Before I was a student of Instructional Design, I was agnostic on reflection papers. I had assigned reflective activities as part of freshman orientation and career development courses I had taught over the years but had not given the assignment much meaningful consideration, nor feedback to the students. I pretty much considered it busywork. Being on the other side of the learning, however, has opened my eyes to how reflections serve a critical purpose in education. In my readings for this class and the use of the case studies, I have come to learn how reflective activities serve as a form of assessment. There are ways as an instructional designer to rate or assess learner engagement and knowledge via reflection. The course readings on evaluation, learning theories, and learning events have helped me realized that reflection is an opportunity for learners to synthesize knowledge and evaluate goal achievement and is an essential part of the “designer’s toolkit (Cennamo, 2019). The article I selected for the midterm review also examined the use of reflection in shaping professional identity for new instructional designers. It was argued that reflective activity provides an opportunity for instructional designers to reconsider precedents in the choice of design solutions. This reflective process has offered me in more in-depth consideration of empathy for the learner and the distinctions between instructional design and learning experience design.
According to Carliner (2019), Training and Development professionals adopt a systemic mindset and a systematic approach. This systemic mindset is in effect when instructional designers consider the skills, the knowledge and the environment in which the skills and knowledge will be applied or used. In considering the entire system, instructional designers can aim figure out if training is worth the investment. In that vein, a systematic approach follows a process to ensure that appropriate and proper questions in the analysis phases lead to results that achieve intended goals. In addition to traditional approaches built on ADDIE, this semester I have learned about Human Performance Improvement, Change Management, and Curriculum Development processes. According to Carliner (2019) ADDIE is best suited to designing and developing simple to moderately complex learning programs, while Human Performance Improvement, Change Management, and Curriculum Design processes tend to be better for more complex learning programs. So what I’ve been seeking in all these approaches is common factors, and a couple include:
How instructional designers work with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). To date, my experience has been as the SME on career development or first-year experience for college students, in working with others that might be putting together a training or learning performance tool for other professionals.
How instructional designers work with technology and how technology evolution affects the work of instructional design. Carliner (2019) offers a couple of useful infographics about the types and proficiency levels with technology that instructional designers can measure their own knowledge against. Reading these chapters, I reflect on my journey toward this degree program, and how I embarked upon self-teaching to initiate my career change. The chart in Carliner (2019) offered a chance for self-assessment at my familiarity and facility with tools often utilized in the field of instructional design. Admittedly, I have not yet used any of the authoring tools, although I’ve taken LinkedIn Learning courses and viewed numerous Webcasts, and listened to numerous Podcasts, and read numerous infographics about use of the various technologies and tools that are utilized in instructional design. The process of learning about instructional design and technology is being reflected back to me. It’s helping me become more empathetic of learners and aware of the distinctions of skill and level in the roles and titles of training and development professionals.
Carliner, S., & Driscoll, M. (2019). An Overview of Training and Development: Why Training Matters [Kindle Locations 1781-1783]. Retrieved from Amazon.
Cennamo, K., & Kalk, D. (2019). Real world instructional design: An iterative approach to design learning experiences (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.