Friday, March 23, 2007

A Learning Process

Education is a continual learning process. Whether you use the word "education" in regards to educating others, as an instructor or peer, or undergoing the process of being educated, it's a constant cycle of learning. Just when I thought I knew everything I needed to know about instructional design (I know, that's impossible), the ADDIE model, etc, something new comes along and I'm constantly being amazed at how much more there is to learn about everything -- ID, effective use of content, e-learning technologies, SCORM, and being a part of a search committee!

Yesterday, my team had a meeting that lasted about two hours. Two hours - what on earth do we have to discuss that could take two hours? At first, it felt like we spent a lot of time analyzing the seemingly insignificant nitty-gritty details of the design process of our training system, but the more we discussed, the more it became clear to me how grounded in design our final product is going to be, despite the technologically-crippling limitations of Workforce Connections. Honestly, when the concept of the design matrix (aligning learning outcomes or objectives to relevant assessment questions) was introduced to me, I was baffled as to why we were doing this. Now it makes complete sense to me -- I mean, why quiz learners on concepts that aren't going to contribute to their learning of a specified topic? And if a course designer doesn't write clear or valid objectives, or if it turns out the assessment questions or objectives aren't meeting goals like increasing the learner's problem solving skills, then some element of the training or e-learning system must be redesigned so that the designer, and eventually the learner, is able to reach these goals.

A final closing thought: I jumped into the Immersion program with the goal of obtaining an instructional design or academic technology position at a higher education institution after commencement. Graduation and the 'future' of 'getting a job' are looming on the near horizon. I am still enthusiastically committed to my goal of working in higher education, and Immersion has only strengthened this dream of mine. The more involved I am in higher education, the more I hope to remain a part of the aforementioned 'cycle of education' for a long time to come.