EDU624 Blog #2

 

instructional-design

When I first registered for EDU624 (eLearn Des Div Envir) I really had no idea what to expect.  I had taken many online classes and training modules as a student, but never have I ever been expected to create one.  Honestly, the idea terrified me.

Week 1 into the class I read over the course description and reviewed the course outcomes (something I had also not really given much thought to in past).  The outcomes read:

 

  • Learners will select and implement motivational strategies appropriate for a specific target audience, task and learning environment based on analysis of current, data-driven practice and research.
  • Learners will develop instructional plans, strategies, and materials in contextualized instructional settings (e.g., field experiences, training) that are appropriate for a variety of learner characteristics, including global environments and accommodations for learners with special needs.
  • Learners will implement design principles and models that support brain based learning by incorporating contemporary instructional technology processes in the development of interactive lessons.
  • Learners will demonstrate personal skill development by creating an effective, interactive multimedia lesson suitable for their eLearning environment.

 

It wasn’t until week 2, when I had to create my own learning objectives as they would come to relate to my eLearning project, that I realized how important these actually are and how truly important they would become.  One cannot merely create learning outcomes all willy-nilly like and expect them to be relatable.  There is real insight, reflection and thought that must go into the creation of learning outcomes so that they take into consideration all of the aspects of accessible eLearning (Carfora & Blessinger, 2014).

Accessible eLearning is so important to address before any instructional design project because it relates directly to the core of the project, the targeted learners and the expected outcome.  Any learning module that is not accessible to the intended learners is not a learning module at all.  Accessibility considerations, like physical and mental handicaps, must be considered in the universal design so that all learners have the ability and capability to participate without obstacles.

In week 3 I finally came up with an idea for my training module project, and I was really excited when I found out that it may actually be able to be used!  I was going to design an eLearning, self-paced, instructor free Customer Service training module for my fellow Financial Aid Advisors.  The idea was easy because we were currently struggling with the subject in our department specifically and it fell into line with the university’s desire to move towards a “Tribal Leadership” environment.

Tribal Leadership is…..

listening-for-tribal-stages1

Throughout the last 4 weeks of the module I spent a lot of time thinking about my colleagues; who they are, what they like, how to keep them motivated (Buckley & Caple, 2009).  What I realized is that, even though I thought I knew them, I had not really thought about the diversity within the group.  I needed to create a training module that would do so much more than just spew information and request feedback.  I would need to reach them on an individual basis; Christina, Joel, Tom, Matt, Stacey, rather than just as Post University Financial Aid Advisors.  Though we all have shared qualities that make us good FAAs, we are still individuals with our own strengths, weaknesses and learning abilities and preferences.  One type of design will not work for a multi-faceted group of learners.  Therefore, I had to design a module that would motivate and encourage learning from a vast array of personalities.

In conclusion, upon completion of this project I realized there is so much more that goes into designing eLearning courses than I first thought.  Concepts like Accessible Learning, learning objects, rich media, and interactive navigational design helped me to create an eLearning training module that was accessible to many diverse learners.  I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to actually distribute my training module to my designated group of learners, all of which returned positive results.  Therefore, I believe that I have been able to meet the expected outcomes for this course, and for that, I am extremely thankful!

Questions for discussion:

Have you ever had an opportunity to create an eLearning module?

In your experiences, what surprised you the most? Was there anything that you didn’t realize would occur?

Do you feel there is ever a time when eLearning modules are not appropriate?

Should eLearning modules be more mainstream in higher education or traditional college programs?

 

References:

Buckley, R., & Caple, J. (2009). The theory and practice of training. London: Kogan

Carfora, J. M., & Blessinger, P. (2014). Inquiry-based learning for the arts, humanities and social sciences : A conceptual and practical resource for educators. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.

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EDU624

Blog Post #1

I have been enrolled in higher education for more than six years now and I have learned so much in this time.  Now that I have completed my Master’s degree in Education I have enrolled in a graduate certificate degree program in Instructional Design.  I am only in week four of my first class but I have already learned so much.  Two concepts that I think really stood out to me thus far are The 10 Principles of eLearning and Human Performance Improvement and I believe this is because they both relate to my current career and learning situation.

Image result for Human Performance improvement

Human Performance improvement focuses on identifying certain opportunities and taking proactive steps towards continuous improvement.  In short, it is a means to an end of achieving improved results (Rothwell, Hohne, & King, 2009).  Training, much like the Customer Service Training module I will be creating for Financial Aid Advisors at Post University, are one way of achieving improved performance.  Although training has been considered to be time consuming and expensive to produce, I will be designing a much cheaper, easier platform.  Below is a great, but short, video that helps to explain the importance of using the Human Performance Improvement model and why it should be used in assessing the desired needs of a specific group.

Human Performance Improvement Model

(Simmons, 2015)

 

As I think back to my own learning experiences there was always one or two subjects that stood out as difficult.  But, then there were some that were taught by great teachers who were able to take this complicated subject matter and simplify it using tools like diagrams or demonstrations.  They helped me learn by reducing the cognitive load, and, as an instructional designer I will be responsible for creating courses that reduce this cognitive load, so that learners can focus mental energy on learning.  A good design will help to make this possible, and there are 10 design principles that should be used when creating an e-Learning module like mine.

  • Principle 1
    • Match the curriculum
      • The pedagogy should be matched with and aligned to the appropriate curriculum through clear objective; the relevance of content covered; the appropriateness of student activities; and the nature of he assessment
  • Principle 2
    • Inclusion
      • The pedagogy should support inclusive practice seen in terms of different types and range of achievement; physical disabilities that can be particularly supported by e-earning; different social and ethnic groups; and gender.
  • Principle 3
    • Learner Engagement
      • The pedagogy should engage and motivate learners. This engagement should be evident in an ethos of being both educational and motivating
  • Principle 4
    • Innovative Approaches
      • It should be evident why learning technologies are being used, rather than a non-technological approach which achieves the same end as effectively. E-learning should be fit for purpose.
  • Principle 5
    • Effective Learning
      • This principle can be demonstrated in a variety of ways; for example, by using a range of different approaches in the learning platform that will allow the student to choose one that suites her, or that can be personalized to her, or by satisfying a number of the characteristics of good learning (learner agency; learner autonomy; enabling or encouraging collaboration).
  • Principle 6
    • Formative Assessment
      • The pedagogy should provide formative assessments.
  • Principle 7
    • Summative Assessment
      • The summative assessments must be valid and reliable; comprehensible by teachers, learners and parents; able to deal with a range of achievment levels; and free from adverse emotional impact on the learner.
  • Principle 8
    • Coherence, Consistency & Transparency
      • The pedagogy must be internally coherent and consistent in the way the objectives, content, student activity and assessment match to each other. It must be open and accessible in its design.
  • Principle 9
    • Ease of Use
      • E-learning should be transparent in its ease of use.
  • Principle 10
    • Cost-effectiveness
      • Technology solutions need to be justifiable and affordable and the costs sustainable.

(10 Principles of Successful e-Learning, 2016)

Image result for 10 principles of effective e-learning

This next unit has been focusing on the actual design of the e-Learning module and I have learned that there is diversity in all groups even if it is subtle.  Therefore it is important to know and understand your audience, but also to know and understand the content, design and expected outcome of your e-Learning module.  It is not enough to simply throw some words down on a PowerPoint slide and expect everyone to understand and be able to apply the knowledge you are presenting.  You, as the presenter of this knowledge, must research and learn as much as you can about those you expect to learn from you.

 

My questions to you are:

What can learners do to ensure that their needs are met when approaching an e-Learning module?

Which of the 10 principles for successful e-Learning do you feel are the most important and why?

 

References

10 Principles of Successful e-Learning. (2016). Retrieved from OEB News: http://www.online-educa.com/OEB_Newsportal/10-principles-of-successful-e-learning/

Rothwell, W. J., Hohne, C. K., & King, S. B. (2009). Human Performance Improvement. Boston: Elsevier Inc.

Simmons, K. (2015, July 25). Crager.Cruz.Simmons.Wildcard_HPI.July.25.2015. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxUPlvcX-e4

Blog Post #2

instructional-design

When I first registered for EDU624 (eLearn Des Div Envir) I really had no idea what to expect.  I had taken many online classes and training modules as a student, but never have I ever been expected to create one.  Honestly, the idea terrified me.

Week 1 into the class I read over the course description and reviewed the course outcomes (something I had also not really given much thought to in past).  The outcomes read:

  • Learners will select and implement motivational strategies appropriate for a specific target audience, task and learning environment based on analysis of current, data-driven practice and research.
  • Learners will develop instructional plans, strategies, and materials in contextualized instructional settings (e.g., field experiences, training) that are appropriate for a variety of learner characteristics, including global environments and accommodations for learners with special needs.
  • Learners will implement design principles and models that support brain based learning by incorporating contemporary instructional technology processes in the development of interactive lessons.
  • Learners will demonstrate personal skill development by creating an effective, interactive multimedia lesson suitable for their eLearning environment.

It wasn’t until week 2, when I had to create my own learning objectives as they would come to relate to my eLearning project, that I realized how important these actually are and how truly important they would become.  One cannot merely create learning outcomes all willy-nilly like and expect them to be relatable.  There is real insight, reflection and thought that must go into the creation of learning outcomes so that they take into consideration all of the aspects of accessible eLearning (Carfora & Blessinger, 2014).

Accessible eLearning is so important to address before any instructional design project because it relates directly to the core of the project, the targeted learners and the expected outcome.  Any learning module that is not accessible to the intended learners is not a learning module at all.  Accessibility considerations, like physical and mental handicaps, must be considered in the universal design so that all learners have the ability and capability to participate without obstacles.

In week 3 I finally came up with an idea for my training module project, and I was really excited when I found out that it may actually be able to be used!  I was going to design an eLearning, self-paced, instructor free Customer Service training module for my fellow Financial Aid Advisors.  The idea was easy because we were currently struggling with the subject in our department specifically and it fell into line with the university’s desire to move towards a “Tribal Leadership” environment.

Tribal Leadership is…..

listening-for-tribal-stages1

Throughout the last 4 weeks of the module I spent a lot of time thinking about my colleagues; who they are, what they like, how to keep them motivated (Buckley & Caple, 2009).  What I realized is that, even though I thought I knew them, I had not really thought about the diversity within the group.  I needed to create a training module that would do so much more than just spew information and request feedback.  I would need to reach them on an individual basis; Christina, Joel, Tom, Matt, Stacey, rather than just as Post University Financial Aid Advisors.  Though we all have shared qualities that make us good FAAs, we are still individuals with our own strengths, weaknesses and learning abilities and preferences.  One type of design will not work for a multi-faceted group of learners.  Therefore, I had to design a module that would motivate and encourage learning from a vast array of personalities.

In conclusion, upon completion of this project I realized there is so much more that goes into designing eLearning courses than I first thought.  Concepts like Accessible Learning, learning objects, rich media, and interactive navigational design helped me to create an eLearning training module that was accessible to many diverse learners.  I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to actually distribute my training module to my designated group of learners, all of which returned positive results.  Therefore, I believe that I have been able to meet the expected outcomes for this course, and for that, I am extremely thankful!

Questions for discussion:

Have you ever had an opportunity to create an eLearning module?

In your experiences, what surprised you the most? Was there anything that you didn’t realize would occur?

Do you feel there is ever a time when eLearning modules are not appropriate?

Should eLearning modules be more mainstream in higher education or traditional college programs?

References:

Buckley, R., & Caple, J. (2009). The theory and practice of training. London: Kogan

Carfora, J. M., & Blessinger, P. (2014). Inquiry-based learning for the arts, humanities and social sciences : A conceptual and practical resource for educators. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.

EDU510 – February 22, 2015

Bronfenbrenner-2

Well, this is the last week of my EDU510 class but I am certain it will not be my last blog post. I am about a third of the way through my MS.Ed program and look forward to learning as much in my other classes as I have in this one. These last two weeks have been about understanding and applying Bronfenbrenner’s model of social contexts/systems, finding the “hidden games” explained by Perkins (2009), and the effect that cognitive illusions can have on mental representation models. I plan to use this new found knowledge and apply it to my current and future educational careers.

Here is what I learned:

In week 6 we discussed Bronfenbrenner’s model of social contexts/systems and used it to understand human development. In 1979, Bronfenbrenner explained four separate, interacting levels:

Microsystem – sample settings would be the home, school, or childcare center where roles, activities and interpersonal relations are experienced in a setting with distinct physical and material characteristics (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).

Mesosystem – consists of the interrelations between two or more settings participated in. This could be peer group, school and home interactions for a child; or family, work and social life for an adult (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).

Exosystem – is a bit more complicated to understand since it involves settings that do not directly involve the developing person. Instead, these events occur in places such as the parent’s workplace, the school of an older sibling or even within the parents’ social network of friends (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).

Macrosystem – this comes down to consistencies. Variations and differences in schools, playgrounds, and local shops have an effect on belief systems and ideology on the subculture and culture levels (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).

I used this website for a lot of my research on this subject and it really helped:

http://www.beststart.org/OnTrack_English/pdf/OnTrack-Section2.pdf

This information gave me insight that I was able to use in my current role as Admissions Counselor. I speak with dozens of students every day and each one of them has been exposed to very different micro-, meso-, exo-, and macro-systems and, therefore, every student that I speak with has a different reason for going back to school. It is important for me to find and determine the intrinsic or extrinsic motivators that drive each of my potential students. This understanding will help me be a better counselor in this job but will also help me be a better educator in my next.

In unit 6 we were also asked to determine if there were any “hidden games” within these contexts/systems. I struggled with this concept a bit. The “hidden game” was a bit harder for me to find, pun intended. However, I was able to work through it and this is what how I responded to the question which was presented by the professor:

  1. Do you think “hidden games” might be present in any of these contexts/systems?

“Hidden games” are present in all of the contexts/systems.  Microsystem is where you might find “play the whole game” and “make the game worth playing” since these focus on introducing and implicating knowledge as it applies to day-to-day living and experiences (Perkins, 2009).  Mesosystem may hide games such as “play out of town” and “uncover the hidden game” since there is and interrelation between more than one setting (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).  “Learn from the team” may be found in the exosystem since this relates directly to the influences outside relationships have on our development, and “work the hard parts” could be seen as a hidden game in macrosystem since this brings all the ideas of culture and subculture into one tangible ideology (Section 2: Developmental Health, 2015).

In week 7 we were introduced to cognitive illusions and asked how the presence of these illusions complicate cognitive sciences’ efforts to expand mental representation models as a dynamic system and our instructional efforts with children and adults. We were asked to review the World Mysteries site, http://www.world-mysteries.com/illusions/sci_illusions3.htm , to answer this question. It was not an easy task for me to accomplish and I had to do much more searching on the topic to answer.

In order to even begin to answer the question, I realized that I needed to understand Dynamic Systems Theory. I sifted through the required readings and found it defined by Rose & Fischer (2009) as “a flexible framework for analyzing how many factors act together in natural systems in disciplines as diverse as physics, biology, and education” (p.1). This definition suggests that students of all ages learn based on their own individual experiences as they relate to external influences. Since this is true, cognitive illusions have the ability to negatively impact students’ learning abilities and are explained as assumptions or knowledge that is built-in or misdirected and often “exploit the predictive hypotheses of early visual learning” (World Mysteries, 2011).

There are four types of cognitive illusions:

Ambiguous – these illusions are pictures or objects that change appearance to allow perception to “switch” between the variations. There is no single view of these images (World Mysteries, 2011).

rubin-vase

Paradox – offers objects that are “impossible”. Examples of this type of illusions would be the Penrose Triangle or the impossible staircase presented by M.C. Escher (World Mysteries, 2011).

Penrose Triangle

Distorting – these are the most common and distort size, length and curvature (World Mysteries, 2011).

Distorting illusion

Fiction – these illusions relate to the perception of objects that are not really there to anyone else except for the observer. This would be the case of schizophrenia or hallucinogenic drugs (World Mysteries, 2011).

do-you-see-460x258

I did a lot of Google searching these passed two weeks but it was well worth it so that I could understand the lessons. All of these concepts are important to know and understand in order for me to be good at my job. Whether speaking with students that wish to further their educational careers or teaching students in elementary school, I will need this understanding to ensure that I am doing what is best for my students.

If you would like to research the topics above, you can visit the following websites I found to be very informative:

https://owningthelanguage.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/illusions-and-dynamic-systems-in-learning/ http://www.sandlotscience.com/EyeonIllusions/whatisanillusion.htm

http://tim-stanley.com/post/communication-illusions/

References

Perkins, D. N. (2009). Make learning whole: How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Rose, L., & Fischer, K. (2009). Dynamic systems theory. In R. A. Shweder (Ed.), The child: An encyclopedic companion (1-25).

Section 2: Developmental Health. (2015, February 12). Retrieved from Best Start: http://www.beststart.org/OnTrack_English/pdf/OnTrack-Section2.pdf

World Mysteries. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.world-mysteries.com/illusions

EDU510: Cognitive Science for Teaching and Learning – February 8, 2015

The game

Unit 4 taught me about motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic) as well as making the game worth playing. I enjoyed this unit because it helped me understand that every aspect of learning is important. The beginning because it grabs the students attention and gets them interested in the lesson. The middle is the meat and keeps the students motivated. The end because it is where you see where the “hard parts” are and improve on them.

Unit 5 was all about the “hard parts” and how to recognize them so that we can work through them to meet our educational goals. No matter what our enthusiasm or motivations at the beginning of a lesson, if we do not prepare for the “hard parts” then we will lose interest and fail. Everyone is motivated and enthusiastic about learning the fun stuff but it is the stuff that challenges us that yields the greatest rewards.

aaaaa

I am already at the halfway point in class and I cannot believe how much I have learned about the cognitive aspect of teaching and learning. David Perkins’ book, Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education, has provided much insight over the past few weeks. Here is what I learned:

In unit 4, I learned about motivation and that people are driven by interest. This interest in learning may be because it seems practical, but also may be due to intrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivation come from within and has no ties to outside sources. It comes with a sense or desire to accomplish a goal, whereas, extrinsic motivators are related to rewards like grades, promotions or money. This kind of extrinsic motivation, I have learned, is viewed more negatively than intrinsic motivators since they are driven by something other than the student’s desire to learn (Perkins, 2009). However, motivation changes as we grow and mature. This may be because, as children, we were extrinsically motivated by such things as candy, rewards, and praise by parents and teachers. But, when we are older we care less and less about what people think and focus more on our own needs.

I also learned about making the “game worth playing”. The game refers to education and all of the experiences and scenarios that create understanding and lead to learning (Perkins, 2009). Teachers have the responsibility of showing children and their parents that learning is a fundamental necessity while, still, keeping it fun and interesting. They need to take something that children may not otherwise want to do and make it fun and keep them motivated. This requires a little bit of investigative work since there is no cookie-cutter resolution. Motivations will vary for different classes and different children, therefore, teachers will have to determine what is worth learning.

Even after all of this there are still going to be what Perkins calls “Hard Parts”. These are the parts of education that do not come easily and can destroy even the strongest of motivations. These are the challenges that actually build on the schemas that lead to learning. A good educator will prepare for these and embrace them as a challenge rather than a struggle.

If you want to learn more about David Perkins or his book, Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Transform Education, visit this blog site:

http://leading-learning.blogspot.com/2009/01/advice-from-david-perkins-to-make.html

References

Perkins, D. N. (2009). Make learning whole: How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Face-to-Face, Online and Hybrid classroom styles

I have had the opportunity to participate in all three classroom types throughout my college career. All three styles are different for both the learner and the educator, but all have the same goal and that is to educate the student. Face-to-face classroom type requires the educator to take on the bulk of the responsibility for learning. Students are required to show up, listen and do the homework they are told to do. Online classrooms and courses put almost all of the responsibility on the student. Teachers are merely there to present the information and manage the curriculum. The hybrid classroom takes both the traditional and the online classroom and mashes them together. Students have classroom time in addition to online coursework, however, classroom time is mainly spent reviewing homework and lessons already reviewed and worked on by the student.

Since the professor is mostly responsible for preparation of lesson in a face-to-face classroom it might be good to use the Team-based teaching technique. This leaves the student to be a bit more focused on classroom preparedness since they are part of a team and not just responsible for themselves (Teaching Strategies, 2014). Learner-centered teaching makes the most sense for online classes because the student is already mostly responsible for their own learning. There is little if any interaction between student and professor so it makes sense to leave most of the learning to the student. For the hybrid classes I believe that learning communities would prove to work best. This gives the students in the classroom the opportunity to collaborate about an upcoming lesson and ensure that everyone understands (Teaching Strategies, 2014).

Works Cited

Teaching Strategies. (2014, November 19). Retrieved from Merlot Pedagogy: http://pedagogy.merlot.org/TeachingStrategies.html

Reflection:

This week’s lesson really opened my eyes to the learning and teaching styles for the three different classroom types.  It makes sense that one style may work better over another for some students.  I know that I was not nearly as successful as a student working in a “traditional” style class as I am now as an online student.  My learning style works well with the control of being an online learner.  I have ultimate control over my learning and have no one to blame but myself if I don’t do it.  I really like being responsible for my own education.  I used this realization to adjust my learning activity for my final project as well.  It seems that there may be more benefit to mixing up the teaching style a bit.

My question to my readers is this: Which classroom style do you feel works best and why?  In addition, are there any specific classes in which you feel like your style might change?

If you have any more questions you can visit http://www.wlac.edu/online/documents/hybrid.pdf

My FVE

Post University is a brick and mortar institution for higher learning that has been offering quality education for more than 125 years.  Success would not be possible without continued focus on current and future trends.  Focus on and attention to detail must be an ongoing effort to remain current and relevant to the changing demographics of the student body.  Below is a presentation I created to show the Five year Vision of Education for Post University.

Post University’s Five year Vision of Education

Introduction

Hi! My name is Jeanne and I am an Admissions counselor at Post University.  I am currently working on my MS in Education after finishing my BA in Psychology.  I created this site to allow me to reach students interested in higher education and meeting their goals just as I did.