The last reflection I wrote was in September. So here I am six weeks later and a lot further ahead. The case studies have been very helpful because they put me in a situation where I distill what I find in the book and apply it to the case. The case studies utilize Bloom’s taxonomy higher learning by implementing these thinking lessons.
Most recently I learned about combining common learning material into chunks. This is basically a way of organizing content so the learner and instructor may benefit. For this to happen, the instructional designer must sequence the learning outcomes and find any commonalities within the content. If so, these common elements can be strung together in “chunks” that help the learner by connecting different sets of information. The instructor benefits from lesson preparation and having learners more engaged by these connections. In the education world this is called the “Aha moment” because the bridge to different sets of information lead to a deeper understanding.
In our last case study, I looked at how to identify learning events and connect these to relevant learning activities, which is a step to take after chunking the content. In my analysis of the study I did not chunk content, perhaps a mistake on my end, but the learning events were there so my focus was on prioritizing activities. Normally we would prioritize content; however, we did not have access to it in this study. I did look at my activities and based on what I wanted the learner to accomplish, I set up activities to a logical sequence. This had me reflect back on my days as a math teacher, where we would post objectives and build and insert activities that would have the students meet the objective.
The objectives in my opinion are pathways to learning goals. One interesting segment I read about goals in our course text is that learning theorists, “Disagree, however, on whether the learning goals should be set by the teacher or the designer or left to the individual learners” (Cennamo 2005). All learners have different sets of prior knowledge and a unique set of motivations. So, based on that it would be difficult for the goal setting to be placed on either teacher or designer. Yet I think each has a role to play in the goal setting. The designer must create reasonable goals to the learning objectives. This cannot be intimately set up, since in most cases the designer would never know the learners. I think that it is the teacher’s job, at the very least, to point out reasonable goals for the students. I think teachers should also sell the content in an engaging way and make the content relevant by attributing real world applications to it. Then of course the motivation is on the learner to develop and refine learning that can be used in life and job settings.
This has all been very intriguing to me and has really helped me develop a burgeoning perspective on emphasizing objectives, goals and outcomes. Our course book has loads of information and on the survey, I stated how effective it was for me. I’m not even halfway through and I feel the knowledge I have gained from it is very helpful in building instructional design skills.
Cennamo, K. (2005). Real world instructional design. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth/Thomson.