Thursday, November 29, 2007

Distributed Learning and the Field of Instructional Design

In the text, the authors discussed the number of graduate programs that are available completely online. In theory it's a great idea since it saves on commute time, and allows the student to work at their own pace. I do feel that there is a downside to having solely online classes. As a part of BTSA, I enrolled in an online course to satisfy one of standards. Since there's no immediate deadlines, it's easy to fall behind which I inevitably did. Meeting face to face all the time can also be repetitive or class time may be used inefficiently. For these reasons, I feel that CSULA's idea of having hybrid classes sounds like a good idea as it bridges the two styles together.

At the end of the chapter, the question was raised at to whether IDT professionals should be subject to credentialing. I think that this is a good idea as it would force universities to have similar curriculum. In a field that's constantly changing like IDT, I think that it's only natural that we're continually assessed so that it forces us to stay on top of the newest trends. It just like with doctors, even after they finish medical school, the tests never end.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trends and Issues in P-12 Educational Change

In section 5 of our textbook, I really like how they split up the chapters based on the different applications of Instructional Design. Based on my background and work in the K-12 sector, I read about the Trends and Issues in P-12 Educational Change. I thought it would be logical since I have no experience with the business, military, higher education or health care. In the reading they discuss 2 methods of instituting systemic change (which can be statewide, district wide, school wide, or ecological wide). The main point of systemic change is that it has to be for the whole system, and not be focused on certain aspects of it. Of the two processes that they presented, I like the Step-Up-To-Excellence model over the Guidance System for Transforming Education simply because in SUTE they address the role of everyone, especially IDT specialists so that if I were to pursue this field, I'd have clearer idea as to what I would be doing.

I think the message that chapter is trying to send out is important. In order for the change to systemic, it really needs to be top down so that there's support from the leaders, as well as the financial commitment to help see the changes through. At the same time you need the local support because the book attributes the failure of systemic change to the reluctance and inability to implement the change properly by transitioning from the old to the new.

I'm not sure if this particular field is right for me as I feel like it's too political. I'm interested in the business application of IDT and to see if perhaps it could be a better fit for me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Electronic Peformance Support Systems

Much of the information that was presented in this chapter I found to be relatable to many software applications that we use today. The text broke up EPSS into 5 categories - An Informational Base, Learning Experiences, Embedded Coaching and Help Tools, an Expert Advisor, and Customized Tools. An informational base is like researching a library or any online journals. Each is kept current with the information and is searchable. An example of learning experiences would be if a company had a section where people could post anecdotes of working for that company. Embedded coaching and help tools can be observed in most software products that have help features. Microsoft Excel also helps to coach users through creating graphs with their chart wizard. I haven't actually observed an expert advisor, but I think that car maintenance could be related. I know with cars, some companies have built in maintenance light that goes off if that car needs service. My parents have such a car, and when they took it in, the maintenance light was no longer on, so the mechanic said that he wouldn't be able to know what the problem was unless the light was on. For this reason, I believe it that mechanics must a have a machine/program that lends itself to being an expert advisor as it must guide the mechanic through the steps of diagnosing what's wrong with the car. Lastly, if you think of Microsoft Office as entire suite or whole entity, then all of the different applications like Word, Excel, and Power Point would be examples of Customized Tools. I know that all of these examples are not EPSS, however, I feel like they help me understand the concepts better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Colbie Caillat

I recently discovered this artist about a month ago when my old roommate mentioned that she wanted to see the show, since a Hawaiian Artist, Justin Young, was backing her up as a member of her band. Anyway, what started with supporting Justin, has now transfered to loving Colbie's music, especially "Bubbly". I highly recommend seeing her!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Adoption, Diffusion, Implementation, and Institutionalization of Instructional Innovations

Chapter 11 of our textbook focuses on how educational technology is implemented by the public. The authors focused on several theories, as well as the identification of key indicators of facilitative conditions and institutionalization. Overall, I found the chapter to be interesting as to it's IDT applications, but also to it's greater application to other fields and experiences.
For example, during my credentialing experience, as well as during my first week of orientation at the school I was working at, much of the science professional development was centered around FOSS kits. In theory, they are great for teachers and students as it exhibits some of the constructivist ideas of hands on learning with teachers taking on a more facilitative role. As a new teacher, I was excited to be able to use such materials, and was severely disappointed when I found out that the kits were scattered throughout the school, incomplete, and were not used. To me I found this to be quite baffling since 2 hours of professional development time was spent on learning about FOSS kits. Since I had such a positive experience with them, it would have been interesting to try to apply some of what the book talked about to figure out why the implementation of FOSS kits failed. Perhaps it was due resistance in the school, and if so, maybe it could be attributed to the subcategories of access or attitudinal behaviors. As the book pointed out, learning about what resistance the implementation was met with, could lead to the development of future strategies to combat resistance. Maybe after devising these combative strategies, research into a new curriculum could begin. However, before a new science curriculum could be adopted by that school, I feel that a careful examination of why the old curriculum failed and why it supported by some staff, should be done so that a clear consensus could be reached, so that the school has a better understanding of what it wants from a program before it begins to go through the first few stages of Roger's Innovation-Decision Process model.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Any teacher who has been through a teacher ed program, knows how important motivation is in a lesson plan. During my student teaching experience, all of my supervisors alway emphasized it's importance to me, and I really struggled to constantly slip a motivational piece into my lesson. I felt that it had to be some type of game that had to be incorporated to make the students interested and motivated in the lesson. With that type of mentality, I felt that it was impossible to constantly motivated students in this way, and that at some point, they needed to take responsibility for their own learning. This directly relates back to the intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation debate. Throughout my educational career, i haven't really seen intrinsic motivation at work. The best I've seen is college students, because they all in class by choice. In an elementary setting, even as a sub, I still have only seen extrinsic motivation used with table points, marble jars, tickets, or class money. Perhaps intrinsic motivation only develops with age.

In the reading, I really liked the ARCS model categories and subcategories, as they really helped to show me the other ways that motivation can be tied into a lesson other than turning everything into a game. In addition to that, I found the steps of the ARCS design process to be interesting because it really forces the instructor or designer to really think about what motivational element will be included, and take into account the types of learners that will taught. I think if this was used often, that it would really lead to improvements in instruction and design.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome to my blog. The focus of this blog will be to explore the field of Educational Technology and Design through my course work at CSULA. I hope you find links that are helpful, and will return the favor by posting your own favorite links!