503 Instructional Design Project

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The following link provides a descriptive outline of my ID project.  The learning goal is as follows: A group of K-12 instructors and administrators will be able to effectively make online surveys and quizzes using Polldaddy, after they take 3 sessions of one hour instruction.  The document lists the AECT standards met with this project.

503 ID Project: Polldaddy


Instructional Design Concept Map

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It may look a bit like the chaos of Custer’s military stance at Little Big Horn (because there are arrows everywhere), but believe me there is organization in the madness.  This assignment had many layers which once compressed together, you get a concept map comparing four instructional design (ID) models with ADDIE.

PDF Version:  ConceptMapofIDModels                  Google Docs Version: ID Concept Map

So who is this ADDIE anyway?  Many specialists in the field consider her the core concepts within all ID models.  ADDIE represents analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate.  These are very active and threaded in many ID models, but the four that I chose are:

  1. The Heinich, Molenda, Russell, and Smaldino ASSURE Model: A great model for classroom instruction in general.
  2. The Newby, Stepich, Lehman, and Russell PIE Model:  A model specifically designed for the implementation of technology into classroom instruction.
  3. The Bergman and Moore Model for interactive multimedia:  A model that considers how technology can be developed for learning environments.
  4. Smith and Ragan Model: A systematic approach to creating instructional strategies.

Since we were given the liberty to develop the concept map based on the four models that we chose, it is logical that my classmates would have likely chosen other models or represented the same models in a different way.  Based on my observations, I found one model similar to mine in that the four represented models were not interconnected for the most part.  One of my colleagues clearly showed four models but managed to find a way to connect them together while at the same time they connected to ADDIE.  There was one other concept map that did not clearly show which four models were being represented.

Since ADDIE can be considered like the back-bone of instructional design, I decided to place it like a vertebrae in the middle of the page.  This gave me easy access to the concepts as I laid out the more specific steps within each model.  The color coding was designed to associate each element with a specific model, therefore you see some elements repeated.  I decided not to expand the page when I started so therefore many of my elements had to be contracted into smaller spaces.  I alluded to common elements within each model which could have been a way of showing an interrelationship between them, but since each model was designed with a specific instructional strategy or goal, I felt it was best to keep them separate.

The layout of ADDIE on the page practically forced each model to be represented in a linear fashion, but not all models are meant to be linear.  Even linear models can have a circular need when revision requires new analysis.  If the concept map was able to focus on just one model, I could have more liberty to show how the train engine relates to the caboose.

Gustafson, Kent L.; Branch, Robert Maribe, (2002) Survey of instructional design models. fourth edition, Eric Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, Syracuse, NY.
This Assignment Completes the following AECT Standards:
  • 1.1.b Identify a variety of instructional systems design models and apply at least one model.

  • 1.1.c Identify learning theories from which each model is derived and the consequent implications.


    1.1.3.b Demonstrate personal skill development with at least one: computer authoring application, video tool, or electronic communication application.

  • 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.

  • 2.1.2 Produce print communications (e.g., flyers, posters, brochures, newsletters) combining words and images/graphics using desktop publishing software.


    2.1.3 Use presentation application software to produce presentations and supplementary materials for instructional and professional purposes.


Needs Assessment and Learner Profile

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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.

Instructional Design: Module one discussion

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In this assignment we were asked to read various descriptions and analysis of the concept “Instructional Design (ID)”.  Most notably, we considered general purpose and function of ID and the theories and models that guide it.  Due to the many variables that affect the effectiveness of ID, an array of options have developed over time to support the different opinions and and emphasis.  Though ID has accrued some criticism because of it’s never ending attempt to present a standard method for instruction, most people that work in any kind of instruction or education field realize that all models of ID have the same goal, distributing instruction as effectively and efficiently as possible.

In addition to the reading, I was asked to respond to the following questions

  1. What do you think the word “design” implies? What does “instructional design” means to you? How does the meaning change when adding the word “systematic” in front of “instructional design“?

The word “design” is used by commerce in their job descriptions, by artists in their creation, and by philosophers (especially theologians) in their reason.  Despite the broad application of the word, it basically comes down to describing the process of making something with a purpose, or sometimes describing the purpose for which something was made.  Therefore, the word design implies that there is a designer and he or she has a purpose.  The focus of “instructional design (ID)” implies that a designer has some important information or knowledge that they want to transmit to other people, so they consider the best approach for passing the instructions.

Since we live in a world full of concrete and abstract ideas and skills, society has created a science and an art for disseminating information and knowledge; it is called instructional design.  The scientific and artistic aspects are forced to inhabit the same field of study, but not always in harmony.  The scientific branch of ID likes to apply the word “systematic”, hence you often see the term “Instructional Systems Design”.  This now implicates that there is a standard process that produces a standard result, or at least tries.  Furthermore, it supposes that there is a system that can be applied to a variety of circumstances that will promote the best learning outcome.  The artistic aspect of ID reminds us that learning does not always take place in laboratory with controlled variables, so we must modify or adapt our approach to the variables of the recipients or learning environment.

  1. Share your own experiences to illustrate your point(s) above. When you share your experiences, be sure to describe the process you use to design or create learning experiences for others. It does not need to be in formal learning environments such as schools or professional development courses.

Mostly, I have worked with students that have deficiencies in the English language or deficiencies in cultural context of information.  During my work in public school in Texas, I was trained in one popular ID model called Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP).  This is a linear model that emphasizes 8 components that spans lesson preparation, delivery, and assessment.  One key component is building a background knowledge, which constructs a learning foundation before you ask the learner to interact with new ideas.  Of course this model works well for teachers because it assumes you already know your students and their level.  Though it did not train me to develop curriculum, it did give me a good system to follow for constructing lessons.  However, the nature of my teacher role varied from year to year, so I never was able to build upon previous lessons.  This is why I was constantly adapting or modifying my strategies to fit the learner profile, which is why I can relate strongly to the artistic aspect of ID.

  1. In your opinion, how does Instructional Design relate to Educational Technology?

Last semester, I read and wrote about digital inequality, which refers to the unequal access and knowledge of technology.  Many people in education are putting the fight against digital inequality at the forefront of their missions and goals.  They recognize how this gap in knowledge and experience will limit people from interacting with society and if society does not confront this, it will put them at a disadvantage on the world stage.  This is just one aspect of educational technology, but it does assume that there is crucial technology knowledge that needs to be disseminated throughout society.  Furthermore, there are specialist in ID that are determining the best way to educate the masses and to give them appropriate access to technology.  On the other hand, many instructional designers realize that technology could  serve as a medium for transmitting instruction that may not be strongly related to technology, therefore, they kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by transmitting important knowledge while the learner is appropriately interacting with technology .

  1. Share a short description of the topic you plan to work on for the required Instructional Design project in this course.

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.

In this assignment, I developed the following AECT standards:

  • 1.1.b Identify a variety of instructional systems design models and apply at least one model.
  • 1.1.c Identify learning theories from which each model is derived and the consequent implications.

Instructional Design Job Description

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This is my first assignment for Ed Tech 503, Instructional Design.  Right away, it appears that my professor wants to either challenge or measure my current ideas of instructional design.  As a teacher with more than 10 years of experience, I was surprised by how diverse the concept of instruction can be.

We were asked to research and evaluate three job postings that specifically focus on instructional design with an emphasis in technology.  I discovered that many of the listings were for companies rather than educational facilities.  The fields of specialty were also very diverse among the companies.  This shows that almost every facet of society requires instruction and an efficient method for delivering that instruction.  Listed below are the three job postings that I selected.

After reading through these job descriptions, I was asked to put together my own pseudo job description for an instructional designer.  Probably the most difficult aspect of this was imagining a company with a service or a product at its core.  In order to complete this assignment I had to push aside some of the business notions that would ideally be established already.  Therefore, I set out with the idea of circulating instruction and design in general educational apps, always keeping in mind the necessary skills of the applicant. Below is my job description.

Lastly, I was asked to give a complete response to the  three reflection questions listed below.

1. What are teachers expected to do that instructional designers are not?

Throughout my teaching years, I have developed many survivor skills to help me juggle all the tasks that are expected of me at one time or another.  Lesson planning is probably one of the most time consuming tasks because it requires so much purposeful thought.  It is a skill that I continue to develop, but in a nut shell it is determining what the students need to know, how am I going to transfer that knowledge, and how am I going to check for understanding.  My current concept of instructional design is very similar to this layout.  However, when it comes to the lesson plan delivery, I have faced many challenges .  The most eminent challenge is what teachers and administrators refer to as “classroom management”.  I must admit that it was an underestimated necessity when I first started teaching, but in time I have sought a number of ways of managing my class with organizational skills and imposing general expectations on the students.  Based on my experiences, classroom management is probably one of the biggest measurements of a teacher’s effectiveness.  None of the job descriptions for instructional design mentioned anything about classroom management.

2. What are instructional designers expected to do that teachers are not?

Facetiously, I could say that teachers are expected to do everything, therefore nullifying the question.  But seriously, it almost seems like a trick question because the teachers’ role is so diverse and they are measured by so many variables, including designing and implementing instruction.  Admittedly,  I have yet to deepen my understanding of instructional design, but it appears that this type of role is more focused on the analysis of the instruction across many different professional fields and with a variety of ages to consider.  Though instruction is at the heart of both instructional design and teaching, ideally the instructional designer would be more of an advocate of the instruction, where as the teacher would be more of an advocate of the student.  Perhaps this view is short sighted, but based on what I have experienced in schools, when a student does poorly, there is more attention given to the teacher’s intervention rather than the instruction.  We are asked question like, “What have you done  for this student to help him/her succeed?  The instructional designer probably won’t have spoken with the family about the student’s struggles, they will focus more on how they can make the instruction more effective.

3. What are the three major differences between a teacher and an instructional designer?

Answering this question feels a bit like skeet shooting at night, but yet I will still attempt to hit the target with my answers.

The word “training” probably does not do justice to describe instructional design nor teaching.  However, from a layman’s perspective, that word seems like the best synonym for instructional design, whereas teachers are rarely called trainers.  Just to clarify, I know there is much more to instructional design than just training.  I hesitated even mentioning the word because I knew it probably sounded just as bad as when Jo Smo says that all teachers are just glorified babysitters.  So as a teacher, I know how important an instructional design is, even though I haven’t seen the whole picture yet.

It seems like an instructional designer may impact a broader audience and cover material more intensely than a teacher.  Teachers have the same students every day for several months and the flow of information is continuous, so many times teachers will teach general concepts.  Even though I am expected to transfer both knowledge and skill, many times my instruction is regarded as something the student may or may not be able to use in life.  I always try to make it as relevant as possible, especially since I teach based in literature and tie it into life experiences.  So as a teacher I know how my lessons are just one step in the learning process, but the students usually don’t think that way.  To them, my instruction is either interesting or boring.  On the other hand, the role of instructional design in many cases is to make instruction the most practical possible and for the recipients to apply it immediately.  With technology this type of instruction can be distributed over great distances and at indistinct starting times.

In case my first two responses seem superficial, I will make an attempt to go deeper with my third response.  After reviewing the job descriptions, I noticed that the qualifications for instructional design require more specialized knowledge and skill.  Administrators are always looking for a complete package when choosing to hire someone, including other school administrators.  Generally speaking, the minimum requirements for a teacher are less than that of and instructional developer.  Take for example the skill with technology; even though state and federal capacity standards are continuously rising for teachers, the basic level knowledge is still much lower than what is required of most people working with instructional technology.  In considering this factor only, you could say that all instructional designers could be teachers, but not all teachers can be instructional designers.

With this assignment I believe I meet the following AECT Standards:
  • 1.1.3.b Demonstrate personal skill development with at least one: computer authoring application, video tool, or electronic communication application.
  • 1.4.c Describe and/or document specific learner characteristics which influence the implementation of instructional strategies.
  • 2.3.4* Incorporate the use of the Internet, online catalogs and electronic databases to meet the reference and learning needs of students and teachers.