This course develops skills and knowledge related to the systematic design of instruction. Emphasis is placed on content analysis, instructional strategies, and formative evaluation.
Throughout the course, I learned the importance of being explicit during my planning. Every activity, every presentation must be related to the goals and objectives of the course. I tried to constantly ask myself, “Is this activity/slide/discussion helping participants meet an objective? If not, is it necessary?” Staying focused on the goals and objectives helped me ensure all the activities and information I will be presenting will be meaningful for participants. I really was able to focus on this during the Writing Learning Objectives assignment. It brought to light for me that objectives are not just for my students in the classroom but for all learners. The importance of a procedural analysis was also a key understanding I gained while working on the Instructional Systems Design project and Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, and Interpersonal Skills (KASI) Map. I regularly teach workshops for teachers highlighting specific websites. In the past, I would walk teachers through parts of websites and some of the procedures. However, I never thought to create a Quick Reference Guide outlining those procedures for them. It makes sense to provide it as a resource for once they left the workshop and were attempting to use the site on their own. That is why I created the procedural analysis in the ISD project as more of a handout for participants with screenshots and a step-by-step guide. I think it will allow teachers to be more successful as they are setting up their initial classes.
Another key understanding I gained is the importance of multiple assessments and analyses throughout planning. It was also the concept I most easily grasped. It is important to understand not only who the participants are and what their expectations and backgrounds are, it is also important to know what their administrators want them to learn as well. Why are they attending the course I have designed? Is is self-driven, an interest, mandated by the state/district/building principal? Knowing a participant’s motivation is very important when designing the course as it can give insight to their expected level of participation. I really considered this while participating in the small group Learner Analysis discussions. There were so many things I had never considered.
I found this course extremely valuable as I move into a career that focuses more on designing learning opportunities for other educators. The culminating group project gave me the opportunity to experience the creation of an entire workshop from start to finish. I loved that I was able to work in collaboration with other members of my class as we were able to share the load, constantly bounce ideas off one another, and make suggestions on each other's work.