BlackboardTV (2011). Bb World 2011: A quick chat with Sir Ken Robinson - green room. Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/nMUa5wTYBNk
Online and distance learning has long fit a niche for particular educational needs (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, Zvacek, 2012). In the past, correspondence, radio, and television have all been used to conduct learning at a distance. And, with each new technology, the audience and influence of learning at a distance grew (Huett, Moller, Foshay, & Coleman, 2008). The onset of the Internet for the transmission of information and multimedia across vast distances with virtually no delay, has revolutionized the industry (Simonson, et al, 2012).
With the increasing popularity and variety of online learning programs, a new methodology for instruction has evolved to include hybrid or blended models (Horn, & Staker, 2011). Through reports such as Speak Up Now, learning has gone from industrialized to personalized (Project Tomorrow, 2012). The current generation of students have never known life without the convenience of instant access to information, and the use of distance education can greatly assist students in the acquisition of valuable skills they will need to be successful in their future (P21, 2011). Within the next decade, more personalization of learning will occur, primarily within the confines of the traditional classroom as hybrid, blended, and fles models of learning become the norm (Horn, & Staker, 2011). Once the personalization has hit a critical mass, the future of distance learning could likely move into students learning skills and content at their own pace, place, and time, in a location of their choice (Project Tomorrow, 2012).
While many adults are drawn to online learning due to the need to fit learning within their ever-shrinking free time; not all courses are created equal (Beaudoin, Kurtz, & Eden, 2009). Beyond poorly designed courses, and less reputable institutions looking to cash in on the online learning trend; the role of an instructional designer remains the same regardless of the medium of instruction (Simonson, et al, 2012). By being a proponent of the principles guiding quality instructional design and informing and guiding others through quality online experiences, the designer is best able to positively influence how distance learning is perceived. Staying current in research and the data concerning efficacy of online versus traditional learning also helps to steer conversations towards the great benefits the online student-centered environment gives (Dabbagh, 2007).
Through my current work in a large, urban, public school system in the United States; I will continue to work with teachers in our high schools to design blended courses in the district course management system (CMS). As this shift in delivery of instruction continues, there are various opportunities to implement the A.D.D.I.E model of instructional design, as well as providing comfort, knowledge, advice, and support to teachers throughout the process. Beyond the copying of old and outdated worksheets into the CMS, the blended learning orientation and training models best practices for designing and delivering instruction in multiple formats to engage and instruct the learner. Through modeling in the online environment and face-to-face trainings, teachers have the opportunity to design and build a course that will enhance instruction and place students in the role of being responsible for their learning (P21, 2011). An review process involving executive staff, curriculum coordinators, and instructional designers, lends legitimacy to the finished courses (Horn, & Staker, 2011).
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education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67.
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