CECS 5210 Blog Reflection: Instructional Design and Course Reflections

Think about instructional design in general. What have you learned this semester about instructional design and development? What about process? What else?

Also, what did you learn from the Evaluation of the product? What would you do differently next time? How much did you learn from the process and evaluation that will make you a better future instructional designer?

The other day the University of North Texas held the annual Staff Holiday Party. The President spoke, some door prizes were given away, we ate some good finger food, and we drank some very nice cranberry punch. We got to socialize with other staff members from other departments – some we knew for years and others were new. I ran into Amanda from HR Training and Development. I met Amanda only a few days before the party during a class about Successful Supervisors. She is a dynamic and engaging trainer. As we were talking at the party I shared with her that I was almost done with my master’s degree in Learning Technologies. She asked how it was going and what did I want to do as my next career. Surprisingly, I found myself answering that I don’t particularly like Instructional Design. I like creating websites and presenting training, but I become frustrated and procrastinate too much when it comes to writing Analysis, Design, Job Aid, and Evaluations. This realization actually saddens me, and makes me question my degree choice. Do I have what it takes to be an Instructional Designer? What if I’ve selected a career that I won’t enjoy?

 This semester I learned that instructional design is detailed. I understand why all the steps are there – to ensure quality training is created. This “systematic process by which instructional materials are designed, developed, and delivered” has steps help remind the designer of all the elements they need to consider when creating training. The process takes time. But taking the time will help to get it right. I know that taking the time and following the process will make the training good.

 The evaluation of the finished project taught me that although I second guess my skills, others like the final project. I should have known. I am my own worse critic when it comes to creating something. My client was very pleased with the training.

 Next time I will maintain a better time schedule so I don’t get behind. Being behind schedule and playing catch up has been the most stressful part of this course. It’s my own fault. But I do appreciate being able to submit assignments all the way to the end of the semester.

 When debating my career choice, I found the following advice in another blog. “Identify what gives you the most satisfaction. Do you love analyzing a performance problem, figuring out a solution to it, and outlining a training program that you know will be effective? Or do you love to create the media for content that already exists, making it more interesting and interactive?” (Source: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/how-to-become-an-instructional-designer/) Possibly I only want to be a developer. I enjoy creating the instructional media much more than designing training from scratch. But I do feel my education has not been in vain. Knowing both sides will help me communicate intelligently on the subject.

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