Tag Archives: Wiki

What is the biggest challenge for instructional designers?

6 May

Recently I was asked what was is the biggest challenge for instructional designers. Now, there are multiple answers to this question – working with difficult SMEs , meeting tight deadlines with limited resources etc …

However, for me, when I think about being an instructional designer, I think about the choices I make to ensure that the learner is engaged and that the learning objectives are met. By choices, I really mean deciding the appropriate tools I should use that are available from/in my learning environment toolbox (i.e. LMS).     

Undoubtedly Ed Tech and web 2.o  technologies/applications have expanded the number of tools that I have at my disposal. However, the real challenge is selecting the best tool to achieve a specific learning objective or objectives.  

Question

This is where you need some sort of checklist or cheat sheet, so here is my rough guide:

  •  If the learning objectives focus on reflective activities then select a tool such as a blog.  Why? A blog is an excellent tool to get learners to explain how they did something, as well as provide an opportunity to give/receive feedback through comments.
  • If the learning objectives focus on group work then select a tool such as a wiki. Why? A wiki allows learners to collaborate together, but also allows the instructor to see the effort of individual members of a group.
  • If the learning objectives focus on presentation skills then select a tool such as screencasting. Why? A screencast can capture a presentation in real-time or be recorded/edited for future viewing.

 So, in sum, the work the instructional designer has to do is:

  1. Analyze the learning objectives
  2. Identify the activity/activities required
  3. Select the appropriate tool to achieve the goal of the learning objective(s)

Seems simple, but when you think about it, making the right decision ultimately determines the success of the learning. Therefore, for me, deciding the appropriate tool to achieve the learning objective is the biggest challenge an instructional designer faces.

 

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