The following will outline my reflection on the completion of the project for the group ‘The Good Life’ in relation to the Instructional Design and eAuthoring module. Group development can be defined by Tuckman’s Group Development (Forming, Norming, Storming and Performing) where ‘each stage is characterised by different feelings, behaviours and relationships within a group’ (NUI Galway, 2010, p.27).
During the forming stage the topic gardening was chosen. Whilst microexpressions was my preferred topic I was happy to go with the majority. However, I did feel out of my comfort zone as I had no knowledge or experience in gardening and was a little concerned that we had only one expert, Lorraine, in the group. However, on reflection it was beneficial for me to concentrate on the other areas other than content, for example, planning, design and development.
The following will reflect on the instructional design model and learning theory; main learning lessons; group work; critical review and will conclude with an outline of the technologies implemented.
Instructional Design Model and Learning Theory
The ADDIE model was used for the instructional design of the project and is the most popular model used (Dobre, 2012). Furthermore, we wanted to have a clear structure in place. We used RealtimeBoard which is an online collaboration software for brainstorming. Here I uploaded the ADDIE model and clearly showed how we would use this in our project. On reflection, I feel that it was very appropriate for our project and gave us clear direction.
As noted in week two of my ePortfolio while technology is important it needs to be grounded in a theoretical framework for it to be truly successful. I suggested Chickering and Gamsons Seven Principles for successful teaching and created a table outlining how each principle can be implemented in the course. These principles are also effective in an online environment (Young, 2006) and implementing active learning techniques enhance eLearning (Tirrell and Quick, 2012). Social constructivism is very evident with the use of forums and reflections. As noted by Dobre ‘communication and interaction at both, teacher-student level and student-student level’ are key factors in the success of eLearning (Dobre, 2012, p.482).
Lorraine created a persona for this course, a female in her thirties with no gardening experience. This tied in with Ciaran O’Leary’s advice on designing for a single person otherwise it becomes the elastic user. On reflection, I believe that the user should be at the centre of our thoughts.
Main Learning Lessons
The main learning lesson in the design process for me is not to jump from the analysis to the development. Using Video Scribe and Articulate Storyline for the first time instilled excitement and a distraction from the task at hand. Initially I used Video Scribe to develop the introduction to the co-learner Mary but after spending many hours creating a story realised that it had limitations. For example, the resolution of the character I had chosen in Articulate did not transfer well in Video Scribe. Furthermore, I was developing the story before the script was finalised. I soon realised that design should take precedence over development. While writing the script I asked myself questions such as ‘What message do I want to get across to the learner in this story?’ ‘Will this add value to the resource?’ Therefore, the design process is vital in developing an eLearning resource.
This project would not have been achievable on an individual basis as each of us contributed in our own way. While it would have been beneficial for each of us to have a defined role we were lucky that we moved quickly to the norming stage. However, by week three I felt that we needed more management/structure in place. As a result, I set the group up on Trello, a web based management system and we then moved quickly to the performing stage. I was out of my comfort zone as I have never designed or developed a resource but I received useful tips from my peers. For example, when I used three dimensional backgrounds Rachel explained that I should use flat images to match the character. I learned so much about gardening from the content that Lorraine has put up and Emma’s knowledge on Moodle. We motivated each other with e-mail communication during the week and every Sunday morning we had a meeting in google handout and met on Tuesdays before class.
No critical incidents occurred during the process. However, as my trial had expired in Articulate Storyline I was unable to set up the links in the introduction and conclusion videos to the recently set up locations in Moodle. Rachel had been ill for the last week of the project and when she did get a chance to set it up there were compatibility issues which could not be resolved.
On reflection, we all made equal contributions to the group. My responsibilities were to create the aim, learning objectives, logo, evaluation (Kirkpatrick model), Meet Mary video (design and development) and conclusion (design and development). I also created the storyboards except for Module 4 where Emma kindly assisted me. I also put together the submission for the storyboarding and put ‘theory to practice’ into place for the project. We all pulled together when Rachel was ill to cover the presentation and to put a final resource together.
Time was a critical factor. Using trial software was not ideal due to the short timeframe e.g. 30 days in Articulate Storyline which had a negative impact on the setting up of links.
We piloted the course on a small scale and if time permitted it would have been beneficial to pilot with a larger audience. Piloting is fundamental for the success of any project (VanDerZanden, Rost, & Eckle, 2002) and will be implemented in my Year 2 project.
On reflection, it may have been beneficial to use the same design format in Articulate for all the modules and perhaps include Mary more often to enhance the journey. However, with the limited timeframe and resources I feel that we created a good resource. Furthermore, it could be argued that the variation adheres to the seventh principle of Chickering and Gamson which respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
Technologies used that I am familiar with:
- Google Hangouts
- Articulate Storyline 2
- Mind Maple
- Video Scribe
Being afforded the opportunity to learn how to use new technologies in a practical way was a great learning experience. However, what I really learned from this experience is that the design process is imperative in creating a resource. Using instructional design models and theory is fundamental while appreciating that pedagogy comes before technology. Brainstorming and using project management software is critical to keep projects on track and to motivate members. Furthermore, designing for one person in mind is also important and social constructivism enhances the eLearning resource.
Dobre, I. (2012). E-TEACHING & E-LEARNING, A MODEL OF E-COURSE DESIGN TROUGH A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH AND OUTCOMES-BASED PLANNING. In Conference proceedings of” eLearning and Software for Education”(eLSE) (No. 01, pp. 481-487).
NUI Galway. (2010). Learning in Groups: NUI Galway.
Tirrell, T., & Quick, D. (2012). Chickering’s seven principles of good practice: Student attrition in community college online courses. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 36(8), 580-590.
VanDerZanden, A. M., Rost, B., & Eckle, R. (2002). Basic botany on-line: a training tool for the Master Gardener Program. Evaluation, 1, 1-94. Retrieved 28/11/2015, from http://www.joe.org/joe/2002october/rb3.php
Young, S. (2006). Student views of effective online teaching in higher education. The American Journal of Distance Education, 20(2), 65-77.