Monday, November 24, 2014

Designing in the Open (and in connected ways)

Wow, hard to believe, but we've reached the final module of Connected Courses (and boy is my brain tired!).  I found out last week that there may be a slim chance of me being able to teach Introduction to Instructional Design (INSDSG 601, a graduate course) at some point in the new future. This is something that was offered to me a couple of summers ago, but being away on vacation at the time (with questionable internet access) it didn't seem like a good idea to be teaching an online course.

I've been poking around the course shell, here and there, over the past couple of years (even since teaching this course was a remote possibility) to get ideas about how to teach the course.  The previous instructor, who had been teaching this course for the past 10 years but recently refocused on other things, did a good job with the visual design of the course. It's easy to know what you are are supposed to do each week.  Then again, from the design of the course I can see that the the focus of the course each week seems to center around the instructor (each week has lectures in addition to chapter readings), and we saw in the cited literature in #dalmooc that this isn't pedagogically effective.  This is something I've been wanting to change.  The other thing that I don't like is the reliance on the Dick & Carey textbook. Granted, this textbook seems to be a seminal book in the field, but it is not the easiest thing to read for a novice learner (who is also figuring other things out about the ID field) and in my experience most learners read it, but don't really get the fine grain elements. This book, in my opinion, is a good reference book, but not necessarily a good instruction book†. The thing that really convinced me to scrap this course and start from scratch with a new design is that the assignments seem to all be assignments (50% of final grade) that built on top of one another culminating in a final project (the other 50% of final grade) are all taking place in the forums.  The project-based aspect I like, and I also like the peer review aspect.  However, I don't like this double-counting of points, and the closed nature of the course (everything happening in an LMS). So, here we go with a re-design (if I know I am teaching the course)!

The learning objectives (that I can't really mess with) are as follows:
  • State the reason for using an Instructional Design Model. 
  • Identify and describe the purpose of each component of the Dick and Carey Model of Instructional Design. 
  • Develop instructional (performance) objectives that include behavior, condition and criteria.
  • Develop an assessment strategy for an instructional event. 
  • Develop assessment items that map to instructional objectives. 
  • Develop an instructional strategy that maps to learner needs and performance objectives. 
  • Plan a formative evaluation strategy to assess instructional materials. 
  • Compare the Dick & Carey ISD model with other models
Since this is an intro course, my own additional objectives for this course are to (1) setup learners to be able to find and retrieve sources from our academic library, and (2) begin creating their own repository (aka "toolbox") of resources that they can make reference to not only as they progress through the program, but also as they become working professionals.

I have some ideas for assignments to reach these goals, however I am a bit stuck.  I want my course design to be 100% (or at least 90% if I can't reach 100%) open access materials.  Students would be free to go and find and retrieve textbooks, articles, and resources from pay-walled sources, but the materials I provide need to be 100% open access. This means I need a new textbook (or an un-textbook).  What would you recommend for resources for an introductory course in instructional design as far as open resources go?  Dick & Carey are having me do some mental gymnastics (ADDIE seems to have more free/open resources on the web than D&C).

As far as lectures go, I am thinking that lectures in the course are automatically out.  The current lectures all start with "Hello everyone, I am Dr. so-and-so". Since I am not Dr. so-and-so, this is an unnecessary cognitive barrier for learners, and in all honesty I don't want to sit down and do 13 weeks worth of lectures. I think there are much more fun ways to spend my time, and help my learners navigate the subject, than 30-45 minute lectures each week.  If I had enough buy-in I'd love to get onto a Google Hangout and have a recorded discussions with some of the great minds, and leaders, in instructional design to discuss topics of ID including mobile learning, distance education, corporate training, and so on  - you know, things that will get the learners thinking about how to structure the remainder of their studies, pick areas to focus on, and what they might want to be lifelong learners in.

So, initial brainstorming post - open resources!  What do you think kind reader?

In subsequent posts (if this goes forward) I think I am going to focus on activities, other materials, and flow of the course.  If you want me to write about other subjects as well leave a comment :)


SIDENOTES:
†other faculty of instructional design please feel free to chime in! I what to know what you think about Dick & Carey.
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