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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

IDET 8/30

My initial thoughts about Instructional Design are that I don't know a whole lot. This isn't a cop out, it's just what it is right now. After reading through the first chapter I have realized that a lot of principles are the same as what we call 'best practices' in education. I was introduced to the 'backwards by design' model when I started teaching and have used it ever since. I saw many similarities in the reading. So how does this fit with Instructional Design? I would say that first and foremost it is important to determine what your goals are for the the learner. How can you decide where to begin if you don't know where you want the learner to get to in the end. What is it that you want the learner to be able to do? After answering that question you can begin to decide how you get there, what skills will they need to have to reach the main goal(s). From there you need to write objectives that will explain what skills they should gain and how they will show competency. Next is to determine the assessments that learners will take to show their level of competency.

I'm going to stop here and say that while this makes a lot of sense, if you are designing a course you need to determine what the goals are, what skills you will need, and then how you will prove that you have these skills. The course then will be based around these items in mind from the beginning. You have the end in mind with the very first task/assignment and build from there to give the learner the skills necessary in order to meet the objectives and goals of the course.

While this makes sense I am certain that this is not always followed. I have participated in courses in which it seemed the material was haphazardly put together. There was no flow to the course, it didn't make sense why we were being asked to do certain things and one thing did not necessarily lead to another.

My beginning thoughts of instructional design are that I like this process, I like the rational, logical nature of building with the end in mind. Not only does it make sense, it is much easier to determine the process of getting to the end when you know what the end should look like. It is isn't some random puzzle pieces you hope fit together but a ordered process of building one skill upon another. In my opinion good instructional design looks natural, it makes sense, and the flow is easy to see.

I can see this being time consuming, but totally worth it. A lot of front loading that will pay off in the end. In other words, not the easier way, but certainly the most sure.