It is like Magic…

A good Instructional Designer (ID) is like a magician.  He/she can take a situation and change or modify it while not having to be in the physical space or know every detail.  As I was reading Ertmer’s and Newby’s (2013) article, I realized that IDs can design courses for subject matters in which they have no experience by applied the right educational theory (p. 45).  As I discussed in a previous blog post, the title Instructional Designer was new to me when I started MALAT (Moore, 2019, para. 2).  I realize now that my initial perception was that an ID had to have experience in the field in order to create a successful design.  After reading more about the IDs’ roles and tools, I now see that by appropriately applying theories to designs it allows students to change throughout their learning, thus absorbing information and converting it to knowledge.  Just like magic.  Granted, there is more to it than magic, but a well-designed course can feel like it to the students.

As innovations come into the field, it is the responsibility of IDs and educators to balance the changes while keeping the goal of educating learners in mind (Moore, 2016, p. 425).  Since changes and innovation are constant, new ideas on how to focus on the goal will make IDs and educators stronger.

What are the best ways to guarantee students are at the centre of every design?

References

Ertmer, P., & Newby, T. (2013 Online). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71.

Moore, K. (2019), Virtual Symposium 2019 [Blog post].  Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0108/173-2/

Moore, R. L. (2016). Developing distance education content using the TAPPA process. TechTrends, 60(5), 425–432.

4 thoughts on “It is like Magic…

  1. Hi Kathy,

    The title of your blog post caught my eye! Viewing instructional design as magic is quite an interesting perspective. The beauty of knowing the variety of learning theories and adopting appropriate instructional strategies can be adapted over a span of countless subjects/topics.

    One of the projects I recently worked on was to design an e-Learning course on municipal finance topics. I have zero knowledge of the subjects and I had no confidence to lead such a project. However, I worked with really knowledgeable subject matter experts that knew their material that helped me utilize my skills to design the course. I also Googled a lot of things during the project to help provide basic understanding of some of the concepts that I had to work on. At the end, I saw the value of collaborating and working closely with stakeholders in order to provide the best learning experience as possible. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Cheers,
    Eunice

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience designing for a course when you did not have any experience in the field. Ertmer and Newby (2013) point out that “‘memory’ is always under construction as a cumulative history of interactions” (p. 56). This statement is true for students, educators, and instructional designers. No one can hold all the knowledge of the world, as such it is important to be open to interactions that will allow us to acquire new knowledge, and the construction of memory. You mentioned that you learned a lot from the subject matter experts and Google and by the end of your experience you learned a little more about the content and the subject matter experts, likely, learned a little bit about instructional design. These transactions are vital learning as that is something that is not restricted to students in a classroom.

      Reference
      Ertmer, P., & Newby, T. (2013 Online). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71.

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for your post! I love instructional design, and the idea of being a magician! You’re not far off the mark in some ways. The reason I love what I do is that whatever curriculum I create is based on the collaboration with others. When we’re working together in harmony, SMEs, business analysts and others, the end results can be truly amazing. It’s wonderful to see our thoughts, our ideas, emerge ‘on paper’, undergo transformation as our ideas are distilled… and then witness the learning activity as it’s implemented. It can be incredibly rewarding.
    And I agree with Eunice, in that we don’t actually need to be experts in every field, but rather engage with SMEs to mine their intellectual capital. I also use the backwards approach discussed by Moore (2016) in my work. Very helpful for me as a systems thinker and also to help SMEs understand the expected outcome(s) (p. 427).
    Sue

    Reference
    Moore, R. L. (2016). Developing distance education content using the TAPPA process.
    TechTrends, 60(5), 425-432. Retrieved from https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/article/10.1007/s11528-016-0094-8

    1. Hi Sue,
      Thank you for confirming my thoughts about instructional design. I felt confident in what I posted due to the readings, but I do always love to hear about real world experiences. I have been fascinated learning more about the role during this course. I have always believed in the power of collaboration, but somehow, I had the idea that to be a good instructional designer one had to come from the field for which he/she was designing. It is must more logical than SMEs and IDs work together to create the best design for the students.
      As Ertmer and Newby (2013) state, “‘memory’ is always under construction” (p. 56). That goes for ID, SMEs, instructors, students, everyone! By working together, we are able to learn from each other and continue to build knowledge and memory.

      References:
      Ertmer, P. & Newby, T. (2013 Online). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71.

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