Welcome to Walden Works! This blog was created to share instructional design related resources and my course work with other Walden students.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Walden IDT Portfolio

Course                                              Drop Box Link
Advanced Instructional Design Project: Getting the Most Out of Acrobat X Pro (swf) & Implementation & Evaluation Plan & Reports




Organizations, Innovations, and Change Project: Mail Inc Analysis - Learning to Change (pptx)


Project Management: VAFDC Instructional Materials (pdf)


Capstone: VAFDC Lesson One & VAFDC Lesson Two (swf)








Work Project: Shipping for Account Managers (pptx)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 6: Analyzing Scope Creep

If you have ever worked on a project, you understand that there is a natural desire to improve upon the projects outcome (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008). Unfortunately, improvements or changes to the project often cause the scope of the project to change. When I was working as a warehouse manager, I learned that even the smallest changes could result in scope creep.


I work for a company that does catalog fulfillment. Eckler, one of your catalog clients, sends out “kits” to their list of car dealers. The Eckler dealer kit consists of multiple catalogs and a letter inserted into a box that is sealed and labeled with the recipients’ address. After the kits are assembled, they are stacked on skids, wrapped with shrink-wrap, and shipped to a USPS distribution center to be mailed.

The Operations Manager, Angie, served as the project manager for the Eckler dealer kit project. Angie conducted all of the preplanning and conveyed her expectations and project limitations to the assistant warehouse manager and myself before releasing us to manage the production stage of the project. The project seemed relatively simple even though I had never worked on a project like the Eckler dealer kit project before, and we were confident that we would be successful.

The production process for the kits is somewhat simple. A table containing all of the kit components is set up and production team members walk around the table with a box inserting one of each kit component into the box in the predetermined order. The box is then tapped shut, labeled, and stacked on a skid.

As an extension of the preplanning that Angie did, I met with the production team leads and team members who had participated in similar projects to identify potential challenges. Based on these potential challenges, we set out to make improvements on the production process.

We made several minor changes to improve the flow of production that did not affect the scope of the project. The scope of the project was affected when we decided to replace the table with a structure that could hold more catalogs without taking up more space on the warehouse floor. The design of this structure distracted our attention from the primary goals of the project. Even though the newly designed structure would improve the flow of production, it was outside the scope of the project.


The most challenging part of scope creep can be that the “creep” is not a bad idea at all, in fact, in the long run, it may be extremely beneficial. However, the fact is that the project plan, schedule, or budget does not have room for all of the improvements that may surface during the project. Wiegers (2000) notes that scope creep occurs when “Users keep thinking of more functions to include, additional business processes to support, and critical information they overlooked initially” (p. 6).

At the time of the Eckler dealer kit project, I did not know anything about scope creep. Eventually, we did recognize that we were off track and we scrambled to complete the last few steps on schedule.

In retrospect, it would have been more beneficial to say something like, “These are great ideas, let’s hold onto them, and discuss them when we are conducting our project review.” That way the ideas are not lost and when we work on a similar project in the future, the ideas will be there for us to reference.

Reference

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Wiegers, K. E. (2000). Karl Wiegers describes 10 requirements traps to avoid. Software Testing & Quality Engineering, 2(1).




Example of Scope Creep: Movie Clip from "The Pentagon Wars"

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hello EDUC 6145!

Hello EDUC 6145!

This is the blog that I've created for my Walden assignments and all things educational and instructional design related.

This semester we are going to be exploring project management and how it relates to and is intertwined with the field of instructional design. I have come to view project management as a component of instructional design, so I am excited to be looking at it as a separate entity to grow my understanding of project management.

In this course, we will explore the systematic approaches to project management and about a variety of different project management tools, procedures, and methods. The course will also focus on time, cost, and scope and the limitations they set on the overall project and its quality (Walden, 2013).

Reference

Walden University. (2013). M.S. in instructional design and technology. Retrieved from http://www.waldenu.edu/masters/ms-in-instructional-design-and-technology


Random Things About Me

I have 2 dogs, 5 ferrets, 4 fire bellied toads, a lot of fish, and a husband.

I am very involved in the fife and drum community. I am currently an instructor and the president of the board for the only French junior fife and drum corps east of the Mississippi (Voyageur Ancient Fife and Drum Corps). I also play fife in Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps.

I sing to my coffee every morning. Why not enjoy the little things?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Analysis of an Open Source Course


Developing effective and repeatable distance learning experiences, especially an entire course, is a multifaceted process that requires analysis, careful planning, organization, evaluation, and revision (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek, 2012).  Pre-existing courses can be converted into distance learning courses, but they will need to be redesigned to meet the needs of distance learners. The learners, the content, the methods and materials, the technology, and the environment have to interact efficiently and effectively to produce a quality learning experience (Simonson, et al., 2012). 

A relatively recent trend in distance learning is open and free courses developed by colleges. The courses are designed for learners who want to expand their knowledge and usually do not offer any college credits. These, open source courses or OpenCourseWare (OCW) are free and open to anyone at any time using the internet (What is OpenCourseWare?, 2013). Even though OWCs are not generally designed to offer credit, they should still uphold the quality standards of distance learning. Not holding to high distance learning standards when creating an OCW can damage potential distance learners’ perceptions of distance learning.
For this week’s assignment, I choose to evaluate a project management course I discovered on the OCW Consortium site. Introduction to Project Management is a portion of an entire introductory course on project management from the University of California, Irvine.  
This course does appear to be carefully designed and pre-planned for a distance learning environment.  The Introduction to Project Management distance learning course is not a series of videos with a list of assignments.  Instead, it has interactive elements and multimedia developed with the distance learner in mind.  The course focuses on “visual presentations, engaged learners, and careful timing of presentations of information” (Simonson, et al., 2012, p. 153).  The text, graphics, animations, and multimedia presentation all contribute to the learners understanding of the materials presented.

 Introduction to Project Management is organized and is easy to navigate.  The menu to the on the left allows the learner to easily navigate to different parts of the lesson.  The course objectives are identified clearly in the introduction.  The text is easy to read and the use of italics, underlining, and bold font styles help the learner to focus on the important materials, which have been whittled down to the essentials for the online format.  Simonson et al. (2012) state that distance learning content amount may need to be reduced so that the interactive learning components can be increased. 

 Introduction to Project Management has several embedded assessment activities and discussion questions.  The embedded assessments, like the drag and drop activity, help the learner to monitor their own understanding of the content presented.  The discussions questions ask meaningful questions that help learners grasp their level of understanding of the subject matter. 

One area of this open course that is lacking is the discussion.  This section of the course is a demo and there is a page for the discussion forum, but there is no actual discussion forum in the demo.  Without the interactive nature of online discussions, the course loses one of the important elements of distance learning – student and facilitator interaction (Simonson et al., 2012).

 From what I have seen, many OCWs contain video or audio recorded during the traditional classroom counterpart to the course along with handouts.  The courses have been “dumped” or shoveled into an online format with little to now adjustments for the distance learning environment (Simonson, et al., 2012).  According to Simonson et al. (2012), “If the design is effective, instruction will also be effective” (p. 171).  Without careful pre-planning and adjustments to the design and learning activity adjustments for the distance learning environment open course ware cannot be considered effective instruction.

 
Reference

Introduction to Project Management. (2013). Retrieved March 6, 2013, from UCIrvine Extention: http://learn.uci.edu/oo/getDemoPage.php?course=OC0101017&lesson=1&topic=1&page=1

What is OpenCourseWare? (2013). Retrieved March 6, 2013, from Opencourseware Consortium: http://www.ocwconsortium.org/en/aboutus/whatisocw

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

 

 

 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Distance Learning Reflection


Reflection on Distance Learning


Distance learning allows educational institutions, businesses, and organizations improved ways to serve and reach people more effectively.  Distance education, according to Beldarrain (2006), “emerged in response to the need of providing access to those who would otherwise not be able to participate in face-to-face courses” (Beldarrain, 2006, p. 139).  This need for nontraditional educational learning experiences has grown and will continue to grow in conjunction with technological advances (Tracey & Richey, 2005).  

Future Perceptions of Distance Learning


Distance learning is growing in popularity because of the rising cost of gathering learners together for onsite training and an increase in completion for students in higher education (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2011; Moller, Foshay, & Coleman, 2008).  Because of the continued growth of distance learning, perceptions of distance learning have slowly improved.  As new advances in communication technology take hold, so will acceptance of distance learning (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).   This improvement of perceptions will likely make slow progress over the next five to ten years.  Skeptics of distance education will see its advantages as corporations and organizations begin utilize distance learning to interact with offices around the world (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010). 

Another factor that will influence the acceptance and perception of distance learning is the increasing number of learners who have been raised in a world saturated with technology.  “Rapid advances in information technology are reshaping the learning styles of many students in higher education” (Dede, 2005).  These students are already utilizing technologies to communicate, collaborate, and learn.  In 15 to 20 years when they are pursuing a higher education, distance learning will be a normal and integrated part of the education process.

Improving Distance Learning Perceptions


As an instructional designer, I will be able to help the organizations that I work with recognize and utilize distance learning in an effort to improve society’s perceptions of distance learning.  As an advocate for the use of distance learning, it will be necessary for me to focus on producing quality distance learning experiences.  The biggest skeptics of distance learning are those who have had negative experience with it (Moller, Foshay, & Huett, 2008).  Producing effective, quality distance learning experience will help others to see the many advantages of distance learning.

Positive Force for Continuous Improvement in the Field Of Distance Education


Huett, Moller, Foshay, and Coleman (2008) assert, “The Internet and e-learning make wonderful things possible if we decide, as educators and trainers, to exploit those possibilities intelligently and systematically” (p. 66).  By pursuing possibilities intelligently and systematically, I hope to be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education.  Distance learning provides many opportunities that would not otherwise be possible, but, like other more traditional training and educational approaches, a careful analytical approach is necessary along with a structured or systematic design approach.  Additionally, it is important that I, as an instructional designer, seek out (and possibly create) research and theories for distance learning that support and promote “student engagement in the learning process” and an “inquisitive, skilled and intellectually-able population” (Tracey & Richey, 2005, p. 21)

The exact future of distance education is uncertain, but from where I am standing, distance education will likely be “main stream” within my lifetime. 

 


 

References

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153.

Dede, C. (2005). Planning for neomillennial learning styles. Educause Quarterly, 1, 7-12.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. R., & Coleman, C. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). Tech Trends, 52(5), 63-67.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). The future of distance education [DVD]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). Tech Trends, 52(4), 66-70.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part I: Training and development). Tech Trends, 52(3), 70-75.

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Designing Effective Instruction (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Tracey, M. W., & Richey, R. C. (2005). The evolution of distance education. Distance Learning, 2(6), 17-21.

 

 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Selecting Distance Learning Technology

Selecting Distance Learning Technology

In the scenario I chose for this week’s assignment, a major corporation has purchased a new automated staff information system and needs to train the staff members to use it. The corporation has indicated that synchronous training will not be possible, but they still expect the training to facilitate ongoing collaboration between the different staff members. The ability for the staff members to share information such as screen captures and other documents during this collaboration is also imperative.

Many different Web 2.0 tools and learning technologies exist that can assist with designing instruction that meets the major corporations requirements. When selecting technology for a learning experience, the instructional designer must consider if the technology promotes communication and connects the learner, teacher, and resources adequately (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). Some Web 2.0 tools that I considered include blogging, video podcasting, and wikis. While exploring the different options, I encountered Conceptboard.
Conceptboard allows the users to collaborate using an online white board and it has an in-browser screen shot tool. The Conceptboard can feature different aspects of the company’s new automated staff information system. The commenting, highlighting, and freehand drawing features would allow the users and trainer to draw attention to different components of the software. Conceptboard also has chat and video options for an added dimension of collaboration (It's all About Your Boards, 2012).
Here is one example of how trainers can use a Conceptboard to collaborate. In this example, the team is collaborating on the creation of a website. From the example, you can see how different staff members can add text to screenshots to call attention to different areas or to ask questions. When reviewing Conceptboard, Abhimanyu Ghoshal (2011) wrote, “ConceptBoard is a great replacement for the screen-sharing aspect of our communication as it provides us with a flexible, easy-to-use interface for presentation and comments.”

Other distance learning technology tools that would work for this training scenario are Adobe’s Presenter or Captivate. These two would be my personal technology choices. For this scenario, I would be more inclined to select Adobe Captivate because of its ability integrate Twitter for collaboration. Using Acrobat.com to host the training would also add additional collaboration platform for the staff members (Adobe Captivate 6 Features, 2013).
This example shows how designers can use templates to create eLearning using Adobe Captivate. This interactive example demonstrates how to use the SmartArt feature in Microsoft Word 7 to create a food pyramid. For the training need in the scenario, I would create a series of lessons similar to this last example because the learner would actually have navigate through the software and this would help to reinforce the training by giving the learners “hands-on” experience.

The important thing to remember when incorporating technology into your training is that it is not always the best option. Morrison, Ross, Kalman, and Kemp (2011) state, “Although technology can provide more efficient instruction, it does not necessarily provide more effective instruction” (p. 242). Just because the technology is available does not mean that it the best solution. Thankfully, however, technology does allow us to provide learning experiences in situations that would not otherwise be easily executed or even possible.


References

It's all About Your Boards. (2012). Retrieved from Conceptboard: https://conceptboard.com/features

Adobe Captivate 6 Features. (2013). Retrieved February 3, 2013, from http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate/features.edu.html#categorylens_1_featureset_0

Ghoshal, A. (2011, September 11). Collaborate on concepts, anywhere, with ConceptBoard. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from App Storm: http://web.appstorm.net/reviews/communications/collaborate-on-concepts-anywhere-with-conceptboard/

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Designing Effective Instruction (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.