Posted on Apr 30, 2019

Pros and Cons of Traditional Instructional Design Models

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I did not begin my career as an instructional designer. Having spent several years in the classroom as a college- and university-level instructor of philosophy and logic, I stumbled into instructional design by way of educational content development as a learning design author and subject matter expert, combining my...

Posted on Jan 15, 2019

The New Counterculture in Education: Resisting Normalization

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Hippie School Bus

In higher education there is a cultural and psychological trend toward standardization and normalization. Certain ideas about education become socially reinforced and codified as norms and standards. This is, to some extent, to be expected. After all, educators and instructional designers should rightly be concerned with student performance and...

Posted on Nov 19, 2018

Google Translate: Freund oder Feind (Friend or Enemy)?

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Google Translate Venn Diagram

Google Translate is an astonishing program. It converts words and even whole sentences back and forth from dozens of languages through multiple modalities; you can type, handwrite, scan, and even say whatever you want to communicate. Its accuracy—at least in French, German, and Spanish, the three languages that I...

Posted on Oct 10, 2018

Confessions of a SMECWID 3: Learning from the Other Side of the Podium

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Recently, I went back to school for the first time in 20 years. Although I was at the university every day teaching until about two years ago and have often taken adult-education courses, I hadn’t been a student in a class for credit since 1997. (In case you’re wondering,...

Posted on May 23, 2018

21st-Century Content Development: Google Docs and Cloud-Based Content Development Tools

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The rise of email communication in the 1980s and ’90s led to an increase in collaboration on content development projects of all sorts, as it became easy to email word processor files back and forth between collaborators and stakeholders. Emailing files back and forth was certainly cheaper than flying...

Posted on Apr 16, 2018

Are You Writing a Course or Creating a Learning Experience?

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Authors of online course materials are usually selected for a combination of their subject matter expertise, their pedagogical prowess, and their experience in the classroom. Course writers, however, sometimes struggle to translate what they do effectively in the classroom into the new medium of online course development. Pedagogically effective...