When I began this course in Advanced Instructional Design, I expected to learn about the newest and most complicated ID techniques available. Instead I have been surprised to hear presentations on some very old ID models such as Merrill’s Component Display Theory, and some relatively simple models, such as ASSURE, demonstrated as examples of advanced ID.
What I am beginning to see is that there are some common elements to the selections presented in class. As I examine the elements and break them down, I might be able to analyze what makes an ID model advanced.
Student-focused: Pretty much every model that has been presented has had a strong emphasis on what the student is learning rather than what the teacher is presenting. In some instances, as in problem-based learning, the teacher actually takes on the role of a facilitator while the student takes charge of their own learning.
Engaging: Many of the models incorporated authentic learning, problem-solving, and/or active learning techniques to engage the students.
Non-linear: For the most part, the models presented were cyclical or systemic. Steps were not performed in a linear fashion but might be performed in any order and any stage of the design might branch to any other.
I doubt I’ve identified every common characteristic of an advanced instructional design, but for half-way through the semester, I believe I’ve learned a lot. I am looking forward to watching the rest of the presentations and also to getting feedback on my model.
The group project mentioned in this week’s assignment is an area of great interest but also of concern. I always enjoy working with my peers in this cohort. I have gotten to know a number of them. There is not a slacker among them. When participating in group projects I know I can count on equal contributions from everyone, and I get to enjoy multiple perspectives and insights and benefit from the experiences of others. This one has me a little concerned because I’m still unclear as to the parameters of the project. As of today, I still don’t know if we pick our own groups or if they are assigned. I have asked one class member to join me in a group on the assumption that we must pick our own. I don’t know how many people constitute a group, so I’m not sure how many others I should contact. I am unclear as to what the group project is about; what are we supposed to be producing together in our groups? I have gone through the syllabus and do not see any mention of a group project there. The only assignments mentioned are the advanced ID presentation and rough design draft, and then the prototype. Is this prototype supposed to be completed as a group? We all did separate presentations.
The prototype will be a lot of work but it will force me to at least on paper design the flow of the professional development course for faculty that I’ve been working on for months. It will make it a higher priority for me than it has been while the tyranny of the urgent has taken over at work. Just being in this class has forced me to think about the design and rethink it several times, so the class has been good for me. I believe the end result will be much more engaging and an active learning experience for my faculty rather than the long, boring series of “lectures” with a few practice sessions I’d originally been designing. I’m going to make this much more about them, present necessary information in smaller chunks, and allow them to make their own discoveries.