I'm an instructional designer. Ask me anything (7 March. 2019, 2 pm-3:30 pm EST / 11 am-12:30 pm PST)

(Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa) #1

As part of Open Ed Week 2019, we’re hosting an AMA with Autumm Caines (University of Michigan-Dearborn). Autumm is an instructional designer, so this is a great opportunity for anyone to get her perspective.

Join this thread on March 7th, 2019 between 2 pm and 3:30 pm EST and leave your questions. @autumm393 will do her best to answer as many questions as she can. If you are unable to attend Tweet your questions with the hashtag #InstructionalDesignerAMA and tag @RebusCommunity!

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#2

@leigh Hi everyone! Welcome to the AMA with me Autumm Caines! I’m super excited to be here with all of you and field some of your questions.

I should say that my title at my last two positions has been “instructional designer” but I don’t personally identify too closely with that term . I’ve been really open about that with my employers and I think that they hired me based on a broader skill set and fit with the institutions’ mission. I can do ID but it is only one small part of my skill set.

Anyway let’s get started! Go ahead - ask me anything!

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#3

@autumm393 What are free resources that you consider crucial to Instructional Design, or at least resources that you think are helpful (ex. do you recommend a certain approach to course structure?) Sorry if this is too broad… I’m not very familiar with ID at all… so I suppose, any recommendations you have about materials for people looking to learn about it would be really helpful :slight_smile:

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(Zoe Wake Hyde) #4

@autumm393 Hi Autumm! So excited for this. What nobody knows is that I half-orchestrated this whole thing just so I could ask you all the burning questions I’ve wanted to ask an ID forever! :laughing:

I have lots of questions, but first one: What would a world without instructional designers look like?

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(Amanda Larson) #5

How can I support the instructional designers at my institution as they’re asked to do more work incorporating open educational resources (OER) into their workflow?

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#6

When getting started in instructional design, what are some of the best resources to get someone started? Asking for those that are interested in getting more knowledge before obtaining a degree in ID.

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(Apurva Ashok) #7

@autumm393 Hey Autumm! Thanks so much for letting us pick your brain over the next hour and a half. I too have a tonne of questions, so will keep sending them your way, starting with this one:
When is the best time during the open textbook creation process to work with an instructional designer? While setting learning objectives, writing, review, or nearer release…or some other time?

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#8

@robinpesko These are great questions Robin - thanks for asking. My background is pretty broad and so I don’t pull from any one framework but rather kind of piece together a bunch of them. I have formal training with Dick and Carey and Carey, ADDIE, and L. Dee Fink’s Creating Significant Learning Experiences - you can google any of these and find resources on them - some paid and some free. I think the most important part of ID is relationship building with faculty and students.

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(Amanda Larson) #9

Also, what is your skill set?

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#10

@zoe You are awesome Zoe - thanks so much for your half-orchestration.

What would a world without IDs look like - oh my… gosh I’m not sure… I kinda think that ID will happen even if we didn’t call it ID. I think that humans are learning beings and that they will simply learn regardless. Learning does not have to be organized and formatted but I think it is natural for it to go that way.

This history of ID is based in some stuff that I’m not too keen on so I think we could even be better off if that kind of ID was more in the back seat or had maybe never happened but I think the more natural form of design would arise from our inclination to learn as humans.

Is that too fluffy of an answer?

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(Apurva Ashok) #11

@autumm393 I suppose also this one to get us all on the same page here: What exactly is instructional design? What does an instructional designer too?

You IDs seem to have an enormous set of skills and resources, so would love to demystify the work a bit. :slight_smile:

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#12

@apurva Traditional Instructional Design comes from behaviorist psychology - it has its place but it can be really limiting if adhered to strictly. The wikipedia article on it does a decent job of laying out the history and some evolution over time. ID traces its histories back to WWII and came out of the US military who wanted to teach soldiers how to complete tasks with defined outcomes quickly.

For me, instruction is one kind of pedagogy; I would liken it to help documentation and lecture or sage on the stage approaches. Where I maybe differ from others in the field is that I don’t want to demonize this approach - it is all about context. Sometimes I totally want “instruction” - say, I go buy a new table that I need to assemble … oh gosh give me some instruction, the last thing I would want is to get “creative” with that - in the end I want a table and I want it functional as quickly as possible - any “learning” gained through this process is really a byproduct. But this is only one way to learn and so “Instructional Design” is too narrow for someone like me - I design learning experiences and sometimes those are instruction but sometimes they are active learning, or experiential learning, or transformational learning. Again, instruction is one kind of pedagogy - my job is to advocate for the right kind of pedagogy for the learning experience that an instructor is looking to create. One tool I use in determining the context is the Cynefin Framework - I would argue that “instruction” is great for the “simple or obvious” domain in Cynefin but that you need other approaches once you start to move into the complicated and complex domains.

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(Apurva Ashok) #13

@autumm393 @robinpesko

ADDIE

I think this stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation? Courtsey a quick Google Search: https://www.instructionaldesign.org/models/addie/

Also found links for some of the other resources mentioned here, and thought I would drop them in the chat:

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(Zoe Wake Hyde) #14

@autumm393 Not at all! I love that, and it makes a lot of sense. You’ve sparked another question too - what are some of the things in that history that you’re not a fan of? I’m thinking it must be like many (most?) other systems or structures that have emerged out of certain contexts and favour/privilege certain people, ways of knowing etc. Fair to say?

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(Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa) #15

What do textbook contributors overlook?

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#16

@Amanda I have organizational skills and I’m good at looking at and creating systems from a various group of tools. I think what makes me most successful is listening skills, empathy, and a focus on relationships. But I do have this funky personal kind of take on system analysis style that I’ve just grown over time.

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(Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa) #17

@autumm393 What makes you system analysis style funky? Let’s get into it!

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#18

@leigh I’m not sure how a textbook contributor (especially in a traditional publishing context) can ever really understand the nuances of experience of the broad range of all students. There are so many assumptions that are made about who the student is, where they come from, what they are bringing to class with them. I think open textbooks can address this a little better because they can be remixed on the fly but it is still a problem between the juxtaposition of content and experience.

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#19

@leigh Well that is one piece that I’ve not studied formally but I’ve just always been interested in how systems work. I can remember being a little girl and the phone book has this whole automated system that you could call into to get information about city services. I would call in and go through the whole tree entering all these different codes to figure out how it all worked. It would give you information about how to deal with a down wire or when garbage day was - but it was not the content that I was interested in so much as the structure of the information and what I needed to do to get to it. I did the same thing using a CB radio but that was much more messy as there were communities on the CB (hobbyists and truckers etc…) and the systems were more social.

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(Apurva Ashok) #20

@autumm393 Wow, thanks for sharing a bit about the history behind this profession.

Where I maybe differ from others in the field is that I don’t want to demonize this approach - it is all about context.

I really like how you specify the importance of context: that it’s not just a “one approach fits all” type of job.

But this is only one way to learn and so “Instructional Design” is too narrow for someone like me - I design learning experiences and sometimes those are instruction but sometimes they are active learning, or experiential learning, or transformational learning. Again, instruction is one kind of pedagogy - my job is to advocate for the right kind of pedagogy for the learning experience that an instructor is looking to create.

Yes!! :clap_tone4:

Thanks for sharing a link to the Cynefin Framework. I’m going to bookmark a lot of these resources mentioned today and have a good weekend reading through it all! :slight_smile: Thank you for this detailed answer here – definitely helped me better understand what ID is and the different kinds of work you and other IDs can do.

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