Joelle Pitts is an Instructional Design Librarian and Associate Professor at Kansas State University Libraries. She is responsible for the creation and maintenance of web-based learning objects and environments aimed at improving the information literacy of the Kansas State University community. She leads the New Literacies Alliance, an inter-institutional information literacy consortium. Her research interests include distance education and e-learning theory and design, library user experience (UX), as well as the design and implementation of games-based learning environments.
Managing projects is the most common task instructional designers undertake during their days, followed by technology and pedagogical training. Their biggest obstacle to success on the job is faculty resistance. The most important expertise they possess as a whole is the ability to learn new technologies, followed by project management and learning science or theory. Their favorite tools to work with are Camtasia and Adobe products; their least-favorite are Blackboard and learning management systems in general.
Consider adding more resources in the area of instructional design. If that isn’t possible, at least consider involving instructional designers “early” and “often” during technology transitions.”
“Incentivize” faculty to work with instructional designers “from the get-go” in order to help them learn how to engage with their students and expand class time through the use of online tools.
Technology providers should work closely with instructional designers in the selection of digital tools.
p. 4 Graph: median number of instructional designers by type of institution. According to the graph, SCSU must have between 3 and 16 instructional designers.
p. 10.“While a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ can get by in instructional design, the best instructional designers are ‘aces-of-many-trades’,with authentic experience and training in all aspects of the process.”
p. 12“Management choose[s] tools that are cheap and never ask[s] about integration or accessibility.Then we spend enormous amounts of time trying to get them to work.”
students’ multimedia assignments, which lead to online resources
collaboration with other departments for the students projects
moving the class to online environment (even if kept hybrid)
What is it?
the complexity of the learning environment is turning instructional design into a more dynamic activity, responding to changing educational models and expectations. Flipped classrooms, makerspaces, and competency-based learning are changing how instructors work with students, how students work with course content, and how mastery is verified. Mobile computing, cloud computing, and data-rich repositories have altered ideas about where and how learning takes place.
How does it work?
One consequence of these changes is that designers can find themselves filling a variety of roles. Today’s instructional designer might work with subject-matter experts, coders, graphic designers, and others. Moreover, the work of an instructional designer increasingly continues throughout the duration of a course rather than taking place upfront.
Who’s doing it?
The responsibility for designing instruction traditionally fell to the instructor of a course, and in many cases it continues to do so. Given the expanding role and landscape of technology—as well as the growing body of knowledge about learning and about educational activities and assessments— dedicated instructional designers are increasingly common and often take a stronger role.
Why is it significant?
The focus on student-centered learning, for example, has spurred the creation of complex integrated learning environments that comprise multiple instructional modules. Competency-based learning allows students to progress at their own pace and finish assignments, courses, and degree plans as time and skills permit. Data provided by analytics systems can help instructional designers predict which pedagogical approaches might be most effective and tailor learning experiences accordingly. The use of mobile learning continues to grow, enabling new kinds of learning experiences.
What are the downsides?
Given the range of competencies needed for the position, finding and hiring instructional designers who fit well into particular institutional cultures can be challenging to the extent that instructors hand over greater amounts of the design process to instructional designers, some of those instructors will feel that they are giving up control, which, in some cases, might appear to be simply the latest threat to faculty authority and autonomy. My note: and this is why SCSU Academic Technology is lead by faculty not IT staff.
Where is it going?
In some contexts, instructional designers might work more directly with students, teaching them lifelong learning skills. Students might begin coursework by choosing from a menu of options, creating their own path through content, making choices about learning options, being more hands-on, and selecting best approaches for demonstrating mastery. Educational models that feature adaptive and personalized learning will increasingly be a focus of instructional design. My note: SCSU CETL does not understand instructional design tendencies AT ALL. Instead of grooming faculty to assume the the leadership role and fill out the demand for instructional design, it isolates and downgrades (keeping traditional and old-fashioned) instructional design to basic tasks of technicalities done by IT staff.
What are the implications for teaching and learning?
By helping align educational activities with a growing understanding of the conditions,
tools, and techniques that enable better learning, instructional designers can help higher education take full advantage of new and emerging models of education. Instructional
designers bring a cross-disciplinary approach to their work, showing faculty how learning activities used in particular subject areas might be effective in others. In this way, instructional
designers can cultivate a measure of consistency across courses and disciplines in how educational strategies and techniques are incorporated. Designers can also facilitate the
creation of inclusive learning environments that offer choices to students with varying strengths and preferences.
p. 18 Knowledge for constructivism cannot be imposed or transferred intact from the mind of one knower to the mind of another. Therefore, learning and teaching cannot be synonymous: we can teach, even well, without having students learn
p. 19 In the traditional approach, the instructional designer analyses the conditions – such as the content, the learner, and the instructional setting – which bear on the instructional system, in preparation for the specification of intended learning outcomes. In the constructivist approach, the instructional content cannot be pre-specified. Constructivist designers avoid the breaking down of context into component parts as traditional instructional designers do, but are in favour of environments in which knowledge, skills, and complexity exist naturally.
The goal, for instance, is not to teach a particular version of history, but to teach someone how to think like a historian.
p. 19 In traditional instruction, this phase involves the design of a sequence to achieve specified performance objectives.