Welcome! We are so excited to have you in the Instructional Design Essen...
design as well. You’ll be reading Fink’s Self-Directed Guide to get started thinking about this. 
Fink’s model is great be...
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Week 1


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Week 1

  1. 1. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN ESSENTIALS – WEEK 1 LECTURE Welcome! We are so excited to have you in the Instructional Design Essentials ALA ecourse, this should (hopefully) be an engaging and fast-paced month. Move at your own pace, whatever that may be. As long as you complete all the work by the final date of the course, your instructors are happy to be flexible to accommodate varying schedules. This course was designed to help you develop an instruction session, course, module, learning object (you name it) as you go, so taking this ecourse should help boost your productivity instead of being a roadblock. Let’s get started! So if you signed up for this course, you have at least some idea of what instructional design (ID) is, or that it’s beneficial to library instruction. Essentially, instructional design aligns learning outcomes, assessment, and content/sequencing to provide a more seamless and effective learning experience for your students. Likewise, with all of these factors linked, you are better poised for assessing learning and evaluating your own teaching. Instructional design often includes other areas of research that benefit teaching, such as learning sciences and educational psychology, as well as appropriate use of technology. We will be using the principle of “backwards design” (BD) in this course to focus your practice. BD literally means what it implies, that you design your instruction backwards, starting with goals and outcomes, then assessments, and then content and sequencing. When teachers start designing lessons based on “engaging” activities or content-driven activities, the ability to focus and ensure students are learning with an end goal and transferable skills in mind can get lost. For example, let’s say Jessa the instruction librarian is about to teach freshmen about doing library research. She’s trapped in a seemingly neverending one-shot model and needs to come up with something quickly for her session next week. Although the first approach might be to work with faculty to develop programmatic instruction (a topic beyond the scope of this ecourse), Jessa just needs to put something together at this point for this purpose. She’s very comfortable with having students do a scavenger hunt around the library and thinks it’s engaging and fun because they are moving around, and then after that activity, she demonstrates a number of databases and sends them on their way, class assignment attached or not. But if Jessa relies so heavily on *her* strengths and what makes *her* feel comfortable, is that really being learner-centered? And just because the students are being “active” and “engaged,” does that necessarily mean they’ve learned anything? On top of that, with this type of design (driven by content/activities), what is the ultimate goal? What is the WHY? By starting design with goals, students see more transparency and have a better understanding of what and how to accomplish what they are supposed to learn. There is a bigger purpose attached that can help improve motivation and learning. Speaking of being learner-centered, most ID models start off with completing some form of needs assessment. To be able to design instruction best suited for your learners, you need to understand where they’re coming from, their needs, and their background. Likewise, understanding environmental factors and the overall picture behind the instruction will color your PAGOWSKY & DEFRAIN – INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN ESSENTIALS 1
  2. 2. design as well. You’ll be reading Fink’s Self-Directed Guide to get started thinking about this. Fink’s model is great because he guides you through the ID process in a holistic way, while considering affective outcomes and needs of your learners. If you’re not familiar with affective learning outcomes, it’s basically feelings. This can tie in directly to something like library anxiety or confidence levels in other subject areas. Affective outcomes can also tie into critical pedagogy. Because this is a short course, we have made the critical pedagogy components optional. It’s hard to start thinking about this approach to instruction and learning if you don’t first have the foundation for ID. For those of you not-so-new to ID, we present the critical pedagogy components as scaffolding so you can engage in more challenging thinking about instruction, but we invite all to participate if you are interested and find you have enough time to complete these readings and activities. We will have a variety of activities including writing blog posts, engaging in Twitter chats, and reflection prompts. To introduce critical pedagogy before you start reading more in depth about it, a brief definition is: The significance related to library instruction is in realizing that we are not neutral participants in education, so how we teach either reinforces existing power structures or can bring our learners into Freire's notion of “critical consciousness.” You can and should form your own opinion and definitions of critical pedagogy for library instruction as you engage in the readings and activities. We then set you forth to begin this week’s work and look forward to engaging with you in discussions and feedback. 2 PAGOWSKY & DEFRAIN – INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN ESSENTIALS