The readings from the second half of this course have been very enlightening, which has been a nice change of pace for a time when our daily norm has completed shifted. I have enjoyed reading the chapters in the textbook and the supplemental video clips and charts. The overall takeaways I have had are:
1) Instructional design is something I should have taken a long time ago since I have been in the field of education for over ten years.
2) Everything throughout the instructional design process is done with intentionality.
My rationale behind my first takeaway is there is often the conversation around pedagogy and philosophy of teaching, but there is not a good breakdown of how that is practiced. In the text, Cenamo and Kalk define and describe the Behaviorist, Cognitive, and Constructivism learning theories. We talked about them in school, but how these theories impact the learning experience and events is not a major focus. I think at the beginning of my teaching career there was a lot of focus on developing fun and engaging activities. Those activities may have been fun, but did I not really know the how and why behind that selection. I now have a great appreciation of the process and how the structure is dependent on learner needs and characteristics. We don’t just decide to do an activity because it’s “cute.” We need to really think about what the instructional strategy or plan is going to before we start talking about content. I also acknowledge that sometimes I have been the “SME” on grade-level teams, who were fixated on wanting to present content in a specific way. I did not consider whether it would be appropriate for the learners. Does it tie back to our goals, outcomes, and assessment? This course has encouraged me to take this learning and to use this with the teachers that I serve. We always say, “begin with the end in mind”, but do we really mean it? We also need to ask them, what is your “how” and “why.” I want to challenge them to be more reflective in their lesson planning process.
The intentionality relates back to what I previously discussed; I think this is most evident when you really read through Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. This process is a great one to follow when creating your lesson plans. It is also a way to monitor whether you met the requirements for effective instruction. I really like how the supplemental video of the process made it so simple for us to understand. It’s something that we naturally think we do, but we often may leave out steps. As an educator, I often follow the gradual release model, but I like how this one makes sure you follow up your feedback with additional practice and modeling. This also calls for the learner to reflective about the learned skill and whether they can transfer and apply the learning and different context.