Category Archives: Education

Instructional Design Models

Instructional Design Models provide a framework for instructional designers to follow during the development of instructional tutors, tools, and materials.

ADDIE – Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation is one of the most popular instructional design models in use today. This is due in part to the broad universal nature of its framework. Below is a video that explains the basic concepts of the ADDIE model.

4C/ID – The Four Component Instructional Design model was developed by Joroen van Merrienboer as a framework to be used for the design of complex learning and is based on Cognitive Load Theory (CLT). Van Merriënboer writes in Reiser & Dempsey (2007) “complex learning aims at the integration of knowledge, skills, and attitudes; the coordination of qualitatively different constituent skills; and transfer of what is learned to daily life or work settings.” 4C/ID focuses on meaningful whole learning tasks, scaffolding, and acheiving transfer. The 4C/ID model is organized around, as the name suggests, a four component model. The four components are: 1) learning tasks, 2) supportive information, 3) procedural information, and 4) Part-task practice. The figure below depicts the four components and provides additional information about each of the four components

Death on the Rise

If you are a relative of a college student, be forewarned, your imminent death may be just around the corner. That’s right it is that time of year again, it is time for midterm exams and e-mails of dead relatives are prevalent. This is an amazing phenomenon that occurs repeatedly four times per year, twice during fall semester and twice during spring semester. Oddly always coinciding with either midterm or final exam due dates.

It always amazes me as to the timing of the grim reaper. What devious plot does he serve when he decides to take the lives of the relatives of college students? He never seems to strike during the first several weeks of a semester or in the weeks immediately following the midterm exams. It seems that college student’s relatives are only ill-fated during the tumultuous weeks of midterm and final exams. An uncanny coincidence I am sure, one which should be a warning to anyone who is related to a college student. If I were one of these relatives I would ask for a copy of the student’s schedule of classes so I would know when I should be most vigilant and wary of the possibility of the grim reaper coming to my doorstep.

You can’t say I didn’t warn you; make sure your affairs are in order and your will is up-to-date, because if you are related to a college student who is facing a midterm or final exam deadline your days are numbered. Your obituary will be written with tears in their eyes and the tragic impact your death has had on even your least known collegiate relative will be shared with college professors everywhere.

SCORM and ADL YouTube Videos

The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative was founded by the DoD in 1997 and charged with developing and implementing technologies across the DoD and federal government. Part of the ADL charter is to collaborate with government, industry and academia to promote international specifications and standards for designing and delivering learning content; the shareable content object reference model (SCORM) is one result of those efforts.

SCORM is a design specification in which learning assets are collected into shareable content objects (SCOs) which can then be aggregated in a plethora of combinations in order to suit the purpose of a particular instructional implementation. The aggregations of of SCOs are structured into an organization and then delivered as a single content package. SCORM helps instructional designers to integrate their course content with various learning management systems (LMS) like Blackboard, WebCT, or Moodle, including the use of sequencing, recording assessment scores, and tracking student usage of the SCOs.

Here is a list of links to YouTube videos discussing e-Learning design principles created and posted by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL):

Learning Theories

During the past several months it has become apparent to me that this blog will be the perfect place for me to record notes about the research I am doing for my MSIDT project; this then is the first installment.

According to Wikipedia, “Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines. Progress over time tends to follow learning curves.”

In their book Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology, Reiser and Dempsey included five essays covering the key ideas and principals of learning theories that have had the most influence over Instructional design and technology (IDT). Derived from the psychological foundations of the field these theories include: behavioral learning theory, cognitive information processing theory, Gagne’s theory of instruction, schema theory, cognitive load theory, situated learning theory, and constructivism (2007).

Epistemology, a branch of philosophy, is the study of theories of knowledge and is divided into positivism/objectivism and relativism/constructivism. Being that the two are diametrically opposed, there are supporters in both camps who argue that there side is the only way, but good instructional designers should be aware of both and utilize each as is warranted in their instructional designs.

Cognitive load theory (CLT) is a learning theory that is embraced in some part by both sides of the epistemology debate, but is arguably more in the positivists realm. CLT is the learning theory that I am basing my MSIDT project around. CLT is one of several theories that are derived from cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Cognitive information processing theory, schema theory, and semantic networks are learning theories that also fall under this umbrella (Alessi & Trollip (2001)(Reiser & Dempsey, 2007). There are numerous underlying principals of CLT that make it efficient, effective, and engaging. These principals help make the instructional designer aware of the many factors that influence and increase or decrease the cognitive load placed on a learner during the instructional process. The reultant intstucional goals of CLT being schema acquisition and construction, rule automation, and transfer of learning both near and far.

These two videos help to illustrate the basic concepts of cognitive psychology and cognitive load theory.

Back to School

After teaching computer sciences for the last 13 years, I’ve finally decided to complete my Baccalaureate degree. I’m now feverishly typing papers and building an online portfolio to show I know something about computers, that I am a skilled Photoshop user and that I can use various instructional tools to build courses that promote student success. I’m hoping to complete my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Vocational Ed in two years – like I said, I hope!