Advanced Instructional Design

The book excerpt by Warren, Lee, and Najmi (2014) was a good review of the historical “periods” of instructional design. I especially liked how the authors related these periods to emergent learning theories of the time as well as to the prevailing technology. It was insightful to see how these two factors came together to popularize or generate a particular instructional design methodology. It was also helpful that the authors reminded us that these periods overlapped and that these instructional strategies are all still in use today. I was also interested to see simulations listed as an historical instructional design period. I would have categorized simulations as an advanced instructional design technique but this article categorized it not only as a basic technique, but one which was in the process of being replaced by a new paradigm.

In the article by Warren and Wakefield (2011) I see several mentions of more advanced instructional design methods, such as communities of practice and multi-user virtual environments. The second example of the use of Second Life as a virtual learning environment also addressed problem solving and touched briefly on some of the facets of problem-based learning.

While many of the advanced instructional design models appeal to me and I hope to spend more time working with multi-user virtual environments at some point in the future, for this class the model I plan to present is problem-based learning. There are several reasons I selected this model. First, I’ve already focused some research on this topic. Secondly, I think it is an overarching model that can be used successfully in conjunction with other instructional design models. For example, Warren, Dondlinger, and Barab (2008) participated in the Anytown project, which incorporated use of a multi-user virtual environment and problem-based learning to improve the writing skills of elementary school students. Another reason I’m interested in this model is that I am personally working on a project at work which incorporates elements of problem-based learning into the design.

I believe that problem-based learning has the potential to provide an authentic, engaging learning experience for students which can increase intrinsic motivation for learning. I also believe it can provide opportunities for learning far beyond the stated objectives, improving students’ problem solving ability, creative thinking skills, and ability to work collaboratively. These are some of the benefits to problem-based learning that draw me to this instructional design method.

Warren, S. J., Dondlinger, M. J., & Barab, S. A. (2008). A MUVE towards PBL Writing: Effects of a Digital Learning Environment Designed to Improve Elementary Student Writing. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(1), 113–140.
Warren, S. J., Lee, J., & Najmi, A. (2014). The Impact of Technology and Theory on Instructional Design Since 2000. In Spector, J. M., Merrill, M. D., Elen, J. , & Bishop, M. J. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 4th edition (pp. 89-100). New York: Springer.
Warren, S. J. and Wakefield, J. S. (2011). Instructional design frameworks for Second Life virtual learning. Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education, 4, 115–163.

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