Category Archives: Education

Launching DREAMS.. Reflections on NASA MMS Launch Events

Launching DREAMS.. Reflections on NASA MMS Launch Events.

Exploring Advanced Instructional Design iCARE, Blooms, and Backwards Design Models


Building Connections…

iCARE Instructional Design Model

Rhonda Ritter’s presentation on the iCARE instructional design model provides an excellent framework to utilize with secondary/post-secondary students.  The iCARE model, from my perspective,  builds strong connections to 21st century learning skill sets. iCARE consists of a simple and flexible design approach.  iCARE  (Introduction, Connect, Apply, Reflect, and Extend) provides students with  answers to why learning content is needed and how content extends to “real world” scenarios.  Students often need to extend reflections to a larger audience. Students who often lack motivation to earn or make the grade, and iCARE provides an external motivator that could push students towards lifelong learning.  Online learning environments offer a variety of collaborative platforms, and the iCARE model could easily provide learning communities an improved online environment to “showcase” and extended learning to a larger audience.

Backwards Design

Brenda Quintanilla provided a strong presentation on how the Backwards Design model improves instruction by aligning objectives to final outcomes.  Backward design suggests that learning design should should begin with  a final assessment in mind.  Backward design attempts to ensure that students meet the expected outcomes or course goals.   While I agree that aligning is very important, instructors must be cautioned to not “teach to the test.”  Drill and kill approaches often fail to inspire students to apply content to real world scenarios or approaches.  Goals are important, but assessment driven instruction can become repetitive.  Educators and instructors perhaps need training on best practices on using Backward Design approaches.  The following link can help improve Backward Design approaches.

Blooms Taxonomy

Christina Gilliam’s provided an informative review of how Blooms order of domain has shifted to include remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.   Gilliam’s presentation included key domain questions  and verbs to consider.

Integration and community approaches using technology can potentially provide differentiated instruction efficiently.  Training and coaching on best Blooms practices using technology will continue to be a high need.  Instructional designers can assist teachers with how to apply advanced instructional models using learning technologies.

Blooms Model applied to iPod/iPad Apps

Nice Wiki on Advanced Instructional Design and Learning Technologies

This image has been sourced from

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Considering How To Improve Virtual Learning

Connecting is key to experiencing positive LMS experiences.  Instructional designers must consistently evaluate content.  Often faculty lack time to revisit learning approaches, but improving the quality of online learning platforms is crucial to growing post-secondary environments.  LMS must be systemic and continually evaluated.  Far too many virtual courses develop a learning repository for students and courses are not viewed as unique experiences.  This often leads to feelings of detachment from both the learner and instructor.  Content may become dated.  Instruction often lacks meaning.  Building stronger connections requires both collaboration and evaluation of instructional approaches.   Faculty often do not revise courses in LMS environments.  Approaches to holistic and consistent instructional design is needed for all learning environments, virtual and face to face.

The Kemp Model


The Kemp Model is one approach to revising content within the learning environment.   The designer is free to begin with any Kemp Model element and instructors can be flexible as they do not have to present elements in any particular order.  Multidisciplinary approaches must be considered by faculty.  How can we reliably and consistently evaluate online learning environments?  How do we keep the element of creativity as we apply standardized evaluation techniques?  Models are tested.  Theories explain the whys surrounding learning outcomes and experiences related to an instructional model.

ARCS Motivational Design

The ARCS model appeals to me as it lends itself to a strong sense of community and student motivation.  Using experiences, visuals,  relevance, and strong collaboration exercises provide meaning. Satisfaction and confidence are two great elements for faculty to consider measuring.  The ability for users to form deeper short term and long term relationships is measurable.


Prototyping and Instructional Design Reflection

This week was a great start to learning advanced instructional design techniques.

Rapid Prototyping and Quality Matters

Whitney Kilgore’s presentation on Rapid Prototyping and Quality Matters was very interesting.  As a lifelong student and contributor in the online environment,  the recognition that quality matters is essential to the online learning environment.   It is essential for standards to be in place.  Rapid prototyping allows for simple navigation.  Quality matters is more than branding, as Whitney mentioned.  It is the overal experience that is most important to users and students.  Online environments are just now understanding the need for systemic learning approaches in LMS.

I Like the Idea of Prototyping.

Problem Based Learning

October Smith’s presentation on Problem-Based Learning was also enlightening as PBL engages students to critically think, reflect, and approach problems collaboratively.  Learning technologies foster communication by capturing applications to allow for students to research, process and contribute.  I view problem based learning as an instructional strategy, which is instrumental to developing critical thinking and creative skills.  

Exploring 5 E and Learning Technologies

What do you understand about instructional design from what you have read so far?

Instructional design is an evolving science.  The role of technology has increased the pace of learning, provided richness and depth to the learning process, and potentially gives learners an engaging experience.  Approaches to instructional design will continue to evolve as learning technologies rapidly evolve.  Global approaches and trends to research in instructional design methods will be interesting to follow.

What model will you present for class? Why? What interests you about it?

I am very interested in the effect of the 5E instructional design method utilizing learning technologies on middle school rural students.  Recent literature review suggests a need to explore the 5E instructional model and 21st century skills or learning outcomes.  New Designs for Elementary School Science and Health describes the BSCS 5E instructional model as phases  to include Engagement, Explanation, Exploration, Elaboration,  and Evaluation (BSCS, 1989).  

BSCS and IBM (1989). New Designs for Elementary Science and Health: A Cooperative

Project between Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and International
Business Machines (IBM). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Porandokht Fazelian, Abdolrarim Naveh ebrahim, Saeed Soraghi, The effect of 5E instructional design model on learning and retention of sciences for middle class students, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 5, 2010, Pages 140-143, ISSN 1877-0428, 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.07.062.
Keywords: 5E instructional design model- learning- retention- sciences

Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere


Wow, their physical learning place is so bright and colorful.  Creativity surrounding their environment.

Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere.

LoneStar TIA: Building Learning Communities

This week I had the privilege of  learning, collaborating, and leading discussions in Denton, Texas at the 3rd annual LoneStar Technology Integration Academy.  Dublin ISD brought 9 teachers to share on how Dublin is attempting to integrate technology to increase performance.  From the experience, many were inspired to hear our teachers sharing best practices, lessons learned, and integration approaches being utilized in a K12 CSCOPE environment.  I was very proud of our teachers, who took a step forward to become a leader.  Many were inspired.  In fact, one district left ready to purchase iPods to replicate Dublin Elementary approaches.  Biggest take aways were as follows.

  • Flip The Student:  Australian educational leader and expert, Phil Stubbs, discussion on how to best flip the classroom was excellent!  Flip is a structure, not a pedagogy, and requires the teacher to be engaging, active, and should be used as a motivator to get students to take ownership in their own learning community.
  • Lewisville ISD:  Associate Superintendent for Learning and Teaching, Dr. Penny Reddell and CTO, Barbara Brown,   challenged leaders to change their culture.  To be bold, brilliant, and to treat children as equal partners.  Do we encourage others to ask children, what do they want to learn?  An analogy to learning and playing the sport of golf really caught my attention and inspired me to think about how the sport of life-long learning compares to the sport of professional golf.  In Lewisville, leaders must be active learners in communities, as a pro gopher.  Every pro improves their game as they encounter new challenges.  The question always centers back to, “Are we on par”?
  • Keller ISD teachers shared how they are improving parental involvement with Ustream.  Parents are invited to watch the classroom 24/7.  Meetings, productions, and student presentations are recorded and uploaded to youtube for publications.  They have seen an increase in parental involvement, communication, and interest.
  • Denton ISD challenges 4-8 grade students using robotics.  Students are given the opportunity to participate in First Lego League competitive events.  Parents show a very high interest, and kids from all backgrounds learn to problem solve, build academic connections, and teamwork skills.

Dublin ISD teachers shared on the following topics:

  • Science + CSCOPE + iPod Touch = GREAT INTEGRATION led by JeriLi Thompson and Courtney Walker
  • Oodles of ideas for Algebra and Geometry Integration by Dublin High School teachers Lara Wilhelm and Ima Thomas
  • Partners for Learning: New York Times & Epsilen in Project Share by Dublin High School Teacher Desiree Jefferson
  • There‟s an App for That – The Bilingual and ESL Classroom, that is! Dublin Elementary Mr and Mrs. Rivera
  • iMovie Workshop: DISD Asst. Elementary Principal Norma Briseno
  • Building 21st Century Learning Communities: Desiree Jefferson, Mendy Fort, and Jennifer Miller
  • Experiences with Challenge Based Learning: Desiree Jefferson and Jennifer Miller
  • 25 Tools and Ideas to Engage, Connect, & Extend Learning to Communities: Debra Miller, Jennifer Miller, Cipriano Rivera, Serena Rivera
  • Steam TRAINing

Elementary School Pre-Medical Ideas and Resources

Elementary School Pre-Medical Ideas and Resources.

The Importance of Instructional Design

The value of instructional design and consideration as to how value is determined is a real issue and affects all levels of instruction.  As I work towards becoming an expert in the field of instructional design, I realize skill sets needed will include the following:  the ability to find solutions, new resources, and applications to real world scenarios, analyze information from diverse viewpoints, critical thinking, and flexibility.  After reading Dr. Barbara A. Bichelmeyer’s study, I tend to agree that instructional deign and the field of information science is iinterdisciplinary by nature.  However,  the need to understand how to analyze information and contribute knowledge and organizations will need quality experts to assist in IDT.

The effectiveness of instruction and quality of teaching must be addressed and modeling will be necessary for me to be successful in this field.  In addition, I think it is important to be an active learner and contributor for organizations and institutions to further the cause of increasing the effectiveness of instructional design.  Learning experiences must be meaningful and researching and finding new approaches, ideas, and methods of evaluation will be areas of research that I will need to work towards.  Also, understanding that change is part of improving the importance of instructional design.  How do we react to change?  How do we work towards producing positive change and participating in a movement to radically change the movement to using technology as an bridge or vehicle to give meaningful  experiences to increase instruction.

Last summer I coordinated a challenge based learning technology integration 2 day training.  The video created by educators participating emphasizes many of my viewpoints and attitudes towards 21st century learning approaches.

Dublin ISD Summer 2011 Professional Development

Student Digital Art Exhibition on NASA’s MMS 2014 and Solar Weather

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