Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The third phase of the instructional design process: the Development

The purpose of the design phase of the ADDIE process is to give designers an idea of the structure of the course. During the development phase designers actually create the materials of the course. This process is similar to the building process of a house. One starts by creating a blueprint. Then during the executing phase one starts by acquiring and creating the materials necessary to build the house.

In the development phase instructional designers do the following things:
  • Develop all the materials for a prototype lesson or multimedia presentation
  • Create a file directory and store all files
  • Create a prototype lesson 
  • Check copyright permissions and list the credits
  • Use a production checklist to double check that everything looks and functions properly.

This is done by doing the following steps:

Step 1 Acquire, Produce Media and Store the Project Files

In this phase one designs the web page(s), text, images, audio and video necessary to teach the lessons. One chooses the appropriate media for these lessons according to the design process. One can create a web page with text, images, video. etc. It could be a PowerPoint slide. a single video or a combination of the two. It could be a web page with a combination of text and links. Think about it. We live in an evolving world and one can't limit oneself to a single process. There are various learning theories and each of them brings different learning approaches. If you think that a video is the best learning approach you can do it. But if you want to experiment and innovate you need to try different ways. With the internet and the development of web technologies there are different ways of teaching and learning.

The first thing to do is to create a directory structure to store all the project files and that might not be necessary if one doesn't produce the media. An example of the directory structure is provided in this worksheet. The next thing to do is to go to the storyboard created during the design phase to decide the type of files that have to be produced. One can produce the text and media files or one can acquire them. In the design phase a storyboard or a sort of blueprint of the materials that need to be produced was created. The storyboard holds also a web page design.  The web page design is a plan of the different web pages for the project. One can go to the home page for example and decide what type of media and text that can be put on this page. One can acquire the text and media or produce them. The pages can contain text, video, images, etc. This worksheet is an example of a web page(s) design that can be used as a reference to decide what type of of media that can go on the page(s). The storyboard is where one decides what type of materials need to be created. For me there is no fixed storyboard design as there is no unique design for all the houses that were built and that can be built. Houses are built according to the needs and preferences of the owner. The instructional designer designs instruction according to the needs of the learner. He also brings his own preferences according to what he thinks is best for the learner.

Three types of designs were created during the the design process: task design, information design and user interface or graphic design. In the task design one asks the following question: What are the steps the learner has to follow in order to perform a particular task? In the information design one decides the amount of content and the type of design that will draw attention to important information. During the user interface design one decides the type of handout, web page or PowerPoint slides that will best convey the information. These media should be easy for the learner to use. Feedback for the prototype created is gathered from targeted learners and subject matter experts to see if the design reflects the goals of instruction. This prototype is preliminary and will be evaluated in the first implementation of instruction. It is recommended to plan for feedback and evaluation throughout the design process so that the evaluation phase can reflect the goals and objectives for the redesigned instruction and materials.

Step 2 Create a prototype lesson

The preceding paragraph dealt with the design process. It reminded of certain important considerations in that phase. During the development phase one creates the materials such as web page, handout, PowerPoint slides or online activities that will be used with the learners in the first implementation of the lesson (s).  Media and technology specialized knowledge may be required during the development phase if the web materials are created from scratch. However armed with the necessary information the instructional designer can create everything by himself. Some instructional platforms give instructions to anybody who wants to  teach without having a lot of knowledge in web development and instructional design. It means that to teach a course online one doesn't need to be an expert in web development, media technology and instructional design. These platforms have already their web developers, media technologists and instructional designers. When you want to teach you only have to follow the instructions to design a course. What is deceiving is like the instructor has to follow these instructions and doesn't have the maneuver to bring his own preferences.

Step 3 Check resource permissions and write the credits

In this phase one determines the amount of copyrighted work that will be used without copyright infringement. According to an instructional design course of Utah State University 10% of a song or article can be used to stay in the limits of non violation copyrights. One can always use open source and open educational resources, which is a better option. One writes the credits and includes them in an appropriate place of the media used.

Step 4 Use the Production checklist

The ADDIE production checklist has the following elements:
This section deals with the management of the project: hard drive file structure, backup system
In this section is found the theme/motif of the project, the project metaphor that supports the theme, the style, color scheme. Pacing and tone match learner's skills, views and goals for the project.
This section deals with the requirements for graphics, audio, video and text. Use a media log to track filenames of files created or acquired. An copy of the course can also be created in a CD or DVD for learners who don't have access to high speed internet.
Project authoring.
Elements considered are: formatting styles, typeface, unit consistency, menu consistency, learner activities, script, test items, caption, instruction or directions
Considerations are given to buttons, links, site map, exit button
Language check
Spell check, language easy to understand, absence of implicit or explicit bias are considered
Copyright check
Citation of sources for graphics, sound, video and text. correctness of materials quoted, permission for use of copyrighted material, attribution of credits to contributors are taken into consideration
Double checking of the total project
Critique of pages, media log, accuracy of information, feedback from experts, debugging, proofreading, media testing, clarity of objectives are considered. Detailed information about the production checklist can be found in this workshet

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