PRINCIPLES, THEORIES & MODELS: Understand many theories and models, choose from among them appropriately, and apply them effectively

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artifact: (edtec 544) Rapid Prototype • Intermediate and Advance PowerPoint Design

Context

Edtec 544, Instructional Design with Dr. Maria Schutt, was a gateway from the introductory prerequisite courses to core curriculum of the program. In many ways it was the most structured course in the curriculum.  A number of instructional design theories and practices were introduced or reinforce from Edtec 540.  A high premium was placed on attention to process and procedure.  Our project unfolded in a series of step, ultimately culminating in a prototype  In my case an instructional PowerPoint module on intermediate and advanced design in PowerPoint.  This artifact is what I have chose to represent the Principles Standard.

Challenges and Opportunities

This course had a lot of information.  While the text book was an easy an interesting read, there were also numerous journal articles, plus a learning theory project.  At times I found it difficult to keep some theories straight, and which were best applied to the various stages of our projects.

At the risk of sounding simple, I was particularly attracted to the SMART Objectives model.  Beyond the fact that the acronym made it easy to remember, the application was also logical and simple.  While our prototype had specific systematic guidelines we were bound to fulfill: such as the inclusion of terminal and enabling objectives, the means by which we determined these objectives, relative to the learning outcomes of our projects was left to us.  In this capacity I found the SMART objectives model to be an effective framework.  

S M A R T Objectives: Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-Bound  

This was the ideal set of principles to apply to my approach to my blended learning project.  I had my goal was to divide a blended learning program into into eight sections and use a single project as the centerpiece to practice each segment.  The process would a linear one were each set of instructions built on the previous.  Implicit is the assumption that knowledge acquired in Lesson 3, is applicable to lesson 4 and so on.  The SMART For each terminal objective I would construct in each step, I ran the concept of the objective against the SMART model to a) validate the objective, and b) often help identify specifically what types of enabling objectives would be required to support these objectives.  This turned out to be an effective and expeditious process in an otherwise task heavy project.

Lessons

This was the first time I believe I consciously sought to apply a systematic approach to my design.  As I review the details of this project – and in particular the mini-module at the back of the artifact, I am impressed by the deft application of solid instructional design  

This reflection has inspired me to review my coursework and text from Edtec.  I’m constantly being reminded that returning to fundamentals is one of the most reliable means of overcoming challenges in design and instruction.