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Initial Thoughts on Instructional Design

June 6, 2012

I began EdTech503, Instructional Design this week. I expect it will be a whirlwind tour as I condense this course (and EdTech504) into an 8-week summer term.

The term design, as I read through Gustafson (2002) and assigned course readings, implies that the development of instruction takes place through a deliberative and reflective process. It is intentional with learning objectives as the driving force. Not only should design be present at the start of a process when formulating learning goals and strategies, but it needs to be present throughout and after the instruction takes place in order to evaluate and improve the quality of instruction in the future.

Systemic instruction design means first understanding the “big picture” of instructional design.  I was very interested in reading through the ADDIE Model, or more accurately, family of models, (Molenda, 2003) as an important approach to systemic instruction design. Systemic instructional design situates this process within a predictable framework, which can actually help to foster creativity.

As a librarian at a liberal arts college, my instruction activity varies widely throughout the academic year. During parts of the year I am extremely busy in the classroom providing research skill instruction to students at various course levels and majors. Often I hear from others that they think I simply create one basic instruction outline for all of the class sessions I teach.  But a General Education First Year Seminar class has nothing in common with a Nursing Research Roundtable class which features research collaboration between senior level nursing students and registered nurses from local hospitals. Therefore I spend a lot of time on design for each class session.  I do not formally design class sessions using ADDIE (not yet  anyway!).  Instead I discuss the objectives for the research skills session with the professor. I read through the syllabus and assignments. My objective for the class session, in addition to demonstrating library resources, is to help students scaffold their current research skill set into more advanced research skills.  For example, I may first show students how instead of searching Google, they can search Google Books, and then how the results of that search connect directly to the library collection.  I use examples that relate directly to their current assignment so that they can see the immediate benefit of the instruction. In addition to formal instruction, I also provide reference and research assistance to students and faculty. While this instruction is informal, one-on-one education definitely takes place. Therefore, I found the model explaining the relationships between education, instruction, training and teaching to be particularly relevant (Smith, Ragan, 2005).

In thinking about the relationship between instruction and educational technology, I believe that technology needs to be systematically utilized as a tool (dare I say, a resource) to improve instruction and learning outcomes.  It needs to be assessed and evaluated as any tool. In my role as librarian, I currently provide assistance with library resources. Through this MET program, I am coming to the realization that my role can and should expand to include the tools/resources used as part of educational technology as well. Indeed, I currently serve on the ipad user group task force coordinated by ITS and am starting to provide instructional sessions on the use of ipads as this technology rolls out to faculty over the summer and into the fall. This is actually the context for my ID project in this course.

My proposed project: initial proposal:
Group of learners: faculty on campus who have received ipads through the ipad faculty project, and are novice users. In a 1.5 hour workshop, faculty will be able to access and use library resources through the ipad. Following the session faculty will be able to: access and search selected library databases, download journal articles from library databses, download ebooks through an ebook app, and identify and use iannotate, goodreader, and notability apps for research.

Gustafson, K.L. & Maribe, R. (2002). Survey of instructional development models (Report no. IR-114). Department of Education.

Molenda, M. (2003). The ADDIE model. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Smith, P. L. & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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