I’ve developed a deeper understanding of the history and foundations of the instructional design and technology (IDT) process, what it means to be part of an instructional design organization and how to become an instructional designer. What stands out most so far are the concepts around creating parallels between the history of the field and major world events, details on what’s expected of a designer, and simplified textbook concepts as well as several in-class activities which facilitated and supported my understanding of the content.
I’m always fascinated by the ways that fields of study can silo themselves from the outside world if it does not have a direct influence on their research. IDT is no different. Often, World War 2 is cited as being significant because of the resulting systems approach to instruction but rarely do we get to dive into the ways that the civil rights movement, immigration exclusion, or other major US or world events influenced the field. In Social Justice article, Amy Bradshaw concludes by calling those in the field to do more to reverse exclusion and broaden access to information while widening their own scope of research. I think this call to action is significant and important. It drives me to think about how I might use these uncharted historical parallels in my own research endeavors.
I really enjoyed reading about the competencies required of a designer. As an aspiring designer the path seemed to require an educational component. This was reinforced by the conversations I had with current designers before I enrolled in this program. It was incredibly eye opening to learn about so many nontraditional routes.
There are many parts of the textbook that feel familiar because of earlier courses I’ve taken on instructional design methodology. However, on the topic of learner characteristics, Cennamo and Kalk create a list of knowledge, motivation, and cognitive factors to consider when analyzing learners. While the concept of analyzing learners is clear and obvious, this bullet-by-bullet breakdown on page 35 made a somewhat abstract concept feel more fluid. I really appreciated the opportunity to view these three factors in list format that I can easily reference as opposed to making educated guesses.
Finally, I really enjoy the in-class activities that we do. I think the example questions that we go through together really solidify the reading material for me. It’s so helpful to be able to ask questions, follow along, and have group members to provide new ways to think and visit topics during class. I appreciate the opportunities for an online course to be interactive.
Overall, I’ve learned a lot about the concepts of IDT but I’ve been given opportunities and resources which have encouraged me to think about things in a new way. These fresh perspectives influence my thinking and enable me to start asking questions that I may not have considered otherwise.