Instructional Design & Technology Program Reflection

I have enjoyed this program in ways I did not expect. The instructors were great and the information being taught is valuable. It took letting go of my initial expectations to be able to really embrace this experience.

The Capstone Project is still unclear for me. I had expected for there to be a final course that would have us take the various elements from the different courses and begin to build an instructional design course into an LMS. Unfortunately that is currently not part of the program- perhaps it will be for future classes. As so many elements of the courses built on each other, I considered the ADDIE instructional design document in Instructional Design and Evaluation, the instructional design blueprint at the end of Learning Management Systems and Organization, and the video with a supplemental assessment developed in Media Asset Creation to all be part of the Capstone Project. My responses to the second question for each course reflect this.

In almost every course, my biggest triumph was my final grade.  It has been decades since I have been in this type of setting and received ‘grades’.  I got a kick out of looking at my grade section on the FSO and seeing how well I did.  Instead of listing that for the third question of each course, I focused on the work and experience.

Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership (MDL501)

While not specific to the Instructional Design & Technology program, the Mastery course was impactful for me as one of my most frustrating experiences in the program.  In hindsight, the material was good, the instruction was good, the skills being taught were good, and the assignments were engaging.  The only thing that was off, was me.  This course was the first introduction to the required reflection process used often during the program, and I did not take well to it initially.  There was an adjustment period for me as I had expected to be hard-charging into specific ‘instructional design’ topics in the very first class and I found the reflection to be unnecessary.  As I began to move through the program, the benefits of reflecting became noticeable and it is often those assignments that I remember better. 

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course contributed both to my personal development as an instructional designer.  It was in this course that I began to learn the value of reflecting on past work and experiences as well as researching and how to use APA formatting.  Both of these skills helped me throughout the program – in every class.   As an instructional designer I will often be researching and collaborating with others.  The reflection process I learned in this class will ensure that I take the time to consider the best approach, ultimately saving time and effort.  The research process I learned will allow me to make sure that I am using the best learning theories and most recent technologies in my work.  The APA formatting will be indirectly used in that I recognize the need to state where ideas and information come from instead of, potentially, presenting it as my own.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

In this course there were no ‘hard’ instructional design concepts and techniques taught to be used in the development of my Capstone Project. 

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course was beginning to see the value in the reflection process. 

Strategies for Learner Engagement (IDT520)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course consisted of multiple case studies and gaining the ability to identify the different learning, motivation, and cognitive theories used in their development.  The practice of looking up the different theories and figuring out their potential applications opens up the types of effective instructional design I am able to make.  This is a valuable skill set.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

In this course I learned how to research relevant cognitive and learning theories to different case studies.  When I was beginning my Capstone Project, I used the same processes to identify the best learning theory for me to outline in the Instructional Design Document – ADDIE and the ID Blueprint.  I also had to research the best learning theory for the video in my Capstone Project.  The practice gained in this class made the researching portion of my Capstone Project go much smoother.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course relates back to the reflection appreciation I gained as nearly every week there was a reflection due.  This was also the first class that I received an A+ in a course that was directly related to the instructional design field, that was a very big deal for me.

Visual and Verbal Communication in Instructional Design (EDM533)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course helped me refine my art skills specific to conveying data versus only being entertaining.  For years I have been an artist and creating things instinctively, in this course I discovered that there theories, names, and whole reasoning I can present to a customer as to why I made a certain decision about instead of saying, “this is how it should be”.  It also introduced me to Adobe XD which is going to be valuable in my professional life to give my customers a way to see and interact with the design I already have built in my head.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

In the video for my Capstone Project I had to develop multiple graphics to visually convey information and reinforce the narration.  I pulled on the knowledge gained from the creating an infographic section of this course.  Also, tt may be considered indirect; however, the practice we did about writing instructional copy: understanding the audience, and choosing the right tone were all used when I was writing the narration script.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

During the beginning of this class, my wife’s grandmother unexpectedly passed away. Between the funeral arrangements, funeral, and caring for her grandfather who had dementia and Alzheimer’s, there was a lot going on personally for those first week’s of the course. Maintaining school with everything else was a big achievement. I believe it also helped to provide a semblance of structure to that time.

Specific to school work, my most outstanding personal triumph in this course comes back to the writing for instructional design assignment.  Art in basically any visual form comes very naturally to me and I struggled with the writing instructional design copy section of this course.   Reflections are my thoughts, so they come easy, peer reviews are my thoughts with research included so they are also straightforward.  However, writing for instructional design specifically is a whole different beast and one that does not come naturally to me.  Successfully completing that assignment and receiving a good grade on it brought intense satisfaction.  That being said, if I am on working on a project with a team, that type of writing is something I will happily hand it off to someone else.

Corporate Training and Motivational Development (IDT552)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course was amazing because it taught the process we follow for a customer with each assignment building on the last.  This showed me the bigger picture while still teaching about the smaller pieces.  Specific skills that I have used over and over come back to the training needs assessment and making sure that I actually know what the customer needs versus what they think they want.  Had I of known the value of that initial assessment, I would have saved so much time, effort, and headache on past jobs.  Going along with that is the project design brief, not only does force me to identify what I am going to be doing and why,  it also ensures that the customer and I are both on the same page before getting into the development stages.  Again, the headaches I could have avoided. 

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

Performing the training needs assessment and writing the project design brief were both skills that I used in the early development of the Capstone Project. A training needs assessment was not officially needed, but I still used the same process when I was breaking down the solicitation my Capstone Project was based on.  It also helped form the ADDIE instructional design document.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course was hands down the video at the end.  It brought all of the assignments together and I had a lot of fun putting my own spin on it.  The video feedback on that was awesome to watch, and brought a great sense of accomplishment. 

A smaller personal triumph was the first time I completed a post and there were no comments from Mr. Bunner-Sorg about the incorrect use of ‘thru’ instead of ‘through’. It took weeks of conscious effort to change that habit.

Instructional Design and Evaluation (IDT562)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course focused solely on the ADDIE process and developing an instructional design document.  While I had some familiarity with the process, I had never taken the time to delve into the nuances that need to be considered when developing what is essentially the reasoning and outline for the intended training.  As with the course map in Learning Management Systems and Organization, there are so many moving parts to consider when developing training.  The ability to follow this process and fully flesh out an ADDIE document will save time and headache later in the development phase.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

The document created in this course was one of the three elements I consider to be part of the Capstone Project.  One of the learning objectives originally outlined in this document was used as a base in the ID blueprint as well as what the video was created to address.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

Unfortunately, during this course there was another death in the family.  My wife’s grandfather, the one with dementia and Alzheimer’s, also died with no warning.  There was a lot of family chaos and things that were said/done that caused large rifts in her family and may never be recovered from. 

That being the case, I was highly distracted the last half of this course and was grateful to successfully get through it.  This is one course that I know I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have, especially towards the end. That was a lacking and distraction on my part.

Digital Media and Learning Applications (IDT574)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course taught me how to create effective quiz questions based on a source material and how to build/edit that quiz in JavaScript.  As an instructional designer, it is highly likely that most assessments are going to include quizzes or tests in some form.  The information taught in this course directly relates to that requirement of an instructional designer. 

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

While it was not a large part of the Capstone Project, I created an assessment for my video.  The ability to take the script of that video and develop effective questions is exactly what I learned in this course. 

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course was editing the quiz template to suit how I wanted it to function.  I knew how I wanted it to look and function but for the life of me couldn’t figure it out.  I spent days trying to figure it out and asked numerous people both for help.  Finally, at the eleventh hour I found the one, very tiny, section of code that was the lynch pin and had success.  It may seem minor and I could have turned it in as it was and gotten a good grade, but it wasn’t the experience I wanted to provide.

Music and Audio for Instructional Design (MUS6018)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course indirectly related to my development as an instructional designer.  I know that audio is one of my weak spots and I don’t see that changing.  If I have to, I can pound a square peg into a round slot but it will be accomplished using blunt techniques with no finesse.  This course attempted to teach me valuable basic skills to clean up audio.  Instead, I learned enough that I can have a good conversation with the audio guy and have the necessary knowledge and audio terms to effectively describe what I want them to make it sound like.  Accomplishing even that limited growth for me when it comes to audio, I consider the course to have been a success.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

Surprisingly, I did use some of the techniques taught in this class to clean up my narration for the Capstone Project video.  I recall actively wishing I had an audio person on the project as the would have been able to do it better and faster but ultimately, I got it done.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

In the twisted sense of humor that life and death sometimes has, this was the third time that death impacted my school work.  At the start of this class, my wife received a phone call that her grandfather (other side) was in the ICU at the hospital.  This began a three-week process with many ups and downs and her spending weeks off and on in Florida.  Understandably this put our entire household all over the place.  By the end of the month, and the end of the course, he had died and she remained in Florida to help coordinate the funeral arrangements and be there to support her grandmother and mother.  Thankfully I was able to work at home through this, but my effectiveness on all fronts was diminished. 

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course was the final project.  It was something that I had fun doing and showcased the few audio skills I have – the ability to overlay audio tracks.

Filmmaking Principles for Instructional Design (IDT610)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course provided me insight on the differences between creating video only for the purposes of entertainment versus a video designed to impart knowledge.  Going into this class, I already had the technical skills of editing video.  What I was lacking was how to apply those skills to making an engaging instructional video – which is a whole different beast.  While an entertaining video will capture learner’s attention, if they haven’t learned the intended information then it is a failure.  The change in my video approach towards instruction is something I believe I will be using on most future instructional design jobs.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

As I was developing the video for my Capstone Project, I implemented most of the feedback I had received on my rough draft from this course.  I used graphics to visually convey information being said in the narration and I tried to keep my angle changes and visual pacing at a good speed.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

While it is tempting to say the final project was my personal triumph, because I did have fun doing it.  I actually found it more challenging and accomplished when I was able to build a story from someone else’s video footage.  When I have control of a project from start to finish, I know every step I will take and generally know what the final product will look like.  However, in the Creating a Story assignment we had to work with the footage we had to develop our narrative and that was much more challenging, engaging, and fun.   To create an effective video with someone else’s footage – that is a triumph.

Game Strategies and Motivation (EME6227)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course brought an element to instructional design I had not previously considered – games.  I have been a gamer for years, since well before that term implied video and computer games.  Once it was brought to my attention in the class the benefit that include a game, or game elements, into instructional design, it opened up a whole new avenue to use to engage learners.  This is something that I have already incorporated into my current job with some of the rather dry topics we are trying to teach.  Sometimes building them into a game will add life that videos and PowerPoint just don’t have.  

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

Indirectly I used some of the concepts from this course in my Capstone Project.  My ADDIE document outlines the different phases of training that will occur for each learning objective.  One of these phases is group practice with role-playing.  The use of role-playing brings an element of a game to the training, puts each learner into the scenario, and reinforces the information taught in previous phases.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

During this course, my wife was still reeling from the large number of deaths in her family over the holiday season.  True to the pattern of every-other course, she received the new that one of her uncle’s (son of the only remaining grandmother) needed to have emergency open heart surgery.  This resulted in another swirl of activity with her grandmother coming up from Florida to stay for the surgery and recovery.  Thankfully there were only a few hiccups and he survived. 

My outstanding personal triumph in this course was the game I developed for our online sessions. Not only was it fun and introduced some of my classmates to RPG’s, it also served as a distraction for my wife.  She was my co-DM and ran the lights and sounds for those live sessions.  The distraction that provided her during such a crappy time was priceless – it also helps that the game was well-received.

Learning Management Systems and Organization (EME6630)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course taught and honed valuable skills that I will need as an instructional designer.  I have outlined processes before, but never walked through each element of a course, determine how they will be presented, consider when they will be taught, figure out the best way to group them together, and decide the weight of each assignment.  For such as basic set of information, there were a lot of moving parts to consider.  This put into perspective just how important it is going to be to thoroughly outline a course before beginning to develop anything.  It may seem minor but will have a ripple effect through out development.   This course also showed me the value in taking a 10+ page ADDIE document and honing it down to less than a page of essential information. 

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

My Capstone Project was based off a real solicitation put out by the Navy for instructional design of EMS re certification training.  In the video developed in Media Asset Creation, there is reference to different sections of training.  That is directly related to the course map skills taught in this course.  I outlined what the overall training would look like prior to developing the video so I would have that information available and make it apparent that they video was only one section of a much larger training scenario. 

I also used the ID blueprint developed in this course to coincide with the ADDIE document from Instructional Design and Evaluation and make sure all the elements came back to the ID blueprint.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

My most outstanding personal triumph in this course was probably the course map.  There was a sense of pride and satisfaction when it was completed.  I think overall, I was just grateful that there was a light at the end of the tunnel with family situations and things were starting to get back to normal.  

Media Asset Creation (IDT680)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course was by far the most comfortable and familiar to me.  I have years of experience creating videos, being in the military, and medical training this course went right into all three of those skill sets.  It helped that my ADDIE and ID blueprint all stemmed from a Navy solicitation for EMS re-certification, the content and feel of the video were all very familiar to me.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

Because I went into making this video with a strong skill set in all the relevant areas, it is difficult to separate out what I learned from the class and what I already knew how to do. 

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

This course broke the pattern of every other month there being a family trauma. My wife was braced for it and we were both glad when this course ended and the phone call with bad news never came.

This was a very familiar experience compared with the rest of the courses and all things I do often.  Even the animation piece in After Effects was similar to things I currently do at work. Overall, there was no big triumph moment that stands out. 

Instructional Design and Technology Final Project (IDT690)

·  How has this course contributed to your personal and professional development as an instructional designer?

This course is not so much about my development as an instructional designer, instead it is more about the presentation of being an instructional designer.  This course has forced me to official create key elements potential customers and employers will look for – demo reel, portfolio, and resume.  Previously, I would simply send them to my company’s website.  Now I have a much more clean and professional feel to how I present myself.

·  How well were you able to utilize the concepts and techniques you learned from this course (theories, systems design, interface styling, and the creation of multimedia content) as you designed, developed, and implemented your Capstone Project?

This course was completed after the Capstone Project was completed.  However, I did use audio and video skills from the other courses to develop my demo reel.

·  Describe your most outstanding personal triumph in this course.

I really like my demo reel; I have watched it many times and still enjoy the anticipation it brings.  I am also proud of how the portfolio turned out.    However, ultimately, my most outstanding personal triumph in this course is finishing it. Completing this course symbolizes the end of the program and all the ups and downs that came with it.  A big thank you to all the instructors and peers along the way.

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IDT680 Personal SWOT Analysis

Reflection

I was very pleased going into this course as I have a lot of experience creating videos.  True, they are often for a very different type of purpose than instruction.  However, the basic skill set remains the same.  At my day job I use Photoshop and After Effects nearly every day, and every time I make a video I use Adobe Premiere.  This made the technical side of the video less time consuming than it would have been if I was trying to learn a new software as well.  I was fortunate to be able to film at the Scottsboro Fire Station where they conduct all the training for the area.  To have two individuals that are very familiar with the process as well as had the mannequin makes the precise movements they performed seem very natural.  Their familiarity and availability allowed the filming to be done very quickly.  In hindsight, I am grateful I made the choice to create a video as even with all these things working in my favor, it still took a considerable amount of time.

In hindsight, my weaknesses should never have occurred and they did only because I went into the project arrogant.  I believed it would not take as long as it would to complete the video, so I did not hustle to find a place to film.  Instead, I waited to hear back when I should have asked everywhere until one of them said yes.  If I had done that then I would have had the video almost a week earlier.  In the same vein, I had expected for a friend of mine to film with his high-quality cameras and then he went radio silent.  My lack of planning resulted in my scramble to pull out two of my old cameras, and unfortunately the video quality reflects that.  My original vision and storyboard of the video was sound; however, after recording the audio and lining it up with the videos I realized the need for additional graphics.  This is one that isn’t necessarily related to arrogance directly.  If I had gotten the footage earlier then I would have realized the need and adjusted my timeline accordingly.  As this had such a large effect on my week three timeline, I definitely feel it qualifies as a weakness.

The largest opportunity I feel I had during this course was the live review response.  This may seem strange, but taking the time to pinpoint specific things learned as they relate to my experiences and consider how I would apply them brought a lot of clarity.  Often, I can be at a disadvantage of having too much experience and glossing over concepts because they seem common sense.  This specific assignment forced me to stop and evaluate what I was doing and why.  Almost every week there were things that I knew but had become complacent in and the live session review forced me to pay attention to those concepts/details again.

I feel that my threats have been the same throughout the program as a whole and it almost always comes back to time management.  Between family, work, and preparing to move, there was a lot going on during this course.  There were many nights where the only time I had available to work was after everyone had gone to bed and then until the wee hours of the morning.  Thankfully, my wife adapted and over the weekends took my son out for most of the day so I could have uninterrupted day-time to work. 

Reference

Nishadha. (2018, September 19). Personal SWOT analysis to assess and improve yourself. Retrieved from https://creately.com/blog/diagrams/personal-swot-analysis/

EME6630 Reflection

  • What would you do differently? What would you keep doing, stop doing, and start doing?

This class has been enjoyable as most of the assignments were analytical and appealed to me. The biggest thing I would have done differently is to ask about my topic for the IDD assignment and if I should have changed it. I am concerned that the instructional components may not be original enough for my capstone project. I chose to use a Navy contract as the base for my ADDIE document in the previous Instructional Design and Evaluation class. The intent was to add a level of realism to the ADDIE assignment. However, I am concerned the instructional components may not be original enough for my capstone project. I did not recognize this as a potential problem until Friday afternoon. Then it seemed unlikely to reach Dr. Reo, confirm a new topic, complete a partial ADDIE breakdown, and be able to finish the IDD assignment on time. 

Throughout my graduate program, I have done my best to consider each instructor as a customer. By taking this mentality, the focus of each assignment is not on what or how I think it should be. Instead, the focus is on how the instructor wants something completed. This approach ensures that I am always in a frame of mind to be open and learning from the individuals who know more than I do. This mindset is one that I will continue doing. The items that I would stop and start doing are linked together. I would start utilizing time at work for school assignments (with permission). This change would allow me to stop having time management issues and be able to spend more time on assignments.  

  • How can you make your situation better?

As both this class and my graduate program approach the end, I am pleased with my situation overall. Other than two classes where there were multiple deaths in the family, I have A’s. I feel that I have learned a lot and refined the skills I had before entering the graduate program. Those two classes mentioned above, I know I did not put forth the same level of attentiveness and focus I should have. That does bother me as I don’t think I learned as much as I could have. As I mentioned to one of the instructors, sometimes life happens, and you have to adapt. If I had to pick one item to change to improve my immediate situation while I am still in school, that would be time management. Better time management would allow me to balance all the moving parts successfully and cascades into other areas such as proofreading.  

  • What sacrifices would you have to make to ensure that you, as a graduate student, more fully engage in and fulfill all assignment/project requirements in a timely manner?

I am lucky to have a 4-year-old at home again; between school, work, and sleep, I feel guilty about the lack of time I get to spend with him. This guilt often results in me waiting to complete assignments and leads to a lack of time to proofread assignments. I already feel that I have sacrificed a lot of time with my family and many hours of sleep. Instead of additional sacrifices, I would prefer to focus on alternative solutions.  

One solution specific to time management could be to talk with my work about doing some school assignments during the workday. They may be open to this as they are waiting for me to complete my degree. One solution specific to proofreading is to utilize Grammarly more often. Typically I use Grammarly only for the ‘big’ assignments – like research papers. By using Grammarly as my primary word processor, every assignment will receive the same level of proofreading and professionalism.  

EME6630 Content Map Reflection

I began creating the content map based on the Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by first evaluating which of the topics had a logical progression to be included together, which seemed to build on each other and could be combined in the same week.  I also wanted to be sure that the students would not be overwhelmed by too much role-play of different scenarios and potentially mix up the correct procedures.  From there I considered all the elements I wanted to include in the blended learning approach: e-Learning modules, in-person sessions with role-playing, online tests, live sessions for review and introduction as well as research.  A lot of the components I already had planned from last week’s discussion as well as the ADDIE document I created in IDT562-0 as my topic for that class was also medical training. The schedule of the assignment due dates mimics the Full Sail time-line as I have found that to be a good approach.

Once I had all the elements outlined on paper, I began to create my form in Excel, recreating the template provided by the EME6630 Content Map.  While there would ideally be media assets, like videos, created specifically for this class I found comparable videos on YouTube that could be inserted as instructional materials.  After all the elements were included on the content map, I double-checked my math that the grade weight for all assignments added up to 100%.  This required changing a few things around as originally, I was at 105% and that is not acceptable. 

Overall this assignment took a considerable amount of logic to break each of the weeks out and ensure that everything was included.  It took being able to visualize how the class would need to be presented to the students and pulled on the same skillset as the Instructional Design and Evaluation class from months ago.  There is so much potential for things to get overlooked or presumed that taking the time to create the content map eliminates (or greatly reduces) those potential problems.  Even for this relatively simple material, there were still a lot of moving parts to consider. 

Below is a copy of my final content map.

IDT610-O Review

The assignments and learning experience during Filmmaking Principles for Instructional Design were things that I was already familiar with.  I have been involved in film production for many years and this simplified most of the assignments for me.  This level of familiarity with the process provided me with an opportunity to have fun with most of the assignments as I wasn’t having to learn the nuances of new software. 

Overall the feedback for the course was very positive with minimal changes required. Most of this was due to years of experience doing this type of work. Audio in my instructional video was a specific area identified that needs work. I have been aware of this for some time now and in my regular life do not do anything beyond basic audio editing. I realistically will continue to find other people who are better than me at fixing audio. I know my strengths and weaknesses, this is a weakness.

Overall Course RISE Self-Evaluation

Reflect – Specific to behaviors, I try to approach every assignment as a paying job with the instructor as the customer. This makes it not about what I like or think is good but what the person who knows more than me identifies as areas I need to address and things I can improve on. I think/hope this makes me a better student.

Inquire – The primary area I know I was lacking in is audio editing. This has never been my strong suit and I normally have someone else do it – I will probably still delegate that out. Though from Music and Audio for Instructional Design I have an understanding of the technical terms and am better able to convey what I want done. Specific to the learning objectives of this class as a whole, I need to learn more techniques to present (potentially) dry information with a compelling/engaging story while still being appropriate for adults. I’m fairly certain that using a child as the basis for an instructional video will rarely be an acceptable solution.

Suggest – There were times in my peer reviews where I gave recommendations for technical changes. It wasn’t until later that I realized I should have provided links to tutorial videos about how to do those techniques. The reception to that level of response in past classes has been hit or miss. Outside of that, during the first half of the class there were some family circumstances that preoccupied my time/mental focus. I think had it been just a normal class I would have been more involved instead focusing on meeting the requirements.

Elevate – I plan to continue my approach of viewing each assignment as a job with the instructor as the customer. This mindset helps keep the focus off of me and on the more knowledgeable person.

Specific Assignments

8.2.1 Mastery Research Paper

This assignment was the most challenging as it was the topic I was least familiar with. Due to a third death in the family, the focus of the paper inadvertently shifted more to emotions and storytelling instead of storytelling and associated techniques. While the quality of the paper was acceptable, the topic shift affected my grade as I was missing two of the required elements. Below is a copy of the paper, page 10 is not included as it is blank.

8.2.3 Creating a Story

This assignment was a lot of fun and very similar to the editing work I have done for years. It is my belief that editors shape films more than directors, producers, screenwriters, cinematographers, or anyone else. Fifteen different editors can be working with the same base material and fifteen different versions will be created. This assignment showcased that truth perfectly as each student had very different videos, all pulling from the same reference material and instructions.

Feedback from my instructor for the rough cut was positive with the recommendation to add to the beginning and end as she felt it started and ended abruptly. I made the recommended changes and other than some audio issues for the new narration had positive feedback.

Below is a copy of the final version – notice the color changes over the course of the video, warm tones to show the relationship is ‘happy’ and cooler tones to show the relationship has soured.

8.2.3 Final Cut

8.2.2, 8.4.1, & 8.4.2 Create an Instructional Video, Parts 1, 2, & 3 (This assignment was completed over the course of the class.)

Part 1 consisted of creating a detailed storyboard with narration based on a topic of our choice. I chose how to create a window garden and had multiple versions of my storyboard. My initial storyboard was very basic and had to be broken out more. After the Create a Story assignment, I re-evaluated my storyboard and threw everything out. I shifted my video from a dry tutorial to the journey of a child, trying to better engage my audience. It was then pointed out to me that I had swung too far the other way and was loosing my adult audience. My final storyboard combined elements of both. Below is the version with Alexander included.

Part 2 included the initial filming and editing to create a rough draft. The original intent of the Alexander inspired story was to have it be very ‘YouTube’ style. This ended up being changed to create a more professional feel after a recommendation from Dr. Wyly to consider what type of instructional design I plan on doing after completion of my degree. Below is the rough cut and intermediate cut.

Rough Cut – YouTube style
Intermediate Cut – becoming more professional

The general response to the rough cut was positive with a concern that it no longer suited my target audience and was now geared more for children than adults. Removing the car ride, fine-tuning the clips to focus on the steps of the project, and including the information cards helped address these concerns. The intermediate cut was well-received with the primary issue remaining being audio at the store.

Part 3 was the final cut of the video. There was only tweaking needed from the intermediate cut. I was never able to successfully fix the audio from the store and ended up having points removed for that. Overall the video was considered to be a charming piece.

Final version

8.4.3 Compression Discussion and Reflection

This assignment was focused on the technicalities of compression and encouraging us to consider which was more important – compression or technical quality. Due to my experience in the entertainment industry, this was a topic I was already familiar with and served more as a review than new material. The response to my posts was positive. Below is my initial post and two response posts.

Initial Post

  • In creating instructional videos for online delivery, is the technical quality of the video more important than the file size, or is file size more important than the technical quality of the video?

Which takes priority, the technical quality of a video or the final file size? This is an important issue to consider, and the answer is dependent on the needs and requirements of each customer. Even with the qualifier of instructional videos for online delivery, some nuances will tip the scales in one way or another. Are the videos being hosted internally by the customer and delivered through a portal on their website? If so, then the ‘bit budget’ the customer has allotted for the finished project is a substantial consideration (Chris Pirillo, 2011). Conversely, if the customer plans on offering the videos through a service such as YouTube, the maximum upload size is 128GB (YouTube Help, 2019). Most instructional videos are recommended to be less than 6 minutes (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014) with more complex topics at a maximum of 15 minutes (Berg, Brand, Grant, Kirk, & Zimmerman, 2014). This allows the focus and priority to shift to the technical quality of the video as the likelihood of reaching 128GB is highly unlikely. A second nuance to consider is the type of information being taught. If it requires a high level of visual detail, such as organisms being viewed under a microscope, then ensuring an adequate file size to provide the needed visual quality may take priority over the technical quality. Whereas a video showing the correct arm motions, the marshallers need to use to direct an airplane to the correct location safely could use a smaller file size but needs to make sure all of the arm movements are included and presented correctly.

Currently, there are multiple factors that can be manipulated to adjust the file size to meet the customer’s requirements, including multiple different codex options, the frame rate, the bit rate, and the resolution settings among others (Penner, 2012). As a compromise between file size and video quality can be found through manipulating these different settings (Videocompression101, 2013b), the ultimate priority becomes the technical quality of the video. The technical quality of the video including the cognitive load, the engagement of students, and the amount of active learning being prompted is what will ultimately determine the effectiveness of the video as a learning tool (Brame, 2016). In common colloquialism – content is king. Instructional videos are about instruction, this requires effective technical content, both to please the customer and to instruct the viewers. Without this, there is no need to create the video at all.

  • What factors must you consider when compressing a video in order to produce the best possible output?

There are multiple factors and settings to consider when compressing a video, the first is what type of compression. There are two categories of compression, lossless and lossy. In lossless there is no loss to the quality of the image; however, the file sizes tend to be larger as all of the data remains in the file. In lossy, algorithms are used to minimize the amount of data saved while still retaining visual quality (Videocompression101, 2013a). This can be accomplished through a couple of different methods including motion vector analysis (Chris Pirillo, 2011) and a variable bit rate (Penner, 2012). This provides the specific algorithm that is going to be used to compress your file as well as decompress it in the chosen video player.

Once the desired codec has been chosen, there are various settings that can be altered to finesse the balance between quality and size. These include the frame rate, the resolution, and the bit rate (Videocompression101, 2013a). Previously addressed, the bit rate can be adjusted to be a variable bit rate instead of constant. If the codec has manual settings for the variable bit rate, you have the option of choosing how often information is updated on the screen. This can be valuable for adjusting the bit rate to match the general level of motion shown on in the video. For videos with a large amount of motion, a higher bit rate will ensure the motion is presented fluidly. For videos with minimal motion, a lower bit rate will allow the file size to be reduced while still retaining visual quality (Penner, 2012). Resolution is the size of the video, with familiar settings such as 1080 and 720, whereas the frame rate is the number of frames shown per second. This setting normally matches the setting of the original video (Penner, 2012). The correct combination of these choices and settings will allow for the best quality output to be created.

References

Berg, R., Brand, A., Grant, J., Kirk, J.S., & Zimmerman, T. (2014). Leveraging recorded mini-lectures to increase student learning. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/6778520/Leveraging_Recorded_Mini-Lectures_to_Increase_Student_Learning

Brame C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. CBE Life Sciences Education15(4), es6.

Chris Pirillo. (2011, August 11). How does video compression work? [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyztYavfFMs

Guo, P.J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R., (2014, March 4). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of MOOC videos. Retrieved from http://up.csail.mit.edu/other-pubs/las2014-pguo-engagement.pdf

Penner, T. (2012, August 22). Video compression basics. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/blog/post/video-compression-basics/

Videocompression101. (2013a, May 2). Video compression comparison. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2jA3kYDZ_0

Videocompression101. (2013b, May 2). Video compression techniques. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzcHWRzvwwg

YouTube Help. (2019). Upload videos longer than 15 minutes. Retrieved from https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/71673?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

Response Post 1

  • Concerning the technical quality versus the file size of instructional videos for online delivery, was the evidence provided by your classmates convincing?

While a clear answer on the original question of technical quality versus file size was not provided, the nuances that need to be considered were effectively presented. In the second sentence, the evasive yet accurate answer was provided – it depends on the type of video and the desired outcome. The follow-on information provided more details and explanation that is important to consider and how it connects together, showing that there was a solid grasp on the concept.

  • Do you agree with the support provided by your classmates?

Yes, overall I agree with the argument presented. I interpreted technical quality to be the content of the video itself and this slightly changed my approach to the question. For the definition of technical quality used here, I feel the answer provided is accurate. I agree with the statement that it is necessary to take into consideration the type of video and the desired outcome.

  • What can you add to further the discussion based on your own experiences?

I have many years of experience creating videos for various projects and have found that while there are many options, there are very few that I adjust. The standard settings that vary for me are: the frame rate to match the footage, the final resolution depending on what is being used for (online/YouTube vs professional movie), and the deliverable format (.avi/.mpeg4/etc). Only on rare occasions when the customer requirements are very specific do I change any of the presents once these settings are in place.

  • What resources can you add to this conversation to help further the understanding of video compression?

This website goes over some of the same information we’ve already covered as well as adding audio codecs, interframe and video frames, and chroma subsampling.

https://blog.video.ibm.com/streaming-video-tips/what-is-video-encoding-codecs-compression-techniques/

For anyone that wants to know the details of the algorithms for the different compression options, this website gets into the nitty-gritty.

https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1275884#

This video is focused on the h.264 standard and does a quick (under 5 minute) break down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RemuYxA4s

Response Post 2

  • Concerning the technical quality versus the file size of instructional videos for online delivery, was the evidence provided by your classmates convincing?

Overall the concept seemed to be understood and relevant experience was presented in a logical format. Most of the answer was focused on the space available and how the different settings of compression work in relation to that. One or two sentences at the end to bring it back to the technical quality/file size question would have rounded out the answer – even with the answer being that it depends.

  • Do you agree with the support provided by your classmates?

Yes, overall I agree with the argument presented and the information included are sound reasonings. I interpreted technical quality to be the content of the video itself and this slightly changed my approach to the question. For the definition of technical quality used here, I feel the answer provided is accurate. I agree with the statement that it depends on the requirements/space available.

  • What can you add to further the discussion based on your own experiences?

I have many years of experience creating videos for various projects and have found that while there are many options, there are very few that I adjust. The standard settings that vary for me are: the frame rate to match the footage, the final resolution depending on what is being used for (online/YouTube vs professional movie), and the deliverable format (.avi/.mpeg4/etc). Only on rare occasions when the customer requirements are very specific do I change any of the presents once these settings are in place.

  • What resources can you add to this conversation to help further the understanding of video compression?

This website goes over some of the same information we’ve already covered as well as adding audio codecs, interframe and video frames, and chroma subsampling.

https://blog.video.ibm.com/streaming-video-tips/what-is-video-encoding-codecs-compression-techniques/

For anyone that wants to know the details of the algorithms for the different compressions options, this website gets into the nitty-gritty.

https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1275884#

This video is focused on the h.264 standard and does a quick (under 5 minute) break down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RemuYxA4s

Reflection

The reflection post was in the same RISE format and is very similar to the RISE reflection at the top of this entry.

Reflection Post

Reflect
 – This week’s learning experience, both the video editing and the compression, were topics I am familiar with. This simplified most of the assignment for me and I hope brought a level of experience to each peer review that was beneficial to the other students. I am a firm believer in having multiple sets of eyes reviewing my projects, it is especially beneficial when I am immersed in it to have an outsider identify things I missed. I also realize that there is always someone who knows more than me and to never discount the insights others can provide.

Specific to behaviors, I try to approach every assignment as a paying job with the instructor as the customer. This makes it not about what I like or think is good but what the person who knows more than me identifies as areas I need to address and things I can improve on. I think/hope this makes me a better student.

Inquire – The primary area I know I was lacking in is audio editing. This has never been my strong suit and I normally have someone else do it – I will probably still delegate that out. Though from the last class I have an understanding of the technical terms and am better able to convey what I want done. Specific to the learning objectives of this class as a whole, I need to learn more techniques to present (potentially) dry information with a compelling/engaging story while still being appropriate for adults. I’m fairly certain that using a child as the basis for an instructional video will rarely be an acceptable solution.

Suggest – There were times in my peer reviews where I gave recommendations for technical changes. It wasn’t until later that I realized I should have provided links to tutorial videos about how to do those techniques. The reception to that level of response in past classes has been hit or miss. Outside of that, during the first half of the class there were some family circumstances that preoccupied my time/mental focus. I think had it been just a normal class I would have been more involved instead focusing on meeting the requirements.

Elevate – I plan to continue my approach of viewing each assignment as a job with the instructor as the customer. This mindset helps keep the focus off of me and on the more knowledgeable person.

IDT574-0 Reflection

To create the quiz, I first started by watching the video as a general observer, not focused on any particular area. After the initial viewing, I then read the transcript of the narration from the video. The combination of these two actions gave me the starting point to begin identifying potential statements, topics, and images to use as questions. With the transcript as my base, I went through and marked different commentary to use for the various types of traditional assessments (multiple choice, fill in the blank, and true/false). Once I identified the statements from the transcript, I began crafting the questions themselves. Some questions follow the text of the transcript and narration precisely, while others had to be adjusted to fit within the assessment format I had chosen. The most challenging task in creating the questions was providing reasonable alternatives (distractors) in the answers for the multiple-choice and fill in the blank assessments. The incorrect options had to be close enough to ensure a learner paid attention to the video while not being too difficult as to discourage.

Three authentic assessments were created to provide a learner the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained by watching the video and taking the interactive quiz. The authentic assessments were designed to appeal to multiple types of learners. Some learners prefer to write, some to draw, and others to do. By utilizing these skill sets across the authentic assessments, learners should gain a deeper understanding of the material presented in the video as well as be able to convey that to the teacher.

The first is to write an essay about the patterns in the sun that cause the Earth to get hotter and colder as this relates to the ability to grow crops and how it would affect food prices. This assessment relates to the information presented in the video. It forces the learner to look beyond general knowledge instead of restating facts. This assessment, in particular, is valuable because the learner watches the video, completes the quiz, then use critical thinking and association to take that information and apply it.

The second authentic assessment requires the drawing of a diagram to illustrate how geomagnetic storms from coronal holes could affect cell phone communication. Again, this authentic assessment takes the basic facts presented in the video and tested in the quiz and requires the learner to use critical thinking to apply that knowledge. A crucial difference between the two assessments is drawing a diagram instead of writing a paragraph or essay.

The third authentic assessment focuses on performing an action based on the knowledge provided in the video. The learner is to attend a solar observatory and count sunspots to then determine if the sun is in a solar maximum or minimum. This assessment is valuable as it requires the learner to complete the same action that is referenced in the video for themselves, further reinforcing that knowledge.

Presenting information, concepts, and processes, digital video is a valuable tool for learning. Narration, imagery, animation, and video are combined differently for each topic to maximize the effectiveness of the video dependent on the specific information. For some issues, such as complex concepts, using simplistic images with narration is more effective than animations or videos of the same material. Processes are more easily understood when learners view a video of someone completing the same task. Digital video provides the versatility to customize the most effective delivery based on the information and the learners.

IDT562 Mastery Journal Reflection

In the last class, I learned how to evaluate a customer’s needs, how to build a plan that addresses those needs, how to present that plan, and how every detail in every document and email is important. More than the technical skills and knowledge I gained, probably the biggest thing I learned in the last class, was how to immerse myself in the scenario – to see as many of the nuances as possible. The last four lessons together created a very comprehensive scenario that allowed us to really see how everything fit together and I was able to take that experience and immediately apply it to the current project. Over the course of the class I consistently had grammar and proofreading issues that the instructor kept bringing to my attention.  I have made that a priority moving forward into this class and will continue to do so in future classes. 

The first assignment of the class was a research paper on the Instructional Design Process. This covered the different types of ISD methods, different strategies that can be used to engage an audience, different ways to assess learning, and how to measure the ROI of a training solution.

Below is my first draft.

There were a handful of grammar issues that I needed to fix as well as flesh out the conclusion and link it back into the themes of the paper. I was able to make these fixes fairly quick and the final research paper looks very similar to the draft.

Below is the final paper.

I enjoyed writing this paper as it allowed me to summarize all the information I had learned in the last class (Strategies for Learner Engagement) and gave me a refresher going the rest of the assignments.

I received positive feedback on the final deliverable from my instructor including:

I had a great time reading through this. You used some strategies such as the use of analogies and comparison/contrast of the different development models that I consider to be great demonstrations of the concepts.”

Thank you for continuing to develop your paper. The new conclusion fits nicely!

The next assignment was about understanding client training needs and creating a Value Proposition Design. Through the use of a scenario we were able to take the concept and practice applying it to help our ‘customer’. Initially I misunderstood the difference between ‘stakeholders’ and ‘shareholders’ and my draft version reflected this as I addressed what I thought was an issue with the scenario itself – a lack of understanding of how government contracting works.

Below is my draft version.

It was during writing/researching for a peer review that I discovered my mistake and had to rework most of the draft. An interesting side note, over the course of this project I had a situation at work that I was having difficulty with and ended up using one of my bosses as the fiction ‘Adam’ in my presentation. I used what I knew about Adam, his work, his daily life, his friends, his aspirations, his accomplishments, and other office knowledge and incorporated them into the project. Surprisingly enough, this project gave me insight into how I needed to change my approach to something that would resonate with Adam more, and it benefited me in real life.

Below is my final presentation.

Once this foundation was laid, we transitioned to learning how to create a Training Needs Assessment, design an infographic, build a Project Design Brief, develop an e-learning module demo, and professionally pitch ourselves/capabilities to the customer hoping to be hired. These took place over the next four projects and each student was allowed to choose between two different scenarios/customers, Tellotech or Purrfectionary.

I chose TelloTech, a medical call center whose call operators were lacking in efficiency. This inefficiency had worsened and they were needing to hire more call operators to process roughly the same number of calls.

First I created a Training Needs Assessment for Tellotech outlining who the audience for the training would be, what their current issues were, what the desired state of the call operators would look like, who my SME was and what their area of expertise was.

Below is my first draft.

While I had a good start, there were areas that I needed to flesh out more including linking the desired state of the operators to higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. I also needed to remove sections as they were not relevant to this document but would be incorporated into the Project Design Brief.

After making changes recommended by my instructor and peers, this was my final document.

The next step in preparing for presenting to Tellotech was creating an infographic that was relevant to the audience (the operators) as well as a potential reason for the lack of efficiency (lack of empathy for the callers). To do this I focused on potential demographics for different types of callers with the call operators at the center.

This was my first version.

Overall Tellotech was pleased with the direction, they requested that I add a title clearly stating the intent of the infographic as well as see if there was a way to incorporate some of the colors into the text sections.

This was the final version included in the brief.

The final document needed before I would be able to pitch to Tellotech was a Project Design Brief where I explained the problems the training would solve, outline the details of the training, present a timeline for development and explain based what the Return on Investment would be for Tellotech by using my training solution.

This was my first draft of my Project Design Brief.

There were some things that I needed to clean up before I was ready to present this to Tellotech, this included streamlining my learning outcomes and further expand on the Return on Investment section. After reviewing the average salary of a call center operator it was determined that Tellotech would recapture approximately $460,500 in wages resulting in a ROI of 385%.

This was my final Project Design Brief that was sent to Tellotech.

Along with the Training Needs Assessment, infographic, and Project Design Brief, I also created a demo of what the training for their call operators would look like. The draft version and the final version are very similar with only minor changes. Unfortunately, I saved over the draft. However, the final version of the e-Learning training demo is available at:

https://xd.adobe.com/view/792a5c41-8a78-473f-72ae-0bd0d39daf8c-0f1b/?fullscreen

To prepare for my pitch, I created my script and practiced my presentation. Below is one of the practice videos (my draft).

I received positive feedback that I was hitting all the needed highlights and presenting well. With this knowledge, I continued fine-tuning and practicing until the day of the presentation.

This is a video recording of my virtual presentation to Tellotech.

6.4 Final Presentation

Mr. Bunner-Sorg,

Below is the link to our live video presentation earlier today, it is slightly over the length of the formal presentation as our brief technical issues at the beginning and conversation at the end were not edited out.

In an effort to maintain the attention of any additional stakeholders who will be reviewing the video in the upcoming week, I did my best to use a variety of vocal intensity and rates of speech (Zandan, 2014). I also incorporated visual embellishments, either in the form of using my hands to count items/provide emphasis as well as inserting visual aids to further enhance the information being presented (Zandan, 2014). All of these techniques are valuable tools as the average adult attention span is five minutes (Zandan, 2014); however, live video such as our meeting today, is typically able to be three times longer and still hold viewer’s attention (Explanatorro, 2019).

I also chose to use a variation of the rule of thirds composition technique which recommends breaking an image up into thirds both vertically and horizontally and placing the subject at the intersection of two lines (Wayand, 2016). Due to the large visual changes each time visual aids where used – utilized to maintain attention (Mitchell, (n.d.), I maintained use of the top horizontal line for my eyes as my image shifted from the center of the screen to the side and back again (REI, 2019), similar to the transitions used to frame news anchors (Zettl, 2015).

You may have noticed that I was wearing professional, yet not quite traditional business attire. I chose to wear this steam-punk inspired look as it made me more comfortable in front of the camera (Texter, 2013) and being comfortable is an important part of making more authentic content (Crowell, 2011).

I look forward to hearing back from you on Thursday and starting the development process.

Respectfully,

Richard Langsmith

Langsmith Training Solutions

**On a personal note, creating is video has probably been one of the most fun assignments so far. I hope the use of your voice to enhance the realism of the presentation is taken in a with good-humor and appreciation as it was intended. These additions did lengthen the total time, however the actual presentation of information is still within the assignment requirements.

Last week’s assignment felt like more of a culmination of all of the technical skills from start to finish (understanding the scenario, creating a training needs assessment, translating the training needs assessment into a path forward, outlining the problem/solution/reasoning in the project design brief, and creating the graphics/prototypes to show capabilities), while this week’s was practicing the delivery.

After this class I feel much more confident that I have the skills and knowledge to follow this process and be successful working in the corporate world.

References

Crowell, G. (2011, January). 5 tips to help interview subjects feel more comfortable on camera. Retrieved from https://tubularinsights.com/5-tips-on-camera/

Explanatorro. (2019, April 8). 5 video trends you should pay attention to in 2019. Retrieved from https://topdigital.agency/5-video-trends-you-should-pay-attention-to-in-2019/

Mitchell, O. (n.d.). 7 ways to keep audience attention during your presentation. Retrieved from https://speakingaboutpresenting.com/content/7-ways-audience-attention-presentation/

REI. (2019). Photo composition: Seven tips to take better photos. Retrieved from https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/photo-composition-seven-tips-to-take-better-photos.html

Texter, L. (2013, July 3). 27 ways to feel like a natural in front of the camera. Retrieved from https://sproutvideo.com/blog/27-ways-to-feel-like-a-natural-in-front-of-the-camera.html#close

Wayand, D. (2016, December 8). Front and center: Breaking the rule of thirds in photography. Retrieved from https://www.adorama.com/alc/front-and-center-breaking-the-rule-of-thirds-in-photography

Zandan, N. (2014, July 23). The science of audience engagement. Retrieved from https://www.quantifiedcommunications.com/blog/the-science-of-audience-engagement/

Zettl, H. (2015). Television production handbook (12th ed). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com/products/television-production-handbook-12th-herbert-zettl-v9781305176508

EDM533_6.3

Wanting to translate the infographic into the virtual tour was a large part of my design approach as design elements. I knew that I wanted to keep the images of the kids, that they would essentially ‘guide’ the students through the different points of interest. In keeping with that theme, I kept the same ‘child’ with the same point of interest from the infographic. This way the students experience continuity of their learning experience. First, they have the with the poster, something they have been looking at and talking about (in theory) for months waiting for the virtual tour to be available. As this information continues to be repeated it is also expanded upon with the arrival of the virtual tour which is then able to be referred to repeatedly and will (hopefully) begin additional discussions, expanding yet again (Educational Research Techniques, 2014). I also chose to use the graphic of the book from the poster in addition to the ‘forward’ navigation arrow. This was two-fold; first, it provided additional continuity between the virtual tour and the poster. Second, the graphic of a book became an ideogram, symbolizing gaining additional knowledge that can be used across any culture or language (Nordquist, 2019).

With the primary audience being fourth graders, the aesthetic-usability effect was different than it would have been for an audience of adults. It was necessary to maintain a level of playfulness and relatability so they would find the interface to be appealing, ultimately having a positive experience (Peters, 2014). That positive experience directly translates to increased learning “as emotions and visual information are processed in the same part of the human brain” (Jandhyala, 2017). To put it simply, individuals learn better when they like what they see and are happy. Not only do they ‘learn’ better, they actually engage with the material in a vital way because their creativity has been stimulated. “Emotions and cognition are supported by interdependent neural processes. The very large interdependence [overlap] between emotion and cognition is termed ‘emotional thought’ and encompasses processes of learning, memory, decision‐making, and creativity” (Immordino‐Yang & Damasico, 2007). Successful instructional designers, marketers and other ‘influencers’ understand this link and utilize it to communicate with their audience in unparalleled ways.

The skills and principles I have learned so far in the program, surprisingly enough go back to the first Mastery class. I know that I work better with a deadline and that if I want to get something done early then I need to create a sense of urgency to mimic that focus and intensity. I have a much better understanding of the different types of learning and how to present information for each one. From this class specifically, I am more aware of all the design elements around me that previously never registered. Gaining and practicing using that knowledge, from the nuances of stroke width to the use of color and space to the over-reaching interactive program, has been a concrete way to practice the theories the previous class taught us. I was grateful during this class to have a much more ‘hands on’ learning experience to solidify concepts and theories. Having the knowledge benefits no one if you don’t have the skills to utilize that knowledge and turn it into a cohesive image/message/experience/product.

References

Educational Research Techniques. (2014, June 16) Continuity and Curriculum. Retrieved from https://educationalresearchtechniques.com/2014/06/16/continuity-and-curriculum/

Immordino-Yang, M.H. & Damasio, A.R. (2007) We feel, therefore we learn: The relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education. Mind, Brain, and Education 1(1), pp. 3-10.

Jandhyala, D. (2017, December 8). Visual learning: 6 reasons why visuals are the most powerful aspect of elearning. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/visual-learning-6-reasons-visuals-powerful-aspect-elearning

Jnd.org. (2008, November 17). Signifiers, not affordances. Retrieved from https://jnd.org/signifiers_not_affordances/

Nordquist, R. (2019, May 25). Ideogram: Glossary of grammatical and rhetorical terms. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-an-ideogram-1691050

Peters, D. (2013). Interface design for learning: Design strategies for learning experiences. San Francisco, CA: New Riders. Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/web-design-and-development/9780133365481?uicode=fullsail

IDT520 Reflection

Strengths

*Think logically and analytically

*See connections between different theories

*Life experiences/older

*Able to be both creative and analytical

*Hard worker

*Research well and thoroughly

*Artist

*Military experience

*Generally the same age or older than my instructors (so far)

*Comfortable and knowledgeable about technology

Weaknesses

*APA formatting, including but not limited to: in-text citations, reference citations, capitalization, and punctuation proofreading & grammar

*Busy, lack of time, often rush at the end of assignments with best of intentions at the beginning of the week

*Lack of patience with ‘fluff’ assignments, want to focus on course specific material

*Sometimes viewed as arrogant

*Cluttered/disorganized work space

*Stubborn

Opportunities

*Continuing this Master’s degree program

*Using my knowledge and past experiences with virtual & augmented reality

*Have extensive art knowledge that should help with future classes

*The knowledge I’m gaining is directly relatable to current job and will put me in a position for promotion

*Finishing the degree program will allow me to get a job as an instructional designer at a medical college, immersed in the information I need to know to pass my MCAT’s and become a doctor

*Most people at my work spend more time watching YouTube videos or being sociable than working, I have a reputation for being a miracle worker and getting things done quickly

Threats

*Any large project at work that requires overtime will affect my ability to really focus on my school work – really anything that would shift my time, even sickness

*Lower grades, points taken off because of lack of proofreading and proper APA formatting, not because of lack or quality of content

*More ‘fluff’ assignments

*Considering competition is in the degree program, the other students are probably able to consistently devote more time and attention to their school work

*Considering competition is at work, I am considered to be ‘outside’ of my co-workers due to my age and experience, they are still young and silly, the competition is in the networking they do daily with each other

I gained a lot of knowledge, which was enjoyable, in this class. I came in as a blank slate, I didn’t know anything about learning or engagement methods and strategies, other than what the military taught me and that does not translate well to instructional design. I am comfortable saying that as this course comes to a close that have accomplished the outcomes listed in the Course Description and Course Outcomes specific to instructional design. Many of the theories I researched work hand in hand or often overlap each other from different perspectives. I can successfully describe some theories and learning styles as well as different strategies to engage learners across various mediums and benefited from collaboration with my fellow students. The adding exercise last week was particularly engaging as it forced me to continue looking beyond what the original poster had chosen to research.

My biggest concern during this class was that the strategies I did not choose to research. The teaching approach taken was very effective, moderately annoying at times, but effective. During my research for the Bridging Our Future, Using technology to engage learners blog post I found and referenced the constructivist approach written about by Driscoll (2018) in Reiser and Dempsey’s Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (4th ed., p. 63) where the instructor lets the students take the lead, learning primarily by discussion and projects . As I read the outline for this approach, I immediately recognized this teaching style as the primary approach our instructor had chosen to follow. However, as I continued reading, many of the frustrations I was experiencing but had not been able to fully identify or articulate were listed as potential issues common to this approach including student frustration and a sense of disorientation with having a lack of knowledge going in and spending time doing unnecessary research, only starting to gain knowledge towards the end of the course. Due to the short length of time allotted to each of these classes, perhaps a modified approach would best be served where a list of specific theories and strategies are identified is presented to the students as a clear expectation of knowledge areas to focus on with one or two not on the list to be included at the interest of each student. Because of how I researched, using key words, I am not even aware of how many other learning strategies there are that I did not choose, much less any information about them. Each of us is walking away from this class with knowledge we choose to research, not a standardized amount of information. When I start as an instructional designer at a medical school, they will presume that I have a basic knowledge of learning strategies for various mediums and I fear I only have partial knowledge. I would have preferred to have a list of strategies I was going to learn about and then done a version of the constructivist approach from that. I think this would have made the class less aggravating and more engaging, that I could be confident I was accomplishing everything I need to know to be a good instructional designer.

All that being said, I did learn quite a bit and have started to see the different learning styles and approaches all around me, even in how we interact with each other in daily life. I have started to apply some of these concepts to teaching my 3 year old son, he is showing tendencies of being a kinesthetic learner and I wish I had known what that was when my other children were still at home so I could of worked with them instead of trying to force more traditional teaching methods on them.

Some of the learning engagement strategies like media, games, and interactive technologies I came into the class very familiar with the application of. It was interesting to read the theories behind why I have been creating the content I have been creating for years. This confirmed to me that I want to continue using my strengths and skills for my capstone research project.