CECS Instructional Sytems Design

Moodle Progress Report 2 (week four)

I feel that I have spent a substantial amount of time developing instruction that will prepare students to use Moodle and a flipped instruction format. Based on the feedback I received, I was made aware that since most students have not taken a course that has been flipped, they would need explicit instruction of what to expect and what was expected of them.

I have finally started to get used to the Moodle LMS; it has taken quite a bit of trial and error and experimentation. My biggest struggle has been deciding what is the best way to present my instructional materials within each module. One additional feature I appreciate is the ability to write html code within a lesson, activity, or resource. This been helpful to embed media that is not from YouTube or too large to upload.

The feedback I have received from my partner has been helpful in fine tuning the work I had already completed. In addition to using the advice of my peer, I have found that it is very helpful in my own development to review my partner’s work. It has allowed me to see a course from the outside, as the learner will. I have used this insight to figure out how learners might approach my course and make adjustments as needed.

It has been a challenge to work on such a quick timeline for this project, even though I realize in the professional world I will be working at this pace or faster. This is definitely something I need to work on. I think my man struggle was “getting started” and not knowing exactly what to expect. Even on my next project, I would expect to be more efficient simply because I better know what to expect in the amount of work and the challenges I might face.


Instructional Design Model (week two)

In the article “Instructional Design in Education: New Model”, Dr. Aytekin Isman proposes a new model for instructional design that combines theory from behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Instructional design from a behaviorist approach typically includes five areas or phases according to Dr. Isman– analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation; this approach is also called ADDIE (as in our courses). Cognitivist-based instructional design focuses on motivation, the learning process (cognitive), learners’ experiences, and the content being presented. From the constructivist view, the key to instruction and student learning is active learning. Dr. Isman places emphasis on student motivation, appropriate instructional technology, and moving information to students’ long-term memory.

The new Isman model for instructional design consists of five steps: (1) input, (2) process, (3) output, (4) feedback, and (5) learning. The input stage requires the designer to identify the needs, content, goals and objectives, teaching methods, and instructional media. In the process stage he or she tests prototypes, evaluates and redesigns, and develops learning activities. The output stage requires the teacher to assess instruction and student learning, analyze results, and make adjustments; then the instructional designer evaluates and revises instruction. Feedback provided to the designer also informs revisions to be made in design. The final stage is referred to as “learning” and is focused on ensuring students are able to move knowledge to long-term memory stores. If it is determined this does not occur, the design should once more evaluated and revised (Isman, 2011).

Before finding this article, I had never heard of the Isman Model. It seems to me that it is basically similar to ADDIE while also taking into consideration the foundational learning theories. I don’t think, however, that I will be likely to utilize this approach when designing/developing instruction. In my opinion, it is some what “jumbled” and lacks sufficient research backing. I do not think that the author describes his purpose for integrating the three theoretical foundations or how they are utilized in the design process.

The instructional design model and learning theories are distinct yet they are both necessary to create a functional course. As I have worked on my design, I have found that it is important to consult the foundational learning theory (for my design, Constructivism) as I develop my goals and objectives, activities, and the content/media I use. I don’t think, though, that it is as important for the client to fully grasp the difference in the two, or even the in depth design process. However, it is critical that the teacher have a clear understanding and acceptance of the learning theory that drives the instruction. One of the biggest points I gained from feedback on my initial design draft was to consider my learning theory in more depth. Based on feedback I expanded from just “constructivism” to the more specific “project-based learning” approach that still falls under constructivist ideas, but has helped me to develop learning activities.

Isman, A. (2011). Instructional design in education: New model. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(1), 136-142. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ926562.pdf


Moodle Progress Report 1 (week three)

The biggest challenge I have faced is figuring out the Moodle software because I have very limited experience with it. The Virtual Training Company (VTC) videos, however, have been invaluable as I have begun to develop my course. A past, failed attempt to create a course in Moodle left me feeling concerned to tackle another (and more involved and extensive at that) course in the LMS. However, the videos have definitely prepared me, and I have a more positive outlook on the software. Moodle has many more features than I realized that can be used in instruction at any level.

For my instruction for high school students, I am planning to utilize the Lessons activity. I like that it can be used to present information, including multimedia, and require to answer questions while completing. This is favorable for my design because it creates an interactive experience for students. Going back to Redeker taxonomy, it move the student away from simply the receptive dimension into the interactive dimension as well. Since my students will be spending time viewing the presentations/lessons outside of class (hence a flipped format) it is important for them to remain engaged in the process since the teacher is not present.

Another challenge/consideration as I continue my course development is really taking into account my audience and presenting information in the best manner for students. It will be important to choose media and content that meet my learning objectives; this is where the BRG Model will be helpful.


B-R-G Model (week one)

As I discussed in my previous post reflecting on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Flipping the Classroom” article, increased student engagement is one of the great benefits of a flipped classroom. This week I read several articles including the paper “An Approach to Designing and Evaluating Blended Courses”.  While not dealing specifically with flipped learning, but blended instruction, the ideas presented can be used as I design my instruction.

The authors present a combined learning taxonomy that takes elements from three distinct models to create a new “mapping model”. The model, called the B-R-G Model, borrows from Bloom’s Taxonomy, Redeker Taxonomy, and Guerra scale. The Guerra scale rates (1-good to 10-best) online media based on “increased interactivity, complexity of development and functionality” (El-Ghalayini & El-Khalili, 2012, p.420). Bloom’s levels consider the content and thinking and range from “lower order thinking skills” to “higher order thinking skills.” Redeker taxonomy classifies objectives based on activity and students’ interaction with the information- receptive, internally, and cooperative. The B-R-G Model aligns the taxonomy levels with the technology rating (from Guerra). This information can then be utilized in course design to select appropriate technology, correlating them with the learning objectives.

In the first draft of my design I utilized taxonomy when writing my goals/objectives, classifying them as cognitive, affective, or psychomotor, based on the performance of the student. I am interested, however, in analyzing my objectives and using the B-R-G mapping model to guide instruction and content used in the course. In particular I would like to refer to the dimensions of Redeker. The receptive dimension aligns with Bloom’s lower levels, but the authors also state that students receive information best with multimedia content as opposed to text alone. The interactive dimensions relates to the apply and analyze levels of Bloom’s and uses content such as quizzes, virtual reality, and interactive games. The collaborative dimension utilizes the idea that students learn from interaction and collaboration with one another; technology may include Wikis, discussion forums, and simulation games.

El-Ghalayini, H., & El-Khalili, N. (2012). An approach to designing and evaluating blended courses. Education and Information Technologies, 17(4), 417-430. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007.s10639-011-9167-7

Flipping the Classroom (week one)

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s article “How Flipping the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture” discusses the instructional and technology trends that have resulted in the popularity of “flipped classrooms”. Technology advances make it possible to distribute lectures and instructional materials. Students can access at their own pace, on their own time, and multiple times if needed. Economic pressure and tight budgets have resulted in fewer small (or relatively small) class sizes. A flipped lecture format, Berrett states, allows the professor to spend class time more effectively with a large group of students.  The teacher can spend time in the session monitor students work on a project or have an in depth discussion based on the lecture that was already viewed. There are also drawbacks, however; it requires extra work and time on the professor’s part, as well as commitment, and some students may not prepare for class by watching lecture.

In my opinion, the greatest benefits of a flipped classroom are:

(1) more class time spent with greater student engagement

(2) higher-order thinking in the classroom

(3) instructional time for the teacher to correct misconceptions, answer questions, and assist with homework

In many cases, flipping the classroom relates to social constructivist theory, because the majority of instructional time is spent with students interacting with and learning from one another.

Berrett, D. (2012, February 19). How flipping the classroom can improve the traditional lecture. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://moodle.technion.ac.il/file.php/1298/Announce/How_Flipping_the_Classroom_Can_Improve_the_Traditional_Lecture.pdf

HarperCollins’ eBook Circulation Policy

Previous to the policy change, after a library purchased a title (e.g. The Hobbit), the library owned the digital copy and it was available to as many patrons as wished to read it. Then HarperCollins placed a limit on the number of times a license could be issued by the third party lending company (i.e. OverDrive) to a public library. This cut-off was set at 26 circulations for each title before it expired. This means that after 26 people checked out the ebook the library must re-purchase the title from Overdrive.

Honestly, I keep going back and forth on this issue; I can see both sides and had a difficult time making a definitive decision on my position. However, I think that HarperCollins was justified in changing its policy on eBook circulation and possibly made the best decision they could at this time.

In the “Open Letter to Librarians”, HarperCollins stated that the change came after much discussion with distributors, librarians, and conference attendees. Their research led them to believe that if they continued with the established policy on eBook circulation, it would cause significant discord in the eBook industry. The letter says, it would lead to damage to the “growing eBook channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid to authors.” The current situation with eBooks, eReaders, and their growth is somewhat out of the control of individual publishers, but HarperCollins is attempting to “balance… the needs of libraries and their patrons with those of authors and booksellers” (Marwell, 2011).

Their biggest argument, in my opinion, for the decision deals with the nature of digital versus physical media. Digital content is not likely to ever be lost or damaged, making its lifespan practically limitless. (note: technology does change and a new format is required.) Physical books, on the other hand, can be easily lost or damaged. Therefore when a library purchases a copy of a book, its shelf life is limited based on the patrons’ treatment of the book. In theory the first person to check the book out could lose it, and the library would have to acquire another copy. This is not the case with most books and they last longer. An eBook, however, cannot be lost.

In my opinion, it is realistic for HarperCollins to evaluate their procedures and enforce new policy; they are a business, and must establish a model that works for them and reduce money loss. When setting the 26 cap, HarperCollins took these factors into account. They considered the average lifespan of a book, by looking at the wear and tear, lending periods, and average loss rate of print copies. (Hadro, 2011). HarperCollins reported that a 26-loan cap, taking into account an average 2-week lending period, would last approximately a year for the most in demand best-sellers. The licence should last significantly longer for other titles, not so highly popular. And the prediction is that the price of a new hardcover eBook equivalent will reduce after a year or so when the library must re-purchase a license (Marwell, 2011).

Finally, I think we should consider the alternatives. Action was needed, but what could HarperCollins have done differently? Would another solution have been better for libraries, or would it have been even more detrimental? Instead of setting a circulation limit, Random House tripled the price of eBooks. Librarians have responded saying they will likely be able to purchase far fewer titles, significantly narrowing the selection available to patrons (Kelley, 2012).

In my opinion this solution is not as effective or cost-efficient for libraries. Although the 26-cap requires the library to spend more on the book after 26 loans, not every book will reach this limit in a year’s time. Only the most popular books will cost the library a significant amount more. While with Random House’s model, every book will cost more for the library whether it is popular with the patrons or not. One advantage is that the library can evaluate a book’s popularity when deciding if they wish to obtain another license after the initial 26 loan period.

Since the new policy went into effect, some libraries (although they were extremely opposed at first) have said that they “prefer a HarperCollins model over no availability of titles” and “are a little bit more understanding of their loan cap, even if we still are not sure we agree with the number 26, but we understand there may need to be some caps so [it’s more fair] to authors and publishers” (Kelley, 2012).


Hadro, J. (2011, February 25). HarperCollins puts 26 load cap on ebook circulations. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/02/technology/ebooks/harpercollins-puts-26-loan-cap-on-ebook-circulations/

Kelley, M. (2012, March 2). Librarians feel sticker shock as price for Random House books rises as much as 300 percent. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/03/ebooks/librarians-feel-sticker-shock-as-price-for-random-house-ebooks-rise-as-much-as-300-percent/


Kelley, M. (2012, February 17). One year later, HarperCollins sticking to 26-loan cap, and some librarians rethink opposition. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/02/ebooks/one-year-later-harpercollins-sticking-to-26-loan-cap-and-some-librarians-rethink-opposition/


Marwell, J. (2011, March 1). Open Letter to Librarians. Retrieved from http://harperlibrary.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/03/open-letter-to-librarians.html

Instructional design reflection

My second instructional design is an Edmodo training for a teacher who wants to create blended learning. In contrast to my first instructional design project, which was a face-to-face format, my second is web-based. Although the design process is similar and I will still use the ADDIE model, the way I approach the design and training will be different.

At first, I struggled to move from the the topic of reading comprehension to the Edmodo training. My first project was a more cognitive based instruction, while the second is more skill based training. The transition was also made difficult since most of my background is in academic lesson planning and more cognitive topics. In my first project my background really helped me to develop expectations and plan activities and assessments. I am used to writing goals and objectives that are academic and reflect a knowledge that is gained. This, however, possessed fewer cognitive objectives and more behavioral ones.

The foundational learning theory of my first project and the one that I tend to favor is cognitive constructivism. I believe that learners need to have a significant experience information if they are to learn it. For my second project I also used this theory to inform learning activities and assessment. The instruction provided a guide that taught how to complete various tasks, but then the learner completed application activities to build understanding of those points; assessments were similarly hands-on.

During the evaluation phase I realized an important aspect of the design, that honestly I didn’t do well enough. In my previous design I was not the instructor or facilitator of information; I gave the design to my client who then carried it out. But in this design I was also in charge of facilitating instruction. This was a different role that I could have prepared for better. I think because I was focusing so much on the design from from the perspective of the instructor, it somehow impacted my focus on learners perspective. Looking back this is an obvious issue that I should have seen while “in” the design.

I plan to go back to change some aspects of the design for future users of my training. I will add a syllabus that outlines the learning goals and the scheduled activities. In my previous design I supplied this for my client and she was able to provide this information to learners as needed. In retrospect, this was a weak point in my development.