Synthesis of Job Description
Job Location: KMS Future Leaders School, United States Virgin Islands
The Instructional Designer (ID) has primary responsibility for a key element of our educational offerings. The ID will be responsible for conceptualizing, developing and maintaining online curriculum for a K-12 project-based learning program. The position will author project-based learning material in the STEM curriculum for K-12 students. The ID is responsible for identifying and evaluating existing and upcoming technological tools to deliver STEM content as part of the KMS Future Learners programs. The individual will help formulate and will implement the School’s ongoing eLearning strategy including a conversion of existing text-based material to HTML5 online material
This position is fully responsible for planning and executing all aspects of curriculum – a critical component of KMS future Leaders integrated educational programs. Effective communication and close collaboration with Teachers and Teaching Assistants is essential.
The overarching goal is to facilitate learners in acquiring knowledge, skills and competencies in an effective and appealing manner.
- Proven working experience in instructional design
- Excellent knowledge of learning theories and instructional design models (for example, ADDIE, Kirkpatrick)
- Lesson and curriculum planning skills
- HTML5 programming knowledge
- Solid knowledge of course development software and at least one Learning Management System (preferably Moodle or Desire2Learn)
- Visual design skills (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator) and ability to storyboard
- Ability to communicate effectively using instructional text, audio scripts/video scripts
- BS or MA degree in instructional design, educational technology or similar field
- Create engaging learning activities and compelling course content that enhances retention and transfer
- Work with subject matter experts and identify target audience’s training needs
- State instructional end goals and create content that matches them
- Visualize instructional graphics, the user interface and the finished product
- Conduct instructional research and analysis on learners and contexts
- Apply tested instructional design theories, practice and methods
- Provide exercises and activities that enhance the learning process
- Create supporting material/media (audio, video, simulations, role plays, games etc)
- Decide on the criteria used to judge learner’s performance and develop assessment instruments
- Maintain project documentation
Desirable skills and knowledge
- Experience in curriculum design and development for elearning, classroom and web conferencing modalities
- Experience in authoring tools such as Captivate or Storyline
- Experience using video-editing software (e.g. Camtasia, Adobe Premiere Pro)
- Experience in storyboarding and scripting
- Base knowledge of the STEM education initiative
- Demonstrated ability to quickly grasp technology and technical concepts
- Strong teamwork and leadership skills
- Experience in use of graphics and associated editing software (for example Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks)
- Track record showing responsibility for full body of work – from idea generation to development
- Ability to manage multiple priorities and deliver on-time results
- Knowledge of Makerspaces
- How do the roles of teachers and instructional designers differ?
- In what ways do the responsibilities of teachers and instructional designers overlap?
The roles of Teachers and Instructional Designers differ based on the environment, audience (learners) and models that are used.
The typical role of the Teacher will impart knowledge to learners and evaluation/assessment is usually for grades whereas the role of Instructional designers is closely connected and usually based on improving performance that results in increased employee efficiency for a business to increase profitability.
Having taught in a K-12 setting, my role was mainly to impart knowledge based on the District/State standards and students were required to learn the material to pass an examination. For example, I taught Set Theory in Mathematics and when asked by a student why they should learn about Set Theory, I replied that it assisted with problem solving skills and can be used to prove certain theories.
If an instructional designer is asked a question such as this, they will almost always be a specific reason linked to the organizations’s targets and correlated to profitability.
However, the responsibilities of Teachers and Instructional Designers overlap because they both facilitate learning using content in a particular context and taking into consideration the ability of learners. So, as a Teacher, having selected my objectives from the State standards, I developed the content and used various technological tools to aid in the delivery of the content.
A browse of the responsibilities of Instructional Designers will reveal that they also develop content independently or by working closely with Subject Matter Experts and the use of technological tools to deliver the content is seemingly a standard in the ID field.
Links to specific jobs browsed
Job Posting 1: Instructional Designer/Developer.
This job posting was interesting because it provides a real-world example of the diversity of skills that may be required in the ID field as stated by Larson & Lockee. The multiplicity of skills and experience desired by the company along with travel requirements reveal how fast-paced and interesting an ID job can be.
Job Posting 2: Instructional Designer
This job posting was interesting to me because it was in the Oil refining – Petroleum industry which shows that instructional designers are not just used in formal educational settings such as schools and other traditional learning institutions. The summary of this posting also states the ID models that the applicant should follow stating that the applicant must “utilize best practices, for example, ADDIE model, Kirkpatrick” which are known ID design process standards.
Job Posting 3: Instructional Designer
This job posting was interesting because it highlights the dynamic nature of the ID field. The job description of this posting states: “Our team is never happy with the status quo – we believe that everything can be made better and we need a teammate that can help us continue to innovate.” This sentence stood out like a mantra that good Instructional Designers must adopt.
The evaluation survey of SCH1BB using the Maturity Model Benchmarks by Sibley and Kimball (1998), positioned the school at the Emerging Systems Stage. This was not surprising since after a major focus was placed on the physical infrastructure for schools for networking capability and hardware acquisition about 10 years ago, a similar focus was not placed on teacher training, technology integration, or software for pedagogical purposes.
The assessment presents a surprisingly opposite picture of the developmental strides Barbados has made, being ranked 59th in Human Development Index by the UNDP and boasting an Internet penetration rate of almost 80 % (Internet World Stats, 2015) and a ratio of more than 1 mobile phone to each of its 290,000 inhabitants (Telecoms Unit of Barbados, 2015).
The evaluation enlightened me to what are the key determinants in moving towards an Intelligent System stage which is the ultimate goal in any technology plan especially for a country such as Barbados where human capital is a key component in the continued development of the country.
Technology Integration Specialist, John See, points out that effective technology plans should go beyond enhancing the curriculum, should be tied to staff development plans and have critical attributes based upon research.
It is therefore my desire to be involved in moving Barbados towards a maturity model that would redound to the benefit of individuals and the country as a whole.
When I was a child, I recall my preference for books that contained text and graphics as opposed to books that only contained text. Indeed, I found that I learnt more from the books that contained words and illustrations. After reading concept of Multimedia Principles by Richard Meyer, I understand why I seemed to learn better from books words and illustrations.
These principles really have to do with how the brain processes information and can serve as a guide to creating content for students which could better aid in achieving learning outcomes.
However, the irony of all of this is that although academics have accepted this research on multimedia principles, most academic material continue to be written using formats such as APA, MLA, IEEE, and that is unlikely to change in the near future. I have often heard people declare their hatred of reading academic papers because the serif font and general layout are unappealing.
This assignment on the digital divide and digital inequality provided relevant statistical data and research to show how demographics in addition to several other factors can perpetuate the digital divide. The views of Hargittai (2003) on a contemporary definition for the digital inequality which considers measures for technical means, autonomy of use, social support networks, experience and skill are relevant in understanding how this inequality can persists although the gap in the digital divide may be closing.
His comparison to how literacy has changed from merely being able to sign one’s name was instructive since I live in a country where we boast of having 98% literacy which is a result of compulsory and free education until age 16. However, we should be cognizant of the definition of literacy that was used at the time the measure was conducted before boasting.
The readings stimulated my thoughts into further research and into preparing a presentation on how schools can assist in the rebalancing of digital inequality. Of course, I intend to employ all the principles of multimedia in my presentation.
As I seek to edify myself through this program of study, I hope to develop better graphic design skills which would assist in creating more effective presentations whether in MS PowerPoint or Haiku Deck.
View my Haiku Deck presentation HERE.
The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Learning states that the Flipped Classroom is “a model of learning that arranges how time is spent both in and out of class to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students.”
It is a model that is expected to be adopted by higher learning institutions within one year. As a person involved in higher learning, this model has indeed generated interest amongst faculty members since it is part of the blended learning initiative being pushed at institutions of higher learning.
Being able to use the SAMR model for Flipped Classroom caused me to critique the graphic that is often found for the SAMR model.
The description at each level of the graphic starts with “Technology acts/allows …”. If I were to re-state the descriptions at each level, the focus would be more on the pedagogical value derived from the use of technology in achieving the desired learning outcome(s).
My critique of the video on SAMR below:
Doesn’t it seem as though you are simply adding more and more features to attain the level of Redefinition, but shouldn’t it first start with what was the learning objective?
If the objective of the lesson was for students to: independently create a business letter in digital format, wouldn’t Microsoft Word be at the level of Redefinition instead of Substitution as indicated in the video?
My artifact for this assignment is a narrated PowerPoint presentation to educators at a higher learning institution and is ironically the pre-class activity for a workshop on the Flipped Classroom. Access the video HERE.
My annotated bibliography focused on a topic I am particularly interested in– “Blended Learning in Higher Education”.
Online research for scholarly material and using the APA format were not new to me since I have to access several journals in the course of my work. However, this assignment proved difficult to me since it was my first time doing an annotated bibliography and on reflection I may have over-thought and over-did what was required. I have been accustomed to writing literature reviews and tried to use that approach in writing the annotated bibliography.
Although there is value in writing an annotated bibliography as it can provide a reflective summary on the quality of the article, I still have a preference for an abstract of a peer–reviewed article since it is more informative and substantive.
My annotated bibliography can be viewed on Google docs HERE.
Several definitions exist for content curation but recurring phrase in all the definitions suggest that it is a process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Some definitions qualify this by specifying the content is digital in nature or that it is content found on the World Wide Web.
For me, content curation should not be restricted to digital content. If the content that is curated is digital, then the term digital curation may be more aptly suited to describe a particular type of content curation. Therefore, the mounting of a display in a museum which contains several artifacts of a Civilisation or the Independence of a country, or a Disc jockey selecting songs which have the theme of love, or a set of digital resources on a particular topic are examples of content curation.
As an instructor, the ubiquity of the Internet has led to a plethora of content being made available to everyone. Some of this content is of high academic quality especially if it is peer-reviewed material and unfortunately some of the content is opinionated, unevidenced and of lesser academic quality.
Content curation for the purpose of academic research can therefore significantly reduce the time spent by both instructors and students on wading through endless articles. Only recently, I came across an interesting article entitled “More Content Doesn’t Equal More Learning” where the author suggested teachers move away from being “content experts” and instead become “content curators”.
To facilitate content curation, several apps can be used. For my curated content on the specific topic of blended learning which is catered to an academic audience, I employed the use of the Storify app which has easy-to-use drag and drop features.
I have been using Evernote app to ‘grab’ or “curate” any useful material I happen to “stumble upon” on the Internet. After doing research for this assignment, I realized I have actually been doing content curation all along with Evernote but I am nonetheless excited by the features available in Storify.
My first use of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) was around year 2000 while I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Having subscribed to a RSS, you had to install an aggregator to receive the feeds. RSS has been touted as one of the tools which allow mass content distribution for publishers and mass content consumption for readers.
Recently, I was asked by my supervisor to research RSS and how it might be incorporated into higher education. I was tempted to ask if RSS still existed but my research revealed there are still quite a number of popular RSS feeds especially for news-, blog- and sports-related content.
Having read that Google RSS reader, Google Reader, had been discontinued, I was tempted to suggest that RSS was dead until I used the Digg app which is an easy-to-use modern day aggregator.
With the ubiquity of mobile devices, personal blogs and modern day aggregator apps, I think RSS has had a new breath of life and will continue alongside apps such as Twitter, Flipboard, etc. It was of notable interest that Digg allows you to sign in and share your feeds on Twitter thereby complementing the popular Twitter.
How Can RSS be used in the Classroom?
RSS can be used to subscribe to publications on a relevant subject matter. For instance, the U.K. Supreme Court has a RSS feed for its latest judgements. An instructor can begin a private discussion/debate on a court proceeding and after the judgement has been made, seek to rationalize the decision made by the Court with the views of students.
The same approach can be used for professional development. For example, someone who is interested in Educational Technology may subscribe to popular Educational Technology blogs such as The E-learning Curve which presents interesting perspectives on E-learning.
Other RSS feeds I have subscribed to using Digg:
Professional ethics has long been a topic that has engaged the attention of theorists, philosophers, and professionals. The widely-known Hippocratic Oath written in 15 BCE and still recited today is essentially a set of professional ethics that are intended to guide the practice of medical doctors. Educational Technologists also have a set of professional ethics.
Ethics according to Harpham (1995) should not be seen as a solution to problems but as a structure to the problems that may arise. If we were to combine Harpham, and the propositions of Heinich (1970, 1971) that “technology makes instruction visible” and “technology can only be effective when we pull apart the elements of a process and step by step devise technical means to achieve goals in a systematic way”, it could be argued that professional ethics allow for a guide to apply to the actions of professionals who use technology to determine compliance or non-compliance.
Therefore, professional ethics in educational technology serve as a guide and a basis to determine compliance or non-compliance of the responsibilities of educational technologists. Continue reading →
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