At EduSoCal 2013 I was able to collaborate and speak with other EdTech and Instructional Design professionals. EduSoCal (@EduSoCal), is “the premier face-to-face conference in California where you Meet/Share/Learn/Play with your local peers and colleagues working in the fields of Information and Educational technology.”
The Keynote Address by Michael Wesch (@mwesch) was not only informational, but affirming as well. Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture and his speech gave some valuable insight on Transformative Learning Theory and new media.
Wesch stated, “asking questions is the most amazing thing humans do; questions are the beginning point of deep learning.” Therefore, his basic theme involved helping students “Learn to Learn”.
In designing his courses, he doesn’t design them for the sake of instruction, but for Transformative Learning. As stated in an earlier post, this learning theory focuses on how the learner will revise and interpret learning to change their point of view. Transformative Learning is the process of changing one’s frame of reference.
Michael Wesch discussed how in education we need to embrace Transformative Learning by enabling students to become adaptive experts rather than passive absorbers of information. His focus is on stimulating wonder. He stimulates wonder by allowing his students to A) pick a project and B) pick new media. By allowing the students to pick their projects and media it helps the students accomplish a goal without the want for a grade.
An example of one such project is when students decided to research the accessibility of a city by bicycle. They used a free source Internet Map (similar to GoogleMaps) to map out dangerous areas for bikes. The result was visible evidence of how poorly the city was designed for bikes. Even more significant, the project caught the eye of city council and brought on change to the infrastructure.
When asked, which three instructional tools/techniques he’d bring to a deserted Island (while ignoring the logical problems of this scenario) to teach. He described a three step process:
1) Make sure that the Project is Real and Relevant. Real meaning that the instructor does not know the answer. And Relevant means that students will work on it even if a grade is not associated with the project.
2) The project must Build Community (like the biking community).
3) The project must Leverage Technology (like the bike map).
What is also important is that the core assumption for IT people should be that of connecting people. Don’t use technology for technology’s sake. Use technology to connect or build community. My goal of this blog is not just to use a blog, but to gain a following of like-minded people or people also interested in EdTech and Instructional Design.
Finally, a poignant statement made by Wesch is that “technology is a Trojan horse for changing education, but it needs an army inside the horse.” What he meant by this is that technology is a great way to change education, however, you still need a slew of people or EdTech professionals (the army) to conquer (change) education.
Now, I’ll leave you with one last thought (and please comment below or tweet @julietausend): How do you convince administration and other colleagues to not only support but design a Transformative Learning experience with the appropriate technologies?
This week’s blog is going to be a short introduction to several different Learning Theories commonly used by Instructional Designers and Educational Technologists in designing and building curriculum.
Learning Theories are frameworks that describe how content or information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Four of the well-known learning theories focus on Educational Psychology. They are Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Transformative learning theory.
Behaviorism– Learning means acquiring a new behavior through conditioning. Two ways that a learner is conditioned is by classical conditioning or operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is where the behavior becomes a reflex in response to stimulus. Operant conditioning occurs when a learner is rewarded or punished for their behavior.
Cognitivism– This Learning Theory states that learners generate knowledge through sequences of mental processes. The mental processes include recognition, recalling, analyzing, reflecting, application, creating and evaluating. Cognitive Learning defers from Behaviorism in that it looks beyond behavior and focuses on how human memory impacts learning.
Constructivism– The Constructivism Learning Theory is when learners have an active involvement in their education. The theory states that a learner does best when they are able to build new ideas or concepts based upon current knowledge and experiences. Instructional Designers must, therefore, understand what the learners already know in order to develop effective instruction.
CONSTRUCT UPON CURRENT KNOWLEDGE
Transformative Learning Theory– This learning theory focuses on how the learner will revise and interpret learning to change their point of view. Transformative learning is the process of changing one’s frame of reference. An important part of transformative learning is for learners to change their frames of reference by critically reflecting on their assumptions and beliefs. It is also important that learners consciously make and implement plans that bring about new ways of defining their worlds. This can be done through reflection, feedback, debating with those of different viewpoints, and critically examining evidence.
TRANSFORMS ONES VIEWPOINT
Tausend Talks has covered several topics relating to Instructional Design and the practice of using design methods to create important and effective instruction. In the next several posts, I will discuss different Learning Theories that are popular in the design of curriculum.
The first learning theory to be discussed is Gagné’s Theory of Instruction, which includes the well-known “Nine Events of Instruction”.
Robert Gagné was one of the first to coin the term “instructional design” as he began research and developed training materials for the military in the 1960s. His instructional design models laid the foundation for other theorists, such as Dick, Carey and Carey (The Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model), and Jerold Kemp (Instructional Design Model).
The Theory of Instruction has three components:
1.) A Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes
2.) Conditions of Learning
3.) Nine Events of Instruction
A Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes defines how learning might be demonstrated and is broken down into three sub-components- Cognitive Domain, Affective Domain, and Psycho-motor Domain.
The Cognitive Domain has multilevel steps that students can use to demonstrate their learning. They are-
- Stating Verbal Information
- Label or Classify Concepts to demonstrate intellectual skills
- Apply Rule and Principles to demonstrate intellectual skills
- Problem solve and generate solutions to demonstrate intellectual skills
- Use Cognitive Strategies for learning
The Affective Domain shows a learning outcome in which learners address their attitudes by demonstrating preferred options.
And the final sub-component of Gagné’s Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes, Psycho-motor Domain shows a learning outcome in which learners show motor skills through physical performance.
The second component of Gagné’s Theory of Instruction are the Conditions of Learning.The Conditions of Learning are the required states needed of the learner to acquire new skills. They can be internal states or personal requirements of the learner, such as self-motivation. They are also the external conditions learning such as environmental stimuli that support the internal learning process, such as a quiet, well-lit classroom setting or having the necessary tools available.
The third and final component of Gagné’s Theory of Instruction is the Nine Events of Instruction.
Gagné believe that learning occurs in a series of events. The learning events must be organized in a hierarchy of complexity and must correspond with deliberate instruction. The significance of the hierarchy is to identify prerequisites that need to be completed at each level. Each learning objective must be accomplished before effective learning of the next outcome can begin. Essentially- you must learn how to speak before you can sing.
The Nine Events of Instruction, in order of Gagné’s hierarchical structure:
- Gaining attention: Before the learners can start to process any new information, the instructor must gain the attention of the learners.
- Informing learners of objectives: The instructor tells the learner what they will be able to accomplish because of the instruction.
- Stimulating recall of prior learning: A recall of existing relevant knowledge.
- Presenting the stimulus: The content is presented.
- Providing learning guidance: Understanding and encoding begins because the instructor presents the content with an emphasis on organization and relevance.
- Eliciting performance: Learners are asked to demonstrate learning.
- Providing feedback: The instructor gives informative feedback on the learners’ performance.
- Assessing performance: Additional learner performance is required and feedback is given again to reinforce learning.
- Enhancing retention and transfer: The learner applies the instruction to practical applications to show capabilities.
As an instructor and instructional designer, it’s important to understand how instruction and learning objectives can be deliberately designed for effective learning. It is evident that the Theory of Instruction provides relevant and useful information for doing just that. Stay tuned for a discussion on other Learning Theorists and their models.
When I wrote Instructional Design Defined on April 8, 2013, I gave a basic overview of the field I very much enjoy being a professional in. I promised that more information would come regarding terms and theories that I only briefly mentioned in that post.
This week, I will give more insight on the Instructional Design terms of Pedagogy and Andragogy.
Instructional design is often associated with Pedagogy or the “process of teaching”. As an instructional designer and an instructor, it’s very important to consider not only WHAT will be taught, but also WHO is being taught and HOW a lesson will be taught.
A successful instructor or instructional designer will consider the students’ background knowledge and experience. Some things to consider (but not limited to):
Is the student a Novice?
Is the student an expert seeking a refresher?
Has the student completed prerequisite courses?
Does the student use the topic daily?
It is also important that the instructional designer considers the situation, and the environment when designing a curriculum:
Does the lesson have immediate and important implication (such as safety protocols)?
Is the lesson being conducted in person or online?
Is the lesson self-guided or instructor-led?
In addition, a Pedagogical approach to instruction will consider the learning goals set by both the students and the instructor.
A related term is Andragogy or the teaching process developed for an audience of adult learners. Andragogy is intended to engage adult learners with the purpose of creating a meaningful learning experience. Adult learning theory typically states that learners are self-directed and autonomous in their learning goals and that instructors act as facilitators of learning.
Andragogy focuses on six assets (created by Malcolm Knowles):
Adults need to know the reason for learning
Learning through experience and making mistakes. Learn by Doing is a common phrase.
Adults are involved in the decisions of their education including the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
Topics should have immediate relevance to work.
Problem-centered versus content-oriented.
Internal motivators versus external motivators such as rewards result in better responses from adult learners
As many of you know, I have held several roles. Not only am I a Manager of Instructional Technology, but I also instruct an undergraduate course online and I have experience as a Graduate student taking both online and traditional classroom classes. This combination of roles has given me different perspectives as an Instructional Designer.
From my experience as an online student, my best experiences and learning outcomes were achieved when my professors designed the lesson structure for the online environment. Understanding that an online environment lacks synchronous interaction with students is important in overcoming a barrier to learning.
I’ve retained more information from classes that used a variety of tools to share the information. Examples include using voice recording over lecture notes and video demonstrations of content. In addition, classes that had me working on demonstrating my knowledge in the forms of projects, presentations, and exams were beneficial to my retention of knowledge.
However, my worst recall comes from classes that simply had PowerPoints of class notes available to read without any clarification or direction on how to apply those lessons to real life. Just because a class is conducted online doesn’t mean the instructor should take a “set and forget” approach to teaching.
Consideration and care of how the information is received and interpreted by students is important in the achievement of learning objectives.
As promised in my post “Instructional Design Defined”, I’ll be discussing what Educational Technology means.
So what is Educational Technology? At a quick glance, the phrase can be daunting. However, take a step back, break the phrase down and what do you have?
Educational = Education = Learning
Technology = Tools
Simply put, Educational Technology are learning tools. And therefore, an Educational Technology professional is one that encourages the practical application of technology tools in the classroom with the end goal of positively impacting the learning experience of the student.
The field, Educational Technology (also known as EdTech), is the study and practice of facilitating technological processes for effectively improving learning and performance. Educational Technology is commonly found in the education and higher education industries. However, the skills of Educational Technology professionals can be beneficial to corporations as well, specifically in training and human resource departments responsible for the successful on-boarding of its employees.
Many Educational Technology professionals, such as myself, have a background in Instructional Theory (Instructional Design) and Learning Theory (don’t forget I promised you a blog on Learning Theories!).
Educational technology includes software, hardware, Internet applications and interventions or activities. Essentially, any tool that may prove helpful in advancing student learning can be categorized as an Educational Technology. I plan on writing a series of blogs detailing how specific educational technologies can be beneficial to the learner and the implications it has for the educator.
|Software||PowerPoint, Keynote, Learning Management Systems, Games, Videos|
|Hardware||Classroom Projector, Smart Phone, Tablets, Document Camera, Computer, Calculator|
|Internet Applications||Learning Management Systems, Google Drive, YouTube, iTunes U, Podcasts|
|Interventions/ Activities||Online quiz for harassment training, Simulations|
Educational Technology must be used to enhance the learning objectives, not just “technology used for technology’s sake”. Educational Technology must serve as a complement to the overall educational goals, not be a distraction.
Therefore, it is important to plan and deliberately decide, which technology will be used and how it will be used when FIRST designing learning interventions.
In a few of my more recent blog posts, I’ve talked about what it means to be an Instructional Designer and how I had an interest in Educational Technology at an early age. I thought it’d be a good idea to continue down this path of origin by defining Instructional Design and Educational Technology. This blog post will focus on Instructional Design, but feel free to read my post on “Educational Technology Defined”.
Most people get a slightly confused look on their face when I tell them that I am a Manager of Instructional Technology. But when you really think about instructional design and educational technology, it is all around us.
For example, if you have ever had to complete a training seminar for work, maybe a harassment or safety course, you’ve experienced Instructional Design. If you’ve ever read an instructional booklet for a consumer product, it was instructionally designed by a technical writer. If you’ve ever traveled by airplane, the pre-flight safety demonstrations were instructionally designed. Ahaha! Instructional design IS all around us!
Most people associate Instructional Design with the education industry only, but it is used prevalently in businesses and other industries, too. Interestingly, Instructional Design first originated during World War II by the Military. Training materials and assessment tests were developed based on learning theories and principles of instruction.
Instructional Design, also known as Instructional Systems Design, is the act of creating an experience with the purpose of increasing a person’s knowledge or skill in a way that is effective and appealing. It must be effective because the objective of increasing knowledge or skill must be achieved. It must be appealing because the person (or learner) must want to partake in the instruction.
An effective Instructional Designer will conduct an analysis to determine the current state (what the learner currently knows or can do) and the needs (capabilities or hindrances) of the learner. Another component of Instructional Design is properly defining the end goal of instruction. And of course, an Instructional Designer must create an “intervention” to assist the learner in achieving that defined end goal. An example of an intervention would be a hands-on laboratory experiment in a science course or a video showing the correct way to change the oil on your car.
Analyze Define Intervene
Instructional Design is often associated with pedagogy or “the process of teaching”, but the field is also associated with andragogy or adult learning theory, since many of the instruction is created for adult learners.
There are also different methods for which the instruction is given. For instance, student-only instruction is self-paced learning like the tutorials you can find on YouTube or are asked to complete by Human Resources via an online website. Another mode of instruction is Teacher-Led instruction. This is what most people associate with education- a traditional classroom experience. Finally, community-based instructional settings provide learners with an opportunity to conduct hands-on learning in a supervised environment. An example of this would be a Fire Department having its members extinguishing a controlled fire.
The main result of Instructional Design is the outcome. The outcome can be measured and assessed or other times the outcome is hidden and therefore, not so easily measured.
Instructional Designers typically follow a model for creating instruction. The most common design model, which is discussed in length here, is the ADDIE model. The ADDIE Model has five phases:
1) Analyze – Determine the Needs and Outcomes
2) Design– Plan the instruction
3) Develop– Build the instruction
4) Implement– Bring the instruction “to market” or give the instruction to the learners
5) Evaluate– Determine the success of the instruction
Instructional Designers also work with different learning theories such as cognitivism, behaviorism, and constructivism. Each of these learning theories are discussed further in the post- Learning Theories.
The thing about instructional design (and audio editing and movie editing for that matter) is that you only notice it when it’s of poor quality. A good instruction will result in a change in the learner’s knowledge or skill with little notice of actually being taught.
What do you do when you teach an online class 3,000 miles away from your students? Many would say, use Web conferencing to hold synchronous or live class sessions.
I would typically whole heartedly agree. However, not only am I teaching students located in Ithaca, New York while I am in Los Angeles, I am also working a full-time day job with at least a 90 minute commute. This means the earliest I’d be able to meet online would be 8 pm PST or 11 pm EST for my undergraduate students. In addition, five of my students are studying abroad in London. Therefore, unless I want to torture my students late at night or during the weekend, synchronous Web conferencing sessions are just not possible.
So, again, I ask, what does an instructor do when they teach students who are in different time zones?
My solution was simple. I created a “Video Syllabus” to introduce the course, the course environment, and my expectations in regards to requirements. I used lecture capture software that allowed me to record both my Web cam and my desktop, along with audio, at one time. I navigated to the online course environment to show exactly where the students needed to go to obtain relevant course materials. As I moved my cursor, the lecture capture system recorded the moves. This makes it easier for students to visualize where they need to go, as opposed to reading text directions.
In addition, having my Web camera record me as I spoke, allowed for a better interpersonal connection. Students liked that they were able to see me and put my face and voice together with the person who was lecturing and responding to Discussion forums. It shows that there’s an actual instructor involved in the course and not a random group of people hired as graders.
I already see a decreased number of emails asking for clarification on requirements then last term, when the video syllabus was not used.
This technique of pre-recording lectures for students to view before class is also known as “the Flipped Classroom” or backward designed classes. Hmm.. perhaps that will be a topic for a future blog!
I only have plans on using this one recording this term. But I may consider creating recorded lectures for future terms. Another thought I had was to replace my “weekly email” with a “weekly video”. I’ll let you all know how it goes once I design, create, and implement regularly occurring class recordings.
Job hunting makes you think a lot about yourself, your experience, and your goals, as well as your past. I, not so long ago, accepted a new position in the Educational Technology field. The process of job hunting and getting settled in my new position has made me think a lot about how I became interested in Educational Technology. Many people want to know why I chose this field.
In short, I had great professors at Ithaca College that defined and highlighted the positive implications instructional design and Ed Tech can have on corporations and education. But thinking more deeply about my past, my first infatuation with Educational Technology came in high school. As a junior, I enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. My high school had a small student body and a small quantity of faculty members. To give students AP offerings, some of the courses were conducted via Distance Learning.
I walked into my first AP class in the basement of the school, near the cafeteria, technology labs, and football weight room. A corner of the school I seldom frequented. I expected the typical classroom layout with a teacher at the front of the room and chalkboard from which students can transcribe notes. I was mistaken.
In front of the ten student tables was a wall of televisions. A camera focused on us, displaying our images on one of the screens. On two other screens were classes filled with students we didn’t recognize. And on yet a fourth television, a man stood at a podium. This man was to be our United States History teacher for the year. He was located in a school district 45 miles from my classroom. He was teaching in front of one of the other groups of students displayed on the television. The third class was located even further away from my high school, 70 miles away. Remarkably, I recognized one of the girls as an opponent field hockey player.
The three classes from three different school districts had synchronous (in-real time) class sessions together for the entire year. The teacher used a Document Camera (similar to an over-head projector, it uses a camera), PowerPoint and streamed videos as instructional aids. I was enthralled with the fact that I could take an advanced course even though our school could not supply us with an in-person teacher.
Thinking even further back, I realized that Educational Technology even impacted me as a young girl. My younger brother was born legally blind (he can see, but not well). To assist him in his education, he was provided a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to help enlarge his papers and books on the television. Yes, this is the same technology used for Security purposes. He simply slid the paper under a camera which projected it on a television. The television had several adjustments for enlarging the text or changing the contrast of the color to help facilitate easier reading for the visually impaired. Although this CCTV was beneficial to my brother, I think I was more intrigued with it than he. I took every opportunity I could get to play with it. Who knew my passion for exploring new learning tools would start at such an early age?
ADDIE is not just a good name for my future puppy, it’s also a framework model used by Instructional Designers and Training Professionals to create effective instruction and interventions. For more information on what Instructional Design is, see my post titled “Instructional Design Defined”.
ADDIE is a systematic Instructional Design Model that outlays a process. A system means that one phase must be completed in the process before the succeeding phase can commence.
In this case, the ADDIE Model consists of five phases that Instructional Designers and Training Developers must follow:
1) Analyze – Determine the Needs and Outcomes
2) Design– Plan the instruction
3) Develop– Build the instruction
4) Implement– Bring the instruction “to market” or give the instruction to the learners
5) Evaluate– Determine the success of the instruction
The Analysis phase is when research is conducted to determine not only who the learners are, but what their current state of knowledge is of the topic to be learned. The learning objectives must be determined during this phase in order to fill the knowledge gap between what is known and what should be known.
During the Design phase the Instructional Designer decides how the content will be delivered to the students. This may include what media and communication mode is used, as well as what assessment tools will be created. The Instructional Designer must ask: How will the students achieve the learning objectives established during the Analysis phase?
When you’re ready to put it all together, the Development phase takes place and the instruction is physically built. Instructional materials and assessment tasks designed during the preceding phase are compiled in a nice instructional package.
The Implementation phase is also known as the “launch”. The intervention created during the development phase is finally delivered to the learners for instructional purposes.
The final phase, the Evaluation phase, focuses on how effective the objectives of the instruction and intervention were met in terms of the established success factors determined during the Analysis phase. Did it work? Did students learn? Did some components of the intervention fail? Were there any surprises? Make sure you evaluate the project and its outcomes so that improvements can be made.
ADDIE is essentially, a check list for accomplishing an instructional design project. Your project may not always succeed, but a postmortem analysis should be conducted to determine the strengths and weakness of the Instructional Design project.
This model can be varied according to developers’ needs. Some Instructional Designers like to build the intervention in several iterations, also known as Rapid Prototyping, and then evaluate each prototype accordingly. With this variation, the model becomes A-D-D-E-D-E-I-E. Analyze, Design, Develop, Evaluate, Develop, Evaluate …. Implement and Evaluate.
Other models for the effective design and implementation of instruction include the Human Performance Technology (HPT); the Dick and Carey Systems Approach Model; and the Instructional Development Learning System (IDLS) to name a few. But don’t worry, I’ve made note of these Models and plan on writing a blog post on each! Until then, thanks for reading.