Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods
This really was a class full of strategies and methods for designing learning. In the beginning of the course I did some fine-tuning on my objectives. Learning about alignment early on really helped to set the stage for the design process. By aligning the objectives, learning strategies (activities), and the assessments at the beginning of the design process it helped me to steer the course with certainty toward the desired learning outcomes.
Learning Design Alignment
The next phase involved a deep dive into assessments. First, I considered the different assessment methods and decided which ones would work for my project. I had already determined that I wanted to use scenarios in the assessment process, and I had to determine the best ways to use them. I also needed to consider how to offer feedback for this type of course. Since it will be a voluntary course, and will not be used for any type of certification, the assessment need is more formative than summative. However, the ability for the learner to be able to use the components of the Symmetrisleep System in real life is one of the main goals of the course. I decided that immediate feedback including an ideal answer supplied by a SME would be the best way to go, and then the instructions will invite the learner to self-evaluate their own responses. I designed the quiz-like questions to function as practice activities, and there are a few short answer reflection questions to help the learners connect the information to their own circumstances.
This led into working on the Alignment Matrix and deciding upon how to design Horton's "Absorb, Do, Connect" (2011) activities. Working with the matrix was interesting, at first it seemed simple, then it was a little confusing, and with a few adjustments, finally things clicked. The matrix helped to organize my thoughts and keep the content on track, the key was to use it as a tool to make sure that each objective, activity, and assessment functioned together effectively.
Universal Design for Learning
It is very important for my project to be mindful or UDL because I am creating a learning module that is for an audience of medical professionals and caregivers who work with people with special needs. Most of the patients, and some of the medical professionals and caregivers could need accommodations. It will be important to keep all of these things in mind when I am developing the course.
The three main considerations of UDL are: Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement. (National Center for UDL)
UDL Action Plan for this Project
- Incorporate descriptions (text or spoken) for all images, graphics, video, or animations. (National Center for UDL)
- Use text equivalents in the form of captions or automated speech-to-text (voice recognition) for spoken language. (National Center for UDL)
- Provide visual diagrams and charts. (National Center for UDL)
- Provide written transcripts for videos or voice narration. (National Center for UDL)
- Create alt text descriptions for images, videos, and graphics.
- Include touch equivalents (tactile video, graphics, or objects of reference) for key visuals that represent concepts. (National Center for UDL)
- Chunk information into smaller sections, and connect certain perspectives to the learner’s prior knowledge in order to reduce cognitive load and support learners who may have difficulty processing information. (National Center for UDL)
Universal Design for Learning is a perspective of learning design that takes into consideration the learning needs of the whole (universal) population. When we design with these considerations in mind, utilizing technology and research on best practices, we end up creating the best learning experience for all participants.
There are so many systems, taxonomies, learning theories, activities, assessment strategies, and technologies to consider. It really takes a lot of skills to pull it all together. I think the most valuable thing that I gained from this course was the experience of actually utilizing all of these processes to design the course for BILD. I am very thankful to have such a great project to work with because it is very tangible.
Another good thing about this course is that it opened up connections to a lot of resources. There are so many ways to learn about ID and there are lots of tip sheets, websites, and suggestions that really help the creative process along the way. I am sure that as I become more experienced, the process will become second nature.
I’m very thankful for the opportunity to learn from the other members of this course, as well as Dr. Susan Manning. I have been very impressed with everyone’s work and I am looking forward to continue to work through the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design through UW Stout.
Horton, W. (2011). e-Learning by Design. New York: Pfeiffer.
National Center on Universal Design for Learning. The Three Principles. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2017, from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl/3principles