To address these scenarios, identify the major characteristics or issues that would impact or influence the design of the described online class. Be sure to indicate which of the characteristics you identify would be your prime concern. Also be sure to indicate how each of the major issues you identify would influence your design of the online class.
You have been asked to lead the team that is developing a series of courses for an online University. Explain some design decisions or issues that you would have to deal with for each class given the characteristics of the content, instructors and students as presented. Note: Pick the most salient characteristics and issues and explain why the ones you have chosen are key. Don’t try to cover every possible issue in each scenario!
Content: This course will cover beginning college algebra.
Instructor(s): This course is taught by various adjunct and full time professors who are very familiar with the content who have differing degrees of tech skills and online teaching experience. The same class has to serve for all instructors.
Students: All students in this course are college freshman and sophomores with good technology skills and each has successfully taken an online orientation to online learning course.
Response: In accordance with Dr. Newberry’s lecture, this course is convergent in nature due to it revolving around content that requires a specific and correct answer. Given that there is no gray area for evaluation, a convergent course is easier to develop and navigate due to the direct nature that the subject matter encompasses. Being able to use a “logical progression of topics” in order to develop a “set of procedures, along with models or patterns” for students to be able to follow which in turn leads them to the right answer. Instructors will find that the sequential order of events for such a course will be somewhat easier to teach in comparison to a divergent course. The instructors familiarity with the technology and prior teaching experience will also aid in the development and delivery of the course. Students with existing technology skills and guidance provided for the course will quell any potential learning curves that could adversely affect them.
Content: The course is a philosophy of leadership class.
Instructor(s): The instructor is an experienced face-to-face instructor with good tech skills and prior online teaching experience. This instructor prefers lecture and discussion classes.
Students: Graduate students who are well motivated and with a broad range of technology skills, from average to very advanced.
Response: This course is a contrast from the other as the entire evaluation process requires an understanding that the answers are not as definitive as in an Algebra course. This course is divergent and requires further analysis in order to ascertain the current answer. With no specific answer being obvious it can become a task of sorts in creating this course and aligning it in such a way that neither instructor nor student becomes frustrated. Given the fact that this particular instructor has experience in the traditional classroom environment and online learning is beneficial. This aids the instructor as he/she would already have an idea of specific tools that would be used in building the course. In addition to the instructor being familiar with technology and online courses he/she can utilize specific online functions to translate his preference of lecture and discussion classes. Regardless of the level of technological skills a motivated student body is of utmost importance in the overall success of the actual course. This course relies heavily on cross collaboration and the interaction amongst teacher/student and student/student, the motivated student body will assist in ensuring the success of the course.
Content: This course is an introduction to college success. It teaches study skills, communication skills, and tries to help students learn how to fit into the college community.
Instructor(s): This course will be taught by various instructors all with good tech skills and prior online teaching experience but who have never taught this content before.
Students: Students are incoming freshman who have been identified by advisors as high risk for drop out.
Response: This course would be the most difficult of the three to develop, teach, and keep students engaged in. The course does not have any direction and even though it has both convergent and divergent elements the lack of experience with instructors who have not taught the course before, an entirely new student body who are identified as high risk for dropping out, and the course revolving around what essentially is a freshman college student orientation that is trying to be taught online will be incredibly difficult to instruct. This course is best taught in a face to face environment where communication and study skills can be better relayed and demonstrated in person. With this course being taught for the first time amongst students who are freshman in the college environment. It certainly will result in much difficulty and strife along the way.
2. Now, think about an online learning experience that you might someday create. Describe in detail the content, instructor and student characteristics. What are the design issues or features that these suggest? Explain your answers.
Content: This course is an introduction into Microsoft Word and the basics of formatting a Word document. It is meant to add students in efficiently creating Word documents for their various college courses.
Instructor(s): This course will be taught by one instructor who has experience in teaching Information Technology and the Microsoft Office Suite in a classroom face to face setting. Teaching this specific course online is new to the instructor but when teaching the course face to face much of what is taught is through trial and error in addition to projecting the content of the instructors computer screen to the entire class.
Students: Students will consist mostly of freshman but are motivated as this class is of interest to them and the process of word processing is already familiar. The students come from novice to advanced levels in using word processors.
Response: This online course had to reflect my prior experience from the classroom in teaching Microsoft Office but Microsoft Word primarily. In my experience, due to the hands on nature and being able to show rather instantaneous progress, students are engaged and enjoy the activity. Allowing students to customize their documents content but follow strict guidelines as to how it is formatted, allows the student a flexibility to be able to make their assignments personal but within specific guidelines. For students that were not familiar with the process, being able to try different approaches without being fully committed to an answer is also beneficial. This can easily be relayed by utilizing Microsoft Word simulators online or even other Word processing programs.
3. List the 11 instructional design steps presented in chapter 1 of the text (Design Quickly and Reliably).
- Identify your underline goals
- Analyze learner’ needs and abilities
- Identity what to teach
- Set learning objective
- Identify prerequisites
- Pick the approach to meet each objective
- Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives
- Create objects to accomplish objectives
- Create tests
- Select learning activities
- Choose media