Sunday, November 24, 2013

The second phase of the instructional Design process (continued)

Step 2 Create a course map
A course map is the foundation of the instructional deign process. This is also a course map that allows to get a clearer picture of the course. It shows all the pieces of a courses. Some of the pieces can be: Overview, Introduction, Pre-test, Unit, Lesson, Post-test, Summary, Glossary, etc. Before laying out the course map one can do two things:
1. Lengthen the list of objectives by dividing topics in subtopics and writing each subtopic as an objective.
2. Refine the objectives by making them more specific
One can define a strategy component corresponding to a teaching strategy for each specific objective.
Step 3: Define a project style guide
In this step one decides of the theme, color scheme, metaphor, the look and feel of the project.
Step 4: Design lesson strategies, events and practice activities
In this step one creates the blueprint design document that shows the plan for the entire course. First the course is created in one's mind and one paper. Then one creates it in the computer. It is a question of putting together steps one and two in order to show the plan for the entire course.
Step 5: Evaluation strategy
In this phase one plans a way to measure how well the learners accomplish the goals and objectives of the course or lesson. One plans the lesson evaluation at the end of the lesson plan. The assessment can take several forms: a portfolio, a project, a test,  etc. A test is usually measured quantitatively. But other forms of evaluation can be used qualitatively. A portfolio and a project can be measured qualitatively where one can write a report on how well the learner reaches the goals and objectives of the lesson or course. The quantitative measure is very traditional and is still maintained as the most correct measure of evaluation. This measure is ridiculous because it requires the evaluation to be done by an instructor. But what's the evaluation measure of a self-learner and a lifelong learner? Out of school who evaluates the learning while one continues to learn everyday by experiences, reading and self-study?. I think in this case self-evaluation and society's evaluation are some measures of one's evaluation. For example one can use one's own judgement to determine if one has done well in a subject area or even in life. For example one can have good grades in college and not perform well in the exercise of one's profession. If you want to find a good physician you don't research his scores at the school of medicine but you research how well he has treated other patients. A good physician gets his patients by word of mouth. Once he treats them well  these patients refer other people to him. This medical doctor continues to learn by experiences, reading, attending seminars. The feedback that he gets from his patients and a sense of confidence in himself create a value for his competence that cannot be equated to a grade mark.
In a traditional measure of evaluation you give a test at the end of the lesson to see to what degree the learners consume the knowledge, skills and attitudes of what they are supposed to learn. When a student first take a course it is sometimes good to test the prerequisites to see how well they do. This can be pre-test. Depending on the results of the test one reviews the prerequisites before starting the course. All the tests of the actual course can be considered as post tests of this course. One test for a lesson can be considered as a pre-test for the second lesson when the lessons of the course are related.
I think a pretest and a posttest can be given for each lesson if the lessons of the  same course are not related.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The second phase of the instructional design process: the design

Engineers create a blueprint before undertaking any construction project. Similarly the instructional designer creates a "design blueprint" or "course architecture" before physically creating a course. This phase is the second phase of the ADDIE process defined in the previous post. It is the planning phase of a course and requires brainstorming and creative thinking. The course design blueprint includes a course map, lesson event strategies and treatments, graphical user interface design, assessment plan and storyboard. The following steps are used in this phase:
Step 1: Refine Course Scope and Strategy
Step 2: Create Course Map
Step 3: Define Project Style Guide
Step 4: Design Lesson Strategies, Events and Practices
Step 5: Plan Evaluation Strategy
Step 6: Design Storyboard and layout screens.

Refine Course Scope and Strategy

In this step one focuses on the goal of the course. One reduces the content to some specific topics and some particular aspects of a topic or topics.

This step consists in two tasks: Reduction of topics and organization of  the overall teaching strategy.

Reduction of topics

This task consists in reducing the topics of the course and organizing them in sequence or putting them in a certain order. One can assimilate this organization to a table of contents. The content is set according to the objectives and tasks. The content is arranged according to some guidelines: general to specific, frequency (first skills used first), simple to complex or logical sequence.

Organization of the overall teaching strategy

This task contains the following components:
1. Have a  clear idea of the objectives of the course. One can check the objectives set previously
2. Define the strategies to help students learn. These strategies and learning events depend on the content topics and objectives. Not all events and strategies are introduced in a lesson. These strategies are divided in : pre-instructional events, instructional events. Strategies are set for each objective.

Pre-instructional events help focus on the overview of your topic. They set up all the events that follow.
a. Gain attention. Can be motivational. State a problem to solve. A dramatic statement or question. Show a real object, a model, a video.
Use actions (a demonstration, a song, quotation, a survey of learner’s opinions, some gimmick or unexpected event).
b. Tell or show what is expected (the objectives)
c. Remind them of things they already know about the new topic or task. Make a bridge to your message & the learners’experience.
Instructional events (decide how much to do with students and in what sequence). Decide the scope of each activity. Sequence the events.
a. Present new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Work with only 3- 5 key messages or new steps in each lesson.
b. Provide guided learning (interactive), such as: practice, examples, nonexamples, embedded assessment, questions and answers,
analogies, demonstrations, presentations, discussions, interviews, games, role playing, scavenger hunts, and application exercises.
Give frequent examples to help students visualize what you mean. Give tips and summaries often.
Follow-through events
a.  Summarize learning points (use a dramatic statement that sums up your key messages)
b. Final lesson assessment (students will act and respond to quizzes, questions, problems to solve, projects and worksheets to complete

3. Break the instruction into manageable pieces incorporating objectives and strategies
4. Putting these pieces in a logical order as follows:
  • Introduction, motivation, attention getting, review
  • Statement of objectives
  • Learning activity
  • Summary
  • Assessments. Assessments can also include non conventional forms: portfolio, projects, reflections, etc.
(To be continued)