They lurk behind the scenes of a rapidly growing number of courses at colleges and universities, yet instructional designers are an elusive bunch. Their field is exploding—The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked it as one of the top 10 trends in higher ed this year—as more institutions pursue online and blended-learning offerings. But there hasn’t been much consensus on the role of instructional designers across institutions.
estimates at least 13,000 professionals are in the field at higher-ed institutions. Findings provide a glimpse of who instructional designers are:
The average age of IDs is 45 years old
67 percent are female
87 percent have master’s degrees
More than half have teaching experience
IDs reported that their duties vary from day to day, but that their work generally fits into four buckets: design (e.g., creating new or redeveloping old courses); management (e.g., overseeing projects from cradle to grave); training (e.g., helping faculty use new technologies); and support (e.g., providing timely help for LMS questions from faculty).
It’s much more likely that students will get lit up by learning if they come in for office hours and they present a very imperfect argument and the teacher says, the mentor says, that’s not really right. That’s not really where it should be, but come back again. Come back here again. I’ll be here for you again.
So many faculty are kind of going in the opposite direction or saying we’re putting things online and you can take the course online.
definition flipped classroom
In a flipped classroom the idea is the students are learning the technical material at home and then the classroom time is designed to be about discussion of the material and questions about the material.
part of the narrative of a flipped classroom is that it’s somehow responding to a crisis of a deadened classroom instead of an enlivened classroom and that isn’t necessarily true.
an open laptop or an open iPad opens up a kind of cone of silence and attentional disarray around itself because students’ attention has sort of been taken by the open device.
We’re not using the technology really the way we should. And I think that education is a tough case because so much has been pitched and so much has been sold. Schools have been told that this is the future, and parents are told that this is the future. Actually, it’s not clear, it’s not clear how much of this is the future and how much some of this is just our feeling
The Oculus Quest is mainly being marketed as an all-in-one VR gaming system, but I see much potential for classroom lessons.
The Oculus Go delivered a VR view, but the Oculus Quest provides us with interactions.
One major difference between the Quest and the Go is the lack of motion sickness with the new device.
The 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) provides mobility for the student to walk forward, backward, left, right, jump up and squat down. In other words, they can move around just like they would in real life.
The affordable starting price of $399 for 64 GB is comparable to other classroom devices, such as Chromebooks, laptops and iPads.
between the Quest and the Go is the high cost of the apps. By contrast, the majority of my Oculus Go apps were free.
Since edtech varies from district to district and state to state, it’s unlikely that an IT candidate will be up-to-speed on the current system in use. Alabama solves this problem by offering the Alabama Chief Technology Officer certification program.
It is critical for those in K-12 IT leadership to understand the unique customer service needs of the education industry. When technology doesn’t work, it throws a wrench into an entire day of learning. Educators need a fast fix and responsive service. Effective tech leaders will delegate by teaming up with tech-savvy teachers who can serve as school tech leaders. This strategy allows for an on-site tech expert to step in to put out fires before the tech expert arrives.
Former teachers can also make strong chief technology officers because they understand both tech and education. This allows them to build trust with the staff, which is a critical component to launching new technology initiatives.
Toolwire and Muzzy Lane, two digital game-based learning (DGBL) vendors that are making significant strides in higher education through their “serious game” products. The state of DGBL in higher ed is not nearly as prevalent and accepted as it is in K-12, but growing quickly.
Serious games feature evidenced-centered design, whereby data is collected, analyzed and adapted to the knowledge level of the player
Andy Phelps, director of the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC) and executive committee member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA),adds that “game-based learning has the opportunity to really challenge our assumptions about linear modes of educational interaction.”
Muzzy Lane, s higher-education-oriented Practice Series games, in partnership with McGraw Hill, feature titles in Marketing, Spanish, Medical Office and Operations.
The Challenge of Creating Worthy GamesBoth Toolwire and Muzzy Lane DGBL products are not of the “Triple A” PlayStation 4 and Xbox One variety, meaning they do not have all the high-fidelity, digital-media bells and whistles that are inside the heavily advertised war games and sports games geared toward the more than $99 billion global video game consumer marketplace, according to gaming market intelligence company Newzoo.
the state of DGBL in higher education consists of very effective digital games of less-than-Triple A fidelity coming out of private companies like Toolwire and Muzzy Lane, as well as from a good number of college and university game design innovation centers similar to RIT’s MAGIC. These include the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the University of Southern California Interactive Media and Games Division, the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center and the New York University Game Center.
Microcredentials, or short-form online learning programs, is the latest buzzword that higher education providers are latching onto. They come with diminutive names such as Micromasters (by several universities working with edX) and nanodegrees (by Udacity). But they have the potential to shake up graduate education, potentially reducing demand for longer, more-traditional professional programs. At the core of the trend is the idea that professionals will go “back to school” repeatedly over their lifetimes, rather than carving out years at a time for an MBA or technical degree.
Credential Engine, a nonprofit funded by the Lumina Foundation, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, today launched its Credential Registry, a digital platform where institutions can upload degrees and credentials so prospective students can search for and compare credentials side-by-side.
Udacity won a trademark for Nanodegree last year. And in April, the nonprofit edX, founded by MIT and Harvard University to deliver online courses by a consortium of colleges, applied for a trademark on the word MicroMasters. And MicroDegree? Yep, that’s trademarked too, by yet another company.
colleges and universities that seek to meet corporate needs must move beyond monolithic programs and think in terms of competencies, unbundling curriculum, modularizing and “microlearning.” Many institutions are already pioneering efforts in this direction, from the certificate- and badge-oriented University of Learning Store (led by the Universities of Wisconsin, California, Washington and others) to Harvard Business School’s HBX, and the new “iCert” that we developed at Northeastern University. These types of shorter-form, competency-oriented programs can better fit corporate demands for targeted and applied learning.