Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Importance of Strong Instructional Design

Engaging instructional design is often overlooked and support for teachers in both the K12 and post secondary environment. Consider your target market’s needs, capacity, and purpose. Be specific and include visuals. Instructional design is a process that must take into account learning styles, hardware and accommodations. Reflection and evaluation assist us in evaluating ourselves and can be used as an effective tool to go back and rethink approaches. Visuals and recordings that instructors can utilize after direct training is helpful. Take time to ask questions, develop research, and build relationships with both local and global communities. Bichelymeyer (2005) discussed in “The ADDIE Model” – A Metaphor for the Lack of Clarity in the field of IDT. There is a lack of instructional design focus and instructional leadership within both the K12 and post secondary environment. This course has exposed me to literature, theories, and resources that I can now implement within my community.

The instruction design that I focused on what implementing the New York Time’s Content Repository Project Share for student research purposes. Direct instructions was given to a Language Arts teacher on how to create a lesson plan that implements research materials from the Content Repository. The evaluation method utilized survey monkey along with direct feedback.

The overall experience was very positive. Visual aides do help for reference and the teacher commented on how it is helpful to have a handout to refer to after training. However, I think including more information regarding ideas or instructional examples on training aides to focus more on the learning component instead of the how to use the content repository would be a better approach. An approach that utilizes not only step by step how tos but also instructional examples might help teachers better understand why this resource is beneficial. My training centered on how to use the system.

Why STEM? Why Now? Infographic from Washington STEM

Why STEM? Why Now? Infographic from Washington STEM.

Rethinking Instructional Design

As educators prepare to begin another school year, it is important for teachers to consider how they can rethink learning design and approaches to give students a fun and engaging classroom experience. How can you give students learning experiences that are fun and engaging that also promote self guided discovery, creation, and build meaningful connections? How could you rethink learning centers to promote higher order thinking and discovery?

1. Build A Global Network of Resources: It is important to reach beyond resources within your district and build a global personal learning network. Social media outlets like pinterest, twitter, google+, and linkedin allow for educators to meet top experts, like minded educators, and leaders in the field. Facebook is great for communication within your existing learning community, but it is limited in scope and resources. Connect with you community and bring them into your classroom. All stakeholders will appreciate having a part in the learning process.

2. Ask Students: Ask students the first day to think about what they would like to learn and build a positive relationship with students at the very beginning. Be creative, ask students questions, show your passion for your subject, and generate discussion.

3. Include Critical Thinking Components: Build creative learning designs that encourage students to think critically. Standardized approaches do not offer this element and standardized testing alone will not give students this opportunity.

4. Differentiate learning design to accommodate a variety of styles to accommodate all learners.

I have compiled a few resources to help teachers build a 21st century learning community.

Instructional Design Theory and Process
Integration Tools For Instructional Design
Top Resources for Instructional Design
Ideas for Instructional Design
Critical Thinking Resources