Reflection 1: Beginning the Journey to Becoming an Instructional Designer
Paula H. Krone
LT7100: Design of Performance and Instructional Systems
Dr. Valora Richardson
February 16, 2020
When I enrolled in GSU’s “LT7100 Design/Perform/Instruct System” course, I did not understand what the name of the course said, let alone what it meant. Prior to enrolling in LT7100, I completed LT8000, Foundations of Instructional Design, where I learned about the history of instructional design and about models and frameworks for designing instruction. One of those frame works is ADDIE – analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. In LT7100, we focus on this framework and, particularly, on the analysis and design phases of it. It is as if LT8100 was a helicopter ride over the terrain, and now in LT7100 we are riding the terrain in a bus, and stopping at various places along the way.
There are three main takeaways that I have thus far learned about instructional design from LT7100. First, before one begins designing instruction, one first needs to identify the problem and be sure that the instruction will solve it. Not all problems are solved by instruction. Some are due to employee motivation and can be solved by incentives. Others may be caused by environmental factors and could be solved by changes in the physical environment. Some problems may be caused by the lack of resources and the only way to solve them is to provide those resources. If the instructional designer decides that the lack of knowledge or skills on the part of the worker/student is the cause of the problem, then the instructional designer can begin designing an instructional solution. (Class discussion)
Second, an instructional designer must conduct a learner analysis in order to identify the learners. (S)he needs to know who the learners are, their prior knowledge, their abilities and disabilities, their motivational characteristics, and what the learners need to know. It is also important to know if the instruction will be mandatory or voluntary. (Cennamo and Kalk, p. 53)
Lastly, designing is a collaborative process. As the instructional designer moves through the various phases of ADDIE, (s)he will gather new information from varying people and sources. It is important to revisit prior stages and rethink decisions. The main stakeholders must be kept informed and must provide confirmation of decisions and changes made. (Jackie Moore Case)
Although skill enhancement of my current position as a mathematics instructor is not my goal of my IDT education, it has become a natural consequence. While I have little latitude to change the overall design of a course, I do see the value in knowing the background of my students prior to the beginning of the semester. I also have a better understanding of why mentoring and not just teaching is important for student success, i.e., because instruction alone will not always solve a problem.
I can now understand why our professor explained that LT7100 could just as well have been named “Introduction to Instructional Design.” It is in this course that I truly begin my journey to becoming an instructional designer.