Instructional Design Initial thoughts

1.  What do you think the word “design” implies? What does “instructional design” means to you? How does the meaning change when adding the word “systematic” in front of “instructional design?”

When I think of what the word “design” implies in terms of my students, my curriculum and my experience with instructional design strategies, including the Backwards Assessment Model, I think of the words of author, Garth Stein, “That which you manifest is before you.”  In other words, to begin with the end in mind (that which I manifest) gives me a clear understanding of what my overarching goals are for my students based on their individual backgrounds, needs, learning styles, and communication skills. Furthermore, I envision what I want my students to know and be able to do, create goals and objectives based on the end result in the forefront of my mind, create formative and summative assessments to meet the enduring understandings that align with the common core standards, and then strategize or design my instruction and engaging activities. This entire process is my perception of instructional design, and applying the word systematic to instructional design enhances the legitimacy of the process because it implies that the process is methodical and consistent.

As I read The Survey of Instructional Development Models, by Kent L. Gustafson and Robert Maribe Branch (2002), I found that my philosophy of instructional design aligned closely with the 5 activities in the ADDIE Model.  I was enlightened by the fact that ID’s visually communicate by illustrating the procedures to students in order to achieve desired outcomes.  Overall, I definitely can enhance my instruction using this knowledge and applying different models depending on my goals and my students’ needs.

2.  Share your own experiences to illustrate your point(s) above. When you share your experiences, be sure to describe the process you use to design or create learning experiences for others. It does not need to be in formal learning environments such as schools or professional development courses.

In order to illustrate my points above, the experience I would like to share involves teaching a unit on The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.  When using the Backwards Assessment Model; first, I looked at the big picture and asked myself the following: What learning goals did I want to set for my students and what common core standards will I be able to align those goals to?  I find that sometimes this is the most difficult task even though I have been teaching for 14 years!  It is so valuable though because when my students ask, “Mrs. Mills, why are we reading this novel?”, I have an immediate answer because in the analysis of my material, I had to ask myself the exact same question; thus, I started with the end in mind.   One example of a goal or an enduring understanding for the unit (I had a total of four) was that I wanted my students to gain an awareness of the discrimination that existed between the Californians (specifically the farmers and the corporations) and the migrant workers in the events that followed The Dust Bowl.  I then aligned Common Core Standards, built in my assessments that were both formative and summative, and then planned my activities for the unit. I have this quote on my desk to remind me where to begin designing my units:  “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.  It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” (Covey, 1994)

3.  In your opinion, how does Instructional Design relate to Educational Technology?

I think that Instructional Design relates to Educational Technology because both facilitate learning and focus on improving performance.  In addition, both Instructional Design and Educational Technology provide teachers and learners with tools to conceptualize and communicate, use highly engaging methods, and provide for creative processing.

4. Share a short description of the topic you plan to work on for the required Instructional Design project in this course. 

  • The targeted learners-High School Juniors
  • The context of the instruction-Classroom
  • The topic of the instruction-After 1.5 hours of instruction, students will be able to create a 2-4 minute digital story.

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