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Analysis and Design of Technology-Based Learning Environments

Fall 2012| Dr. Brenda Bannan| 3 credits

Course Description

This course provides students with opportunities to experience the instructional design process as applied to the conceptual prototype of a technology-based learning system or interface design. Students may have the opportunity to interact with developers, subject matter experts, target audience members and draft a comprehensive design approach as well as prototype their ideas using selected technology software tools. The course focuses on facilitating connections between interdisciplinary approaches of prototyping, design and development of teaching and learning systems/interfaces from multiple disciplines including instructional design, computer science, human computer interface and related fields.

Reflections & Insights

This is the first of a two-course capstone program (followed up by EDIT 752) in which we explored the various methods and strategies for identifying an educational gap that might be resolved by the development of a mobile learning application. I worked with a group of four of my teammates to design a public speaking application designed to provide increased opportunities for busy working professions to practice and prepare for a speaking engagement. Our research suggested that the majority of working professionals struggled with some difficulty when tasked to present to a live audience. Specifically, they lacked confidence due to lack of preparation, fear of audience criticism, and lack of opportunities to practice when it is convenient for them. I this first half of the program, my team and I explored a multitude of analysis tools and strategies to gain greater insight into the underlying issues our potential users faced and the desired outcomes of the learning experience which, helped to shape the initial pedagogical design approach leveraging mobile technology.

In this course, the primary focus was on user-centered design where learning was more of a secondary component. Based on the best practices and processes of information technology and systems design, my group and I chose to create a mobile application for the purposes of complementing an organization such as ToastMasters International. We employed multiple analytical strategies to help us ascertain who our target audience was, what they needed, what would be nice to have, how to employ existing successful pedagogical strategies, and additional elements necessary to promote networking, constructive feedback, and ultimately, a desire to use the end product. In my professional experience thus far, I have had limited opportunities to conduct a formal analysis where I could triangulate the data collected to gain a better understanding of what the problem was, what the users or learners wanted, and how to leverage mobile technology across a broad spectrum of users from technophobes to the savvy. This course provided me with that opportunity and I learned a great deal including how and when to select the appropriate instrument for collecting information (e.g. surveys, focus groups, interviews) and how to prepare them in such a way that the information collected would be useful and insightful. Having had the chance to evaluate both good and bad data, revise data collection instruments, and prepare a design for presentation to the rest of our classmates and all of our stakeholders, I feel I am much better equipt to approach a complex problem with a client who may be resistant to the thought of analyzing the situation knowing that they [the client] will ultimately save budget dollars, obtain a custom solution that addresses the problem head on, and results positive performance changes.

Professional/Technical Competencies

  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Design and implementation of standard data collection and analysis strategies (e.g. interviews, online surveys, focus groups, etc.)
  • Leadership/Team Management
  • Implementation of the ADDIE model
  • Working effectively within a group
  • Public speaking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Technical Skills
    • Balsamiq Mock-up Software
    • Web 2.0 products (e.g. Online collaboration (Bb Collaborate), File Exchange, Wiki, Forums, and Blogging)
    • Rapid prototyping

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