Sunday, September 16, 2007

Instructional Design

This has been a very busy week! I've completed the first two sections of the Library Admin course I'm rewriting. Only 10 more sections to go!

Now that my Grad program has started, I've had a chance to dig into the "Instructional Design" text by Smith and Ragan. I'm not sure what my thinking will be. I'm still wrestling with the idea that "design" can be "teacher-proof". I was excited by the 3 principles of the instructional design process: 1) Where are we going? 2) How will we get there? 3) How will we know we arrived? I see connections here with J. Wilhelm's "Essential Questions" (he's one of the many proponents) and the "backwards design" movement. The text also provides some additional "web based" material (which I found very helpful.) I also came across this site which lays out the steps in designing on-line instruction in the K-12 environment.

We were assigned a chapter from a book by Reiser and Dempsy on the History of Instructional Design. I found it interesting to see the cycle of introduction, hype and disappointment that seemed to accompany each new technology (ie. radio, film, TV, etc. ) As a librarian, it's ironic to see that each technology saw itself as a replacement for books. Also, the problems that faced educational TV ... a) teacher resistance, b) the expense of the systems, c) the inability of the medium to work in all situations, ... are the problems that bedevil adoption of the new technologies today. Some of the encouraging references I found: criterion-referenced assessment, formative evaluation, constructivism, authentic learning tasks.