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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Sep 28, 2017

Learning Reflections

By On 10:14
Professional Foundations: Collaborating, Researching, and Networking

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Busy Women...

This week I planned to explore interactive OERs (curricula, simulations, video lectures, etc) to add to my knowledge and understanding of these resources. This is a lofty goal for someone simply working full-time...and a bit too ambitions for someone currently interviewing, completing a freelance design project, and working full-time.

Image source, graphic river
Rather than research and develop a comprehensive learning guide, I studied one genre of these tools and began the outline of said guide.

This limited bit of research has greatly added to my understanding of these tool s, and I feel like I'm already becoming a more knowledgeable resource for my teaching & learning communities!

Engaging in a Community of Practice (CoP)

I joined a few LinkedIn communities when I began working in Instructional Design. Back then I was much  more curious and spent more time learning from and asking questions of my experienced peers. Today, I'm a bit more strategic about my community engagement (this is a euphemism for being rather quiet of late). So, I'm back in the game and enjoying the interactions with my peers. We really are a smart group!
I rekindled my acquaintance with the LinkedIn CoP/Networking group, 'Transformational Teaching with Technology' Reading recent forum posts and checking in on my past contributions. I had forgotten how engaged I when first meeting this community. However, this forum of over 2600 members has taken a turn toward self promotion. No longer are the recent posts conversation starters. In fact, all posts for the last 3 years, showcase someones external website, article, newly created video or interactive quiz... and none appear to have been viewed by any of the cohort; there is no commentary, there are no 'likes', and certainly no' shares'.
Feeling undaunted, I recently engaged with the 'eLearning Guild, then had an accidentally fruitful conversation with a representative with Gartner Research Suite... about their available resources and tools for online teaching and learning. Okay, that's grasping at straws, but I was pleasantly surprised by the information that I gained.
I do need to actively engage with these groups, so my plan is to make a connections at the close of the week to learn what my peers are doing with Open Educational Resources, whether they're successful...and how I can  duplicate their successes.

Sep 22, 2017

Learning Learning Theories

By On 08:53
Coming from an island nation in the developing world, I have vivid memories of learning the alphabet, multiplication tables, and phonetic pronunciation in a schoolroom full of children—all speaking in unison. Rote repetition and strict adherence grammatical rules were the order of the day. Although it doesn’t seem like it should have, this lead to my early reading and comprehension (by age five I had skipped over seeing spot run in favor of Alice’s Adventures).

As I grew, my instructors favored different types of learning models. In fact, I was able to experience all of the major leaning theories in my education; without knowing their characteristics specifically. From recent study, I’ve begun to understand—and plan to further explore—specifics of these theories in action. I’m over-simplifying it a bit here, but here’s a synopsis:

  • Objectivist (includes both Behaviorist and Cognitivist) learning theories can be characterized by an instructor-led environment learning through drills and practice.
    • Instructional Design Theories: Motivation Theories of Learning, Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, eLearning Theory
    • Instructional Model: ADDIE, ID, ARCS
  • In a Constructivist learning environment, the focus is on group work and peer-to-peer collaboration.
    • Instructional Design Theories: Motivation Theories if Learning, Online Collaborative Learning, Communities of Inquiry (CoI). ELearning Theory
    • Instructional Model
  • In the Connectivist environment, students work—primarily individually—to gain knowledge and understanding from a variety of different media and sources.
    • Instructional Design Theories: Motivation Theories of Learning, eLearning and Online Collaborative Learning tempered with Communities of Inquiry (CoI) and Practice (CoP)
    • Instructional Model: ADDIE, ID, ARCS

Concept Mapping Learning Theories <!--[if gte mso 9]>
Final version of my concept map outlining the major learning theories.


(a work in progress) Click on the image to see full size-details

Click on the image to see full size-details

To make sense of the differences and similarities of these theories, my goal was to create a concept map. Surprisingly, this was an extremely difficult activity for me to tackle. I don’t think in mind-map—an organic chart is not a useful chart for me—I think in outlines and grids. I think in words and images, spreads and layouts.

So, as this is an activity to create a resource—not faculty or students—I decided to map for me. This decision came to me after three tries using some of the ‘styles’ of the multiple examples.

Putting It to the Test How can these theories be applied to real-classroom scenarios? Let’s take a look:

  • SCENARIO: Math 111-Students will formulate and solve algebraic equations.
    • LEARNING THEORY: Applying the Constructivist Theory, students are placed in small groups (4-5), then they first work individually to devise a series of algebraic problems of varying levels of complexity. They then test their knowledge by having members of the group each solving the entire pool of questions. This is followed up by the groups members comparing/explain final answers.
  • SCENARIO: Econ 201-Students will understand how households (demand) and businesses (supply) interact in various market structures to determine price and quantity of a good produced.
    • LEARNING THEORY: Connectivist theory (with a smattering of Constructivist) can be employed here as students work with a variety of resources; not least of which are their in-class peers, via a survey or poll, then of course online research utilizing visual analytics, articles and case studies to build their body of research.

  • SCENARIO: Hist 301 Learning Objective: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the chronology and significance of major events and movements in U.S. history
    • LEARNING THEORY: Objectivist theory seems to fit well in this scenario. Historical dates and significance can be learned by reading and practicing drills to build memories. In 14-Hundred-and-Ninety-Two, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue.

Excellent Sources:

Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective

Why Educators Need to Know Learning Theory

Sep 12, 2017

Instructional Designer Portfolio

By On 09:36

In assisting a colleague in preparing her portfolio I have searched the web high and low for excellent examples to assist in pages, headings, and possibly even layout. Finding diverse, responsive examples is not that easy. I believe this is because many ID professionals have an extensive education in Bloom's’ taxonomy, rubrics, effective course development, summative and formative assessments, etc. However, their graphic design education may be limited. This is odd to me—coming from a graphic design and communications background to instructional design. The foundations of graphic design and ID are closely related and in some cases duplicative. It’s all in the execution.

Rather than outline the differences and similarities here, I’ll skip the commentary and share a few well-executed Instructional Designer portfolios that give a comprehensive view of the professional and their skills, while also presenting an elegant layout and design aesthetic.

  • Simone Jenifer: this portfolio is a subset of a graphic design portfolio and presents all media and samples on a single, responsive page.
  • Kristin Anthony: Another blog-style site with fully responsive designed pages, and lightbox project pages. Beautifully executed
  • Rachel Barnum: Blog-style Instructional Design Portfolio page
  • Shalini Mathias: Prezi, interactive, motion graphics-based portfolio. THis is an interesting use of this medium. Featured projects are interesting and well-designed.
  • Ginger Nichols: Responsive pinboard style portfolio, which features a separate page of individual projects
Once you've been inspired by these take a quick view at best practices for developing your online Instructional Design Portfolio, from eLearning Industry blog.