Instructional Design guide: Team Guide for blended courses. Griffith College Dublin.

Childs, Alice (2016) Instructional Design guide: Team Guide for blended courses. Griffith College Dublin.


This project focused on blended, flexible and online programme and module design and I have already created a simplified 15 page eLearning Instructional Design (ID) guide which draws on the Learning Pyramid (2005), Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (1993) Grant Wiggin’s Backwards model (2005) and the Addie and Dick and Carey models (1996) amongst other learning theories. I developed this ID guide in response to an observed staff, learner need to understand and then apply eLearning knowledge and best practice confidently, for course development. My approach was to take learning theory which I am familiar with, as module co-ordinator on Pedagogical Practice 1, (part of a level 9 Special Purpose Award, Certificate in Training and Education (CTE) offered by Griffith College Dublin GCD and distil into a simplified, practical, user-friendly guide, to scaffold and steer the design process from traditional to blended delivery.
Drawing on aspects of a practical presentation paper which I delivered to the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) at their annual Ed Tech conference in 2015, entitled “Conversion course” I described the process of re-designing the three modules in our 20 ECTS CTE programme from block release, classroom based modules for blended/online delivery. Identifying the essential elements of a module and creating a hierarchy of importance and significance of tools, activities and aspects of the course, is the first stage in this dynamic process. Reflection within a team context helped clarify what these elements should be and how they would help students apply the lecture content, fulfil the course assessment and achieve the validated Learning Outcomes. The structured ID guide serves as a blue-print for this creative and reflective process.
I introduced this guide document to staff at GCD this year and am in the process of creating a hand’s on web learning “object” based on my original ID guide. The motivation for this was drawing on Chickering and Gamson (1987) who identify active engagement as one of the most effective forces in education. I am developing this interactive tool in order to explain instructional design theory, while demonstrating some of the techniques which enhance active learning e.g. drag and drop problem solving, animated diagrams, use of cartoon characters etc. I am using the rapid eLearning software package Articulate Storyline 2 to enhance the user engagement and experience in understanding and applying learning theory. I would like to test the tool’s use with at least three programme teams each year, over a three year period and evaluate against other comparative studies and blended/eLearning guides.
The methodology of this research proposal would involve my facilitating use of the ID guide and interactive web object with small academic teams, tasked with developing blended, flexible, online programmes and modules; this could be within Griffith College or on a broader HE scale. Evaluation of the final outcomes in the course review process would include qualitative feedback captured from team focus groups, student questionnaires (using Survey Monkey) and quantitative use of O’Neill and Cashman’s recently developed score card, evaluation tool (2016).

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