Rationale Paper – MET ’13

Formatted Word Document

Introduction

I’ve been interested in technology for as long as I can remember and I’ve been interested in teaching for almost as long. Fast forward to about 2007 – it was a pivotal year for me. I had been working with an engineering firm on the Oregon Coast for a year and a half, and I decided to leave. I wanted to work in education. I hadn’t gone on to a Master’s in Teaching after I graduated because I was scared and sometimes I think I still am – one of the things I’m looking for in my next job is an opportunity to grow as a speaker and presenter – but I thought there must be a place in education for me that isn’t at the front of a classroom all day.

My next stop was to head to Seaside, Oregon in order to work as a special education assistant at the middle school – I had to start somewhere. This was valuable experience for me – I spent just a few months there, but I worked one-on-one with a little a girl, helped small groups of 7th grade math students, managed a 6th grade English classroom and supervised the library, recess and lunchtime. We had a mutual parting of ways in February of 2008 because I wasn’t giving the student I was working with everything that she needed. Part of me knew that this wasn’t a perfect match from the beginning, but I was glad to have the opportunity.

Right before I left the middle school, I had found and applied for a job in Coos Bay, Oregon that practically asked for me by name. I applied for and got the job – I never had a doubt that I would be hired, it was such a perfect match for me – and it wasn’t as perfect as I thought it was going to be, but it was valuable in so many other ways. I admired my supervisor immensely and after a long road, found my niche working with her and the distance learning director, supporting online students and faculty. By this point, I had taken many online classes.

Over the course of getting to know these people, I discovered that I wanted to go back to graduate school for educational technology, and I tried out classes at San Diego State University for a term. It was a great school, but it wasn’t quite right for me – I wanted something a little closer to home. Compared to other Educational Technology programs, Boise State had a really great social media presence and I felt like I could get to know the department to some extent. I have appreciated the support from the department over the past year and a half; you have really been amazing.

The MET program has been a whirlwind, but also one of the best things I have decided to do for myself. Completing an entire degree online has been strange, but I would do it again. What I might encourage others to do differently (and what I would probably do, if I returned to complete the doctorate program) is take the program one course at a time if you can. You should also make a concerted effort to connect with your faculty and classmates.

This document is an aggregation of work from the past year and a half. It is separated by standards and links to every artifact are provided. I have provided information about what was required of each assignment, what theory was incorporated into the assignment, how I would improve or use this information in the future, and how each artifact satisfies a particular AECT standard.

Standard 1.1 – Instructional Systems Design (ISD)

“Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction”(Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31).

EdTech 503 required us to create a lesson, either something that we could use when we were done with the class or something that we thought we might use eventually. The purpose was for us to apply instructional design principles and familiarize ourselves with the instructional design process. The project included documentation of planning and content creation, as well as the creation of instructional materials to use during the lesson, an instructor guide, a formative evaluation plan, and a formative evaluation report.

I chose this artifact because it was ultimately rewarding to complete and represents something that I might actually have to present to faculty or staff, in my career. The text was a wonderful choice and I appreciated being stepped methodically through the instructional design process. Smith and Ragan described instructional design as a “systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials…” (Smith and Ragan, (2004)).

1.1.1– in this project we utilized the ADDIE model of instructional design, as outlined in the text Instructional Design by Smith and Ragan.

1.1.2– When I designed this lesson, I developed specific objectives and sub-objectives that students are required to achieve through the completion of the lesson.

1.1.3– In the process of working on this project, using Adobe Flash I developed a tutorial for students to use. It was intended to help the lesson translate to an online setting. I also used Google Docs to create a worksheet for students to complete using information from their Google Plus profile.

1.1.5 – I created an assessment to be administered at the end of the lesson that evaluates the students’ declarative knowledge that they should have obtained over the course of the lesson. In addition, in my “Matrix of Objectives” on page 26 of the report, I provided methods for assessing whether students had obtained different forms of knowledge (determined from Bloom’s Taxonomy).

We were asked to read and summarize a half dozen or so references and organize them. I initially tried to organize them by key word, but wound up grouping them by the theory they centered on.

I included this artifact because it represents some hard work on a skill that has always required a lot of hard work on my part – reading and synthesizing information. Another reason that I chose this artifact is that it satisfies the fourth subsection of the AECT Standard 1.1:

1.1.4– This assignment is essentially an organized collection of media. If a teacher or graduate student were looking for one of these half dozen or so articles, they would be able to find them under the theory name and alphabetically.

Several theories were explored in the course of this assignment. For instance, Cognitive Load Theory states that knowledge is continually built upon and reinforced (Impelluso, (2009)), like creating something from wet sand. You build your castle up by a couple of levels, it starts to crumble, and you pack more wet sand into the base to stabilize it.

Standard 1.2 – Message Design

“Message design involves planning for the manipulation of the physical form of the message” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31).

On the one hand, this was a typical reading quiz, where we read the text and answered questions. On the other hand, we were asked to find visual representations of different instructional theories and terms. I found this process to be really valuable, as the images we came up with helped to solidify the different definitions more than simply writing them down would have.

I chose this artifact because of that creative aspect and because it inspired me to want to create more simple, multi-faceted assessments for my own students in the future.

I like how this assignment came out. I think there must have been a better way to cite my sources. I would also like to incorporate sound or video in future, similar projects in order to cater to a more diverse audience.

It was interesting to be able to explore the different theories used in instructional design and education. For instance, the explanation for constructivism that I provided was that the basis for it is that knowledge is built upon (Smith and Ragan, 2004, Page 19).

1.2– I understand that information can be presented in a variety of ways and in putting this presentation together, I recognize that we were finding visual representations of information from the text because our instructor thought that as learners, we would appreciate seeing the information from different angles.

The visual elements used in this quiz were examples of educational visuals. They were designed to help the audience remember the concepts in the long term. (Lohr, 2007, Page 24)

Standard 1.3 – Instructional Strategies

“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31).

A webquest is an activity that requires inquiry oriented thinking from the learners. This particular webquest asked students to explore data and graphs. They had to find a set of data online, open it in excel and graph the data. Once they had finished with that, I asked them to self-assess their performance on the assignment and submit the assignment to me via email.

I chose this artifact because I have always been fascinated by the idea of building a webquest and I hope I get another opportunity to do this in the future. I think that webquests lend themselves better to math classes than I originally thought. I can ask students to go online and find a set of data and then ask them to perform basic calculations on the data.

If I were going to use this in practice in the future, or if I were going to re-visit this particular webquest, I would probably make some changes. For instance, I think it needs a little more structure – I would provide links to specific sets of data suitable for the age group I am working with, rather than providing a link to a website with hundreds of sets of data and asking them to pick one.

WebQuests were developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University (Lacina, 2007). They are activities in which a great deal of the information needed to the complete them is taken from the internet.

1.4– I think that the activities in this web are age-appropriate for the adults I plan on teaching. With that said, however, I again wish I had been a little more explicit in my instructions. I don’t think the work should be without its challenges, but I have learned from experience that knowing what is expected of them can help students be successful.

Standard 1.4 – Learner Characteristics

 “Learner characteristics are those facets of the learner’s experiential background that impact the effectiveness of a learning process” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 32).

We were asked to create a lesson in Moodle (or another LMS) that in incorporated principles from our texts, Tools for Teaching Online by Lisa Dawley and Teaching Online: A Practical Guide by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen. The lesson had to include a syllabus, resources, readings and activities. I chose to complete a lesson on “finding the slope of a line” because it is an important skill to have, heading into other math classes and because it seems like it would be difficult to teach online without a lot of visuals or virtual manipulatives of some kind.

Our instructor states in the instructions for the assignment that designing a single module would enable us to explore key concepts in detail, and allow us to further refine our understandings about online lesson facilitation and planning. I had completed a project for EdTech 512 the prior Summer, but I learned more about teaching online and building content in Moodle from this class, mostly due to the slower pace and instruction that was focused on a particular piece of online course creation.

I chose this artifact because I liked it. I am proud of the work I did in this class and I think it’s representative of the work I will be doing in the near future. I don’t know if I fully met the requirements for the assignment. From the instructions, it seems like it should have been a topic related to adult education rather than a topic that I might teach to adults. In any case, I found it to be a very useful activity.

This assignment satisfies AECT Standard 1.4 in several different ways. First of all, I thought about what I would need in order to successfully complete the module – I would need information presented in a variety of different ways. This same principle applied when I thought about what my students would need. They would like to see information presented in several different ways, where possible.

We were asked to synthesize a learning theory that was being discussed in the course material. We included an overview, contributors and major principles. I chose to talk about Social Constructivism, as I thought it was a theory that was tightly intertwined with online learning. Social Constructivism has roots in Constructivist theory, obviously, and also takes into consideration how interpersonal interactions influence learning. (Jonassen and Land, 2012)

Theory has been one of the most difficult parts of any of the learning I have experienced over the course of the MET program. My instructor for 503 and 504 worked hard to help us understand some of the learning theories out there. I selected this artifact because it is part of that learning.

In the future, I think I will use the theory of social constructivism frequently, as I think it is a basis for how I learn new material, and how I want to set up lessons for my students. I want to make sure they have a solid foundation or framework, before they move to the next new piece of information.

1.4 – In this write-up, I talked about the needs of the learners that this theory applies to. In doing so, I have described the characteristics of the learners.

Standard 2.1 – Print Technologies

“Print technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials, such as books and static visual materials, primarily through mechanical or photographic printing processes”(Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 37).

I created this document as part of my final project for ET 522. I found a free math text for use in my course. It is only available as an electronic text and though the course was meant to be taught online and though all of my classmates and my professor interacted with me online, not everyone buys or uses electronic texts.

Understanding that, I knew that I had to create some kind of documentation for how to purchase, download and access the text. I actually haven’t created a lot of tutorials for use in classes or in my job, so this was useful as practice for future paper-based tutorial needs.

In addition to not necessarily having exposure to electronic texts, some students may prefer to read a paper copy of the text. At the time of the creation of this module, I didn’t think about this, but in the future I might look for a paper-based book that has an electronic counterpart or that has an abundance of web resources available.

2.1.1 – This document is a pdf file, so it can be easily transported without being altered. It can also be printed for students that would prefer to have a hard copy.

2.1.2 – –I created this document using Microsoft Word and used a combination of text and images, in order to more effectively convey information.

Standard 2.2 – Audiovisual Technologies

“Audiovisual technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages” (Seels &  Richey, 1994, p. 38).

This assignment required us to create a video tutorial for other online teachers using “rich media software.” I think my concept for this assignment was really good. I wanted to create a tutorial for online teachers getting started using Moodle. I am not really an expert on the teaching side of Moodle, but I have some good text resources, as well as some good experience in the MET program.

I would eventually like to have a set of 3 videos ready for deployment. The 2nd installment, as mentioned in the video, was going to talk about adding content, formatting, and details about the gradebook. The third video will discuss groups and some of the things you can accomplish with them, as well as some site-level settings.

I chose the artifact because it’s representative of something that I didn’t realize the value of until I was working on it. By this, I mean that I didn’t realize the value of thinking about how a video was put together and what I was trying to convey with the video. I didn’t understand how difficult and how much fun it was, either. I also really enjoyed the software that I used to work on this project, TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio, and I can’t wait to work on more video projects.

In the next video or if I were to revisit this video (which I hope to do), I would set myself up so that the background is solid or uncluttered. Also, to help with transitions and any missing bits, I used youtube annotations. I think a couple of those are good for highlighting something, but they shouldn’t be used for fixing mistakes or including something that I had forgotten.

2.2 – When I created this tutorial, I wrote out a script mentally planned out how the video would look. When I recorded the video, I used my computer’s web camera, but I also experimented with a point-and-shoot digital camera on a tripod. I wasn’t sure how I would sync the video with my slides. I have become more comfortable with how to do this and I think future installments will be smoother.

Standard 2.3 – Computer-Based Technologies

“Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 39).

In this assignment, I worked with a group of classmates to come up with a Technology Use Plan. It was to include the following: a rationale, information about the planning team, the process description, a vision statement, our plan goals/ objectives, needs assessment, information about faculty and staff development, information about evaluation and research, and a realistic timeline.

There were three people in our group and we each recorded audio portions for the presentation. I chose to include this artifact because although I haven’t had as many opportunities to work collaboratively with others in this program as I had hoped, I have valued the few group projects I have worked on.

2.3 – As a group, we designed and produced this slide presentation. We also designed and produced the audio component of the presentation as a group. In addition, we incorporated the use of the internet by having the presentation hosted over at SlideShare.

Standard 2.4 – Integrated Technologies

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40).

As our final project in this class, we were asked to create an interactive educational resource of some kind. Some people chose to make a game and others created a tutorial. I chose to create this “Math Resource Portal,” which includes information about reducing fractions, finding the slope of a line and calculating area.

I chose to include this artifact in my portfolio because I really like flash and I like the direction this project was going. If I were going to think about using it with my classes in the future, however, I would clean up the main page and the videos, and make it more professional-looking. I also don’t think that a future version would need to be created entirely in Adobe Flash.

In EdTech 502, we used a lot of HTML skills and I would like to incorporate more HTML and CSS into this project. I would have a website dedicated to math resources with the occasional Adobe Flash or video tutorial incorporated throughout.

2.4 – I used Adobe Flash to create what I hope could eventually be an effective multimedia tool. In addition, I believe that Adobe Flash files can be used in a variety of learning management systems, so the tutorial has been inherently designed and built to be used on multiple platforms. Finally, at the end of each tutorial, I included a list of resources for further exploration on the web.

Standard 3.1 – Media Utilization

“Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 46).

This assignment required us to create a video tutorial for other online teachers using “rich media software.” I think my concept for this assignment was really good. I wanted to create a tutorial for online teachers getting started using Moodle. I am not really an expert on the teaching side of Moodle, but I have some good text resources, as well as some good experience in the MET program.

I would eventually like to have a set of 3 videos ready for deployment. The 2nd installment, as mentioned in the video, was going to talk about adding content, formatting, and details about the gradebook. The third video will discuss groups and some of the things you can accomplish with them, as well as some site-level settings.

I chose the artifact because it’s representative of something that I didn’t realize the value of until I was working on it. By this, I mean that I didn’t realize the value of thinking about how a video was put together and what I was trying to convey with the video. I didn’t understand how difficult and how much fun it was, either. I also really enjoyed the software that I used to work on this project, TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio, and I can’t wait to work on more video projects.

In the next video or if I were to revisit this video (which I hope to do), I would set myself up so that the background is solid or uncluttered. Also, to help with transitions and any missing bits, I used youtube annotations. I think a couple of those are good for highlighting something, but they shouldn’t be used for fixing mistakes or including something that I had forgotten.

This artifact satisfies AECT standard 3.1 since I was required to create a video tutorial on something that would be useful to other online teachers, I had to choose something that I thought would come across well on video. Demonstrating something like building an online class was not only more than appropriate for the course, I thought that the demonstration would come across well on video. Viewers can rewind and pause at key points. In the future, I might also work on incorporating more functional pauses into the video in order to facilitate use.

Standard 3.2 – Diffusion of Innovations

“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 46).

This assignment was completed with a group of my classmates in EdTech 501. We discussed how to alleviate some of the gap between people with skills in or access to technology and those without. We defined Digital Inequality and made several proposals to a fictitious school board about how to make technology more accessible for the district’s students.

I chose this assignment because I have found the collaborative efforts scattered throughout this program to be valuable. We also used VoiceThread to record this presentation and I think it is a pretty neat tool.

I used Camtasia and PowerPoint to create my Reflection for my Portfolio, but this would be a more simple way to make a presentation with visual and audio elements and it is something that I could incorporate into online education coursework or trainings, when I am working with faculty.

3.2 – We came up with a variety of ways to make technology accessible to students, and talked about how to push these ideas forward, through the red tape.

Standard 3.3 – Implementation and Institutionalization

“Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings. Institutionalization is the continuing, routine use of the instructional innovation in the structure and culture of an organization” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47).

EdTech 503 required us to create a lesson, either something that we could use when we were done with the class or something that we thought we might use eventually. The purpose was for us to apply instructional design principles and familiarize ourselves with the instructional design process. The project included documentation of planning and content creation, as well as the creation of instructional materials to use during the lesson, an instructor guide, a formative evaluation plan, and a formative evaluation report.

I chose this artifact because it was ultimately rewarding to complete and represents something that I might actually have to present to faculty or staff, in my career. The text was a wonderful choice and I appreciated being stepped methodically through the instructional design process. Smith and Ragan described instructional design as a “systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials…” (Smith and Ragan, 2004).

3.3 – On page 33 of the project write-up, I talk about learning strategies. If students (or faculty learning how to use Google+ in this situation) can remember the concepts being taught, then they will be more likely to use the information on their own to set up a Google+ or other social media account, or show their colleagues or students how to set one up.

Standard 3.4 – Policies and Regulations

“Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 47).

In this assignment we were asked to explore and apply the principles of accessibility in web design. My page had three sections:

  • Accessibility Evaluation Tools
  • Tips and Tools
  • Color and Contrast Tools

I chose this assignment because the information is important to me – one of the things I have developed an interest in as a result of this program is assistive technology for online learners, including ensuring that their experience online is accessible.

As you can see from looking at this page, later on I decided to unify my projects from EdTech 522 with a single color scheme. In that moment, I wasn’t thinking about accessibility. I was thinking about a pretty color scheme.

When I started working on this Portfolio, I realized that the color scheme I chose might prove to be unreadable for someone with color blindness, for instance. In the future, if I decide to use this in my work, I will probably change the colors a bit to something that would have more contrast for someone who is colorblind.

3.4 – This project provided a link to guidelines for accessibility and also provided some general tips and resources for accessibility in web design.

Standard 4.1 – Project Management

“Project management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling instructional design and development projects” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 50).

This assignment required us to choose an evaluation project from our life or work and write a report on our findings. The program we evaluated needed to be small and manageable. The report was to include a cover page, summary, description, evaluation method, results, discussion, project cost and appendices.

I chose this artifact because it was the best available artifact to illustrate compliance with Standard 5.3, but also because I believe that evaluation is an important component of most of our jobs or future jobs and it is healthy to revisit this topic.

If I were going to revisit this project or take this class again, I don’t think I would have changed the topic of the evaluation, but I think I would have worked more closely with my instructor to narrow or maintain my focus.

4.1 – Each of the large assignments in the MET program required us to either use or develop some project management skills. From planning what needed to be accomplished to actually meting out time and energy for accomplishing those tasks.

This is something that I’m still working on and that I will continue to work on. As someone that wants to be an instructional designer or work with faculty development, I need to be an awesome project manager and I’m not. I will be, though – knowing is half the battle.

Standard 4.2 – Resource Management

“Resource management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 51).

Figure 1 My Interactive Concept Map – EdTech 502.

This assignment satisfies Standard 4.2 – that is essentially why I chose it as well. In between being ignored for the better part of the past year and applying my “uniform” css sheet to it, this page has fallen on hard times. It was intended to be a guide to different pets. Unfortunately, I focused more on the mechanics of building the page and less on tying the content to education or my future work.

In the concept map, there is an overlay that is placed over each area that you want to be able to click on – the bunny, dog, cat, and paw images above. Each of those overlays can be linked to a hyperlink and when I click on the bunny, for instance, I am taken to the Small Animal Channel, a site where you can find out more about these animals before taking them into your home (or classroom, if you are a k-12 teacher looking at the site).

If I were going to use this in practice, I might use it as either a portal to further resources for educators or in combination with a Jigsaw Activity. In the Jigsaw Activity (also completed in EdTech 502), different groups were asked to explore different groups of tools. The concept map would have come in handy in the sense that each of the images could link to a page for each of the groups working on this activity. The bunny would link to a page about Algebra Solvers; the dog would link to a page about Graphing; and the cat would link to a page about flashcards.

4.2 – through the course of completing this project, I collected and organized a small collection of resources on owning a variety of types of pets. My final project for EdTech 511 would also fall into the category of organizing resources for easy retrieval. In both cases, I have pulled together

Standard 4.3 – Delivery System Management

“Delivery system management involves planning, monitoring and controlling ‘the method by which distribution of instructional materials is organized’ . . . [It is] a combination of medium and method of usage that is employed to present instructional information to a learner” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 51).

In the summer of 2012, we were tasked with the creation of a fully-formed online course that was to be ready for implementation by the end of the term. It needed to have a syllabus and at least five lessons/ modules.

Since EdTech 512 was taken alongside EdTech 504, it would have been a perfect opportunity to utilize Transactional Distance Theory as a guideline for the creation of this course. I wanted the course to be easy to navigate, I wanted any instructions I provided to students to be easily understood, and I wanted to provide enough information to the students that I would cover my bases in terms of their different learning styles.

4.3 – This was my first introduction to the administrative side of Moodle and I utilized the LMS to organize and deliver materials in the online course that I was building.

In addition to building the course, we documented our design process on a website. It included information about our Analysis, Evaluation Planning, Concurrent Design, Implementation, and Summative Evaluation processes.

I hoped that this course would be ready for implementation, but my supervisor had not yet run it by her boss and we ran into the complication of later having to convert the entire course to a set of PowerPoint presentations that would be uploaded to the hospital’s elearning server. We have not had a chance to talk further about this, but I would be open to working on it in the future.

4.3 – This website provided an overview of the design process that I went through, in order to complete the building and design of a full online course in eight weeks. With some cleanup, this web documentation would be useful for faculty learning to design web-based coursework.

Standard 4.4 – Information Management

“Information management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 51).

I have made attempts at blogging over the years. I never felt as though I had much to say, but I still think it is an important tool to use and that I can and will become more proficient with it. The wordpress blog was our EdTech Learning Log. We were required to set it up within the first couple of weeks of class and it was to be used to collect, artifacts, reflections, etc. Basically anything related to the MET program.

I chose this artifact because it is something I aspire to continue to use in the future; something that I will incorporate into my future teaching endeavors. A blog would be a great tool for posting announcements and providing thoughts on topics that are being covered in the course(s).

Alec Couros (2009) stated that one of the principles of Connectivism [as it applies to the creation of a course that is “open, connected and social”] is that cultivating and prolonging connections is essential for the creation of knowledge. A blog is a great place to share and connect with my peers and students.

I recently changed the name of my Learning Log to “Cork and Sea Learning” and as I transition into the next phase of my career, I hope to make this this more of a personal learning journal. I will catalog work, conference and teaching experiences, and try to craft a more solid connection between my personal life and my work.

4.4 – While momentarily under-utilized, I believe that this blog is a great organizational tool for filing and sorting information. Blog posts are separated by categories, date and key words. The entire blog was intended to be a planning document for the final portfolio in the MET program. In addition, I have used individual blog posts as planning documentation for a variety of assignments.

Standard 5.1 – Problem Analysis

“Problem analysis involves determining the nature and parameters of the problem by using information-gathering and decision-making strategies” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 56).

Over the course of the term, we were reading a lot of work on several different theories. For this final writing assignment, we were asked to choose one, summarize and define the theory, and apply it to distance learning.

I chose to write about Transactional Distance Theory because I thought it could be a useful piece of a set of guidelines for designing an online class – something to keep in my back pocket until I am working with faculty or designing my next online class.

Some researchers claim that Transactional Distance Theory isn’t really a theory and if were to write another paper like this, I would probably haven given myself more time and chosen a more widely accepted theory. However, I found the idea that a student’s level of distance they “felt” to be a product of their engagement with the class to be fascinating. (Giossos, Koutsouba, Lionarakis, & Skavantzos, (2009).)

5.1 – Determined how theory tied to educational technology.

We were asked to respond to a request for a proposal from Far West Labs. We provided information to them about a description of the program; evaluation methods; a task schedule; project personnel to be used and the budget or fee for the evaluation.

I chose this assignment because it directly meets the AECT Standard 5.1 by providing solutions to a problem posed by Far West Labs. This assignment and the EdTech 505 course also serve as the basics of grant writing. In the process of writing a grant proposal, it makes sense that an evaluation would need to be completed or that a proposal for evaluation would need to be provided to the grant committee.

Standard 5.2 – Criterion Referenced Measurement

“Criterion-referenced measurement involves techniques for determining learner mastery of pre-specified content” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 56).

As part of the creation of our WebQuest assignment, mentioned earlier, we were required to come up with a rubric for grading as well. I have learned a great deal over the course of this program and I had never created a rubric before. I wound up adapting one from a rubric that I found online.

I am including this in my portfolio because it satisfies AECT Standard 5.2. If students forget to include something in the write-up for their webquest, then points are deducted from their score. They can see how their score would be affected if they are missing particular pieces of information by looking at the rubric.

We were asked to create a lesson, either something that we could use when we were done with the class or something that we thought we might use eventually. The purpose was for us to apply instructional design principles and familiarize ourselves with the instructional design process. It included documentation of planning and content creation, as well as the creation of instructional materials to use during the lesson, an instructor guide, a formative evaluation plan, and a formative evaluation report.

I chose this artifact because it was ultimately rewarding to complete and represents something that I might actually have to present to faculty or staff, in my career.

Some of the questions I asked of my SME were criterion-based, and she scored my project using those scales, so that it was easier to quantify her responses later. In addition, when I surveyed my potential learners, I asked them to rate particular qualities so that I could take those numbers and graphically represent information about them.

Standard 5.3 – Formative and Summative Evaluation

“Formative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information as a basis for further development. Summative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information to make decisions about utilization” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 57).

This assignment required us to choose an evaluation project from our life or work and write a report on our findings. The program we evaluated needed to be small and manageable. The report was to include a cover page, summary, description, evaluation method, results, discussion, project cost and appendices.

I chose this artifact because it was one of the best available artifacts to illustrate compliance with Standard 5.3, but also because I believe that evaluation is an important component of most of our jobs or future jobs and it is healthy to revisit this topic.

If I were going to revisit this project or take this class again, I don’t think I would have changed the topic of the evaluation, but I think I would have worked more closely with my instructor to narrow or maintain my focus. Like I do in life so often, I over-complicated the evaluation process, and consequently over-complicated my job search as well. My job search has not been made more successful or streamlined for having completed this evaluation. I’m ok with that.

5.3 – I performed a summative evaluation in this class. The topic didn’t lend itself to this very easily, so that’s why I have included a second artifact in order to cover my bases for this standard.

We were asked to create a lesson, either something that we could use when we were done with the class or something that we thought we might use eventually. The purpose was for us to apply instructional design principles and familiarize ourselves with the instructional design process. It included documentation of planning and content creation, as well as the creation of instructional materials to use during the lesson, an instructor guide, a formative evaluation plan, and a formative evaluation report.

As part of this lesson creation, we were asked to create a Formative Evaluation Plan where we asked a professional colleague to review our work in the course. I worked with my former supervisor at Southwestern Oregon Community College, a woman whom I admire a great deal. She completed a survey for me and provided some great feedback on my lesson. The other parts of the formative evaluation that we planned for (but did not complete) included a one-on-one evaluation, a small group evaluation, and a field trial.

I thought that this project turned out well overall, and I am happy to present it to you. However, if I were going to take a class like this again or design instruction, I might try to give myself more time by eliminating distractions such as a second class or my job search. I understand that in work, I may have an even tighter deadline and this is not the first or the last time I will make note of the fact that work will require further adaptation and learning on my part.

I chose this artifact because it was ultimately rewarding to complete and represents something that I might actually have to present to faculty or staff, in my career.

5.3 – I developed formative evaluation strategies for a variety of different situations – one-on-one trials, field trials and small group trials. In addition, a subject matter expert independently evaluated my lesson for consistency with the assignment guidelines and instructional design princples.

Standard 5.4 – Long-Range Planning

“Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.” (Certo et al., 1990, p. 168).

Working in the same group that I worked on the voicethread presentation with, we created a presentation of a hypothetical Technology Use Plan. It encompassed x, y and z, and included this, that and the other thing.

I chose this project because it is another of the good examples of collaborative work accumulated over the course of this program. Not necessarily in the program, but over the course of completing this program, I have learned quite a bit about creating professional-looking presentations. I think we could have cleaned this presentation up quite a bit and truly made it useful for a professional setting.

As a resource, we used the Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan (Version 2.0), created by graduate students at the Mississippi State University. This document provided a good framework for what a technology plan should look like.

5.4.1 – We provided and a framework for a technology use plan. We included an example goal and a potential completion schedule. Our schedule was really generic and while it might be useful for basic groundwork, a realistic technology use plan schedule would probably need to be far more detailed.

Conclusion

This program has been quite a journey and I am simultaneously relieved and sad to see it end. Overall, though, I am grateful for having had this opportunity to learn and challenge myself.

In this paper, I have talked about how I could improve different artifacts or how I plan to use what I have learned in my online classroom or while working with faculty. I fully intend to follow through on further polishing my portfolio before presenting it to prospective employers. I fully intend to incorporate more personal video production into my online teaching and teacher training.

I think I summed things up well in a reflective post for EdTech 522 in the fall. I stated that I am in for a lot of learning in whatever I decide to do, once I have completed my degree. I feel like when an employer asks you to have a particular degree, if you meet that requirement, it’s one large step toward them having a basis for trusting you with further learning.

Distance learning is in my blood and something I advocate for at every opportunity. My fear is that I have spent so much energy in simply putting this portfolio together and getting through these classes that my passion and dedication to this profession is somehow not obvious.

In April of 2011, I took a job as the enrollment services office assistant in Tillamook. The pay is low, the hours are minimal, the work is thankless, for the most part. However, I took the job so that I could focus on school as much as possible, and still continue to work with students.

Over the course of the past couple of years, while my pay hasn’t increased, my hours haven’t increased, and the job is still thankless, I have slowly been able to incorporate my passion for distance learning into my work. I have started providing assistance to students that are struggling to navigate their own online classes in Moodle.

Once I get this Portfolio turned in, I am going to finish up my final course “Advanced Online Teaching” and launch into a full-scale job search. My career goals have changed a little over the course of this program, which I imagine is to be expected. I remember when I initially started classes in the Fall of 2010, I wanted to eventually work a technology coordinator in a school district. As I have continued in the program, I have come to realize that my passion is in higher education and working with faculty, or in teaching my own students online.

I am also working on finding out if I am going to be able to teach, this summer, for Southwestern Oregon Community College. In heading into a new term of teaching, I will be more confident in my ability to design a functional course and manage communication with my students thanks to having been a part of this program.

References

1.            Alec Couros. (2009). Open, connected, social implications for educational design. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 26(3), 232–239.

3.            Giossos, Y., Koutsouba, M., Lionarakis, A., & Skavantzos, K. (2009). Reconsidering Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, (2).

4.            Impelluso, T. J. (2009). Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers. American Journal of Distance Education, 23[JF1] (4), 179–193.

5.            Jonassen, D., & Land, S. (Eds.). (2012). Theoretical Foundations of Learning Environments (2nd ed.). Routledge.

6.            Lacina, J. (2007). Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology: Designing and Exploring WebQuests. Childhood Education, 83(4), 251.

7.            Lohr, L. L. (2007). Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance: Lessons in Visual Literacy (2nd ed.). Pearson.

9.            Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2004). Instructional Design (3rd ed.). Wiley.

10.          Skylar, A., Higgins, K., & Boone, R. (2007). Strategies for Adapting WebQuests for Students With Learning Disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 43(1), 20–28.

11.          AECT Standards, Retrieved from: http://edtech.sc.edu/aect/AECTstandardsREV2005.htm

12.          Graduate Students at Mississippi State University, Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan. Retrieved from: http://www.nctp.com/downloads/guidebook.pdf

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