CURRENT TRENDS
AND ISSUES
IN INSTRUCTIONAL
TECHNOLOGY
Suzanne Rose
Rick Moggio
Rhianna Ulrich
[INDUCTION EXERCISE]
The def...
2
Definitions
Educational Technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving
performance ...
3
There are many terms such as Educational Technology, Instructional Design, Instructional
Technology, and Instructional D...
4
History of the Field
Instructional Design and Technology has strong roots in anything that we consider teachable
through...
5
being taught on a world-wide basis, rather than at a local level. “Courses designed in North America
and imported to oth...
6
Core Models
As children, most of us were inquisitive in nature and constantly asked our parents, “Why?” As we
grew older...
7
To illustrate this, the most common visual representation of Bloom’s cognitive domain is a pyramid
(Figure 3.1). Since t...
8
Once we have a solid design, we begin the Development phase. This refers to the elements that
comprise the training mate...
9
References
Adelgais, S. (2001). Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Return on Investment - An Evaluative
Framework. ...
10
Reiser, R.A. (2001). A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part I: A History of Instructional Media.
Educat...
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Induction Exercise

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Induction Exercise

  1. 1. CURRENT TRENDS AND ISSUES IN INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY Suzanne Rose Rick Moggio Rhianna Ulrich [INDUCTION EXERCISE] The definition, history, and core models of the instructional design field.
  2. 2. 2 Definitions Educational Technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources (AECT, 2004). This is the most current definition from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). Although this may appear as a condensed version representing an extraordinarily large field, one must carefully observe the meanings and elements that encompass each key term within this definition. Each key term encapsulates certain processes that hopefully further promote the proposed final objectives. Those key words are study, ethical practice, facilitating, learning, improving, performance, creating, using, managing, appropriate, technological, processes, and resources. The Definition and Terminology Committee of the AECT covers each of the key terms with extensive commentary of the intended meaning. These key terms, used in combination with other key terms, have proven to create a shift from the old definitions once followed. The first formal definition used by the AECT (Ely, 1963), referred to “the design and use of messages which control the learning process.” With the current definition, the relationships show a paradigm shift from what were once educator-based controlled learning strategies to strategies that are now designed to accentuate students’ learning abilities. To fully understand the definition of the concept, one point must be kept in mind; technology is systematically ever-changing and ever- evolving. As theories change, so will the processes in which we learn. Figure 1.1 shows the process of the key term elements. Figure 1.1 A visual summary of key elements of the current definition
  3. 3. 3 There are many terms such as Educational Technology, Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, and Instructional Design and Technology (IDT), used synonymously or in conjunction with the other terms. Educational Technology is also recognized as Learning Technology. This field has also been referred to as Instructional Design and Technology. Although the term “technology” can be observed as a very expansive term in itself, it can encompass quite different and similar applications. At one end of the spectrum, it can be defined as physical aspects such as computer hardware, software, and other communication devices (AECT, 2004). At the other end, it can be defined as organizational methods, systems, procedures, and processes in which to attenuate the learning process. These definitions demonstrate that educational technology can be viewed differently. The AECT’s current definition, stated at the beginning of this section, is one view. Dr. Terry Anderson, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Distance Education (2003), defines educational technology as “those tools used in formal educational practice to disseminate, illustrate, communicate, or immerse learners and teachers in activities purposively designed to induce learning.” The current AECT definition of Instructional Technology is “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning” (Seels & Richey). The main objective is a two step process. The first step develops an understanding as to how people learn. The second step uses that gained knowledge to design and create instructional systems and the necessary materials in which to best to facilitate learning. Since the definition of Educational Technology is very close to that of Instructional Technology, the terms are used interchangeably. Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It includes development of instructional materials and activities as well as tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities (Berger, 1996). The process is learning the needs of the learner, defining the end instructional objectives, designing and developing the systems and materials, and implementing them to achieve said objectives. The University of Michigan has compiled a list of definitions demonstrating the comparisons and differences between instruction al design and technology. It does state that Instructional Technology = Instructional Design + Instructional Development, where by the Instructional Development being known as the implementation process (http://www.umich.edu/~ed626/define.html). The field of Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) is best defined by Reiser (2001). The field of IDT encompasses the analysis of learning and performance problems, as well as the design, development, implementation, evaluation, and management of instructional and non-instructional processes and resources intended to improve learning and performance in a variety of settings, particularly educational institutions and the workplace. Professionals in the field of IDT often use systematic instructional design procedures and employ a variety of instructional media to accomplish their goals. Moreover, in recent years, they have paid increasing attention to non-instructional solutions to some performance problems. Research and theory related to each of the aforementioned areas is also an important part of the field. This term is most often synonymously used for Instructional Technology and Educational Technology.
  4. 4. 4 History of the Field Instructional Design and Technology has strong roots in anything that we consider teachable through coaching. This includes everything from learning how to tie your shoes, to studying in- depth string theory in physics. Since its beginnings are in all education, a narrowing of Instructional Design Technology is needed. Beyond school textbooks and chalkboards, teaching and instructional design can be found in museums, through interactive displays, educational videos, corporate presentations, and interactive computer instruction. As education techniques evolved, so did instructional technology. One can deduce that even the first scroll used to aid in teaching was a beginning spark for instructional design. Although we may see it as basic and primitive now, the inclusion of illustrations in books, individual chalkboards in prairie schoolhouses, and Bob Ross’ half hour painting show on PBS are all leaps in instructional design. Robert Reiser has included examples such as slides, photographs, films, and charts in schools throughout history (Reiser, 2001). The first use of the term Instructional Design began in the 1940’s by the military (Piskurich, 2006). They created a straight-line model with five phases (Figure 2.1): analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. From there, “designers began to realize that although the phases were a pretty good representation of how instructional design worked, the straight-line model with a beginning and an end was not realistic. Evaluation eventually led to more analysis, which created the need for redesign, and so on.” (Piskurich, 2006) Figure 2.2 shows what the second revised model looks like. Part of the history of Instructional Technology is the adaptation and changing of what is considered aids and tools of instructional technology. One definition of Educational Technology states that it is a “systematic, interactive process for designing instruction or training used to improve performance” (Walden, 2005). As society grows and develops, what is needed to improve performance changes. Gone are the times of the chalkboard and the whiteboard, which in their heyday were considered the height of information technology. Today is the time of computer e-learning and online instruction. As instructional design has moved into the more interactive and computer realm, teaching to other learning styles, beyond book and repetitive learners, has opened many doors to teachers. The inclusion of online video, webcams, video games, and simulator technology into education has incorporated visual, tactile, and field learners. Web 2.0 has enabled users and teachers to interact on a level that has never been possible before. “Web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies” (en.wikipedia.org, 2009) are just a few examples of Web 2.0 contributions. Each have been used as tools to help in teaching. Incorporating new computer technology is not a complete golden ticket, though. The evolution to computer learning has created problems such as program compatibility, peripherals, and courses Figure 2.1 First five phase Instructional Design model
  5. 5. 5 being taught on a world-wide basis, rather than at a local level. “Courses designed in North America and imported to other nations often carry American values and cultural assumptions which may not be shared by another country” (Pickett, n.d.). Since instructional design is so imperative to enhancing how people learn, and expanding who can learn, in regards to a corporate setting, William Rothwell and H.C. Kazans have included an entire chapter on promoting instructional design in their book “Mastering the Instructional Design Process.” They illustrate how to encourage having instructional designers on payroll and how to endorse the benefits of enhanced instructional design technology. In a corporate setting, companies want to know that using a talented instructional designer will create a good return on investment. “Return on investment, or ROI, is a form of evaluation that allows organizations to find out if a training program has been profitable for the company” (Adelgais, 2001). For corporations to consider the use of an instructional designer, their ROI needs to be kept as a number one foresight. An additional benefit to the incorporation of computer and online learning is the ability to have a collaborative effort for teaching, as well as the ability to access a wide and vast database of ideas on instructional design. “Technology has also improved distance education through increased interactivity and improved feedback processes that enable a more collaborative environment” (Kirwin, n.d.). Since Instructional Design Technology is so important to current school learning and corporate training, it is imperative that designers continue to keep themselves educated on techniques and technologies involved “…Recent technological advances, new ideas and theories regarding the learning process, and new views of how to promote learning and performance in classrooms and in the workplace have all had an influence on the field” (Reiser). Designers cannot hope to excel without learning themselves. Although Instructional Technology has a rich history that changes vastly and quickly with the times, designers have a constant struggle to maintain an up-to-date level of knowledge and a library of data, programs, and techniques. Figure 2.2 Second five phase Instructional Design model
  6. 6. 6 Core Models As children, most of us were inquisitive in nature and constantly asked our parents, “Why?” As we grew older, some of us may have even disassembled our toys to see how they work. Many people with this type of curiosity have grown into instructional designers. The field demands a strong sense of analytical thinking; one must investigate a challenge and view it from all sides to create effective teaching materials. One must also know how to attack challenges and find solutions that can be carried out by their audiences. The core of the instructional design field is knowledge. We live in an age of information where knowledge is valuable and powerful. An instructional designer strives to tame that knowledge and transfer it to a learner clearly and cohesively. This sounds like a daunting task; there are innumerable variables dependent on the type of knowledge, the audience, the goal, and more. Psychologists and educators worked to find a common model that would allow them to transfer knowledge on a consistent and effective basis. One of the forerunners was Benjamin Bloom (1956) whose taxonomy of cognitive learning objectives dominates the field of instructional design to this day. Bloom, and a number of colleagues, identified three domains of educational activity: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor (Clark, 2007). The cognitive domain is utilized most often in the field of instructional design because it refers to the development of knowledge and skills. Bloom’s cognitive domain is divided into six categories. These categories signify the type of knowledge or skill the learner will have upon completion.  Knowledge refers to recalling or reciting information.  Comprehension refers to the ability to grasp the meaning of the material (Hancock, 2007).  Application refers to the ability to use the learned information while performing tasks.  Analysis refers to the ability to use the learned information to deconstruct the material and comprehend its structure (Hancock, 2007).  Synthesis refers to the ability to combine parts into a new and cohesive whole.  Evaluation refers to the ability to use the learned information to judge future situations or tasks. Conceptually, the categories are listed in degrees of difficulties from the simplest to the most complex. According to Bloom and his colleagues, for the transfer of knowledge to occur, learners must gain proficiency in the each category before they are prepared to move to the next (Clark, 2004). For example, if our goal is to teach someone how to build a shelf, they must first learn what they are building and comprehend its purpose before they can learn how to build it. If our student were merely following a list of directions without this prerequisite knowledge, he is more likely to make errors, and the transfer of knowledge may not occur. Bloom’s Taxonomy allows learners to gain knowledge and skills, and to also build upon them in an effective and systematic manner so that the transfer of knowledge can occur.
  7. 7. 7 To illustrate this, the most common visual representation of Bloom’s cognitive domain is a pyramid (Figure 3.1). Since the simplest category must be mastered first, it resides at the bottom. The next category builds upon that foundation in the same way that Mayans built their pyramids. The Mayan pyramids still stand twenty stories high since A.D. 250 (Joil, n.d.). As with all structures that are designed for strength, durability and permanence, Bloom’s taxonomy of learning objectives is built upon a solid foundation while integrating balance. However, instructional design is not theory alone. To work successfully, theory must be balanced with a strategic and repeatable process of application. The most commonly used process is the ADDIE model. ADDIE is an acronym for Analysis, Design, Develop, Implementation, and Evaluation. It refers to the process of creating training material from start to finish. When beginning a project, we define the problem, identify its source, and determine possible solutions (aboutelearning.com, 2009). This includes research, analyzing the needs and tasks associated with the project, and defining its goals. These tasks are completed during the Analysis phase of the model. During the Design phase, we use our results from the Analysis phase to create a plan of action. This includes selecting a delivery method, writing the objectives, and finalizing the flow of the material (about-elearning.com, 2009). This is typically accomplished through creating an outline or visual storyboard. Figure 3.1 Benjamin Bloom’s Cognitive Dogma
  8. 8. 8 Once we have a solid design, we begin the Development phase. This refers to the elements that comprise the training material. This includes authoring the content or script, as well as all the supporting media or documents necessary. Implementation refers to delivering the material to an audience. This is where the transfer of knowledge occurs. Summative Evaluation measures the effectiveness and efficiency of the instruction (about- elearning.com, 2009). It measures if the transfer of knowledge took place and to what degree. This can be conducted through assessments as well as comparative observations and data. Between each phase, there is a Formative Evaluation process to ensure each phase is completed successfully before moving to the next (about-elearning.com, 2009). Without the formative evaluation phase, we’re more likely to overlook nuances that are more difficult to correct at the end of a project. In the instructional design field, we accomplish this by sending the project to clients between each phase for review and approvals. As mentioned earlier, the military created ADDIE as a linear model that ended once the Evaluation phase was complete. The model has since been restructured to differentiate between Formative Evaluation and Summative Evaluation (Figure 3.2). It is now considered a cyclical model; by analyzing the data gathered in the Evaluation phase, we are beginning the analysis of further instruction on the topic as necessary. Ultimately, the field of instructional design is defined by both theory and process. One compliments the other to create a balanced and cohesive unit. By combining these models, we are able to develop quality training materials that implement the transfer of knowledge in a strategic and repeatable process. Therefore, we can attain both quality and efficiency, which are both vital in the instructional design field. Figure 3.2 Cyclical Instructional Design model
  9. 9. 9 References Adelgais, S. (2001). Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Return on Investment - An Evaluative Framework. Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/roi/index.htm Anderson, T. & Garrison, D.R. (2008). Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice. Retrieved August 26, 2009, from http://books.google.com/books?id=UZOG5KEoiCQC&pg=PA33&dq=define-instructional- technology&lr=&as_brr=0&ei=ClahR5qoMY_-sQPyx- 2bCg&sig=P3kU_P8ZfHHGAvedqg3rF2UG7gc#v=onepage&q=define-instructional- technology&f=false Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (2004). The Meanings of Educational Technology. Retrieved August 26, 2009, from http://www.Indiana.edu/~molpage/Meanings%20%20ET_4.0pdf Berger, C. (1996,October 18). Educational Software Design and Authoring. In Definitions of Industrial Design. Retrieved August 27, 2009, from http://www.umich.edu/~ed626/define.html Clark, D.R. (2004). Instructional System Design Concept Map. Retrieved August 25, 2009 from http://nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/ahold/isd.html Ely, D.P. (1963). The Changing Role of the Audiovisual Process: A Definition and Glossary of Related Terms. Audiovisual Communication Review. 11(1), Supplement 6 Hancock, R. (2007). The Path to Intelligent Integration. Retrieved August 25, 2009 from http://www.2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/rhancock/index.html Instructional Design. (2009). Instructional Design Principles. Retrieved August 25, 2009 from http://www.about-elearning.com/instructional-design-principles.html Joil, Gentry. (n.d.). Lost Civilizations. Mayan Pyramids in Mexico – Teothuacan. Maya. Retrieved August 25, 2009 from http://www.lost-civilizations.net/mayan-pyramids-mexico-teotihuacan.html Kirwin, A. (n.d.). The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Technology and Collaborative Environments in Distance Education. Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/collabenv/index.htm Pickett, N. (n.d.). The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Distance Education Course Design. Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/FredDesign/start.htm Piskurich, G.M. (2006). Rapid Instructional Design: Learning ID Fast and Right. San Francisco: Pfeiffer
  10. 10. 10 Reiser, R.A. (2001). A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part I: A History of Instructional Media. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(1), 53-64 Reiser, R.A. (2001). A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part II: A History of Industrial Design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(2), 57-67 Richey, R.C. & Seels, B. (2008). Reflections on the 2008 AECT Definitions of the Field. TechTrends. 52(1), 24-25 Walden, S. (2005). Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. What is Educational Technology? Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/edtech/index.htm Web 2.0 (2009). Wikipedia. Retrieved August 27, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

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