Module 1

Discussion made for week 1 and the questions that needed to be answered:

  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”?
  2. 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.
  3. In your opinion, how does Instructional Design relate to Educational Technology?
  4. Share a short description of the topic you plan to work on for the required Instructional Design project in this course. In your description, include:
  • The targeted learners
  • The context of the instruction
  • The topic of the instruction
  • The estimated duration of the instruction
  1. Design starts off as a plan, blueprints, an outline of what is wanting to be learned/trained.  The planning is only the beginning of the process, this is why it is not called instructional planning.  Once there is a plan created, then the designing happens.  Designing includes systematic organization, creativity, figuring out the best way to learn a topic in the most efficient way that is effective and keeps the learner engaged in what is being taught while taking advantage of resources in the best way possible.  Instructional design is the creation and designing of a program, unit, lesson, and/or training of a particular topic.  While there are several different kinds of designers, instructional designers create the curriculum used to teach the topic.  The word “systematic” refers to the process used in order to create the instruction.  It means the designer used a systematic method in creating the instruction to help make sure there are no holes in the learning and all the aspects within the instruction is included.

  2. The designing I do on a regular basis involves curriculum that has already been created and supplementing it to best meet the needs of my students.  For 5 years I have used a social constructivist curriculum to teach junior/high school students different math levels.  The curriculum was great except it usually didn’t have enough problems for the students to practice a  new skill, it instructed using application.  I was constantly looking for supplementary material to help my students practice the skill being learned.  I now teach at a school that uses a curriculum that uses direct teaching, exactly the opposite method.  Now I’m always looking for supplementary material to show how the math is used outside the worksheet and textbook, how to bring the numbers to life.  My first goto is the web and the many different sites that specialize in math by topics.  I also take a lot of notes in my designing to better what I do for the next year.  I start by seeing what material I have and what I do not, so I know what I need to look for.  I then search, speak with other teachers, and journal what I like and don’t on what I have found.  Much of my instruction is made on the spot as I answer students questions and create problems off the cuff.

  3. Instructional design and educational technology are two different subjects that can go hand in hand together.  One can be an instructional designer and never use technology for implementing the instruction, however technology is incorporated in all areas of our lives, so depending on what is being learned, usually it would be beneficial to use technology within instruction.  On the other side, educational technologists would only benefit from learning the different methods of instructional design to become a better technologist.  Visually I see educational technology and instructional design as an overlapping Venn diagram.

  4. For my project I plan to to instruct a math lesson for Freshmen/Sophomore Algebra I students (students who struggle with mathematics).  The topic is connecting graphs, tables and equations and how all 3 work together and can be seen as the same thing.  This lesson will be either 2 or 3 one hour class sessions long.

My reflection at the end of the week:

This week has been stressful as I am trying to figure out how to fit everything together and include time for thoughtful thinking and reflection.  There was quite a bit of reading, more then I anticipated.  I need to plan for that and figure out when will work best for me to read with thoughtful attention.

With the theory that has been brought in through the reading I am making connections to other classes within the MET program and see overlap, which is very good and also similar to my Venn Diagram.  The light bulb went off a few times as did the ringing of the bell with connections to my own philosophy and how I want to incorporate it with my project.

I am still at the very beginning stages in my thinking with my project.  I do not know how I want to evaluate my student’s learning yet, nor do I know what all the activities and objectives I want to meet through the project either.  Since I mainly work with students who do not understand math, I want to make my project as applicable as possible so they can see connections to math and future job/career/ways of looking at math outside of the school walls.

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