May 3, 2005


It has been a while since my last blog. The past three weeks I have been really busy working on my final project and various other projects. Now that the semester is coming to a close I canít believe how much I have learned and experienced this semester. Wow has the semester went by fast!

I was fascinated by the different views that people brought to the class. For the ID final project I enjoyed seeing the different ways people created their projects and the models they used to produce the products. I learned a great deal from my final project. Many hours were spent thinking about the purpose of the product and what I wanted to create. I knew it was going to be a lot of work but I didnít expect that much, that and I didnít even go in as much depth as I could have.

I also found the case studies really helpful especially when I can relate to the person in the study. Some of the studies I had a hard time focusing in towards the end because they all seemed to be the same or experiencing similar situations but over all I ended the real life situations.

This was a great class and I would recommend it to anyone. The class can be used for people with many different interests which I really enjoyed. Thanks for a great semester Aaron!

Posted by sthielen at 9:36 PM · CI 5336

April 13, 2005

A solution?

This is follow-up from Case Study 19.

What do you feel the solution would be?

I think that Jean and Pat should work closely with each other on the project because of Patís experience as an instructional designer. Because they are both new they can also give each other support as they face the challenges ahead. I feel that the project should move forward. Towards the end of the meeting Harry seemed a little more convinced and because he is the department chair he will have to be one of the first people to get support from. By having his support it will be easier to get the teachers to implement the changes. As for Sam I think it is important to use his expertise so that he feels like he is a big part of the project. The teachers are the ones that need to support this project the most because they are the ones teaching the classes. If they do not agree with the changes or support them then the during the evaluation stage the results may be more negative thus showing that the changes was not successful.

I agree that this is a common case. In fact I have faced situations like this quite frequently this past year because I am new in a position and I am supposed to convince faculty to change some things to help our students. Getting support is a big part of it but also making the faculty feel like they are involved in the decision making is sometimes the most important.

Posted by sthielen at 8:29 PM · CI 5336

April 2, 2005

Working in Teams

Like any position, an instructional designer can face very challenging days at work. This past week in class my partner and I presented our case study and although we could have approached it in many ways, we decided to use the case study as a way to show what instructional designers face when working with a team of people on a project.

We did a hand slap activity in class which was designed to show how people feel when someone puts them down, makes them feel unappreciated, discriminated against, ect. This activity brought about many discussions on working together in teams and dealing with the people that can make our job very hard and frustrating. The point of the hand slap activity was that the more your hand is slapped, the more you feel miss treated, the more hurt you feel. However, someone thought that once your hand is slapped to much it goes numb. This is very true and in most cases we start to ignore the bad treatment that we receive. Another person made the argument that although our hand may become numb we may still have a calase or scare. Although we may be able to handle the pain, it doesnít go away.

When I feel like my hand it slapped I always know who my support people are. It is important to have people that are supporting what you do.

Posted by sthielen at 9:02 PM · CI 5336

March 28, 2005

Project- Based Learning

Who would have known that an egg could help teach me about project-based learning. Some of the best presentations, classes, workshops, etc. that I have attended have included projects like keeping an egg from breaking.

I have used projects as a way of teaching but never knew about the project-based learning model. Presenting a problem to an audience, seeing how they solve the problem and then seeing them learn from their peers is always exciting. Sometimes there is only one correct answer but in most cases there is always more then one way to solve the problem which shows the importance to working in groups.

This model allows the learners to play a part in designing how the learning experience will be shaped. For example, in a workshop I can split the learners into groups and give the groups the same task to complete. After several minutes of working in groups I can bring the everyone back together to discuss the task they were given and how each group decided to complete the task. At this point the learners may begin to shape how the rest of the workshop will go. If there is a lot of discussion I may have them go more in depth and see what the learners can take away from the discussion. At the same time I could have predicted how the discussion would go and based off of the topic I could have alternative activities or discussions planned. Although I did do some pre-planning the learners really shaped how the workshop would continue based off of the task they were first given.

Posted by sthielen at 9:05 PM · CI 5336

March 8, 2005

Methodoligies used for instruction

The audience, content, environment, ojective, etc. can play a big part in deciding what methodoligies to use for instruction. Once again it is all about your learners and what methodolgy will help the learners meet the students learning outcomes that have been set. In the classes that I have taken I donít remember a class that used the behaviorist approach. The courses that I enjoy the most are the ones that allow me to ďlearn while doing.Ē Hands on expereinces and applying what is learned in class through real-world situations work well for courses that are teaching multiple skills while also providing a learning environment that makes the material relevent.

Posted by sthielen at 8:49 PM · CI 5336

February 28, 2005


It is amazing how many meetings I attend and people always ask for ďthe numbers.Ē At a recent meeting I attended someone presented statistics and graphs showing results for a program we were evaluating. During the meeting we discussed the method of evaluation that was done and we realized that the wrong variables were measured and that the numbers did not show the results that were need to assess the program. Sam Gonzalesís case study did a good job at creating discussion about evaluation. When designing the program and throughout the instructional design model more attention needed to be made on how the program would be evaluated and assessed.

Posted by sthielen at 9:23 PM · CI 5336

February 21, 2005

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 of Real World Instructional Design by Cennamo and Kalk was a great chapter for instructors who are preparing for instructional delivery. Keeping the learnerís needs in mind, a instructor has many ways to deliver material. When thinking of learners needs an instructor should not only think about the different learning styles, knowledge/skill level, etc. but also make sure that the designs used can be used by all learners such as those with physical disabilities.

When looking at the different delivery methods the learners needs should always be considered. Delivery options can be formal or informal, given via distance or face-to-face, or asynchronously. I found asynchronous learning very interesting because it keeps the learners from getting bored or overwhelmed during the lesson, something that can be useful in a classroom with students at different skill level. The authors also discussed different modes of delivery such as classroom, Web, videos and performance support systems. The instructor not only needs to think of the learner when choosing delivery methods but also what kind of access he/she has. Instructors can save some time by using teaching material created by others. Materials that have copyrights or need licensing to use must be taken care of before using them for instruction. Fair use is protection for educators but does not give them all access to material. Basically, be smart about what information is used.

If I where to sum of the key points in this chapter I would say they were:

1.) keep the learnerís need in mind when choosing deliver methods.
2.) choose delivery methods that aid in teaching the material.
3.) more then one deliver method can be used.
4.) check for copyrights or licensing before using other peoples material.

Posted by sthielen at 8:04 PM · CI 5336

February 14, 2005

Recognizing Differences

When deciding on different teaching styles to use in the classroom or even in your own business, the teaching style you choose may impact people very differently, especially if there are culture differences amongst the class/group. This lesson was taught very well in the Iris Daniels Case Study.

There is a big need to do our homework. When we know we are going to conduct a meeting or hold a class that consist of people from many different cultures or backgrounds, it is important to be aware that others may not think the same or react the same to ideas, presentation, etc. In the case study Iris was just not aware that the problems were being caused by the large amount of diversity in the meeting. After Jim told her why she may be having some of the problems she had a better understanding of why there were problems. However, when a person knows there are cultural differences they should respect them and try to accommodate those differences to receive respect and positive feedback.

The world we live in is becoming smaller. It is our own responsibility to become aware of the differences and how we can all work together efficiently and effectively. If we donít become aware then we will face problems like Iris did in the case study.

Posted by sthielen at 1:48 PM

February 4, 2005

Keeping up

It takes effort to keep up with the latest technology. In class this week we discussed a very good case study about introducing a new online program that teachers can use when teaching. As a student and instructor I know how it feels when new programs are introduced. As a student I expect my instructor to know how the program works in case I have questions and I expect the use of the new program to go well with the purpose of the class. As an instructor I want my time spent on the new program to show benefits.

It takes a lot of effort on my part to keep up with the technology advancements. I am taking a class right now that is teaching me how to design a website. When talking to my younger sister, who is a junior in high school, she learned how to design a website as a freshman.

I think that it is important to continue growing professionally. Although it may seem intimidating to use technology or new programs like ďVistaĒ, it is important to consider studentís needs and new ways of teaching. Like most people, my problem is lack of time. If the benefit is great enough, it is worth my time but someone will have to convince me. I also feel that it helps when I am surrounded by others that encourage professional growth.

Continue reading "Keeping up"
Posted by sthielen at 11:16 PM · CI 5336

January 30, 2005

A lot to learn

As an instructional designer, I realized how much I have to learn. I have always been aware of the different phases of design but after reading the required material and attending class I was able to put my actions into words and descriptions. By being more familiar with the process: Define, Design, Demonstrate, Develop and Deliver, I will know where in the process I am. The most important thing I learned is the need to repeat the process. When teaching a class I make changes from one year to the next but something I donít go through the whole process but just parts of it. For example, I am very bad at skipping the Define stage because I already think that I have defined the needs, etc. I should not skip over this stage because the needs of the students may change over the year thus affecting the rest of the process.

Posted by sthielen at 4:21 PM · CI 5336