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Reflections - EDLD 5368 Instructional Design

Posted by Hope Scott on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 Under: Internship
EDLD 5368  Instructional Design

Instructional Design is a course I really enjoyed, even though my grade does not reflect it.  I learned the basics of creating effective instructional design for online courses and professional development and the principles of instruction design. The assignments taught me a new way to approach instruction, in that I learned about designing a lesson with the end product in mind.
I learned from the Teaching Style Inventory (Texas Collaborative for Learning Excellence, 2007) that I my teaching style is both analytical and hands-on. I also learned that my learning style is auditory. This assessment surprised me; I have always felt that I was a visual learner or at least, equally auditory, visual, and tactile. Most of my students who completed the assessment were visual learners. One student I interviewed after the assessment said he now understands why he asks so many questions in math. He learned that his learning style is visual but the teacher's style of teaching did not give him enough opportunities to "see" the concepts. 
"Teachers who are learner centered recognize the importance of building on the conceptual and cultural knowledge that students bring with them to the classroom" (Branson, Brown, and Cocking, p. 134). All teaching should be student learner centered.  This does not happen in many classrooms.  As teachers, we recognize that students come to us with pre-conceived ideas and concepts about a subject matter.  I is up to us to correct what they know, and help them gain new knowledge that they will use in the future.
I also learned that I need to give students time to reflect and get feedback on what they have learned instead of moving from quiz to the next lesson.  "After receiving grades, students typically move on to a new topic and work for another set of grades. Feedback is most valuable when students have the opportunity to use it to revise their thinking as they are working on a unit or project. The addition of opportunities for formative assessment increases students’ learning and transfer, and they learn to value opportunities to revise" (Branson et.al., p. 141).   I find myself moving on to new topics and another set of grades. I agree that students need to have an opportunity to use what they have learned in a unit. I assign projects to help reinforce new knowledge, but usually move on whether project is completed or not. I do encourage peer tutoring and give extra points to students who help others. I do have students who refuse, and after reading the article, it may be that they do not know how to work collaboratively. 
According to Wiggins and McTighe (2000), some teachers believe their students should “really understand,” others want their students to “internalize knowledge” and yet others want their students to “grasp the core or essence.”  I learned that these terms relate to different levels of understanding. "Really understand" means that a student has read the lesson or unit and can answer questions regarding what has been read. "Internalize knowledge" happens when students have read and understood what is read and can apply this knowledge to complete assignments and quizzes. When students "grasp the core or essence" they can create something new by applying newly gained understanding of concepts. 
Before learning about backward design, I did "teach, test, and hope for the best" most of the time. "But at its worst, a coverage orientation—marching through the textbook irrespective of priorities, desired results, learner needs and interests, or apt assessment evidence—may defeat its own aims. For what do students remember, much less understand, when there is only teaching with no opportunity to really learn—to work with, play with, investigate, use—the key ideas and points of connection? Such an approach might correctly be labeled, “Teach, test, and hope for the best.” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 3). I have learned to design with the end in mind.  But, sometimes I do come up with projects where I see the end but have students who cannot grasp my design.  Case in point, I designed a final project (too many details to explain) that students balked at and complained because it seemed hard to complete.  Once they saw what I wanted, they enjoyed putting the project together.  I design with the end in mind, but sometimes I have to re-think my end projects. Backward design is perfect for CTE classes because have projects to complete, be it a recipe or a cabinet, or in my case, a Web site. The advantage, especially in CTE classes, is that the teacher already knows must be mastered before the end of the class. And, students' finished projects, recipes, cabinets, videos, etc., show proficiency. One drawback to this approach in designing instruction is finding projects that are not too hard for all students to feel successful at the end of the course. 
This year I incorporated more online education in my classroom. I began using schoology.com and continued to use edmodo.com for students to submit assignments. The students like the idea that there is a depository for their assignments.  This is important because at the end of the year they create an electronic portfolio of all projects completed during the school year.  My students loved schoology because it looks and feels like Facebook and edmodo because it is simple to use.  Of course I do not allow private conversations online.  
Learn as a Learner
I was able to share online communities with peers in my department.  All were ecstatic about not having to rely on flash drives to grade student work. I learned that my style of learning and teaching affect what my students learn.  I also learned that I need to give students more feedback on assignments and allow them time for assignments to make sense.  My colleagues and I were able to share via edmodo.  
Lifelong Learning Skills
Principals, as the campus educational leader, must embrace online learning for it to take place on a campus. I learned that as technology leader, it is up to me to give teachers the extensive, hands-on training needed to implement online learning. Also, as technology leader, I would be responsible to help teachers from set up through implementation of new technology.  I now know that I will need to help teachers design their courses to include online learning. The business world is ready for a society of workers that is highly trained. This means that less money will need to be spent to train a person for a position. Industry expects our students enter the workforce with technical skills, including familiarity with word processing software. Online communities also prepare our students to think globally.   "Advances in technology have changed the workplace in a dramatic way. Students graduating from high school need highly technical skills to be competitive in the job market, and up to 85% of all jobs in the future will require at least two years of education beyond high school" (College Tech Prep of Texas, n.d., para. 12).  
I will continue to integrate online learning in my role as a teacher. Online learning can also be integrated into staff development. Our campus has mobile labs. We also have 6 computer labs. It would be simple to integrate online learning as part of our staff development. The training should not be after school; most teachers are on shutdown mode and ready to go home. I think online learning would have to happen during the summer or on staff development days.   Some questions I would pose for future research are: How will students benefit by the online community?  What is the learning curve for implementing the new online environment on campus or in the classroom?  Is there a cost associated with this technology?  Is it secure?
Bransford, J., Brown, A. and Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school: Expanded edition. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9853 
College Tech Prep of Texas. (n.d.) What is tech prep? Retrieved from http://www.techpreptexas.org/about-techprep.html
Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence, (2007). Teaching style inventory.  Retrieved from http://www.texascollaborative.org/tools/TSI.pdf
Wiggins, G.  and McTighe, J. (2005).Understanding by design expanded 2nd edition. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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Tags: "instructional design" "understanding by design" 

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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