You can butcher it, tenderize it, marinate it, season it, and finally grill it, but when your vegetarian guest shows up for dinner, you know something went wrong.  Hopefully, this won’t be the case for my semester-long instructional design project.  I suppose it would help if you know what I’m preparing for the grill and who is coming to dinner.

The following is my initial statement for the instructional design project:

During a 3 session instruction of 1 hour intervals, a group of K-12 teachers will be able to produce and analyze student surveys and quizzes on Polldaddy.com.

With this goal in mind, the first two steps of this process is to conduct a needs assessment and perform a learner analysis.  The following responses address these steps.

  1. Identify the needs assessment condition your ID project falls into. Discuss the steps you will take to conduct the needs assessment for your ID project.

For my project, I had to consider condition B as well, but in the end I favored condition C.  Since the instructional design project is considering my current school, I am aware that there is a new online platform that the teachers will be required to use.  It promotes online interaction between students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  Therefore, my instructional project can be seen as an extension to something new, condition B, by giving teachers the knowledge and ability to incorporate Polldaddy.com into the platform.  However, the need is not yet at a compulsory level, so it basically falls into the condition C as applying a useful trend.

The innovation model would be the best approach for my needs assessment because the instruction is for teachers who are already familiar in the subject matter, but likely unfamiliar with the technology.  First, I need to question what are the goals of the institute in relation to the application of new technologies as well as current policies permitting the use of electronic devices by the students.  Second, I must consider the students that will benefit from the teachers’ use of this application.  Knowing strengths and weaknesses in student performance will help in designing the instruction with the goals of academic achievement.  Third, I must analyze how expectations will change for the teachers and the students.  This could involve questions concerning student access or the teacher’s method of record keeping. Fourth, I should explore what are some of the possible objections and who might state them.

  1. Briefly describe the learning environment where your ID project situates.

The instruction would be taking place in Saudi Arabia.  The culture of the learning environment is generally more informal and less structured than western culture.  The instruction, though organized,  must take into consideration the informality within the foreign culture and permit a certain amount of flexibility.  English is a common language, but it is not the first language among many staff, so the learning environment would likely have peer consulting in a foreign language.

The actual learning location will be one of the school computer labs.  The computers face toward three outer walls  and the presenter’s screen is on the fourth wall, therefore as they face the computer, the backs of the participants will be facing the the screen and the presenter.  The room is not equipped with a master control of all the computer screens in the room.  There is a table section in the middle of the room which would allow space for teacher laptops, however an extension chord would be required to provide electricity.  The room is equipped with a wireless signal, but the network speed is not up to the same standards as in developed cyber-countries.

  1. What learner characteristics are important to assess in the context of your ID project? What are some questions you plan to ask to obtain the information from you learners?

While considering the learner characteristics, I must consider the pupils of the learners as well as the traits of the learner.  Knowing how eager and willing student are to interact with Polldaddy will strongly influence the teachers’ interest and use of it.

Since the students in the school are the secondary target of the instruction, they can be observed primarily under the changing similarities, since they all are developing through a similar environmental process.  However the technological interest may vary among students, even though students seem to have access to technological equipment and the internet.  Polldaddy could be used to distribute an electronic survey among students and parents, focusing on the actual use of computers in home and electronic devices at school.

The target learners are the teachers.  Prior knowledge with web-based technology is an important focus of the learner characteristics, so this can be observed under the changing differences among learners.  There is also the cultural factor and language of the learners as mentioned earlier.  Most importantly, there must be an investigation as to the teacher’s comfort level or philosophy of using such a learning tool.

These are some of the questions I would ask:

  • Students:
    • What are your parents’ feelings/rules about using personal electronic devices in school?
    • Can you easily access the Internet from school?
    • Where and when would you most likely respond to Internet based questions?
  • Teachers
    • How much prior knowledge do you have with computers, the web, or technology terms?
    • How much knowledge do you have for making surveys or multiple choice quizzes?
    • What is your philosophy of students using electronic devices in the classroom?
    • How much do you believe that online questioning will improve the academics of your students?
    • To what extent do you believe this knowledge will improve you professionally?
With this assignment, the following AECT standards were met:
  • 1.1.2.a Create a plan for a topic of a content area (e.g., a thematic unit, a text chapter, an interdisciplinary unit) to demonstrate application of the principles of macro-level design.
  • 1.1.2.b Create instructional plans (micro-level design) that address the needs of all learners, including appropriate accommodations for learners with special needs.
  • 1.3.c Analyze their selection of instructional strategies and/or models as influenced by the learning situation, nature of the specific content, and type of learner objective.
  • 1.4.a Identify a broad range of observed and hypothetical learner characteristics for their particular area(s) of preparation.
  • 1.4.b Describe and/or document specific learner characteristics which influence the selection of instructional strategies.
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