The Design Decisions Phase of Instructional Design is essentially the planning phase of your proposed instruction. I was able to take my Needs Analysis and use that to generate my desired goals and objectives, which have their subtle differences, and then consider a variety of instructional methods to reach those. I had to reflect on the latest learning theories and practices and decide the role technology could play in the learning process. Since my audience consisted of adults I needed to take into account adult learning preferences to make sure my seminar would be engaging, memorable, and most importantly, transformative. Ultimately, in this phase you plan out all elements of the learning experience from activities and resources to the best time of day and environment to ensure a successful lesson. You even calculate the cost of any food, breaks, discussion time, and the like. Essentially you plan for a theoretical execution of the lesson trying to think of everything.
One important feature one should be sure to include in their Design Decisions was making sure the seminar connects back to the overarching goals for the Unit. Typically a unit is multiple lessons and has many goals and objectives. While the seminar or lesson typically concludes in a day, you have to make sure that the knowledge can be applied and that there are opportunities for self-directed learning at the conclusion of the session. Finally, one cannot neglect formal and informal assessment and evaluation, as well as a feedback survey to reflect on to create or enhance the same, or similar, seminars in the future.
I had the opportunity to read the Design Decisions of several of my peers and we were able to discuss and explore the obstacles I had in creating my Design Decisions. This segment of Instructional Design requires enormous amounts of creativity and ideas, and your friends and colleagues are amazing resources that you can harness beyond existing literature and the information from your Needs Analysis. It really is true that more heads are better than one, when it comes to ideas! I was so impressed and inspired by my colleagues and when I hit an obstacle trying to think of alternative means of assessment and artifacts of instruction, they gave me several ideas to decide from. I ended up deciding to implement Screencast-o-Matic and Kahoot! to diversify my instructional methods, incorporating technology in a fun, engaging, and at the same time, highly beneficial manner. While I’m still new to these platforms of instruction, this works towards my overarching unit goal which is to make the teachers more confident with Canvas and the effective implementation of technology in the classroom. I went back, revised my Design Decisions and am more confident than ever that this going to be a great seminar! Plus, I’m getting to learn new technology as a result! And, it goes without saying that I’ll never doubt the value of collaboration when trying to overcome creative obstacles. It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes it is other people that pull out the best in you.