Reflection 1: Beginning the Journey to Becoming an Instructional Designer

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.


My name is Paula Krone. I am an attorney, civil mediator, instructor of mathematics, and mother of an adult son with developmental disabilities. Currently, I am earning my living as a math instructor at Georgia Gwinnett College. However, I also mediate landlord tenant disputes in Fulton County Dispossessory Court during the summer months. While one would assume that being an instructor of mathematics is my full time job, it is actually only one of my full time jobs. Being a parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities is my other full time job.


Since 2011, I have served as a full time faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College, where I teach pre-college algebra, college algebra, pre-calculus and calculus. Prior to 2011, I taught mathematics in a K-12 environment and earned my M.S. Ed in mathematics. I moved from education to technology and held multiple corporate positions, including 8 years as a manager of systems programmers in an IBM mainframe environment. During the time I spent as a corporate manager, I attended Fordham University School of Law and earned by J.D. degree. As an attorney, I practiced Business and Technology Law, and I served for two years as the Chair of the Management Information Systems Committee of the State Bar of Georgia, where I helped the Bar transition through “Y2K.”  Y2K (Year 2000) was a software upgrade that many companies and organizations needed to go through in order to assure that when the year 2000 arrived, the software that had previously used only two digits for the year (“00”) would not think it was the year 1900. I have also taught numerous law-related courses in higher education, and I have served as a mediator for special education and charter school disputes.


Whether I am in a faculty position, a management position, an attorney position, or in any other professional role, I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people I serve. For example, when I teach mathematics to freshmen in college, I go beyond teaching mathematics and teach students how to learn. It is important to me that, as a result of taking my class, students can move on and be successful in future classes. The ultimate success of my students is more important to me than the grade they earn in my class. Whether I have students, customers, or clients, I am there to serve them and to make their lives better, even in some small way.   


Thankfully, I have reached a point in my life where a career is less important than making a difference in the world. When I took LT8100, Foundations of Instructional Design, I was required to research and write a paper about a case study in Instructional Design. I chose the topic “Using simulations to train medical professionals  to be empathetic toward patients with intellectual disabilities.” Ever since then, it has been clear to me that I want to move in the direction of training various parts of society, including but not limited to the medical field, to serve people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Due to the roles as parent and advocate for my 22 year old son, my knowledge about the challenges of people with disabilities in society has become extensive. I hope that I will be able to combine this with my teaching skills, instructional design and technology skills, management skills, and legal skills, so that I can be a leader in this pursuit.


My favorite hobby is writing songs, playing guitar and singing. I recently bought myself a professional microphone, mic stand with a boom, and Cube® street amp. When I can find a few minutes to spare, I take out my guitar, hook it up to the amp, turn on the microphone, and away I go into an alternate world without a care. While, thus far, my audiences consist only of my son, I can assure you that I have been getting great reviews. He may not be able to clap, but his smile is all I need to make my day.