The readings for this course have allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the overall field, as well as allowed me to dive deeper into essential components of the field. Below, I highlight some of my key takeaways that I have learned over the weeks related to the instructional design process, defining objectives, and the biggest consideration for our field, which is the learners.
As it relates to week 1 and our introduction to instructional design, the readings have allowed me to gain a better understanding of how the field of instructional design has evolved over time, key elements and phases of the instructional design process, and scenarios that instructional design would be relevant in. It has been beneficial to learn about the many frameworks such as ADDIE and what each of these components would entail in instructional design. From the case study, my biggest takeaway is that there is not a linear approach when it comes to instructional design. Instead, I need to be able to constantly review the program, understand where gaps are in information and resources, and continuously improve on the strategy and development of my instructional materials.
With regards to learner needs and characteristics, this so far has been the subject that I have resonated with and has greatly impacted how I intend to approach work in the future. To say that everything we do in instructional design should be focused on the learner sounds like it should be common sense; however, oftentimes, so many other factors are considered above the learners. This is especially true in my case because I’m a consultant and when clients hire my company to help users adopt to new technologies or processes, that project sponsor may not even be a part of the learner group. My biggest takeaway from this focus area is to deep dive into who the learner is, truly understanding their perspective, and the ultimate goal that we are looking for them to achieve.
Lastly, the information that we have been learning about outcomes and assessments has been particularly useful in helping me to understand how to begin with the end in mind and what that would look like for an instructional design program. I think that a good amount of instructional programs focus on the organization’s goals and objectives without truly thinking about the specific changes that they want to see in a learner’s performance. The activities reinforced the reading in that it became clear to see how easily we as instructional designers can be too vague in defining objectives. The readings also highlighted the importance of having measures in place to assess how the learner is growing.
The readings as of today, have given me a foundational view of instructional design and how the components of the field come together to create and deliver an effective program for learners. As I’m reading I reflect on ways that I can use the teachings in my work life now, and I look forward to continuing to see the practical applications of the field.