Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Innovations with IDT

My vision for e-learning contains three parts: student learning in a blended environment,  student learning in a web -based classroom,  and professional learning among classrooms. I see so much potential for students to have more voice and choice in  their learning. They could work part time jobs,  accelerate their schooling, and have more flexibility to pursue their talents and passions. With e-learning for educators,  money and time can be used more effectively.  Teachers could have support through the year in implementing initiatives and interact with peers for support. I'm very interested in the idea of blended learning because I think it could help students prepare for online learning in college while still building soft skills in real time settings. 

Learning objects appeal to me because they make implementing e-learning more feasible and practical.  They could also help my school district ensure some consistency in expectations.  We implement something similar in our staff web sites.  There are templates we can pull from and certain minimum requirements we must have displayed on our page.  Other than that,  there's room for freedom and creativity. 

Web 2.0

We currently have a percentage of district personnel on Twitter.  I think that we could be much more effective at sharing resources and inspiring each other if more personnel would jump on the bandwagon.  I'm also an advocate for students learning to use social media to share their learning and ideas for the world.  This could help them learn the positive power of Web 2.0 technologies.


These technologies are certainly capable of saving time and money.  I think quality is very important and IDT professionals must protect their field by keeping the caliber of learning in mind. I think there is three capability to learn more,  faster,  and with more collaboration than ever before.  However,  we must tell the story of how e-learning is changing so that the field continues to stay relevant and innovative. 


Ethics play a big role in K12 education.  It's important to consider culture,  language,  access to technology,  and schema when planning for e-learning.  I think it would be wise to have a panel comprised of different stakeholders to discuss ethical issues in the application of learning technologies.


R. Reiser and J. Dempsey, "Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology(2012)." Boston, MA: Pearson.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

IDT Knows No Bounds


Reflections on Instructional Design & Technology
Week 4

The Various Fields with Application for IDT.

Business and Industry

Corporations are motivated to pursue effective instruction because it translates to profits. Often, consultants from the IDT field are brought in to identify and solve problems with people and processes. Like military work, culture can have significant implications in instructional design. Language and tradition impact how businesses operate and can create problems for businesses. IDT professionals may experience pressure to make business faster and cheaper. This could provide some frustration if the professional felt that the business decisions made went against their expertise. Here, as in other IDT fields, relationships and negotiation skills can facilitate the work of IDT professionals.

Military

Work in Instructional Design in the military requires a willingness to comprehend and appreciate the unique culture of the military. This would be more extreme than merely different companies and it would be important to take that into consideration before accepting work with the military. There were also demands for knowledge beyond what IDT education prepares students for. This work necessitates additional and ongoing professional development for effectiveness. The military work provided a rewarding sense of accomplishment due to engaging work and the opportunity to develop a wide breadth of IDT experience.

Post-Secondary Education

The changing landscape in IDT at the collegiate level was explored by authors from the US, Australia, and Japan. In each country, there is a struggle for balance between content and pedagogy. From Japan, Nemoto expressed his struggle to balance demands placed on him due to his expertise, the passion he has for research, and the work he committed to in blazing the trail with an entirely online university. Though Nemoto was positive about the growth in IDT in Japan, there was a tone of frustration interwoven in his explanation of his role in the field. I infer from Nemoto’s writing that a career in IDT can mean that you wear many hats simultaneously and must weigh your personal goals against those of the institution you serve.

Australia senses the impact IDT can have and shows support as a nation through federal funding. That sends a powerful message and likely contributes to a culture where innovation and the marriage of content and pedagogy are celebrated. Albion and McDonald spend a considerable amount of time in collaboration where they facilitate partnerships of content and pedagogy experts as they begin units. As the practitioners become familiar with the flow of unit design and implement feedback, they are increasingly independent. From their explantation of IDT in Australia, Albion and McDonald give the impression that Australia lies ahead of the curve in the IDT realm.

The United States presented a different set of challenges for Dempsey and Litchfield. They stressed the importance of forming relationships so that professors will open up to the trainings they provide. Both descriptions of IDT work in the US alluded to a hierarchical system where “freshmen” are the most captive audience and tenured professors avoid vulnerability and growth.

While practitioners from the three nations discussed challenges and frustrations in their work, they each seemed very engaged and motivated by parts of their work. Some themes that arose were relationships and empowerment. In order to affect change in instruction, we must first have a window into the learning which is taking place. People need to trust us in order to be vulnerable about their practice. The more symbiotic relationships described in Australia demonstrate how IDT can benefit students, professors, universities, and research. Empowerment was demonstrated as IDT professionals expressed how they felt when learners were thriving and when instructors reached increased levels of independence and flow in their unit design. The work of IDT professionals in the three nations developed potential in colleagues rather than maintaining control over their knowledge base.

Reflection

I identified with the cultural implications that affect work as an instructional designer. Each school district and campus has their own culture. An IDT professional must come in and listen and watch to gauge how best to affect change. Sometimes, I may have to deal with a principal who is territorial with teachers or who doesn’t agree with district initiatives. I truly enjoyed reading about IDT in Post-Secondary education. There exists such potential to bring subject matter experts together with learner experts. I would like to see a shift in my position as I seek to bring teachers together who are learner experts and subject matter experts to capitalize on their strengths for the good of students. While there is no official tenure system in place anymore in K-12 public education in Texas, there is a hierarchy of teachers with more experience. Though many are fantastic, growth-minded teachers, some are cynical and resistant to the work of instructional designers.

Global Trends in IDT

The United States could benefit from further consideration of how culture and language impact instruction. We have experienced wave after wave of immigration and we cannot ignore the implications of language and culture on design, nor should we. From Korea, we can draw inspiration for developing global solutions to issues facing learners and instructors. Even in this, we as IDT professionals have the opportunity to model collaboration and innovation. If we do not collaborate, we will waste time and money.

It seems that Europe maintains the posture that learners should be driven by extrinsic motivation. Learners must value the work or they will not carry the learning past your course. I found that, by taking away homework, my students learned more at home than they had in previous years. They spent time researching and creating, reading, writing and teaching. I have spent time training other teachers on the beauty of a classroom where real world problems are discussed and students work to solve them.

Though there are teachers in the US pursuing rigorous, meaningful, problem-based learning, our system does not deserve credit. In Texas, the standards serve as mire that teachers get stuck on and lose sight of the vision. We need to be educating students to be the people we would be honored to work and live with. Our country and world have a lot of problems and we need to give kids more time to struggle through meaningful problems so that they develop skills to cope with this process (p21.org).

Bibliography

Tracey, M and Morrison, G (2012). Instructional Design in Business and Industry. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 178-185). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Bratton-Jeffrey, M.F. and Jeffrey, A.(2012). Instructional Design Opportunities Military Education and Training Environments. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 187-96). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Albion, P., Dempsey, J. Litchfield, B., McDonald, J. and Nemoto, J. (2012). Five University Roles for Desinger. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 218-228). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Georgecuoros.ca

www.p21.org

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Program Evaluation and Human Performance

Reflections on Instructional Design & Technology
Week 3

Evaluating Programs & Human Performance


While different evaluation models are suitable for considering the impact of instructional design, I find Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method (SCM, page 101) intriguing. His model requires the evaluators to survey a population or sample population to identify outliers. The outliers are those who experienced either increased levels or diminished levels of performance when evaluating a specific tool. After analyzing survey data, outliers respond to an extensive interview, sometimes by phone. They identify strategies and supports which led to their success or implementation issues which paved the way to implementation failure. This model appeals to me because the instructors respond to the survey and the interviews, and it identifies those in an organization who push the organization forward. Often, they will provide honest and helpful feedback because they are growth minded and want to see the organization succeed. Instructors also provide tweaks that can further leverage the instructional tool. When we analyze data after a summative assessment, we identify the teacher outliers. We discuss what additional variables might have skewed the data, and then we drill down to how specific teachers interpreted lessons or intervened differently. We have been able to use this approach to increase teacher and student performance significantly. I feel that this model could have some drawbacks. Sometimes, outliers don’t know precisely what they did that worked or didn’t work. It may be necessary to conduct observations to comprehend their approach to implementation. Overall, Brinkerhoff’s SCM provides a manageable, strategic model for evaluation and evolution of instruction.

Another model which applied to my new role as a curriculum designer was Patton’s Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE page 102). Patton’s method required ongoing evaluation and response until successful implementation is achieved, and then more evaluation about the process. As a curriculum designer, I am stepping into a mountain of work and there are many factors, apart from the curriculum itself, which will lead to my success and the successful implementation of this curricula. My first consideration is personalities and politics. I must establish rapport with campus principals in order to gather the data about what their campus (or specific teams) needs to facilitate implementation. I must identify teachers from across the district who could be key in paving the way for successful implementation and those teachers who may attempt to undermine implementation. These teachers can identify specific strengths and shortcomings of our current units and help set goals for improvements. They will also help carry the goals out in their classrooms and communicate with their campuses regarding goals and progress. We will look at district summative data and also feedback to determine the success of carrying out our goals and why certain campuses were more or less successful in implementation. This process will be carried out annually because our district sees curriculum as a living, breathing tool created with and for teachers aimed at propelling student learning. I will be revisiting and reading more about U-FE as I carry out my role and self-reflect on progress made in ELAR curriculum implementation.

Questions in Evaluation


The questions asked in evaluation of instruction should always involved the learning and the learner’s engagement, but I believe there are other responsible questions which facilitate analysis of instructional tools. Our district asks, “Will this lead to the graduate profile?” The graduate profile represents the vision Prosper ISD has for preparing students not only with knowledge, but with civic responsibility, collaboration and communication skills, and the ability to solve increasingly complex problems. This question helps us consider the level and breadth of learning that need to occur for students to become people who will contribute to the economy and society. I think having a question centered on the vision of your organization is crucial so that you avoid losing sight of the big picture.
We also evaluate tools based on their cost. In public education, waste presents a huge risk. The more costly a tool, the more carefully its impact will be tracked and supported.
Another question we raise involves how parents and community members will respond. We understand that these stakeholders must buy in if we are to successfully implement new tools. Often, there are parents, students, and community members present at proposals to help gauge the reaction of those groups. This can help us have a more robust picture of what barriers there may be to implementation.
Research cannot be left out when considering evaluation. This helps us to avoid repeating mistakes other similar organizations have already learned from. It can help us hone down on which areas of our organization to focus on evaluating most urgently.
We are also very focused on innovation as an organization. We feel that this will continue to grow our brand to attract teachers and families to our schools. When considering effectiveness, we will value innovation as a measure of success. However, innovation alone falls short. The instruction must be innovate and effective in producing high levels of learning and engagement.

Non-instructional Solutions to Performance Problems

Reader’s and Writer’s Conferences are commonly known as best practices for increasing student achievement. However, it seems that teachers across our organization are not systematically implementing these tools. I perceive some barriers at the root of this issue. Teachers are not convinced that these practices really will generate results. Teachers feel insecure about their ability to carry out these conferences. Lastly, I think these trainings occur in a lump at certain busy times of the year rather than in a systematic way.

I think we could have a short but engaging session during teacher professional development to present the “case” for implementing conferences for instruction. We could present data and a couple of engaging case studies in the form of videos. Then, we could train key ELAR teachers a month or so into school. They tend to be passionate about improving reading and writing and will have likely spent time thinking and planning how they might do this in their classrooms. Part of this training could be conferences, which administrators use as incentives used to recognize forward-thinking teachers. I could meet with those teachers on google hangouts to discuss implementation ideas and issues. We could use social media to share examples, links to articles or blogs, and to remind teachers about the importance of small group instruction. This approach applies both performance support systems and informal learning. I considered a knowledge management system, but I think sometimes we build those and they aren’t used because they aren’t built by teachers. It would be wiser to begin gathering support for implementation of Reader’s and Writer’s Conferences and then ask teachers to reflect on which supports were most impactful. These could then be catalogued for future use. The whole concept of re-valuing our human capital can be seen in schools in Professional Learning Communities (Rosenholtz 1989) and  Understanding by Design (McTighe and Wiggins 1998). Professional Learning Communities consider the collective value of teachers and capitalize on their tacit value to improve learning for all students. This approach helps teachers refine their craft, collaborate, and problem solve together. Understanding by Design theorizes that teachers who truly comprehend the key goals of instruction will facilitate more effective learning. Both of these models value human capital of teachers and supporting their professional growth. This section was the most fascinating portion of the text thus far!

 



Bibliography

Johnson and Dick(2012). Evaluatlon |n Instructlonal Deslgn: A Comparlson of Evaluation Models. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Stolovitch(2012). The Development and Evolution of Human Performance Improvement. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Nyugen (2012). Performance Support. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Rosenberg (2012). Knowledge Management and Learning: Perfect Together. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Reiser, R.A., and Dempsey, J. (2012). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Boston, MA: Pearson.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Epistemology and Where I Fall

Reflections on Instructional Design & Technology
Week 2

Epistemology and Learning Theory Delineated

My underlying convictions as an educator impacted my reading about the foundations of IDT significantly. However, I acknowledge the benefit of broad understanding of learning theory in shaping my views as an instructional designer. Therefore, I have been engaged in epistemology over the last few days as I have studied different theories, methods and models of learning. Epistemology is more about the 10,000 foot view of Education and I feel it's very important to our field. Teachers often discuss the pendulum effect in education where initiatives come and go with regularity and may reappear if you teach for several decades. This effect could be felt less often by teachers if we considered educational theory and historical contexts rather than making decisions only based on our current situations. Epistemology articulates our hunches as educators or highlights fallacies in our thinking.

Epistemic Stances

The topic of racism arises often in my third grade classes. Our community evolves and morphs with each passing year. As a Contextualist, I would disagree with the Positivist whether he/she said minorities were better or worse than the current white majority. I would also disagree with the Relativist who might comment that it depends on which minority you consider or where they are from when you evaluate their character. As a contextualist, I would argue that racism exists due to the context individuals were raised in. In certain cities and among certain circles, racism is highlighted as evil and rooted out. However, in the case of my parents who were from the deep south and lacked educational opportunities, racism was ingrained. A student in my class this year reflected at the end of the year that her perception of white people changed in my class. She was raised in a traditional Asian family to think that all white people were lazy and sneaky.
I remember my Freshman biology class vividly. My church youth group was studying apologetics, or the ability to defend your beliefs. My very talented Biology teacher was requiring our class to write research papers on evolution. At the time, I didn’t believe in evolution. I was functioning in Positivist thinking. As a dedicated student with a lot of respect for my teacher, I wrote a very thorough report on Creationism. My teacher appreciated my conflicting viewpoint and my diligence in researching. I really felt torn about that assignment, but I was probably more engaged in that writing than any other assignment that year. I’m not certain what my instructor’s epistemic stance was, but I believe she was a Constructivist. I think she intended to challenge the thinking of a lot of conservative small-town kids by making us research something that contradicted the teachings of our churches. As I mentioned, she was a great teacher!

Epistemology and Problem Solving

In considering problem solving and learning, I have some very applicable experience. I spent time working with children with special needs who were also English Language Learners. We applied the behaviorist ABC model where instructors study behaviors in order to reduce or increase their frequency. A stands for antecedent, B is for the behavior (what the learner did), and C for the consequence the learner experienced. We might apply this analysis model when a child was a runner or when they had an emotional outburst in class. This behaviorist approach is about outside forces working to program the learner to perform.
In stark contrast, I was preparing to receive a new special education student into my class mid-year this year. I had an orientation with my campus principal, the student, and his parents. We discussed his personal feelings about school, his preferences, and their family goals for their child. My goal could have been like the ABC approach where I programmed him to act in ways that teachers and adults felt more comfortable with, but this goes against my belief about meaningful learning. I set about giving him a vision for the goals he had shared with me and coaching him as he worked to test and implement his own strategies for having a healthy school interaction. In some ways, this constructivist approach to solving problems is more difficult because it involves things we cannot see- a learner’s thoughts and feelings. I didn’t have control of those things as his teacher. However, I felt that the best thing for the child was to give him the motivation and self-efficacy to succeed in our classroom but also in life. My student was very motivated to grow and thrive in my class. Did he have some rough moments? Yes. However, I was there to support him through them and cheer him on when he accomplished his self-defined goals. I didn’t program a human robot, I helped change a boy’s mind about himself!


Bibliography

Driscoll (2012). Psychological Foundations of Instructional Design. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Wilson(2012). Constructivism in Practical and Historical Context. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Hoadley and Van Haneghan(2012). The Learning Sciences: Where They Came From and What it Means for Instructional Designers. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Keller and Diemann (2012). Motivation, Volition and Performance. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Reiser, R.A., and Dempsey, J. (2012). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Definitions and Theories of Instructional Design and Technology


Definitions and Theories of Instructional Design and Technology



The change in IDT which impacts the field the most is the shift to the human element. I appreciate that all hope is not place in the technological advancements, but in human advancements. As we are improving our craft, we are able to make wiser decisions about the implementation of technology. Rather than beginning with the new tech, we begin with the target for learning and consider how to most effectively facilitate learners in reaching that target. The past seemed more focused on building and updating technologies. The definitions were also burdensome with some trends. I think that the evolution of the definition has brought more clarity to the field over the past several decades.


My personal definition of IDT is that: Instructional Design and Technology refers to a process in which educators and stakeholders determine learning targets, consider past practices and obstacles, provide professional development, evaluate best practices, implement effective instruction, and reflect on their practice. The process is facilitated through the use of a myriad of technology to collaborate, facilitate, and communicate learning. This definition evolved from coursework as an undergraduate, years as a young teacher, and most recently from an amazing PLC (Professional Learning Community) I have participated in. I value the use of technology which allowed my team to collaborate, research and plan as well as the application of technology in my classroom. I think that my definition has changed due to my own experience, but I feel that the authors helped me to articulate that shift much more clearly.





My PLC collaborated on a math unit which is typically a dry review of all TEKS at the end of third grade. We discussed data from our benchmark assessments and CFAs (common formative assessments). Another concept we considered was student engagement and behaviors in the last weeks of school. So, we planned a May Math Madness unit where students would review and extend our lowest math standards in engaging, mobile ways. Students traveled around with a ticket to different stations. At the station, they would write the learning target in their own words, participate in highly engaging math activities centered around the goal, and then reflect by writing how they had demonstrated the application of that standard at the station. Our team helped each other as we planned the activities, and those of us with more experience assisted newer peers in planning their stations. This lesson series adhered to the six characteristics because the design was centered on student performance and engagement, students monitored their own progress toward their clearly defined goal, we required application of the knowledge rather than a quiz or test, we measured outcomes, made corrections on a station after the initial rotation, and worked as a team. Each lesson was delivered six times as the classes rotated through and the lessons had different instructors (homeroom teachers) each time. The best part of May Math Madness was that students were having such a blast while learning critical content.

video



Reiser (2012) distinguished teachers from instructional media because of the history of the effectiveness when teachers were viewed in that light: "Teaching and other forms of instruction are simply means to the end of learner performance. Thus, there may be no initial assumption that a live teacher is even needed for the learner to achieve the stated objectives (Branch, R. & Merrill, M. 2012)." I think there was a shift due to the lack of progress until interactive technologies were focused on. I disagree with this stance because I feel that the approach could have changed rather than excluding teachers from consideration as instructional media. Some school districts like mine are choosing to focus their energies on growth-minded, innovative teachers rather than expecting everyone to come aboard to new ideas in the initial roll-out. I would not equate teachers with chalkboards or texts because those are static and lack the interactive, responsive elements which were favorable in the computer technologies. However, Reiser and Dempsey's viewpoint (2012) highlights a danger in our profession. Educators must not be seen as replaceable but as invaluable in instructional design. The intention of instructional design is not merely to implement the use of instructional media, but to deliver learning results. If the media don't do that, we must go back to the design board. If the teacher is the ineffective "media" then we must provide professional development to change that reality.


Bibliography

Reiser, R.A.(2012). A History of Instructional Design and Technology. In R. Reiser and J. Dempsey's, Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (pp. 1-34). Boston, MA: Pearson.