Sponsored by BCcampus Professional Learning, this year’s JustID gathering will be a half-day pre-conference event to ETUG and will be held at VCC downtown campus, Room 420, 250 West Pender St, Vancouver, BC starts at 12:30PM, June 6th. Join your ID colleagues and friends for some lunch, conversation and lively informative networking sessions. You will have plenty of professional development through the engaging dynamic round table discussions. This year’s theme, “Innovations in ID,” focuses on personalized learning, mobile learning and aligning technology and instructional design. Traditionally, Tony Bates has been our wrap-up facilitator but Tony cannot attend this year’s event so we are very pleased to have Barbara Davis from the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Learning and Teaching Centre (see below). She will facilitate a summary of your discussions and offer some of her thoughts and reflections from an afternoon of “Innovations in ID”.
After spending the afternoon at JustID, everyone is invited to the ETUG Pub night at THE CHARLES BAR, 136 West Cordova (Part of the SFU -Woodwards Complex)
Barbara Davis is currently the Manager of Curriculum Projects and Educational Technology Support in the Learning and Teaching Centre at BCIT. Barbara has 25 years of experience in post-secondary institutions as a faculty member teaching business programs, project manager of curriculum projects, and an instructional designer for courses and programs.
Barbara has previously held the position of vice chair of BCIT’s education council and chair of the program committee. She established the Project Management Office at BCIT and introduced formal project management processes for curriculum projects. She holds PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.
Current interests lie in the effective project management of curriculum projects and the role team dynamics play in the success of those projects, and in how institutions can support faculty and students in online learning courses and programs. Barbara has a passion for travel – especially to places where connectivity to the iPad is limited.
Thanks to all of the attendees at the 2011 Just ID Network Event! A video from the event is posted below, as is a summary of the discussions from Tony Bates. You can download the Word document here. We hope you had a great time and hope to see you at the event next year!
Just ID – A meeting of instructional designers from across British Columbia
A summary of discussions by Tony Bates, Tony Bates Associates Ltd
About 60 participants attended. The meeting was organized as a set of rotating discussion groups, with 5 themes, and 2 tables per theme, with 20 minutes discussion at each table.
Although I was able to observe and participate in discussions on each of the five topics, I covered only half the tables, so this summary captures less than half what was discussed. However, groups did leave summary points on paper sheets on each table, and I incorporated some of these comments from other groups.
Theme 1: Innovation/creativity and instructional design
This was interpreted in two ways:
the need to teach creativity as a skill: how do you do that?
the need to develop innovative or creative teaching: how do you do that?
On teaching innovation and creativity as skills, it was recognized that these are often now learning goals in many subject domains, not just in the creative arts (e.g. being innovative or creative in business of engineering). However, it was also recognized that creativity in particular not an easy thing to teach. Creativity by nature is not predictable and often emerges as a reaction against ‘conformity’, thus to foster creativity means sometimes approaching it indirectly, by creating learning environments that foster critical thinking and new ways of looking at issues. Nevertheless, instructional designers should be thinking of how to foster innovation and creativity as learning objectives in all subject areas.
In terms of fostering innovative and creative teaching, it was recognized that focusing on innovation in teaching, the challenge of doing something new or different from their colleagues, usually acts as a motivator for instructors.
There was some discussion around whether learning management systems inhibited creativity or innovation in teaching. Some felt LMSs inhibited innovation by providing a ‘standard’ approach to teaching; others believed that LMSs were flexible enough to enable or even foster innovative teaching. It was recognized though that some technologies tend to reinforce conventional teaching (e.g. clickers) while others fostered more innovative teaching (e.g. smart phones). The idea of a fixed course structure was also considered another factor inhibiting innovation in teaching.
It was also pointed out that innovation in teaching is not always necessary for good teaching. There are many tried and trusted ways of teaching that work well within well defined contexts and these should not be abandoned because they are not new or different.
It was also pointed out that often instructors thought of innovation as using a new technology. Innovation is not necessarily about using new technologies, but developing new ways of teaching. There was a tendency when focusing on new technologies to re-invent the wheel, by ignoring research and experience with similar earlier technologies. For example, many of the mistakes identified with using audio cassettes were often repeated with podcasting. Successful innovation depends on building on what we already know as well as doing something different.
CORE MESSAGE FROM THIS THEME:
BECAUSE OF THE CHALLENGES OF MASS HIGHER EDUCATION, INNOVATION IN TEACHING IS ESSENTIAL, AND SHOULD BE A CORE STRATEGY/OBJECTIVE IN EVERY INSTITUTIONAL ACADEMIC PLAN. HOWEVER IT HAS TO BE APPROPRIATE INNOVATION (i.e. leading to better learning), NOT INNOVATION FOR ITS OWN SAKE.
Theme 2: Web 2.0, Social media and instructional design
The question was asked: are social media different from other technologies in education? One answer was yes: social media exist outside the control of the instructor. They exist independently of the formal learning process.
The question then becomes: as an instructor, can you take advantage of social media by encouraging your students to enter that ‘separate’ world; or can you ‘bring in’ the world of social media to your teaching? There was certainly value in fostering authentic learning through social media.
A distinction needs to be made between formal and informal learning. We could do more as instructors/designers to foster informal as well as formal learning, through encouraging/facilitating communities of practice. It was pointed out that (as with other technologies), the issue was how much direction should students be given by an instructor, and how much should they just ‘roam free’.
Nevertheless, some felt that social media should be optional for students – for security and privacy issues you can’t require students to work in such spaces. Also the value and appropriateness of using social media will depend on the needs and the age of learners.
There was also some discussion about whether web 2.0 embodied more than just social media. Tools such as mobile phones and iPads, e-portfolios and blogs were somewhat different from social media such as Facebook and could more directly be used for formal learning, and indeed allowed for more learner-centered teaching and more learner control within a formal learning environment.
Some concern was also expressed about web 3.0, where information collected through the use of web 2.0 tools is aggregated to give individually focused ‘directions’ or pointers, such as identifying your preferences for hotels, holidays or shops. Privacy and security are becoming more rather than less of an issue through the use of these tools, even or especially in education.
CORE MESSAGE FROM THIS THEME:
SOCIAL MEDIA RAISE THE ISSUE OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH LEARNING SHOULD BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF A TEACHER AND HOW MUCH UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE LEARNER. AS INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS WE SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON HOW THESE DECISIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE LEARNER.
Theme 3: Mobile learning and instructional design
As with social media, participants showed some caution or reservations about mobile learning, not so much the principle, but the current practicalities.
For instance some participants recognized its value for informal or vocational learning, but questioned its value for post-secondary education, where some thought it would remain an ancillary rather than a primary form of teaching.
There were also concerns that tools such as the iPad did not currently have sufficient functions to make it a core technology for teaching and learning (although the larger screen made it more appropriate for education than the small screens on smart phones), and the lack of common technical standards and interoperability made it expensive to develop educational apps that would be universally available on all makes of phones/pads, and that the simpler, low-cost first generation phones available to the majority were limited for educational use.
These arguments suggest that we need to focus particularly on the specific affordances of mobile devices. They are valuable for quick access to small chunks of information, e.g. contacts and procedures at an emergency scene. It was important to look at mobile devices’ value for two-way, instant, and media rich communication, allowing the learner to collect local data and communicate with a central ‘expert’ for immediate or quick feedback (one example was the use in Africa of mobile phones by farmers to provide data such as photos of pests and soil samples for analysis to a faculty of agriculture in the capital city). Indeed it was pointed out that much of the innovation in mobile learning is taking place in Africa, driven by necessity.
It was also pointed out though that it was not instructional designers driving the use of mobile phones for learning but the IT and mobile phone industry, who were developing apps usually without educational input. Most instructional designers are operating without a theoretical framework for the design of educational applications for mobile learning, although David Porter pointed out that the GSMA Development fund has developed such a framework (see http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/mLearning_Report_Final_Dec2010.pdf)
Although some of the institutions represented at the meeting were doing small scale pilots in mobile learning, some participants felt that we needed to do much more experimentation and research in this area, but institutions were reluctant to free up resources for this.
CORE MESSAGE FROM THIS THEME:
THE TREND IS TOWARDS CONSOLIDATION ON MOBILE DEVICES. ALL DESIGNERS SHOULD BE THINKING OF HOW NEW COURSES AND PROGRAMS CAN WORK ON MOBILE DEVICES. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS NEED TO TAKE MORE CONTROL OVER THE DESIGN OF EDUCATIONAL APPLICATIONS AND DEVELOP A SET OF COHERENT DESIGN FRAMEWORKS FOR MOBILE LEARNING BASED ON SOUND EDUCATIONAL PRINCIPLES AND THE UNQIUE AFFORDANCES OF MOBILE DEVICES. IN PARTICULAR WE NEED MUCH MORE EXPERIMENTATION, EVALUATION AND THEORY DEVELOPMENT IN THIS AREA.
Theme 4: Learning environments that aren’t courses
This is an interesting topic that could have covered a number of areas, such as open educational resources, personal learning environments, the integration of virtual informal learning within formal education, new forms of assessment (e.g. assessment by learner-managed e-portfolios or by challenge).
However, the focus of the group that I attended was on communities of practice, and again, questions were being raised about the factors that lead to the success or failure of communities of practice.
There seemed to be general agreement in the group that people just forming a group around an area of common interest does not necessarily lead to a successful or sustainable community. The discussion then focused on factors that seemed to make a difference.
One was that participants should not wait for others but should jump in with their own ‘passion’ about the area of common interest. This is likely to provoke a good response from others.
There was also quite a bit of discussion about process. There was agreement that usually a moderator was needed, and some structure, such as a regular sharing of information from all participants and a focal point or topic that might lead to action of some kind by the group. It was also important that there are people within the community that have knowledge and expertise that is of value to other members of the community.
It was also agreed that many communities of practice serve a useful purpose then just die; this should not be construed as a failure.
Most of the discussion though focused on the evaluation of learning in communities of practice. Several felt that self-evaluation of learning was often unsatisfactory and that participants in communities of practice often needed some way of independently assessing and accrediting the knowledge they have gained. It was argued that better tools for self- or peer-evaluation are needed that go beyond multiple choice questions or automated testing. However, no solutions were suggested.
CORE MESSAGE FROM THIS THEME:
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE MAY BENEFIT FROM DISCUSSING AND IDENTIFYING CLEAR GOALS OR OBJECTIVES FOR THE COMMUNITY AND SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE EFFECTIVE PROCESSES FOR MODERATING AND MANAGING THE COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE. MORE FOCUS NEEDS TO BE PUT INTO IDENTIFYING APPROPRIATE MEANS OF ASSESSING OR EVALUATING KNOWLEDGE GAINED WITHIN COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
Theme 5: the future of instructional design
For some in the training sector, the demand is for whatever is cheap and fast, e.g. rapid prototyping. In the post-secondary sector, the future lies in developing sustainable and cost-effective methods of designing teaching and learning. One participant indicated that little innovation based on sound instructional design principles was taking place in the k-12 area. In all areas, more rapid and more flexible design models are needed.
In the group I attended there seemed to be general agreement that although it has served education well, the old systems-based ADDIE model needs to be replaced with something lighter and more adaptable to a much wider range of learning contexts.
What that instructional design model would be was less clear. However, creating frameworks or environments that support learning, and a focus on identifying and making explicit the underlying structures and sequencing of knowledge in different domains will remain important tasks for instructional designers.
Developing appropriate means of assessing learning, especially in an increasingly connectivist world where content is open and of variable quality, and where learners have increasing control over their own learning, remains a key challenge and responsibility for instructional designers. Building new design models or frameworks for this new world of learning remains a work in progress.
Lastly, I was interested in what was not discussed. For me the elephant in the room is the design of campus-based learning experiences when much can now be done online. For what kinds of students, and for what areas of a subject domain, is online learning appropriate or when would it be best to use the campus, and for what? Are we really fully exploiting the campus experience in a world of online learning? What theoretical frameworks or design models do instructional designers have that will help with such decisions?
CORE MESSAGE FROM THIS THEME:
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING. WE NEED NEW THEORIES, MODELS AND FRAMEWORKS TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND NEW ATTITUDES TO LEARNING.
A personal summary
I came away from the discussions with five main conclusions:
education is rapidly ‘opening up’ into a wide range of different learning environments, all of which are inter-related and are interacting with each other, e.g. formal and informal, teacher controlled and learner-controlled, place-based and virtual, static and dynamic, content and skills, and above all a continuously developing set of technologies that open up ever more opportunities and challenges for learning
recent technology developments allow for much more learner-centered teaching, with learners able to demonstrate learning through powerful multimedia; we have not harnessed fully this potential yet
we need more flexible design models for teaching and learning that allow for ‘design on the fly’, meet the needs of increasingly diverse learners and hence allow for greater individualization of learning, and offer greater productivity (more learning at less cost)
quality and the assessment of learning remain important challenges, even though the context of learning is rapidly changing
we need better theories and models for teaching and learning to help us navigate through a post-systems world where teachers and institutions have less and less control over the learning experience.
All these problems were solved in the pub after the meeting, but unfortunately no record was kept.
It’s official, registration has just opened for the 2011 Just Instructional Design Networking Event. Last year, we held the first “Just Instructional Design Networking Event” in Camosun College, Victoria, in conjunction with ETUG. The event was a success and there was interest from participants in holding a follow-up event. We’d like you to know that we are going to be holding this exciting event again this year, at the University of British Columbia!
This year’s event will take place on Friday, May 13, 2011 (Noon – 4:00 pm) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The event will be hosted by the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).
Date: Friday, May 13, 2011 Time: 12:00 – 4:00 pm Location: Lillooet Room in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC Cost: $25 (Lunch and refreshments will be provided)
Check out the event schedule to find out what will be happening that day. There are only 60 spaces available, and last year’s event sold out, so be sure to go to the registration page and register early!
On behalf of the organizing group for the Instructional Design Networking event, I want to say thank you for attending and participating in the event last Sunday! It was an interesting and engaging afternoon. A very special thank you to Tony for taking on the challenge of summarizing discussions and providing and us with your insight and also your singing abilities!
We also want to thank our facilitators who spent time and effort in preparing and doing an excellent job at facilitating! Thank you – Paul, Roger, Lisa, Bronwyn, and Maryjanne!
Our group will be also summarizing notes captured on the tables from each discussion and post them on the website/blog set up for this event. We would also like to post some photos. Please let me know if you have any issues in having your photo on this web site. Initial review of the feedback was very positive. We’ll keep everyone informed of any updates and potential further activities.
A networking event for instructional designers! Come and share your experiences and learn from others on key topics and trends in instructional design.
The goal of this half-day event is to bring together individuals who are working as instructional designers within a variety of fields/educational sector groups (e.g., K-12, public sector, private, post-secondary) for the purposes of:
a. sharing ideas/challenges/best practices in instructional design
b. networking purposes
c. accessing (or delivering) future professional development opportunities on instructional design
Dr. Tony Bates, a renowned expert in the field of educational technology and e-learning, and Paul Stacey, Director of Content Development for BC Campus, will be part of this event. Dr. Tony Bates will provide a wrap-summary of discussions.
When: June 6th 1:30 to 4:30 (Sunday)
Where: The Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre (Room 234), Lansdowne Campus, Camosun College, 3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Who: Anyone working as an instructional designer or who is interested in instructional design.
Registration & Cost: SORRY WE ARE FULL – REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. Space is limited to 50 participants. Registration is on a first come first served basis, so please register early. Registration costs are $20.00. NO REFUNDS! Light refreshments will be provided. Online Registration Form. Note: This event takes place prior to the start of the BC Educational Technology Group Spring Workshop taking place in Victoria.
What: The structure of this half day event will involve facilitated round table discussions on key topics, networking opportunities, and Dr. Tony Bates providing a wrap-up session.