What I Learned This Semester

Throughout this semester, I have a lot about instructional design! Taking this class reminded me of my time as a student of education at A&M. When I learned how to write lesson plans the process seemed to take forever. I remember my lesson plans were long, detailed, and tedious. I might have scripted the whole 50-minute class period with the amount of detail I included. Now, as a more experienced teacher, my lesson plans have gotten shorter and shorter as the years go by. I am familiar with the process, but if needed, I could type out the whole plan.

In this course, I learned how to complete the whole ADDIE model. It was time consuming and very detailed. However, if I did not learn this precious skill, I would not truly understand Instructional Design. I imagine, as I pursue a career in Instructional Design, this process will become easier and easier, just like lesson planning has become. I would not trade the learning process for the ease of planning, because that knowledge will only make me a better Instructional Designer. But I look forward to the day that this process becomes second nature.

When creating instruction for a client, the evaluation process is vital to furthering your development as an Instructional Designer. For this course, I designed two very different learning activities. The first one was a professional development session designed for educators and the second one was a Digital Breakout lesson designed for seventh grade students. The client was the same (my campus’ Digital Learning Coach), but the audiences could not have been different. So when I received feedback from the learners, it was helpful and allowed me to make changes and updates to the instruction. Since this was my first time to develop a professional development session for my coworkers, I was interested in the feedback. I designed the instruction by what I knew to be helpful. I did not want to waste their time and I wanted to make the instruction meaningful. Based on their feedback, I found out that I had accomplished my goal.

When I received feedback from my seventh grade students, their comments were all over the place. Some believed the breakout was too hard, while others asked for a more challenging breakout. Some liked the group work, while others wished they had worked alone.  I had 115 students complete the activity and respond to a survey about the instruction. However, most of them found the activity to be engaging and fun and they reported that they learned something new. So in the end, my goal was accomplished with this training as well.

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