet with some of the learners to to clarify what they see as needs in training. Then a description of the learner can be created and used in design docs.

In the Demonstrate Phase, the prototype will begin, making sure that what I am using within the prototype is appropriate for the managers working within the restaurants. Is the language used appropriate for the expected grade level indicator (generally told its at 6th or 8th)

In the Develop Phase, I continue to create the tutorial with fine tuning and check-ins with their project manager. I will give her weekly updates on the progress and ask specific questions regarding appropriateness for audience when they arise.

In the final phase of Delivery, the learners will have taken the tutorial and be able to provide feedback. If time is allowed, that feedback can be incorporated for a full scale rollout to the other sites.

Posted by lynch188 at 9:03 PM