Sunday, November 13, 2011
Instructional Design in Different Arenas
In our reading this past week for the EDT 5410 Intro to Educational Technology we read about Instructional Design roles in universities in three different countries, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. Over the past three weeks, we've read about instructional design in business, P-12, and this week in higher education. For our reflection we are to "identify 2 or 3 significant themes or differences" we've noticed across these contexts and describe them. Additionally, we are to note if there is a particular area or way that you believe your current professional working environment could learn from the other contexts described in the chapters.
I think in any ID role there are some similarities, but of course, how it all plays out can be significantly different between the type organization and the age of the students/trainees. In business, even in a non-profit organization, money oftentimes plays a significant factor in the quality and quantity of ID. Depending upon the organization, the ID may have to fill many different roles, particularly that of a project manager, ID, and technologist. Additionally, because time=money and money is such a huge factor, efficiency and rapid development is encouraged and expected, while doing all you can to maintain quality.
In the P-12, their usually is less money, although this isn't true for all districts, but many times I hear of teachers/technologists, as many IDs are called in P-12, having to make do with free software, even when a purchased software would be more effective. Also, there seems to be many more restrictions on what Websites can be accessed and software that is available. Fortunately, many of the P-12 IDs and technologists are proactive in identifying free resources and obtaining grants which allow them to design instruction that integrates technology into everyday learning.
In the higher ed arena, I think there is a lot more room for trying new things and taking the time to test out and design more effective learning. Usually, the colleges and universities will have whole departments that have several IDs and/or technologists who work with faculty to design the instruction, particularly for online classes, and who also provide technology workshops and other training to help faculty to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to integrate technology in their classes. Of course, not all colleges and universities have the same money and other resources to utilize technology as others, but utilizing technology in the classroom, whether face-to-face (f2f) or online, is becoming something that more and more students expect from their college or university and from the faculty members.
In comparing the three areas of ID, the most significant factor that stood out to me was how similar ID is in all three arenas and yet how different it can be. All IDs have to deal with various constraints, they just are sometimes different depending upon whether it's in the business arena, P-12, or higher education. Some work as the sole designer, the project manager, the media producer, and others work on teams where everyone has a more specific focus to their role. No matter what the situation is though, the goals remain the same, and that is to improve learning through the use of technology.