Working in education reaffirms that I know exactly what Instructional Designers do, being in this program thus far has been teaching me why we do these things. It’s been a scenic route so far so I’m just enjoying the view…
“What changes in thinking or performance should occur?” “How will you know these changes have occurred?” “What activities will help facilitate these changes in thinking or performance?” Each of the questions are critical in my role as a K-5 Paraprofessional in a resource (small group) setting and to the field of Instructional Design.
Refining my students goals using task analyses, determining my students prerequisite skills, writing performance goals and creating the most dreadful part of instruction, assessments (students have a strong disdain and sometimes fear of assessments) to assess what are students are learning, what they’ve retained and how we should move forward with their instruction is a true art. We classify the objectives, discuss the learning goals and write performance objectives in and through a modified lens. My co-teacher and I strategically creates instruction and differentiates learning events by chunking instruction to meet the needs of each of our students in math, reading, and social emotional learning. We also create assessments almost simultaneously. The phases of design are never ending. As en educator, student focused instruction is all that we know and is our biggest concern.
In our reading, there were lots of focus on learning outcomes and being aware of the differentiated learning types. Depending on the skills that they students are capable of, my co-teacher and I are able to create learning experiences to help students become more confident and be successful. More often than not verbal information becomes too overwhelming, their intellectual skills are baseline or below (deficits —hence why they attend small groups), motor skills may be limited, sometimes due to deficits or environment their could be reluctancy to complete or even try an activity, and more cognitive strategies are through expression with very minimal written assignments. Our class is based on hands on activities, games, and expressive pieces. We incorporate technology like iPads to enhance engagement and performance while ensuring that each activity meets their specific need.
Another connection that I was in awe about was being able to connect Instructional Design principles in daily conversations with my mom, friends and while completing assignments for Foundations of Technology. The conversation with my mom began with her telling me about her frustrations with the data software at her company not being as effective as she liked. She was expressing that the system doesn’t display the proper information when reports are pulled, but only when you go directly into the file are the correct numbers shown. In turn, the reports are indicating that her team isn’t performing to the standard set by the company. While listening, I realized that her company needs to update their systems and settings to be more effective in the area of analytics. She also expressed a different concern that screamed “You guys need human performance tools!” Of course, I was happy to share the connection to her need and my field of study because it all still a bit confusing to my family. My friends are also educators so I quote random facts from our readings because they understand too.
Often times during the semester, I have been looking for ways to really connect my learning into my everyday life. The second half of the semester really has given me a bit of that. Reflecting on the grand scheme, instructional design is everywhere and inherently within each discipline as long as we feel so inclined to take a moment to process it. Looking forward to finish up this first semester of graduate school strong!
Cennamo, K., & Kalk, D. (2019). Real world instructional design: an iterative approach to designing learning experiences. New York: Routledge.