The Process of Analysis – Messy Business

While textbooks make analysis seem very cut and dry, in reality, analysis can be one of the messiest tasks you can undertake as an instructional designer. If you’re lucky enough to have only one client, or better yet, to design instruction you are going to present yourself, you are still going to have misconceptions about the needs and abilities of your learners. You are not always going to know what resources are available to you, and sometimes resources you thought you had change in availability between the time of the analysis and the implementation of the project. If you have several clients, there may be disagreement as to the scope or purpose of the instruction.

One problem I ran into in this project was availability of my client. My client went out of town to a professional development conference for nearly a week, and was consequently out of touch. This has delayed my ability to complete the analysis. Due to lack of her availability, I had to obtain information for my initial analysis from other sources. The analysis was not as complete as I would have liked it, and it lacks my client’s sign off, which means it may change significantly if I discover that my understanding of her needs does not match her perceptions.

I do enjoy the process of designing learning objectives; especially those tied to the use and implementation of technology. This particular lesson will involve creation of an ePortfolio for educational administration students. The students will be taught the basic steps for establishing an account either on Google or WikiSpaces and then shown how to set up a Google Site or a Wiki on WikiSpaces.

While the project will allow for some leverage in creativity as the student designs a site reflective of their own personality, there will need to be some general guidelines set to ensure that students cover the basics of the assignment. Students will also want to use good organizational skills to make their site easy to navigate and to make it easy for prospective employers to identify their skills and competencies.

I will leave it up to the instructor as to which wiki site we will use for the ePortfolio, but my personal preference for flexibility and ease of use is Google Sites. The selected wiki will determine the instruction we plan for design of the ePortfolio. Additional activities could include a classroom discussion about what makes good organization on a website, a discussion about the benefits of online portfolios as opposed to a printed one or one stored in Blackboard, and a discussion about how to select samples of ones’ work to demonstrate competencies in one of the SBEC domains.

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