Instructional Design Reflections

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As my course comes to a close and I begin my reflection, I realize that I was always very much aware or so I thought, that we all learn very differently; what I was not aware of was how to truly be able to utilize those differences in learning to develop an instructional design/plan.

Interestingly enough however, I did find some similarities in building curriculum and understanding the dynamics as well as the science and psychological aspects from my previous degrees in Social Work; what I did not  give much thought to was the science behind building curriculum and what it truly takes to be able to not just “build” the curriculum but to build something that is engaging with purpose.

Now that I have learned more about learning process as well as the various theories surrounding these processes, it has allowed me to understand my own learning practice; I find myself mimicking characteristics of an adult learner in that I am often seeking as much knowledge as I possibly can but I am also very impatient with that experience,  I need to know how that new-found knowledge is going to benefit myself, family or how my new wisdom is currently utilized either in my current job role or my future role as an instructional designer or in my personal life.

As I have begun learning and developing a deeper understanding of the various learning theories, I find that I fall in several categories when it comes to learning, this is particularly evident especially as I have grown into my own as an adult learner. What I have gleaned from this class is the various learning platforms and social platforms, and the importance in their utilization when building curriculum and the significance of understanding that all learners do not fit into one particular learning category but many.

It is highly important to have a good understanding of what your audience is needing from the instruction that is being designed and how it is going to benefit them. In my opinion this is something that is important at any age, relevancy of the instructional design.

That in mind, there has to be great emphasis on the various learning theories and your audiences. Adult learners are more independent in their thinking and their learning, and generally have more than just school on their ever-expanding agendas, where as your younger learner won’t be as free in his/her learning, and feels as if the learning process is more about learning something because it is necessary versus learning something for the knowledge of learning.

With this in mind, it is necessary to decide which particular technology will be most suitable for your target audience, i.e. gamification, social networking, blogging, web-based learning etc.

As far as motivation is concerned, it is a little more “tricky” in that your audience as a general rule is initially very motivated, it is throughout the course/ training where the motivation is generally lacking for one reason or another; for your younger learners it is more about going through the motions of the learning process where as for your more mature or older learners it is more about the necessity of the information for one reason or another, however the motivation is generally lost especially in classes that utilize an online presence. It is important in each of these cases that there is active participation not just from the student but also from the instructor, this could include feedback on all assignments, building various groups and incorporating social networks so as to not lose that active participation.

This course has provided me with a wealth of knowledge in the areas of various learning theories, learning techniques, styles as well as the all-important social platforms to include a new platform for myself in the way of blogging. I had no idea of the importance that technology like this had on the development of instructional design. Now that I have a better understanding of the various techniques in learning as well as a better understanding of how to initiate more engaging instructional design programs as well as the various technological programs to build educational programs, the more excited I am to continue with my learning and utilization of those new technologies in true Autonomy style.

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