Project A Reflection

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Project A was my very first thorough and formal instructional design document. Building up this project every week made it easier for me to organize the key information that I needed for my training document. Looking back at this long document made me realized how far I have come each week. Whenever I create my training, I usually create a similar document but it lacked several aspects. Creating this systematic project helped me create a perfect example and a baseline of what my future instructional designs should look like. The way the information is laid out (with visuals and appendices) helped the document come together in a way that is easier to understand.


Initially, I thought this project will be hard for me as I worked on this alone. The biggest struggle for me was the communication between my client and subject matter experts. Because of this pandemic, we have to work from home, and working on-site required certain permissions. The only way I could communicate was virtually and my clients were very busy enough with their regular work. I had a hard time trying to organize and fit myself into their schedules. Creating this training was very essential to my company but at the same time, our key participants had to keep up with manufacturing demands. Throughout the process, I felt that I had no control over the turn-around time of my feedbacks and I would want to work on a better system in making our communication process easier.
Implementing the training took the longest. The beta testers had a lot of good constructive feedback that enabled me to strengthen the content of my course. Since most of the participants were busy, it took a lot for them to take time out of their day to test my training. After days of trial and error, we finally tested the overall effectiveness of the course as well as our return on investment (ROI) and found that our value of time saved and period of improved performance has marginally increased.


The strongest aspect of the design process was my course objectives and goals. I based my course objectives and goals on my client’s concerns and our overall company needs. I thoroughly researched what the participants needed to learn from the course and reflected those needs in my lesson objectives and job aids.
This experience gave me confidence in working on Project B because I now have the experience and knowledge of certain approaches and delivery in my next design document. I will work on another project with a different client and apply all that I have learned previously in Project A.

Week 8 – Method of Loci

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The Method of Loci

The Method of Loci is a term of mnemonic memory technique that is very new to me, usually, when I have to recall or memorize something I use my resources (my notes and my phone reminders) to help me stay on top of my tasks. I did, however, realize that I have been using a similar method unconsciously towards my students. When I was an instructor in the military, I realized that most of my students tend to remember lessons well when I associate the topic with something completely bizarre and funny. The crazier the connection is, the more likely they tend to remember. The “Loci” on the Method of Loci, refers to locations or places; this strategy enables you to convert unstructured information (such as names, objects, faces, and so on) and turn them into structured information using a “Memory Palace”. You quantize locations in your memory palace and create images or versions of a story to help organize information. Creating relatable lessons for students can help build the connection between schemas that they already have, therefore can reduce the overload capacity of the brain. 

These schemas are what normally form when you recall a concept depending on a variety of memories or experiences. As an example, if we are trying to remember a name of certain person, our brain then formulates a response in either our visuospatial sketchpad or auditory loop which is encoded uniquely in our working memory. The visuospatial sketchpad is a component in the working memory that handles images and visions that we perceive (Sweller, 1994). These two processes correlate and integrate and therefore produce our knowledge of something we can associate with that person’s name (like Sally the mustache). Our brains can easily be overwhelmed by new information. The brain innately processes information despite other distractions and groups them into other schemas. If the information does not fit into certain schemas, it immediately adapts to form new ones. By relating schemas that we have relatively formed over time, and with the help of guided instruction and repetition we can form a better understanding of certain topics and help student learning.

I can imagine using this method as an instructor but would be challenging for online instructional designers. In self-paced online learning, the student is usually the one in control of how they perceive the learning. The content of the lesson is presented evidently and engaging the student’s understanding will be limited to the student’s capacity. When presenting new information, it would be somewhat challenging to create “memory places” to entice student engagement unless the course content is designed to be interesting enough to be remembered. 

Implementation and Evaluation

The implementation phase was hard for me because of conflicting schedules. Most of the participants work from home. The participants, however, recognized the importance of this training and worked their very best to take the time out of their day to help with the success of our pilot program. One of the challenges that we have faced during the implementation phase is that the online course portion has produced some errors, and the course refused to work on certain computers. The reason could possibly be because we had recently upgraded our Learning Management System (LMS) that affected our LMS platform sitewide. Our IT professionals and LMS coordinators have been notified of this issue and will be working on trying to get it fixed. Other suggestions that were noted by my client are changing the wording on some parts of the lesson to make it “more obvious” when taking the test. Meaning, the questions should be verbatim from the course content to reduce confusion. Also, Question number 20 needs to be corrected, and the e-mail from my client provided corrections on how to properly word question 20. This was identified by doing a test analysis and determining which questions the participants missed. She also noted that the Data Collection section of the training was wrong and needs to be corrected. My client’s feedback is very important for me to be able to exceed her expectations. I am not an engineer so I take every content change into consideration. My peer reviewer, Stephanie, had corrected one grammatical error in my document; but provided me with positive feedback for the whole document. 

The evaluation of the course took the longest because the participants took their time in providing me the final evaluation of the course. In conclusion, the participants had very positive feedback on the program, and my client was very delighted that we have finally established this training. I have come to realize the importance of conducting evaluations; and that diligent evaluations will enable us, as instructional designers, to review and improve the content of our design. Instructional Design is an iterative process, and evaluation should be carried out on a regular basis. Evaluation should not be listed last in the ADDIE model because it takes place in every element as it intersects in each ADDIE process. It is also important to understand that liking the training does not necessarily mean that they have learned something. 

Reference:

Goldstein E. Cognitive Psychology. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning; 2015.

Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and Instruction, 4(4), 295–312. https://doi.org/10.1016/0959-4752(94)90003-5.

Week 4 Activity 3: Blog Reflection: Analysis and Design

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Part 1: What have you learned from the analysis? What are you planning to do with it? Do a little brainstorming about what activities tied to your learning objectives that you might include in the design of your lesson.

I have learned that creating an analysis in course development will help me save time and resources. My client and I have spent some time conversing about her concerns and the needs for the training. I have come to realize that this project will not be easy and especially if I am doing this on my own. The first step in the analysis is defining the system of interest, and knowing your goals and expectations defines the purpose of your training (Romiszowski, 1981). The biggest concern in creating this training is implementing the culture change that will affect the Quality Control Inspector’s (QCs) established methods and practices.

In this analysis, I have come to realize the demographic in my company is somewhat leaning towards the older generation. The seasoned employees (employees that have been with us for decades) have a hard time adjusting to change and technological advances in training. The methods and practices that they use are not standardized, therefore, the level of knowledge is not the same. I must figure out a way to make this training simple yet easily navigable for users of all ages. QCs were originally machinists, and machinists like to learn by application; this generally means that the majority of the machinists are relatively kinesthetic learners. Because of the lack of manpower, we cannot afford to have instructor-led classes thus we resorted to online training. The performance assessment (the second part of the course) will render the students to apply what they have learned (which would be great for our kinesthetic learners). According to my client, the QCs already know the basics of the job but fail to standardize their methods. Because of my training analysis, we identified the current problems in our organization and I was able to offer a solution that would help bridge the gap in our current training methods. The information that our subject matter experts (SMEs) have provided us will help us decide the future content of our training and our lesson objectives.

Figuring out the goal of the training and the outcome of the QC training is what I ultimately worked on in my analysis. Laying down the goals and objectives of this project helped me realize the path I want to take. I honestly felt very overwhelmed with this project; but, the start of this analysis helped me gain control of my disarray. I have included the 2 important goals and learning activities/objectives that will be included in the design of the course: 

Goal: Upon successful completion of the Quality Control Certification Training, employees will learn the proper methods and techniques for inspection and have a broad understanding of the procedural requirements necessary for a certified Quality Control Inspector.

     Learning Objectives: Students will be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of the Quality Management System, workmanship, and quality standards.
  2. Explain the roles and responsibilities of the QC inspector.
  3. Exhibit knowledge of how to match revisions and versions of workmanship instructions.
  4. Define and interpret the inspection requirements and the necessary tooling used.
  5. Recall the basics of Geometric Dimension and Tolerance (GD&T).
  6. Perform basic math for quality inspections.
  7. Use the applications (PRISM, CMM, and RPM resources) and references to navigate.
  8. Define conforming and non-conforming material.
  9. Identify the gauges and calibration methods used.
  10. Recognize the defects and approaches used to report defects.

Goal: Upon successful completion of the performance evaluation section of the QC training, employees will be able to demonstrate a 10-day “error-free” inspection and display of knowledge and abilities necessary to be certified as a Quality Control Inspector.

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to:

  1. Illustrate the inspection process and use of necessary tooling.
  2. Display proficiency in probe routines and calibration.
  3. Understand the shop general rules of cleanliness and Foreign Object Damage (FOD) prevention.
  4. Illustrate the skills needed to read charts and drawings accurately.
  5. Apply the capacity to communicate and effectively in oral and written methods.
  6. Verify the ability to perform Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) sampling.

The learning activities that I have stated below play an important role in completing the lesson objectives and course goals. The activities will also gain learner engagement through application in the duration of the online course:

  • User will identify which section is the “version” and “revision” in a work order
  • User will do Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) Sampling exercises and identify the number of parts needed to be sampled based on the chart reference provided in the online training.
  • User will label the parts of a blueprint.
  • User will perform basic mathematics to solve questions for inspection requirements.
  • User will create jobs in the PRISM application
  • User will identify the tools used for calibration and register their tools through the online training interface simulation.
  • User will find and navigate the shop processes needed to do inspections.
  • User will create CMM data using the material reference in the online training.
  • User will acknowledge and learn about the importance of owning a QC stamp.
  • User will perform a 10-day “error-free” evaluation with their assigned QC or Value Stream Leader.

This analysis led me to organize my plan of approach, structural characteristics, and limitations in my course design. My company is striving to implement a more modern approach in their future training, and I think this course would help stir the organization in the right direction. Currently, we do not have a QC training in place, and I plan to use this analysis project to apply it in my current job. The need for this training is crucial to my company as I was given until the end of the year to finish this project.

Part 2: How are analysis and design related for you? Think about it in the context the articles and chapters we have read thus far. How closely should these two pieces of the model connect?

Analysis can be considered as a blueprint in creating an effective design output. Information from the analysis phase will be used to determine the design strategies of the course. Without a systematic analysis, creating a design will make you unprepared for the outcomes, gaps, and limitations of the training. Having clear set goals at the beginning of the analysis will determine the needs and goals of our target audience. The design needs to focus on the learning outcomes and assessments with engaging learning activities (Sims, 2015).

The creation of my analysis has led me to understand that these two models are somewhat dependent on each other. My initial analysis has led me to construct a systematic approach in my storyboard design. The layout of the training will be interactive and informative, with several exercises and knowledge tests in each section. The media and the learning interventions have been elucidated in the analysis which helped develop the design of my lesson components. The effectiveness of this course will highly depend on how the course is structured. I have taken numerous online courses before where the dynamic content has taken me in multiple directions and ended up confusing me rather than gaining from it. The course design that I am implementing needs to be relatable to our QCs who already possess the basic knowledge of the job. This course will be challenging yet rewarding and I am excited about the outcome of this course.

References:

Romiszowski, A.J. (1981) Designing Instructional Systems. Kogan Page Ltd., London.

Sims, R. (2015). Revisiting “Beyond Instructional Design.” Journal of Learning Design, 8(3), 29–32. https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2147/10.5204/jld.v8i3.252

Week 2 – How People Learn and Why That Is the Case

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My Philosophy of Learning 

The Science of Our Brain

The brain does not work and function at the same rate in each individual (Semrud-Clikeman 2010). The brain houses billions of neurons and these neurons contain and store every thought, memory, and experience. This means that every person’s brain is unique and has a distinct way of how information is organized and kept. When you think about the word “dog” what do you usually visualize? You may recall a picture of a regular dog, your dog, or a dog of a certain breed. Either way, you will visualize some form of abstraction of what you consider a dog is based on your experience. These schemas are what normally form when you recall a concept depending on a variety of memories or experiences. Usually, they are formed early-childhood and can greatly influence how new information is encoded, retained, and later retrieved (Gilboa & Marlatte 2017).

How Learning Takes Place 

I believe that learning takes place at different times throughout a person’s life. During my time as an educator, I was able to teach people of all ages, ranging from children to adults. I have noticed that their willingness to learn depends on the learning environment and what currently motivates them. Children tend to learn better when there is an application of learning while adults are flexible in terms of how they learn. Deci and Ryan (2000) states that “From birth onward, humans, in their healthiest states, are active, inquisitive, curious, and playful creatures, displaying a ubiquitous readiness to learn and explore, and they do not require extraneous incentives to do so” (p. 56). As we grow older, we learn what internal or external factors drive us to do better; these factors can either be personal, fear, or pleasure. Depending on how useful or how often we come across information, learners must embrace the struggles, mistakes, and failures that will ultimately be the key to how knowledge will be stored in our brains.

Effective Teaching Methods

The best way to teach is to create pleasurable experiences that caters to all learning styles (auditory, visual or kinesthetic); not all learners are able to grasp information by reading from a book. Introducing new information can open multiple entry points that can be triggered by interests, prior knowledge or past experiences. As educators, we must create multiple solution paths so that learners can create relatable learning experiences. When information seems more relevant or relatable, it tends to stay longer in their long-term memory. Knowledge is both intuitive and unconstructed, but it can be developed through collaboration, repetition and perseverance; hence, the importance of learning and adjusting to new learning strategies.

Learning Theory

Cognitive constructivism would be the theory that is closely related to my examples. This theory suggests that humans must build their own knowledge based on their experiences. Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory states that “humans cannot be given information, which they immediately understand and use; instead, humans must construct their own knowledge” (Piaget, 1953). Knowledge can be formed by individuals who take their own initiatives and adapt oneself in the environment. Educators must create an authentic learning environment where students can engage and share their knowledge freely to become active participants in their own learning. Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom et al., 1956) is a great example which helps aid student learning and assessments by creating a set of learning objectives and classroom activities. This framework describes three models (cognitive, psychomotor and affective) used to assess learning in different varieties of cognitive levels (Crompton, Bruke, & Lin, 2018). Most curriculum developers use this as a basis for most instructional design. Having a goal and understanding the needs for instruction can be a good basis for motivation; learners would then have knowledge of what to expect during instruction.

In conclusion, I believe that culture and accumulation of experiences are the main factors of how people learn. Over time, people tend to discover their own learning styles and adapt to overcome barriers that they may encounter as they move forward. As educators, we should strive to make learning applicable to real-world experiences making lessons universal, challenging, and will enhance the retrieval of knowledge in the future.

References

Bloom, B., Englehart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: Longman.

Crompton, H., Bruke, D., & Lin, Y.-C. (2018, September 17). Mobile learning and student cognition: A systematic review of PK‐12 research using Bloom’s Taxonomy. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(2), 684-701. Retrieved from https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2147/10.1111/bjet.12674

Gilboa, A., & Marlatte, H. (2017, August). Trends in Cognitive Science. Retrieved from Science Direct: https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2142/science/article/pii/S1364661317300864?via%3Dihub

Piaget, J. (1953). To understand is to invent. New York: Grossman (French: Ou va I’education?, 1948).

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000, January). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67.

Semrud-Clikeman, M. (2010, February 16). Research in brain function and learning. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function

Week 1 – Real World Examples

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Due to the current world events and how our lives have been heavily impacted by this pandemic called COVID-19, there has been a significant amount of change in terms of our daily lives. This pandemic has forced people in the most jarring ways to continue normal operations while catering to the safety of personnel. This change has heavily impacted most business owners as well as educators. Within a moment’s notice, we are mandated to wear masks, promote social distancing and perform tasks as virtual as possible. I try to look at this situation as an opportunity for instructional designers to shine, this could very well be a challenge for all of us in this field to try and better certain processes and training that are put in place.

When I watched the video of David Merrell (2008) on instructional design, I had an epiphany on a couple of things. Technology itself can be both be positive and detrimental to one’s learning. The internet itself is a data dump of information, and how we use and accept this information will truly depend on the person. There are millions of courses and instructions on the internet but if it violates the basic principles of learning and if there is a false concept of motivation then the instruction would be ineffective. Applying real-world knowledge in this day of social distancing is quite challenging. Depending on certain situations, it is harder to apply and demonstrate real-world learning if we cannot fully exhibit what we have learned.

My first real-world example would be my experience with attempting to get my license to carry these past few weeks. While looking up the process on how to obtain my license, I realized that I had to take an online course and perform a proficiency demonstration despite my military background, due to the fact that I cannot retrieve any of my old shooting records. The process itself was tedious as I was subjected to a 4-hour long course as they do not offer classroom instruction for the moment. The course that I took online was from http://www.handgunlicense.com and it was straight to the point. The course was very well made. There were no games or interactive quizzes. Some sections of the course were timed; meaning, you cannot move past a certain section unless you spend 40 minutes on it which will prompt learners to stay and learn more about that section. The format they used was mainly informational. The objectives of the first part of the course were to mainly educate learners of the basic laws pertaining to guns and how to handle and store your guns safely. I initially thought the information would be dry as I have learned how to handle guns in the military; but I have found the course to be quite interesting. Maybe because my real-world motivation involved obtaining this license and learning how to handle guns as a civilian, which was frankly, new knowledge to me. The course generally helped me apply and prepare for the proficiency demonstration.

My second experience involved my time in the military as an Aviation Ordnanceman, as an AO we are tasked with many different things such as building and inspecting munitions. No one goes to high school and learn about these things, so the knowledge is not innate to us. In order to perform our daily operations, we have what we call publications. These publications are our guide to perform our missions; it is imperative that we perform everything in black in white to minimize potential hazards when handling live munitions. In these publications, there are step-by-step procedures on how to make certain munitions or how to inspect them. For example, if we were to build Bomb A, we would need to go to a certain page and follow all the necessary steps to build Bomb A. The goal of the instruction is very crucial as missing a step could lead to potential damage to millions of dollars’ worth of equipment or possible injury or death. We cannot perform any operation unless a publication is present. The level of instruction was found effective, there are a lot of safety precautions outlined in each operation that ensured our mission success. It is both motivating and challenging at the same time to read and apply what we have learned. We not only train our mind, but muscle memory is also important. We always train using inert munitions to help simulate a live setting to practice and help new sailors as well.

In conclusion, most of my experiences are imperative to my safety therefore there was a motivation in learning. Good instructional designs in place can play a key vital role in that. Like today, most restaurants, malls or places of business have instruction on how to become safe. It would be hard to walk in any place today without a sign on their door emphasizing what kind of safety precaution they are promoting in place. For me to become an effective training coordinator and instructional designer I must understand the principles and the basics of instructional design. This requires more studying and benchmarking from those who have been in the field longer. A great understanding of instructional design will help generate the right content that I should be delivering to my audience thus helping me with my career goals.

 

References

Merrill, D. (mdavidmerrel). (2008, August 8). Merrill on instructional design. [Video] Youtube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_TKaO2-jXA