Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Directions in Instructional Design and Technology

I guess you can say the best was saved for last. The beginning of this book was a slow read. However, the ending is very interesting in that it discusses effective online learning, issues regarding resuability of instructional systems, rich media learning, the spectrum of technologies available in the future and looking at the future of technology in learning.

I think the future in technology and learning is very promising. For example, I zeroed in the section about Distributed Learning. This chapter talked about the large amount of virtual universities availabile of online. I was aware of several online universities but, I did not know the number had reached 263 accredited institutions.

Distributed learning is also used in a corporate setting. I have worked at USC for the last seven years. Traditionally, required training was done in the university's training facilities. However, recently the university has outsourced its mandatory training to a consultant that develops training courses online. USC has over 8,000 employees thus, this online training is more efficient than having 8,000 employees leave their departments to go to a mandatory training.

I really like the idea of virtual communities. I think this concept will work with the outreach program I am currently at; allowing students to get involved in peer tutoring, mentoring and other projects that can be administered online.

As I mentioned in Kellie Kong's blog I do think that Instructional Technology Designers should be credentialed. Credentials will solidify this field and also assign a professional label to them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trends and Issues in Various Settings

This section focuses on all the opportunities available for instructional designers ranging from business to the military, health care, education and international settings. My husband is a computer programmer. My background is in business and marketing. We have started a business with the intention of providing computer consulting to small to medium sized businesses. This consulting will entail database design, web design, networking and any other computer services the client may need.

I have a bachelor of science degree in business with an emphasis in Marketing. I worked as a Marketing Manager for 7 years. After having my son I became more interested in educating him. Thus, my interest have shifted to education. I currently work as a student advisor for an outreach program at USC. I love helping children reach their goals. I believe all children deserve a good education where they are able to not only learn the basics but, also learning higher-level thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. I believe this will help students become active participants in the learning process as well as, help them secure better careers in the future.

Since my interests now include education. I believe I will also use my Instructional Technology skills in my current position helping students use technology to learn informally. My husband and I also plan to incorporate consulting educational institutions into our computer consulting business.

Human Performance Technology

I thought this section was very interesting. This section really emphasized how we learn through on the job training, electronic performance support systems, knowledge management and learning and informal learning. I really liked the discussion about informal learning because our society moves so fast the best way to learn is informally. In today's times technology is obsolete before it is released to the public (i.e. Microsoft Vista and other operating systems) Software developers are already working on the next upgrade before users master the newly released version. In some cases this can be overwhelming. However, I think informal learning helps focus on the important aspects of learning a new technology, concept or idea. If you get involved in an online discussion you will see others perspectives and possibly get support on your own personal projects.

I believe this class has shown us a lot of different informal learning opportunities through this blog, wikis, social networks, and rss feeds. This class has actually opened my eyes to many opportunities I knew existed but, was quite sure how to incorporate into my daily life.

I think this section was very informative in showing us how technology now allows us to quickly access, analyze and evaluate information quickly and efficiently. I believe this skills will be valuable in helping us save corporate or educational dollars on formal training programs and processes.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Situational Leadership_Chapter 12

If I were to receive a two-year grant to develop a 12-unit, multimedia training program I would use the Situational Leadership approach to develop my project. Here is how I would lead my team through each of the four phases of the situational leadership approach:

Phase 1:
  1. If the team members do not know one another I would have an icebreaker so everyone can meet and understand each others background.
  2. I will share the grant with the team to ensure we all understand the goals and objectives of the project.
  3. I will also share the timeline with the team to ensure everyone is aware of their deadlines. Also, this will show the impact each team member makes on the entire project. In addition, this will show how each person's timeliness impacts others deadlines.

Phase 2:

  1. I will show the team the effectiveness of the final product. This will help everyone buy in to the project. Also, I will let them team know their name will be listed on the credits for this product which will enable them to add this project to their personal portfolio. (i.e. many scientific researchers add computer programmers, designers etc. to their list of contributors, helping people in support roles develop professionally)
  2. I will have the group agree upon a final reward (i.e. party, day off etc.)

Phase 3:

  1. I will have a meeting (possibly webcast if members are in separate sites) displaying progress and accomplishments and rewarding individuals for their contribution.

Phase 4:

  1. I will continue to monitor from a distance by recording individual progress updates on a message board. Having team members contribute their progress to the message board will help group determine where we are and what needs to be done.
  2. If I notice progress is stagnant I will intervene by following up with individuals who are slowing down the progress of the project.

I think this is a very helpful procedure to use in managing a project. I currently work on projects and I am always trying to figure out how to motivate others to get their share of the work done. I will be incorporating this approach into my daily work.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Educational Technology - Chapter 11 Discussion

S-Shaped Curve
The first application question at the end of chapter 11 challenges us to think of an innovative product or practice that was introduced in the last several years. I asked 5 people when they first “adopted” the use of email.

Two of my respondents adopted the use of email prior to the world wide web being in existence. Thus, they adopted the use of email when this communication was available through main frame computers. The other 3 respondents adopted email around 1993-1994 which is when the world wide web began to be used on a wider scale.

This basically proves the S-shaped adoption curve is a valid idea. In my observation the curve shows email went through a very slow adoption and now is being used on a wide scale all over the world.

Diffusion Theory Applied to Educational Technology
My husband I recently developed a database development system for my department at work. In initially developing the database we did not take into consideration employees thoughts and feelings about a new system. The database administrator currently uses dbase and she thought a new database system would be difficult to learn even though the new system is windows based as opposed to dbase which is dos based. The new database allows you to see the students picture so you can put a name with a face when there is a need to follow-up with students about grades or write letters of recommendation. The new database also decentralizes data; giving staff the freedom to look-up data and run reports without depending on one person. The database system was developed 2 years ago and there is still a hesitation to use the product in the office. This chapter has helped me to understand how to make the use of a technology to those who will be using it on a daily basis. I evaluated the reason the new database was not being used and found that it was not user-friendly; and employees were not enthusiastic about learning how to use a new database. Thus, we have updated features to make the program more user-friendly and I am constantly training employees on its use to show them how to use it effectively.

Ely’s Eight Conditions That Contribute to Implementation
Yes, I believe that each of the conditions are equally important. However, I think leadership should be number 1 because without leadership the other steps will not take place.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Evaluating, Implementing and Managing Instructional Programs and Projects

I believe few companies conduct evaluations of levels 3 and 4 because of time and money. It will take a lot of time to follow-up with students to determine whether or not they were able to apply the concepts they've learned to their job. However, I do think this can be done through yearly employee evaluations.

We use the Kirkpatrick Model in my current work setting. I work for an outreach program and we provide tutoring and enrichment activities for students in the 8th - 12th grades. However, we normally do not get to the level 3 and 4 evaluations because of the costs associated with this procedure.

Other Evaluation Models
1) Transdisciplinary Model
2) Logic Model - It displays the sequence of actions that describe what the program is and will do – how investments link to results.

The transdisciplinary view, or model, of evaluation requires an understanding of how and why evaluation developed from a practice to a highly skilled, professional practice to a field-specific discipline, and finally to an autonomous discipline and transdiscipline, much like ethics, statistics, and measurement. The epistemological characteristic of the transdisciplinary model is one drawn from an objectivist view of evaluation.

Logic Model
The Logic Model looks at the following:
INPUTS: resources, contributions, investments that go into the program
OUTPUTS: activities, services, events and products that reach people who participate or who are targeted
OUTCOMES: results or changes for individuals, groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems
Assumptions: the beliefs we have about the program, the people involved, and the context and the way we think the program will work
External Factors: the environment in which the program exists includes a variety of external factors that interact with and influence the program action.

Therefore, the logic model will help you determine the return on investment of your evaluation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

EDIT451 10/18/2007

Welcome to my blog.