Reflection: Week 8 – Instructional design in business and industry

Instructional Design and Technology in the private sector

The two things that stood out the most, after reading the most recent chapter, were rapid prototyping and evaluation methods. Public universities in Michigan have faced ever rising concerns related to operational costs while needing to deliver higher quality and competitive services. A core to any business’s success is the qualities and abilities of the staff and teams who deliver services. In order to adapt to the ever changing needs of the community a university serves it is necessary to support staff and professional development.

There are many different approaches to implementing a staff development program or system. Yet, in order to be responsive to the changes in technology and needs of the target audience we need to be able to complete projects in weeks or months rather than quarters or years. Rapid prototyping paired with evaluation is one of the few ways we can quickly try new methods and determine if they are viable and scalable solutions.

I would add to this that teaching individual staff how to use rapid prototyping methods, formative and summative evaluation would enable all areas of an organization to grow and develop in the skills and abilities areas they deem necessary. By empowering everyone with a similar learning/development skill set you gain an organization full of individuals who are able to identify areas they need to improve in, able to prototype solutions, evaluate results, and revise as necessary. Of course, the final and most important step is sharing the overall results and methods.

EDT 5410 course/assignment review/opinion

I give the course a thumbs up. I have enjoyed being a part of this class.

How challenging have you found the assignments?
Overall, the technology has not been challenging for me. The delicious bookmarking was a new thing for me — I was aware of the tool, but was just too lazy to get around to trying it out. I have continued to play with that tool ever since. I do like the meta tagging abilities etc. Though, I still am somewhat partial to the SiteBar web server install/firefox extension solution — because it lets me have total control of my data.

What support didn’t you get that you would have appreciated (or what support did you get that you did appreciate)?
Support has been fine from my end. The instructor responds rapidly to my requests/comments etc. — I really appreciate his ongoing presence in the course.

Are excited, frustrated, both?
I am a slave for technology, so I am a kid in a candy store.

Do you think you’ll find ways to incorporate some of what we’ve done in your professional work?
Of course. I still play with delicious, and the picasa photo albums — both of which were tools I had not really adopted. I also have been enjoying dabbling with blogs and podcasts.

Other comments
The thing I really like about this course is that we are using personal blogs for our work — which means a year from now when I want to reference something from this course I still can. When everything is in WebCT I have no ability to retain a learning portfolio without exerting a lot of extra effort. The one downside is that it can take a little more effort for student to interact with one another. Though, I think we could get around that by using rss feed mashups etc.

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