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In my previous post, I introduced a Problem of Practice (PoP) and included a mini-manifesto and empathy methods that I will be using when designing a Digital Learning Resource (DLR). This post is a continuation where I will be linking learning theories, instructional models, and digital learning resources tools to inform the design of my DLR.

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) Theory

The DLR I am proposing will enable teachers to combine UDL and DI practices and it is not intended to replace the current established instructional practices that the teachers utilize in the classroom every day, instead, the DLR will help teachers enlarge the current scope of their teaching practices by which they serve the needs of their diverse students. Therefore, I believe it makes sense to let the ZPD learning theory inform my DLR design. Vygostky (1978) defined Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers” (p. 86). In my context, the actual development level determined by the PoP is the current DI practices that the teachers utilize in the classroom, and the potential development level is to learn how to combine UDL and DI. However, to reach this potential development level, the scaffolding concept also needs to be utilized where teachers’ learning is guided through making sure they understand UDL, its benefits, and its implementation in the classroom.

Merrill’s Principles of Instruction (MPI)

According to Merrill (2002) “most effective learning products or environments are those that are problem-centred and involve the student in four distinct phases of learning: (a) activation of prior experience, (b) demonstration of skills, (c) application of skills, and (d) integration of these skills into real-world activities. (p.44). The reason for choosing this ID model is that it resonated with me the most since the DLR follows a problem-centred approach and its purpose is to solve a PoP. Involving teachers (potential DLR learners) in the four phases of learning will be as follows:

 

Learning Phase Relevant DLR Component / Design Phase
Activation of previous experience Empathy method “Interview” + Multimedia video that includes authentic stories of teachers using DI and the challenges they face with DI (Part 1)
Demonstration of skills 1. UDL & DI Similarities vs. differences Infographic 

2. Multimedia video that includes authentic stories of teachers who talk about how UDL and DI in combination make their work easier and more effective (Part 2)

Application of skills UDL Implementation Rubric to measure effectiveness and encourage reflection
Integration of these skills into real-world activities A sample of UDL digital resources library to encourage integration & implementation through creating a community of practice (CoP) and sharing resources

Evaluating my DLR

 The Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation resonated with me for evaluating my DLR. Although it is not originally used to evaluate the components of my DLR, some of the rubric categories can be applied to my DLR and the rubric instructions state that users of the rubric are encouraged to assess irrelevant criterion as “not applicable”. So far, I will be using the first three categories of the Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation along with MPI categories as follows:

Category Associated tool/model
Functionality Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation
Accessibility Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation
Technical Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation
Activation of previous experience MPI Subcategories (Works Well, Minor Concerns, Serious Concerns) are TBA 
Demonstration of skills MPI Subcategories (Works Well, Minor Concerns, Serious Concerns) are TBA 
Application of skills MPI Subcategories (Works Well, Minor Concerns, Serious Concerns) are TBA 
Integration of these skills into real-world activities MPI Subcategories (Works Well, Minor Concerns, Serious Concerns) are TBA 

References

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development50(3), 43-59. Retrieved from https://doi-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/10.1007/BF02505024 

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Interaction between learning and development (M. Lopez-Morillas, Trans.). In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (pp. 79-91). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.