The Munchkin Bear Advises Michael

This is a response question for the Instructional Design Course. Pick a character – Betsy or Michael – from the Orientation Introduction and tell us what they’re thinking in one paragraph. In the other paragraph, respond as if you are their instructional “coach.”

Michael’s views

This should be a snap. I have been teaching forever.  All I need to do is upload my PowerPoint presentations and lecture notes into Blackboard. A piece of cake! Okay, so maybe I’ll need to take that online tutorial about Blackboard. Maybe there is something I don’t know; it is possible. Logically, if I’m able to teach in front of a classroom of faceless strangers, I certainly am able to teach behind a computer screen! I should make a plan. Step 1: figure out which materials I want to use. Step 2: take refresher tutorial about Blackboard. Step 3: upload my materials. Step 4: let the class begin! Afterthought consideration: maybe I should develop at least one discussion board…

The Munchkin Bear Responds

            Michael’s viewpoint most likely represents what most would-be online facilitators think—before actually teaching an online course.  It’s time for Michael to engage in some actual online learning before he takes on the role of online teacher. First, since Michael’s timeline seems imminent rather than “sometime down the road”, Michael enrolling as a student in the internationally recognized ION MCVR program is not an option. Thus, I will develop a mini program for Michael which will identify basic vocabulary words such as VR = virtual reality, facilitator = his role as an online teacher, and module = individual unit of study in an online course. He will interact with me through the Blackboard message system, email, discussion board, telephone and/or Skype. Michael will quickly learn through practice about synchronous and asynchronous communication.

One of his first assignments will be to read ION’s “Strengths and Weaknesses of Online Learning”  http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/overview/strengthAndWeak.asp. Michael will recognize that online learning attracts a more independent learner than he might typically see in his classroom. He will learn that there is more to online education that registering for the class. Further, linking him to the ION article will show Michael that utilizing outside sources beyond one’s own lecture notes provides variety to students. To reinforce this point and further expound on it, I will upload a PowerPoint to differentiate resources for him. At this point, we’ll discuss the differences of what it is like to be a student in an online class to that in a face to face class. Michael will now be able to begin planning, designing, and developing his online course because he has experienced the role of an online student.

According to “The ADDIE Instructional Design Process” wiki, a new term for Michael to learn, 
http://wikis.uit.tufts.edu/confluence/display/UITKnowledgebase/ADDIE+Instructional+Design+Process
, there are more than 100 Instructional Design models, yet the basis of each of them is the ADDIE model. Thus, before Michael begins his true development of his online course, he will be assigned two resources: “Instructional design for self-learning in distance education” 
http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/pub_KS2000_Instructionaldesign.pdf and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRgLqEF-qAU, a video about “Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Models”. Together these two resources will provide Michael with information about the ADDIE system and its components. The video will also provide information about two other ID systems (Dick and Carey Model and the Kemp Model) as well.  The document resource will provide a list of considerations for course development using the ADDIE model that goes into more detail than the video resource. By offering two different types of sources, Michael will clearly recognize the need for varied resources and understand that online course development is more than uploading existing materials in his teaching arsenal.

I am confident that Michael will assess his current plan, scrap it, and develop a course reflective of his expertise that will engage his online student participants and include analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation, i.e. the components of the ADDIE Model.

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