Rubric to Evaluate Online Course Syllabi

My Workshop Schedule

Photo taken by Sandra Rogers

I’d like to share my schedule of face-to-face workshops that I’ll be giving this school year. I work at the Innovation in Learning Center (ILC) at the University of South Alabama. They host ongoing professional development workshops for faculty and staff for online teaching.  I work for the ILC as a graduate research assistant. My work includes designing, developing, and delivering professional development to faculty to support student learning. If you live in the Mobile area and work at an institution of higher education, you are welcome to attend one of these workshops. Additionally, graduate students in instructional design and development at USA can attend, as long as they register in advance. There are many more listed at the ILC website.

My 2013-2014 Training Schedule at the ILC:

  •  Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay:  Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 9/6/13
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/19/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 9/20/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​,​ 10/11/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Relay: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama, 10/23/13
  • Emergent Technologies: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 10/30/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/3/13
  • Sakai 101: Communication Tools: Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama​, 12/12/13
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: Innovation in Learning Center (ILC), University of South Alabama (USA)​, 12/18/13
  • Making Instructional Videos with Camtasia Studio, ILC, USA, 2/3/14
  • How to Make Your Online Course Accessible: ILC, USA​, 3/31/14
  • iClickers, ILC, USA, 4/15/14
  • Sakai 101: Gradebook, Tests & Quizzes: ILC, USA, 5/30/14
  • StudyMate Author: ILC, USA, 6/16/14

 

Sandra Rogers

Synopsis: Instructional Design in Business and Industry

Acronym: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation

Note: This is part V in a series of summaries on instructional design articles. 

Tracey, M., & Morrison, G. R. (2012). Instructional design in business and industry. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 178-186). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall

Tracey and Morrison described the role of instructional design (ID) in business and industry.  They explained the multiple roles instructional designers embrace on the job: instructional design, human performance technology, training, and solving organizational problems.  In the private sector, instructional designers work as the sole designer, team member/leader, or as an external designer/consultant. Since the 1980’s, there has been a steady growth in the area of ID in the business world. The increase reflects the emphasis placed on improving human performance at the workplace.

The authors discussed three different types of constraints that affect the design process: contextual, designer-related, and project management versus instructional design. Potential contextual constraints include lack of time and resources, the locus of control for decision-making, and ineffective tools and techniques. Designer-related constraints include perceived necessity, philosophical beliefs/theoretical perspectives, and expertise.  For example, expertise sometimes is a hindrance if the expert only relies on their mindset for the instructional design process instead of collaborating with others.  Lastly, large projects cause difficulty with the time involved in the systematic instructional design methods; therefore, those facing this type of constraint should consider delegating a specialist or delegate to oversee the process instead of burdening the general project manager.

They mentioned four methods to achieve ID goals more quickly and efficiently:  designer-as-researcher, rapid prototyping, technology-based training delivery, and advanced evaluation techniques.  In my opinion, each method could be used with most ID projects in the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (ADDIE) phases.  For example, the designer-as-researcher utilizes foundational theory and research-based practices to design the instructional framework, instructional strategies, and learning process. Rapid prototyping is used in the developmental phase to help inform the ID team of any glitches. Technology-based training delivery is used in the implementation phase to cut travel costs, etc. Lastly, the advanced evaluation techniques is used in the  evaluation phase to inform the redesign, as needed.

Synopsis: Managing Scarce Resources in Training Projects

Presenter at white screen giving a presentation
Professional Development

Note: Part III in a series on instructional design articles. This photo was taken of Sandra at the Juvenile Justice Education Institute during her presentation.

According to Goldsmith and Busby, effective management decisions are based on an understanding of resource scarcity and supply and demand. There are three types of resources: people, time, and money. Scarcity occurs when the demand exceeds the supply. Supply and demand refer to an economic condition. Understanding the economic cycle between supply and demand is important for an instructional designer. For example, they should be aware of the stages of an economic cycle: growth, peak, decline, and trough. They also need to know what solutions organizations will take to address economic changes and how these will affect the overall performance of an organization and each individual.

The authors described the various characteristics of an economic cycle. For example, we are currently in an unstable environment because of the fluctuations in the stock market, the volatile housing market, and high unemployment.  This is the dynamic cycle of our economy that affects every organization.  The cycles are difficult to predict and are unclear until after much time has passed, and the stages have been plotted. Hence, the economic cycle is unsmooth and can cause lag (good lag and bad lag) for a training program, a new products invention, or with the new technology purchases.  An example of a bad lag in the economic cycle would be the economic dissonance of creating a new product when the demand has already waned.

Goldsmith, J. J., & Busby, R. D. (2012). Managing scarce resources in training projects. In R. A. Reiser & J. V. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends & issues in instructional design & technology (3rd ed.). (pp. 126-134). Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.

Synopsis: DOD Handbook on Instructional Systems Development

Note: This is part two in a series of synopsis from articles and documents that I have read regarding instructional design.

Source: DOD; Brad White
Source: DOD; Brad White

Department of Defense (2001, August 31). Instructional systems development/Systems approach to training and education (Part 2 of 5 parts). Washington, DC: Department of Defense.      MIL-HDBK-29612-21.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Handbook serves as a guide for solicitations of evaluations of training or responses to training solicitations. Instructional designers are urged to follow the instructional systems design (ISD) and systems approach to training (SAT) prescribed in the handbook; however, the actual sequence of events can be altered if deemed necessary. ISD and SAT both use the systematic process of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation process for producing an effective and efficient outcome.  The SAT is geared toward the system functions such as management, delivery, and support. Therefore, SAT focuses on mission analysis: collective tasks, job analysis, individual task analysis, and training task analysis. While the ISD generally focuses on the development of instructional programs; it does recognize that instruction is not always the solution. Part of the ISD/SAT process is to determine if noninstructional solutions are possible.

A major component of the ISD/SAT process is continuous improvement. The formative evaluation begins during the analysis phase and continues throughout the design and development. Furthermore, it is carried over into the field trials and into full implementation through a procedure for process improvement. Steps include defining the problem, analyzing the cause, identifying solutions, implementing and monitoring changes, institutionalizing these changes, and repeating the continuous improvement cycle.  A simple way to monitor a process is through the chart it/check it/change it stepwise process. The DOD suggests using the Shewhart Cycle as part of the ISD/SAT for quality assurance. The cycle is very basic with four steps in the process: plan an approach, do the activity, check the results, and act on the results. It is an iterative process.

In my opinion, I appreciated the simple language and the various definitions provided by the DOD Handbook. I felt like I could follow these guidelines to respond to a solicitation for training by a military branch. I noticed that the military used the acronym of ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) to describe the ISD/SAT components but did not use the term, as ADDIE is not an ISD model. I plan to use some of their clear definitions for my course work. Moreover, I am interested in obtaining the rest of the parts of this manual for future reference, especially their media specification requirements.

Gagne’s Format for Designing Effective Training

Even after his death, Robert Mills Gagné continues to be one of the most influential contributors to instructional design.  His work with the US Army Air Corps  was instrumental in aiding the military during World War II to screen aviation recruits effectively and efficiently. This work led to the first edition of The Conditions of Learning in 1965, of which he would revise five times throughout his career. In this seminal book that combined behavioral and cognitive psychology, information processing model, and the general systems theory, Gagné provided a format for designing effective training by correlating internal cognitive processes with that of external instructional activities.  Moreover, Gagné proposed three new aspects to learning: conditions, domains, and instructional events.

His conditions of learning theory identified five major categories of learning, their correlating internal learning conditions, and nine events of instruction to address them. Gagné’s theory is based on the need to align the various types of learning with instructional events and conditions for acquisition of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other learner characteristics.  His quest was to facilitate learning by analyzing the act of learning itself. For example, Gagné developed a learning hierarchy to address complex intellectual skills, in which he proposed which events should be addressed first before proceeding to the next—a sequence of instruction. He believed that simpler tasks, prerequisite skills, should be learned before advancing to more complex ones. Through his systematic analysis of instruction, he started with the overarching aspect of learning domains.

Gagné categorized learning into five learning outcomes: verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills, and attitudes.  Verbal information refers to data we store in our memory and recall as needed.  Intellectual skills refer to intelligence, achievement, and problem solving abilities that make us competent.  Cognitive strategies are defined as self-monitoring such as metacognition and strategizing to help us learn, think, and remember. Motor skills refer to learning capabilities that involve the mind and body. Attitudes are personal attributes and characteristics that affect how one learns, as well as their understanding of epistemology.  Clearly, each of these types of learning produce different human performance outcomes; therefore, Gagné studied the behavioral and cognitive conditions for each category that led to a learning event.

Gagné’s nine events of learning provided a process for designing instruction; one that is steeped in behavioral learning theories such as providing learners with objectives, learner expectations, cueing with a stimulus (gain attention), as well as positive reinforcement (feedback). However, it also included cognitive learning processes such as scaffolding (learning guidance), enhancing retention and transfer, and the overall fact that he was correlating internal mental processes with external learning events.  The nine events of learning are as follows: gain attention, inform learners of objectives, stimulate recall of prior learning, present the content, provide learning guidance, elicit performance, provide feedback, assess performance, and enhance retention and transfer to the task.

In conclusion,  his quest was to facilitate learning by systematically analyzing the act of learning itself. Gagné’s instructional events have been widely adopted for instructional design purposes in multiple disciplines.  For example, K-12 school systems utilize his instructional events as a framework for lesson planning and evaluation.  In addition, the military, who was first influenced by Gagné’s work during WWII, continues to utilize his conditions of learning theory to produce effective training.  Nowadays, his nine events of learning are ubiquitous in the field of instructional design.

Reference
Gagné, R. M. (1985). The conditions of learning. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.