||Introduction to the instructional design process|
||Designing Effective Instruction by Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, chapter 1|
course, our focus is on developing instruction, instruction specifically
for a classroom in junior high or high school. During the next 10 weeks, we will study
the different processes we will use to design and develop materials for
your classroom. We will examine different ways you can teach and your students
can learn during this course. The process that you will master in this
course has wide applicability. For example, you can use it to design a
lesson teaching your students how to identify different insects, you can
use it design a presentation to local farmers on a new method of cultivation,
or you could use it to design a pamphlet for the homeowner on how to care
and grow a bountiful harvest of tomatoes. In a sense, instruction is instruction,
regardless of how it is presented, where it is used, or who is the learner.
In this lesson we will start by examining our individual beliefs and philosophies about learning. Then, we will discuss our ideas on how to develop instruction.
What is your philosophy?We will start first with an exercise before you read the first chapter.
||What makes good instruction? I hear this question almost weekly from other instructional designers, colleagues in other departments, teachers, and students. The question for you is what makes good instruction? Think back to a class or teacher that you had in grades 1-12. What made the instruction good? Post your ideas on the Vista Discussion Board area for this exercise. Next, review other students' views and see if you can identify the characteristics of good instruction. Post your ideas in the Vista Discussion Board to discuss with others in the class.
Dr. Morrison and Dr. Bostick have posted their thoughts at exer1-1.html.
engage in some introspection and reflection to help each of us better understand
our view of teaching. Answer the following series of questions with a brief
response explaining your beliefs.
1. How would you define learning?We have posted our thoughts at exer1-2.html.
||Read chapter 1 of in the course text Designing Effective Instruction. When you finish the chapter, complete exercise 3.|
In question 4 of Exercise 2, you listed the steps you would use to develop a lesson. Did your plan address the four fundamental components of instructional design in Figure 1-2? Can you explain how you addressed each of the four components with your plan? If you did not include one or more of the components in your description, how could you revise your approach to include it?
|Segment 2||Let's return
to Figure 1-2 above from the textbook. These four components were derived
after a careful analysis of instruction. We might term this thinking systematic
or the use of a systems engineering approach. In this section, we are going
to examine systems and systems engineering to see how they are used in
First, let's consider the definition of a system. A system is an ordered arrangement of parts. We can use this system to determine the interrelationship of the various parts, and to determine how these parts work together to help us understand the system.
Systems are often represented through a model. For example, many doctor offices have models of the digestive system or reproductive system. If you go to an optometrist, you might find a model of an eye while a surgeon specializing in hand surgery might have a model of a hand. These models will illustrate the related organs, muscles, and bones, which the doctor can use to explain a problem or illness. If you go to a muffler shop to replace the muffler on your car, you might see a model of a real muffler that has been cut away so that you can see the inside of it. On a more complex level, engineers build models to test aircraft, and automobile engineers build models to test cars. (see http://popularmechanics.com for articles depicting a variety of models.).
Other models are represented by flow charts (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bil2lawd.html).
To use the concept of a system, we must go one step further. How do we apply the systems concept?
The systems concept has application in systems engineering. Read the definition of systems engineering.
System engineering started around World War II with the idea of how to prevent failures. If we are building an airplane, a car, a computer chip, or a toaster oven; then how do we keep the product from being a failure? System engineering suggested a method that sought to solve problems by considering the whole system rather than a single component. We can find examples of good ideas that sometimes just don't work. For example, the fuel pump died on my daughter's car. Normally, fuel pumps are relatively inexpensive to purchase and a minor task to replace. Her fuel pump, however, required the mechanic to dismantle the fuel tank because it was located inside the gas tank. The design engineer probably thought it was a great idea in terms of production efficiency, as it was one less part to deal with on the assembly line. The designer forgot to consider the customer.
Examples of the use of systems engineer range from agriculture to outer space. One interesting example describes the use of systems engineering in building houses.
The author of the article describes two of key concepts. First, their approach brought together individuals from different industries that normally do not work together to form a team. As a result of this team approach, the individuals were able to consider the house a system, rather than as a collection of windows, walls, ceilings, floors, wires, ducting, etc. They began to analyze their system to consider the relationship between the building site, the envelope, and systems such as heating and air conditioning.
Second, the team developed a model to account for their process, including design, build, test, modify, and management steps. The model in your book uses a similar approach although it includes many additional steps.
One aspect of the systems engineering approach that is of interest to us as designers of instruction is the identification of variables. There are two general categories of variables in an instructional or classroom situation. First, there are variables that we can control. Consider a traditional 10th grade history classroom. We can control where the students sit so that two known troublemakers do not sit together. We can move the chairs or tables to form a circle, a U, rows, or several small circles for group work.
Second, there are variables that we cannot control, but we can account for. Again, consider our history classroom. We probably have no control over the noise outside the school and know that every Friday at 11:30 the tornado siren is tested. While we cannot control the testing of the siren or noise, we can account for it by planning for the students to have a discussion in small groups or pairs rather than trying to lecture over the noise for the 1-minute blast.
When we design a system, whether it is an instructional system, biological system, building system, or rocket we need to identify the variables we can control and those we must account for to ensure the success of the system.
responsible for designing a traffic light control system for an intersection
in a residential area. The primary road has two lanes going in each direction
through a residential area. The smaller street that runs north and south
is a feeder road from a residential area. The heaviest north and south
traffic is during the morning rush hour and the evening rush hour. There
is very little traffic on the street during the other hours. Children cross
the street going to and from school. The intersection is also a major access
for the fire station.
As you design this traffic control system consider how to make it efficient for both the east-west and north-south traffic. No one wants to wait at an intersection to cross or wait for a stoplight when there are no cars present.
1. Identify all the variables affecting this traffic control system (e.g., a bike rider heading north across the main road).
Check your answer with our analysis at exer1-4.html.
We can apply this type of analysis to a classroom. The variables that we can control are also variables that we can manipulate. For example, we can move the chairs into different formats. Thus, we can manipulate this variable to enhance our instruction.
On a day when students are working in small groups we can arrange the chairs into circles so that each group has a work area. When we are leading a discussion, we can arrange the chairs in a large U-shape.
What happens though if our class is in the auditorium or gym? We cannot move the seating arrangement from its series of rows. Now, we must account for the variable of fixed seating. How can we adapt our instruction to accommodate this variable? Assuming we have a class of 30 and the auditorium holds 200 people, we can spread our small groups around the room. When someone is making a presentation to the class, we will want to fill all the seats in a small area. By analyzing our classroom from a systems engineering perspective, we can find ways to enhance our instruction by either manipulating features (i.e., variables) or by accounting for the variables we cannot change.
||Think of a classroom that you have used as a teacher or a student. Identify variables in the classroom that you can manipulate and those that you cannot that might affect the instruction. Post your list on the Vista Discussion Board section for this exercise.
Compare your list to those of your classmates and to our list located at exer1-5. What variables did we include that you might have included in your list? What unique variables did you identify?
||Now, it is time
to synthesize your thinking. The Theory Into Practice (TIP) database (http://tip.psychology.org/)
is a collection of 50 theories relevant to learning and instruction. Visit
the site and find one or two theories that are consistent with your point
of view. Next, prepare a 1-2 page philosophy statement that addresses the
When you have completed your paper, post it in the appropriate Vista Discussion Board exercise discussion.
Finally, read several of the other philosophies. Examine how they are similar and different than your philosophy. We consider philosophies an evolving set of ideas that you add to and change as you learn. We expect that you might revisit your statement several times during this course and think about how you might modify it to accommodate new ideas.
on our views of learning, instruction, and teaching will help us understand
our decisions concerning the design of instruction. Knowing our position
on these issues will help us select instructional strategies that are consistent
with our beliefs, and it may also help us view other "competing" approaches
from a different perspective. We try not to classify our orientation as
a strict behaviorist or a "die-hard" constructivist. Rather, we like to
remain open to different points of view and to select instructional approaches
that provide the best method for achieving our objectives.
A systems approach provides the foundation for instructional design. We use a systems engineering approach to develop our instructional design models and to design instructional systems for a variety of classrooms. This approach helps to identify all the variables in the instructional process that can impact the success of our project.
In the next lesson, we will determine what we need to include in a lesson.