Instructional Design

Ross Garner’s blog highlighted four common mistakes made by instructional designers. These mistakes include highlighting learner outcomes; he views them as a boring start and indicates that students may have their own learning outcomes. He also suggested it’s more exciting and better for them to be behind the scenes.  Too much information was the second pitfall, Garner suggested providing links that learners can refer to offline for additional reading would alleviate the burden of information cramming.  The third mistake is making the content too difficult or too easy; “people learn when they are stretched but not too far” (Garner, 2017). Considering the platform is for all learners we have to find a middle ground for desirable difficulty, to make it rewarding and not too easy or hard, gradually increase the difficulty as the learner progresses through the content and then reduce it when they get to the next section. Lastly, he noted the same content for the novices and experts, therefore in an effort to meet the learning needs of all users it’s best to provide a help button, definitions of new terminology and the use of scaffolding to ensure all users can be engaged and successful.

Dr. Helen Dixion shared her thoughts and tips for designing a blended learning course. She suggested that instructional designers can refer to the DADDIE model for guidance on experimenting with new forms of learning. Dixon (2017) says we are charged with planning a journey, assessing the current state of knowledge of our students and deciding where you want them to be after their learning experience.  During the planning phase factors to consider are as follows; planning the sequence of delivery, the delivery methods, identifying the activities to help learn and develop skills and assessments to test knowledge. A YouTube video was included in this blog to highlight the phases of a blended course design process, what I found most interesting was the different methods to develop expertise; namely modeling, coaching, reflection and exploration. The blended course provides a variety of instructional methods so as instructional designers we have to decipher what’s appropriate for each topic/skill. Dixon suggested using the Learning Management System (LMS) or the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to design blended learning courses.

Nancy White shared her views on designing learning to stick, she suggested hands on activities, activities that create a personal connection, building skills along with knowledge and real world problem solving as some ways to achieve this outcome. She believes that everyone has different views about what they want to accomplish from education, so when the question is asked about the purpose of education the responses vary.

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