EDU623: The Analysis and Design Phase

This is the second blog post of a four part series for edu623 Designing Learning Environments.  Today’s blog post focuses on some of the key components of the analysis and design process as well as different instructional models to consider when planning a project.

Analyzing and Planning

My final project for EDU623 will be to develop training using the ADDIE model. Currently, I am an Instructional Technology Specialist at Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Public Schools in Connecticut.  LOL has a long tradition of providing education that prepares students for college and professional career-based endeavors.  With a district of over 1,440 students serving a primarily Caucasian populous and a low student-to-teacher ratio, LOL “focuses on enabling children of all ages to reach full potential as scholars, artists and athletes of character” (“Lol at a,”).  With over 95% of graduates pursuing higher education, LOL seeks to continue this trend as well as meet new standards and requirements outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (“Lol at a,”).

Educators today confront many new obstacles.  With the introduction of a new teacher evaluation process and the arrival of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), teachers are facing new challenges under tremendous pressure (The Teaching Channel, 2013).  In addition, districts like LOL are encouraging teachers to incorporate technology into their everyday lesson plans and units of study as a tool to deliver these new standards. The issue, however, is that many educators at LOL lack the resources, ability or confidence to effectively leverage technology to utilize in the classroom. The main objective of this training would be to allow teachers to learn how Microsoft OneDrive could be used to enhance learning for students.  Specific attention would be given to file storage, file sharing and collaboration between students and teachers. With minimal experience using LOL’s Microsoft 365 portal, our teachers and students could engage in training to leverage this technology to foster communication, collaboration and responsibility.

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OneDrive allows for mobile access from Android, iOS and Windows.  (Picture used with permission from http://www.creativecommons.org)

Design Plan

I have also had the opportunity to research and learn about several different types of ISD and PM models throughout my experience at Post University.  Although there are several common threads they all share, I have come to believe that the best learning experiences stem from a strong, well thought out and detailed design plan in conjunction with a system that allows for evaluation and assessment throughout the entire process.  This blend of the two schools of thought allow for flexibility and change to occur for the betterment of the project/training.

Hodell (2011) states that the “…design plan serves as the anchor for the entire instructional design process” (p. 105).  Through a clear rationale, the designer can identify the purpose of the learning experience as well as the population or audience it might serve.  Supporting components of a strong design plan also include a description and clear objectives for the learning experience.  Further, additional components include: an evaluation strategy, participant and facilitator prerequisites and finally deliverables.  All of these components are carefully crafted by the design manager but also allow for flexibility and evaluation along the way.  Hodell (2011) aptly points out “Although the content will vary, the basics of great design plans never change” (p. 112).  Hodell is illustrating that the structure for which to deliver the learning experience may not be flexible, rather the actual content that makes up the design plan could be.  This is where I see room for evaluation to occur for each section of the design plan.

Other ISD models may have a completely different approach to planning and organizing for a learning experience.  For example, Gustafson and Maribe (2002) point out, “No single ID model is well matched to the many and varied design and development environments in which ID personnel work.  Hence ID professionals should be competent in applying (and possibly adapting) a variety of models to meet the requirements of specific situations” (p. 16).  With an understanding of the need for flexibility, Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino created the ASSURE model which is a classroom-oriented instructional development model that offers structure and stability for the k-12 environment.

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(Picture used with permission from http://www.creativecommons.org)

Reflection

Is one ISD approach “better” than the other?  I would prefer to look at the value and strengths of all of the ISD models and, depending on the content and audience, try to design the most appropriate learning experience that allows for flexibility and adaptability to best meet the needs of the participants.

Additionally and in contrast to both the ADDIE and ASSURE model, the PIE model has three essential components: Planning, Implementing and Evaluating.  Here, technology and media is leveraged to create and provide instruction.  In true socratic form, the PIE model is “…a shift from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered classroom environment” (Gustafson & Maribe, p. 44).  Computers can be used to enhance instruction and allow for the learners to investigate and engage in more problem-solving activities.  The instructor, therefore, becomes more of a facilitator rather than a disseminator of information in a controlled setting.  Creating an environment where learners are motivated and engaged also plays a significant role in the PIE model.  This model may allow for more evaluation by the designer simply because it is dependent on how the learner perceives and articulates the information from the learning experience.  Today, all of the information is available with a few clicks online.  It then becomes the teacher’s role to teach the necessary skills to work with that information and assist the students in creations that demonstrate learning.  I believe allowing students to ‘figure things out’ and collaborate to solve problems has tremendous value but is not occurring enough in the traditional setting.

References

Gustafson, K. & Branch, R. (2002). Survey of instructional development models. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.4h Edition

Hodell, C. (2011). ISD from the ground up: A no nonsense approach to instructional design. (Third ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: ASTD Press.

Lol at a glance. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.region18.org/page.cfm?p=476

The Teaching Channel. (2013). Transforming professional development for 21st century educators. The Journal, Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Whitepapers/2013/10/Teaching-Channel_Industry-Perspective/Asset.aspx

Additional Resources to consider

  1. Interested in flipping your classroom?  Visit http://ed.ted.com/ or www.educanon.com
  2. Check out a flipping example I created using TEDEd: http://ed.ted.com/on/AMVIoe7t
  3. Here’s an Animoto example I created to express my vision of how the ADDIE model works:   http://animoto.com/play/gspKNa28vEz4ewMIf0Tq5Q
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