Sunday, April 27, 2008

Module 3 reflection

Module 3 was on Design and Development phase of the ID process. The design and development phase of instructional designing continues from the foundation laid out in the analysis phase and considers instructional strategies to be used for sequencing and scoping the content, selection of media and assessment of learning outcomes. According to the University of Alberta (2004) website on instructional designing, “the design and development phase is a more creative and challenging stage” as instructional designers are tasked to “imagine and create ways for learners to learn the material and to be motivated while doing it and be able to use the learning in meaningful ways afterwards.”

A very interesting concept which I have always used but never knew about the theories behind it was Reigeluth’s Elaboration theory – from simple to complex sequence. Another interesting article that I read in this module was from Richard Clarke’s (1994) paper on ‘Media will never influence learning’. In this paper he argues that media does not have any learning benefits on the learner but rather it can be seen to have only economic benefits to the learner as he aptly puts it “Media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence learning achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition”. This school of thought left me critically thinking about the role of media in education.

I also managed to read a very good paper by David Boud (1998) on bad habits of assessment. In his paper, Boud (1998) emphasizes that assessment is a vital part of the teaching and learning process which focuses on educational goals. He further adds that well designed assessments are authentic and set in a realistic context, permits a holistic rather than a fragmented approach, are flexible for learners, involves learners in meaningful learning and adopts deep approaches to learning, and promotes self assessment or reflection.

Other readings which I made through this module (in addition to the readings given by Shirley) which I found very interesting while engaging and immersing in Module 3 were:

Curtz, T. (date unknown). Teaching self assessment, Retrieved on April 14, 2008, from

Dobrovolny, J. (2003). A model for self-paced technology-based training, Learning Circuits, Retrieved on April 14, 2008, from

Ely, D. (2003). Selecting media for distance education. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Technology, Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

Nuhfer, E. (2007). Self-reflection exercises and knowledge surveys in learning: A fractal thinker’s view of the power of the affective domain, 2007 POD Annual Meeting in Pittsburg, Retrieved on April 14, 2008, from

Posner, G. & Strike, K. (1976). A categorization scheme for principles of sequencing content, Review of Educational Research, American Educational Research Association, Vol. 43 (4), pp. 665-690, Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

Smaldino, S. (1999). Instructional design for distance education. Tech Trends, Vol. 43 (5), pp. 9-13.

University of Alabama at Birmingham (2005). Media selection and design, Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

University of Alberta Department of Educational Psychology (2004). Instructional strategies and sequencing, Retrieved on April 11, 2008, from

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Module 2 (Week 5) reflections

Prior to week 5, I had completed and had submitted my project outline of the my final ID project on creating an online course on teaching and learning using the Moodle LMS for the teaching staffs at the University of the South Pacific.

Module 2 was on Analysis phase of ID process. A very important and eye opening moment for me. Clark (1997) accurately puts it as the analysis phase being the fulcrum for “subsequent development activities” and “building blocks” in the systematic approach to ID. All this time, I was giving analysis a “superficial treatment”. This was due to the time constraint and the institutional forces that dictate the ID at my workplace. However, I have seen the very importance of analysis. It is like the blueprint for development, like the plan for a building a house –without it the builder would not know what he is building. Instead of placing a window the builder might just put up a wall. All the times that will be used for design and development of a course are wasted if has no solid basis or foundation which can only be derived by doing an analysis.

Analysis phase which includes needs assessment, learner and context analysis and learning outcomes are critical for developing a learner centred course. Interesting points were raised on the need for constructive alignment of learning outcomes, content and assessment of a course. While at my place the content was driving the outcomes – totally wrong.

This module allowed me to make some very informative and interesting readings. I managed to read about Multiple intelligence which was conceived by Howard Gardner which looked at the seven different ways of intellectual abilities – visual/spatial, verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, music/rhythmic and inter/a personal intelligence. Another interesting reading I made was by Lisle (1997) which did a literature finding on the problems with the ADDIE approach to ID. These were:

- Need to distinguish between rational and creative approaches to ID. (Rowland et. al, 1994) and

- Need to shift from industrial to information age thinking and ID. (Reigeluth, 1997)

Leng (2002)’s article on considering the affective domains of learners in instructional designing was a very eye opening experience. He tried to raise the importance of considering affective goals of the learners in ID which prior to this I had never considered while at work or even in this study. Leng (2002) described that most ID considers learners’ cognitive objectives instead of affective goals because affective characteristics are “hidden”, not easily expressed, subjective, imprecise developed slowly and private. He further suggested that analyzing learners’ affective characteristics is an on-going process through interacting with learners prior to, during and after instruction. Another interesting paper I read during this module was by Karagiorgi and Symeou (2005) which looked at translating the constructivism theory into the instructional design process.

All in all, here is a list of readings (in addition to the readings given by Sirley) which I found very interesting while engaging and immersing in Module 2:

Gregore, A. F. & Ward, H. B. (1977). ‘Implications for learning and teaching: A new definition for individual’, NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 61, pp. 20-26.

Hood, K. (1995). ‘Exploring learning styles and instruction’, University of Georgia, Retrieved 25 March, 2008 from

Karagiorgi, Y. & Symeou, L. (2005). ‘Translating constructivism into instructional designing: Potential and limitattions’, Educational Technology and Society, Vol. 8 (1), pp. 17-27.

Leng, Y. (2002). ‘Learner analysis in instrcutioanl design: The affective domain’, CDTLink, National University of Singapore, pp. 14-15.

Lisle, P. (1997). ‘What is instructional design theory?’, Retrieved 26 March, 2008 from

Martin, F., Klein, J. & Sullivan, H. (2007). ‘The impact of instructional elements in computer-based instruction’, British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 38 (4), pp. 623-636.

Merill, D., Li, Z. & Jones, M. (1991). ‘Second generation instructional design’, Educational Technology, Vol. 30(1), pp. 7-11 and Vol. 30(2), pp. 7-14.

Richey, R. C., Fields, D. C. & Foxon, M. (eds.) (2000). ‘Instructional design competencies: The standards’, (3rd eds.) Syracuse, NY.

Spector, M. & Edmonds, G. (2002). ‘Knowledge management in instructional design’, ERIC Digest, Retrieved 26 March, 2008 from

Monday, March 17, 2008

Module 1 (week 2) reflections

Well module 1 of FET5601 is schedule to be covered in week 2 to 4 but I managed to finish it in week 2. (thanx to the government for a public holiday in Fiji).

The most interesting thing which I learned in module 1 was that the 4 part definition of Instructional designing - being a process, a discipline, a science and a reality, which is actually true. Prior to this I was always thinking of ID being a process.

I also developed a concept map (using Visio) to explain what ID means from my perspective.

There were some interesting thoughts on the definition of flexible learning. It was really good to read about the various definitions and connotations of flexible learning. For me I think flexible delivery is a vehicle for achieving flexible learning which includes open, distance and online learning. Flexible learning means leaners have a choice of what, how and when they want to study. This encompasses a learner’s learning styles, needs, outcomes, strategies, preferences and prior experience. Basically the learner is in control of their learning and they decide how, when and what their learning experience be.

The were some really good papers for module 1 readings. However I found the Siemens (2002) and Dougiamas (1998) very useful. In Seimens (2002), he discusses the various definitions, models and benefits of ID which I never knew. Dougiamas (1998) discusses the several types of constructivism which being trivial, radical, social, cultural and critical constructivism. I had a brief idea as to what constructivism was but this is the first time I had read about the several types of constructivism and how they are interrelated.

I have also started work on the project outline and getting a hang of stuffs. I am thinking of creating an online course on teaching and learning using the Moodle LMS for the teaching staffs at the University of the South Pacific (where I work). I also read the exemplars given for the course which has been really helpful in guiding me.

Iam ready to have my foray into this project.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Week 1 reflections

This week I started with the course proper of FET5601 Instructional designing for flexible learning, my 7th course in the Masters for Educational Technology programme. Since iam already working in the field of instructional designing (ID), I basically know aspects of ID.

Interesting thing which I have noticed in the course introduction is about graphic organizers. I, personally am not a big fan of concept mapping but after reading about it in the course introduction I have noticed the benefits of it. It gives a visual representation as to how the content all fits together, how they are connected and related to each other – a holistic view – the big picture kind of thing. From a learners point of view I see certain benefits:

- gives a overall picture – a snapshot, summary which is easier to comprehend and recall rather than a whole page of text.

- provides direction to the learner as to where he/she is and where they are to head to ( guides them)

Also I managed to find out the difference between mind mapping and concept mapping. Mind mapping considers only one concept while concept mapping considers several concepts All this time I was thinking that both mean the same or synonymous. I had never used Visio to do concept mapping and this week I had Visio installed in my PC and have started to learn how to use it…..the course is already bearing its fruit.

It was also good to see some familiar student names from previous courses and some new names. They bring a lot experience and diversity to the course which we all can learn from each other…..i think semester will be quite a learning adventure.

Can’t wait to progress with the course.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A new semester, a new course, a new reflection

Just starting with FET5601: Instructional Design for Flexible Learning course at USQ for Semester 1, 2008. This will be my 7th course in the Masters in the Educational Technology programme.

Iam already hyped about it and will use this space for my learning log.

Let the journey begin