Reflection on Instructional Strategies

During this course (Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods) I had the opportunity to learn about some key components of good instructional design. One key component was learning about an alignment chart that is used for tying the terminal and enabling objectives to absorb, do and connect activities. This helped me focus in on what the learner should be trying to accomplish. The use of the alignment chart helped keep me focused by getting my design ideas together in one place. It also helped me pick ideas for my instructional activities that aligned with the objectives I created for this project. The alignment chart is also a great tool for the design process because it helped me think of each objective singularly and also as part of the whole instruction and/or course. By having everything in one place I could see if I had a good variety of absorb, do and connect activities that are appropriate for the learners. An alignment chart is also a good roadmap tool for other team members to use, and critique and update if necessary.

Another key component I learned about was Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Learning about UDL helped me understand and keep in mind that there are a variety of learners with diverse needs when it comes to absorbing, doing and connecting with instructional content. Having multiple means of action and expression, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of engagements are key principles of UDL. Technology has allowed us to design and create a variety of options and blended learning, when appropriate, to help fit the needs of a variety of learners. I tried to incorporate some UDL in my design by incorporating readings, PowerPoint presentations with screenshots of the software, hands-on activities with the software, and question and answer activities with the instructor and peers. I also included a couple job aids for on-the-job reference. The variety of learning activities will help multiple learners that prefer and connect with visual, auditory and kinesthetic content. I included a note to the learners on the activities to use the Zoom feature in their Internet browser or software application to increase the size of the text and/or images if necessary. I tried to incorporate best practices and make it pertinent to the leaner and connect to the real-world work environment by using a variety of activities similar to what the learner will encounter in their work environment after the training is complete.

The opportunity to participate as a student in this online class also let me connect with the instructor and other students on a weekly basis. (This can sometimes be a challenge with an online class.) The great variety of absorb, do and connect activities helped me engage with learning the content covered in this class. It also allowed me to observe (and participate in) a good UDL design through a variety of readings, videos, discussion board assignments and application activities that helped me personally as a student, in addition to helping me become a better instructional designer.