I’m finally in the final stages of my Capstone Project and I’m ready to present the 1st of my 5 Canvas seminars! I followed the Instructional Design process as described by the latest literature and best practices of our time, blending technology where appropriate, and creating opportunities for differentiated learning as much as possible. Adult education is a different can of worms because of the varying dynamics of adult life, including responsibilities and fluctuating priorities and interest. However, many adults love to learn if the right environment and opportunities are created that meet their needs and interests. I took all this to heart and put a lot of systematic work into designing these Canvas seminars to be cohesive and directed towards empowering the Science Teachers at Passaic County Technical Institute to begin to incorporate Canvas, efficiently and effectively, to enhance learning through technology, utilizing the amazing resources the institution has to offer to the fullest potential. However, one cannot simply be emotionally involved in their work because they may be blinded by their passion. For these reasons a second pair of eyes always helps. Thankfully, throughout the process I had amazing peers and colleagues to guide me along the way, offering constructive feedback, and helping me identify weak or ambiguous areas of my instructional design process.
In my final presentation of my Capstone Project, almost everything came together. I just had to dot some I’s and cross some T’s. I presented the evolutionary process of my Capstone Project from the Organizational Profile all the way up to the full creation of my lesson, including the lesson plan, artifacts to be used, and assessments to measure understanding. Additionally, I added supplemental resources for continued learning for my participants and I created a survey to obtain feedback on the 1st Seminar for the purposes of improving it in the future and modifying my future seminars to adjust where necessary to make for a more enjoyable and transformative learning experience.
My peers commended the artifacts I created because it was clear that I was designing for differentiated learning. I also made it clear that I was using a constructivist approach to learning, taking as much information as I could about my participants to create something that allowed for individual and personal growth and development, since ample literature suggests that adult learners learn best when they have opportunities to create and execute practical application versus theoretical discussion. I also provided a rubric for them to self-assess, and to give some direction, rather than a checklist that can often be restricting. Of course this all depends on your audience, their level and interests, so please don’t think I’m against other forms of delivery and guidance. This is simply the approach I took with my learners. In fact, I had learners of differing levels of experience with Canvas so I needed to make sure they were not limited to something basic. However, for the teachers who need a little extra help and guidance, I created an artifact which can be used optionally during or following the seminar. My peers especially like this artifact which was an instructional walk-through video for Canvas users at Passaic County Technical Institute.
Overall, everything came together and the instructional design process has a beautiful, logical, systematic flow, which I would gladly implement in many more projects to come. I learned from the work of my peers in how their artifacts differed, some not even using technology at times, reminding all of us of an important thing: Technology is not always the most appropriate and effective tool for instructional delivery. It is up to the designer to determine where and when it is appropriate. I cannot express the incredible value peer review and collaboration had on my Capstone Project, and consequently, I would always look for a team to collaborate and discuss my ideas and creations, throughout the design process. I don’t know where my future will take me, but I am very happy, and pleasantly surprised with how everything came together and with what I produced. It just goes to show, if you make educated decisions, take your time, believe in yourself, and apply logic in conjunction with following a proven systematic process, accepting the constructive criticisms of peers and experts, you can truly create something wonderful.