Instructional Design and Development (EDUC-R521) was an online class taught asynchronously and taken in the Fall semester of 2020. According to IU, this class “introduces the instructional systems development process, from analysis through evaluation and implementation, and includes practice in all phases. Emphasizes design issues such as classification of learning tasks, selection of instructional strategies, and development of prototypes. Students practice the design of effective and appealing instruction based on principles from instructional theory.”
In the first week of the semester, in an online discussion, students organized themselves into groups for a semester-long instructional design project. The group I was in had five people who were interested in training in the workplace. Our project was “Mask Confusion” and was related to all of the information and misinformation surrounding the use of facemasks in the midst of the current pandemic. When we started developing the instructional materials a few weeks ago, we came up with the fictional Munder-Difflin Paper Company as the company where the training will take place.
The class was taught in two sections; an online section and an in-person section. Due to the pandemic, the university required all in-person classes to end by Thanksgiving break. Rather than come up with two lesson plans, the professor used the same plan for both. Since the semester was shorter than usual, the syllabus was adjusted to allow for due dates that were more frequent, but with smaller assignments.
Topic of Instructional Design Project
After getting our group organized in the first week of the semester, we had to work quickly because in the second week we had to turn in our first assignment. This was to state the topic of our instructional design project and provide a summary of what we hoped to accomplish.
The idea of the project was to address a lot of the misinformation about wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. We settled on the idea of creating a corporate training program of some type that would help human resources and/or health and safety employees train other employees about wearing masks. We felt this was timely due to the current pandemic, and the idea of workplace training is something that interests all of us.
The instructional analysis assignment was to start developing a plan of instruction. We had to state the goal of instruction, along with the domain of learning. We performed and charted a goal analysis, We were also required to perform subordinate skills analysis on at least two components of instruction.
The goal of instruction was to get employees to choose to wear masks at work, which we felt was an attitudinal goal, as we wanted employees to have a positive attitude towards wearing masks. The main components of the instruction were:
- Recognize the benefits of wearing a mask
- Ability to identify different types of masks
- Identify corporate policy on wearing masks
- Understand the means of disease transmission
Of these components, we performed subordinate skills analysis on components 1 and 4.
Learner and Context Analysis
In week 4 of the class, we had two assignments to complete: Learner and Context Analysis, and Objectives. In the Learner and Context Analysis we carefully analyzed the target audience, where and how the learning will take place (the learning context), and the context of the training to the workplace (the performance context).
The purpose of performing this analysis is to get an idea about who will be learning the content, where it will be taught, how it will be taught, and what issue(s) the training is meant to address.
As with the Learner and Context Analysis assignment mentioned above, in week 4 we also had to do an assignment on Objectives. This builds on the Instructional Analysis assignment, and we had to describe the objectives for each of the skills we identified in that assignment. Since we were only required to do two components for that, we only had to do the objectives for those.
A few weeks after turning in our Objectives and the Learner and Content Analysis assignments, our group had to turn in our plan for Assessments. For the two components we had been working on, we had to develop a way of testing the learners to see if they understood the content. Our plan is to test the learners before they take the class and after. The pre- and post-course assessments will be the same to make it easier to evaluate the effectiveness of the learning.
In the assignment on Instructional Strategy, we had to start getting into the nuts and bolts of our instructional design. We had to determine how things would be presented, what techniques should be used, how long the instruction should take, and what media will be needed.
This assignment saw our group develop all of the materials that we expect would be used in an actual class. These include:
- Course Presentation
- Instructor Handbook
- Course Assessment (pre- and post- test)
- Employee Workbook
- Mask Wearing Policy
The final assignment of the project was the Formative Evaluation. In this, we had to make contact with at least one Subject Matter Expert (SME) and at least one target learner and ask them to go over our materials to see if they would be effective in a real world training scenario. Our group made contact with one SME and two people who would likely receive similar training from their employers.