Getting started – Instructional Design my own experiences

Write a reflection about your experience with instructional design as instructor, a designer, and/or learner. How do you understand the differences between advanced and basic instructional design?

As a learner, designer  and even an instructor I have seen the best and unfortunately the worst of instructional design.  As an educator I was asked to write curriculum on many occasions and while I am sure the design was not perfect, I believe that I was able to capture the essence of design that not only provided opportunities for growth, but allowed for creativity, application and even evaluation.  I continue to strive for that balance in my current profession.  As the my role has evolved, so has my approach to teaching and learning.  As I read the rapid instructional design book, I find common ground in my current practices.  I am able to conduct needs assessments to help build professional development and implementation plans that target current needs of the teachers as well as growth patterns that allow for building a model of sustainability and building capacity of knowledge.

As I think about my practices, some key ideas that I use when designing my instruction include:

I do, we do, you do model – teachers are creatures of habit.  If the examples that I use don’t meet their needs, content or curriculum areas, they tune out.  In my preparations for development, I ask very specific questions of the organizer — who is the audience, what are their needs, what is their current knowledge level.

Looking back, I know this was not anywhere close to what I did.  I just asked what time, what place, how long.  Not very good instructional design principals from the get – go.  In reflecting back, this model didn’t do anything but take up time.  Most of the time, I received emails and calls back because there was no level of knowledge acquisition.  It was mostly sit and get and leave.

Today, I also look at the context of the learning as well as the environment.  Sometimes, a face-to-face model is the best, but I have also begun utilizing a virtual environment.  I also consider the outcome and what are the experiences of the learner.  I try to develop a “safe” environment with open communication that allows the learners to feel comfortable and confident at whatever level.

I look forward to learning and growing as an instructional designer.  I like to think that I push my “students” to find connections to the content as well thinking beyond what is presented.  I think this is what advanced instructional design looks like.  Application of skills are also important to the design process and in my particular situation, I believe that building a strong foundation of skills build the framework of learning.