This class is my first true foray into the field of instructional design and technology (henceforth IDT). Thus, not only am I learning a lot of completely novel information, but I am constructing a foundation that all of my future work in IDT will be built upon. There are two themes interwoven among all of the concepts explored thus far that I have especially noticed: flexibility and fluidity. That is, IDT appears to inherently operate with a high degree of variability that makes it so much more appealing to an individual who loathes rigidity and black-or-white methodology such as myself!
In the very beginning of this course, we reviewed the piece from Rieber (1998) titled The Proper Way to Become an Instructional Technologist. He reviewed how the practices of computer scientists, philosophers, scientists, are all relevant and applicable in the practice of IDT, emphasizing how the diversity of backgrounds found in IDT is one of many aspects that make it so great. This is very exciting as an individual who has a background in liberal arts but has always had an interest in STEM fields. The premise that a single discipline could potentially encompass all of these practices – and more – without requiring previous training ignites a fire of excitement. This exemplifies the kind of fluidity I have identified within IDT – there is no strictly defined path for entering the field. It welcomes individuals from a range of backgrounds.
Even more, when it comes to the actual application of IDT, there is innate flexibility in the ways practitioners can approach projects. As discussed in Cennamo and Kalk (2019), there are several options to choose from when determining how to handle the variables within a project. There is ADDIE, SAM2, the spiral model, plus others that the book does not cover. Some of these operate cyclically, encouraging practitioners to loop back around to previous stages throughout the entire IDT process and exemplifying the kind of fluidity I value. Enhancing the flexibility of these options is the fact that one can pick and choose concepts depending on the situation.
Of course, one cannot discuss the flexibility and fluidity found within IDT without discussing the challenges and learners themselves. The fact that IDT can be applied in a wide variety of situations guarantees that every project will have a sense of novelty to it. Just reviewing all of the learner variables at play in Chapter 3 of Cennamo and Kalk’s (2019) book reveals a plethora of scenarios and challenges that I may encounter as an IDT.
Of course, this is just the beginning.
There is still much I have to learn about IDT. However, what is clear even now is
that flexibility and fluidity are embedded in many aspects of the practice. As
a newcomer, I naturally have some uncertainty about my ability to excel in this
field. However, these two variables alone are great sources of confidence and
reassurance and are providing fantastic foundations for future learning.
Cennamo, K., & Kalk, D. (2019). Real world instructional design: An iterative approach to designing learning experiences.
Rieber, L. (1998). The proper way to become an instructional technologist. Retrieved from http://lrieber.coe.uga.edu/pdean/