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Tiffany Crosby Learning Journal

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Tiffany Crosby
11 January 2013

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Tiffany Crosby
6:23pm 11 January 2013

01/11/2013, Hello, A quick bit about myself and why I'm participating in this MOOC. After spending 19 years in corporate America, I decided to pursue my passion for learning and developing others on a full-time basis. I starred my own training and development company and began to teach at a local community college on an adjunct basis. After a year of doing this, I've come to realize that our approach to education is fundamentally flawed. So I'm trying to equip myself to impact the educational systems of the future. I'm beginning with learning design because it encompasses so many facets of the human sciences. I've never participated in a MOOC before but I have recently completed an open course on psychology through a u.s. university. It was nice to be able to take the class for free as I didn't need the college credit. I just wanted to further my learning in that particular subject. My learning objectives are: 1. to better understand the MOOC environment; it's pros and cons, opportunities and limitations, and the challenges of using it in different environments (e.g. Corporate America versus university versus elementary and secondary education). 2. to accelerate my learning on collaborative design by benefiting from the collective knowledge and experiences of the group 3. to explore a concept for a business course that integrates the behavioral sciences and business practices 4. to develop relationships and knowledge networks that extend beyond the completion of this course

Tiffany Crosby
3:44pm 16 January 2013

Week 1 reflections

I began this week with little understand of a MOOC and concerns about how a class on learning design would actually work. I had not worked with Cloudworks or other tools / technologies supporting the course and was concerned about the ramp-up time. My time is pretty limited, so I was also concerned with my ability to actively participate. I had set some pretty broad objectives for my participation in the course though I didn't set specific objectives for week 1. Despite my technology and time concerns, I was able to:

1) Set up my cloud and create cloudscapes for my learning journal and my dream proposal

2) Participate in the dreambazzar by reviewing other dream proposals and identify 3 that were of interest to me.

3) Research learning design and MOOCs and learn more about each one. Through this research, I realized that my concept of learning was very consistent with constructivist learning design theory. I believe this is why I struggle with traditional classroom courses. I hadn't formally studied learning design but the basic premises upon which I build my training workshops are consistent with learning design theory. Though I haven't incorporated all elements. It was interesting to read a CNN article on MOOCs and notation that MOOCs are not enough. The concern expressed was the loss of learning that happens from robust debate with individuals in a live setting. What I took away from it was this --- the inconsistency in quality exists both in the classroom and online. MOOCs definitely have their role within the continual learning environment but it is not an either / or proposition. Both classroom and MOOCs have their place. The key is to optimize the use of both. What we need is a new integrated model of learning that utilizes all the available of mediums to meet the needs of a very diverse set of learners.

4) Listen to the replay of the converge session. It was refreshing to hear that people were at the same point that I was with their progress.

I found it challenging to find a team and form study circles. I'm still working on that aspect of the Week 1 activities but hope that it will take shape soon. I also found it difficult to edit the learning design mind-map. I found it difficult to work with and fit my thoughts within.

Week 2 - Learning Objectives

For the upcoming week, I want to explore:

1)  what is involved in learning scenario design. I want to better understand how you should approach scenario design, what makes for good scenario design, and resources available to assist with scenario design so that you are not beginning from scratch.

2) what's required to make a MOOC successful and how does the facilitator / trainer need to revise their role accordingly

3) contextual approaches to learning design and how they can be effectively applied in a corporate setting

Tiffany Crosby
2:02am 18 January 2013

Thursday, January `7 - Week 2: Plan and Assessment Approach

I really need to get a handle on "learner context". I don't have a clear understanding of the different contextual approaches, so I want to allocate a decent amount of time to researching in this area. I think I would best be able to think through learner context using my dream proposal though I may work on another team. I need to conceptualize with a topic that I'm more familiar with and then I can way in on other topics. I also want to explore scenarios more, I just don't know whether I'd have time for both so I'm hoping that others in the course, share some great resources that allow me to quickly gain knowledge in this area.

Assessment and Evaluation Approach

Week two would have been a successful week if:

1)  I develop and modify an initial scenario for my dream proposal and

2)  I review the templates and resources made available in the course on contextual approaches to learning design, personas and force maps, and ecology of resources. Ideally, I would likely to apply the templates but time constraints may limit me from fully working through each template

Tiffany Crosby
12:45am 19 January 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013: Context for Learning Design

I'm glad I was able to scan some of the resources provided on contextual approaches to learning design. In review those articles and the comments made on my scenario, I have a greater apprecation for the importance of investing time in developing the context. This is not a phase to rush through as it informs everything else that you do. You really need to take the time to define the user and really understand their context, their world. It goes beyond a few basic learning objectives (i.e., what they want to accomplish). Instead it encompasses everything about the environment including how they plan to engage in the learning process. It's the complete picture. Within my initial scenario, I captured I a lot but did not list my assumptions and didn't list the final outcomes for the user. How will they know they've succeeded in achieving what they wanted to achieve? I didn't think to add that piece into the scenario.

Tiffany Crosby
2:57pm 21 January 2013

Monday, January 21, 2012: Approaches applied

My initial scenario design has a persona feel to it. However, I used the ecology of resources framework to further build it out. Use of EOR did cause me to add to my initial design scenario. I like the combination of these two approaches. I think it allows for a streamlined approach to course design that could be incredibly useful in a corporate setting. Thinking through the users from a persona standpoint can help you zoom in on what's important to them but using the EOR really helps you think through how they will relate to and process the information. I feel like I achieved my objectives for this week though I am lookign forward to receiving feedback on my work and reviewing and commenting on other's work over the next two days.

Joshua Underwood
1:09am 22 January 2013

Hey that's great Tiffany - can you point me to your revised scenario, after you used the EOR?

Joshua Underwood
1:13am 22 January 2013

Found it further down under the intial one right?

Tiffany Crosby
1:54am 22 January 2013

Joshua, that's correct.

Tiffany Crosby
10:51pm 23 January 2013

Wednesday, January 23: Week 2 Additional Reflections

I had an opportunity to use what I learned about context and scenario design to a business proposal. I used mindmeister to brainstorm a learning curriculum map. I thought through the personas but didn't map them. I mapped the intent, issues, and current available resources. That helped me visualize the gaps in the current curriculum and propose a 6-session series to fill in that gap. I'm meeting next week with the business owner for further discussion. I also used the mindmap to define and prioritize the action items required to complete the product. Plus, I was able to begin to fill in notes and links for the different action items. It was cool to be able to brainstorm, project plan, and frame all within one application. When I first logged into mindmeister, it was overwhelming and I didn't think I would like the tool. But after using it yesterday in a real-world situation, I see its potential. I'm looking forward to discover other useful tools and resources throughout this course.


Joshua Underwood
9:57am 28 January 2013

Great to hear you were able to put into practice something you picked up on the course. Good luck with that.

Tiffany Crosby
6:13pm 29 January 2013

Tuesday, January 31, 2013 - Week 3: Ideate Learning Reflection

This week, I began to construct the scaffolding for my business psychology course. I was able to brainstorm the components of the course using a mindmap. I then as able to more carefully evaluate the components using a course map and course profile. Another interesting exercise that I would like to try with this course when time permits is to look at the Activity Profile. I like the visual the activity profile procedures across the 6 categories of assimilate, data gathering, productive, communication, experiental, and interactive/adaptive. I would like to set goals for each of those categories as to the extent of their representation and the amount of hours involved. Given the learner profile, time requirement is going to be a significant influencing factor on retention and completion rates. Of all the of the 7Cs of learning design (conceptualize, capture, communicate, collaborate, consider, combine, and consolidate), it seems like the conceptualize phase gets short-shifted. But without spending the time in this phase, it is too easy to get off track. There are so many things that you could do with a course and there is so much content that you could include. You really need to have solid vision before you move forward. 

Tiffany Crosby
1:16am 5 February 2013

Monday, 4 February 2013 - Week 4: Connect

I found the concept of creating a pedagogical pattern daunting initially. I was concerned that it may be too theoretical and impractical but was pleasantly surprised. I liked the collective view that was provided by the tool. In a single snap shot, you had the objectives, the learning activities, the time allotment, participant and group interactions, and more. You also had access to examples on how the pattern was applied to specific content or topical areas. I hope that this tool is more widely adopted so that the content can become much more rich.

The principle that I chose to focus upon this week was "connecting to personally relevant contexts". The idea is to contribute to knowledge integration by making more complex content accesible. Case studies / scenarios are examined using an approach of alternating individual and group discourse. This approach encourages a deeper exploration of underlying theories. For a psychology course, I think this is exactly what is needed. You just can't read about psychological concepts, you need to have opportunities to explore them in action.

Based on review of a couple other learning designs and principles, there were a few other concepts that seemed relevant to psychology course. I will work with those concepts at a later date.

Tiffany Crosby
2:25am 13 February 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 - Week 5: Prototype

This week was by far the most challenging for me. It was my first time trying to prototype an online training. I quickly got frustrated with trying to use the prototyping tools that were available (like Balsamiq) and fell back to Powerpoint. I had the visuals but the tools didn't really facilitate translating those visuals onto the screen quickly. However, the process was very beneficial for me to go through as I realized how many decisions I tend to carry in my head since I've often done both the content and design. I was able to create a prototype lite but it would need further build-out to actually be ready for user evaluation.

I also completed a blind observation this week. I had to remain unbiased to the feedback that was occurring and that was difficult. It is far too easy to interject your own thoughts and opinions into the feedback. Ultimately, this week has better prepared me to layout my thinking for someone else to then create the actual think. It also has helped me to think through how to control observations so as to prevent the introduction of bias. I will be able to put these skills to immediate use.  

Tiffany Crosby
10:28pm 16 February 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013 - Week 6: Curate

I took my first venture into the world of OER. I had not realized the extent of the OER available. That is both a positive and a negative; as volume does not equate to quality. Searching through the OER did allow me to refine my criteria for acceptability and also forced me to clarify the types of experiences that I wanted the learners to have. How much video do I really want? How many articles and of what type?

For example, I had to decide whether I wanted blog articles that promoted products and solutions within a course. I opted to leave those types of blog articles out of the mix, at least initially, as this course should not serve as an advertising piece. Another decision I had to make was whether I wanted any type of scientific readings within the course; were papers written for academic journals okay or where they going to be too esoteric for the readers?

I like the value that OER brings as far as not needing to invent material from scratch. But it is not something that you can use effectively without having a background in the subject area for which you're designing a course. To do so would hamper your ability to discern between relevant, quality material and information and could cause your course to meander off track. I will definitely make use of OER in the design of this course and future courses. However, I do not expect this to actually decrease my work load. Rather, it will just change the nature of it.  

Tiffany Crosby
1:40am 4 March 2013

Sunday, 3 March 2013, Week 7: Evaluate

Completing a formative evaluation was quite a challenge for me. I found that it takes a bit of effort to educate the reviewers on purpose and development stage when they are reviewing a work in progress. However, I found the feedback quite beneficial in determining what direction to take with some of the virtual elements and in how to continue the build out of the prototype. I would like to continue the formative review after Modules 3 and 4 are built out from a prototype standpoint. I think the next formative review would occur after the prototype is fully functional, a pilot review per se. I can see how this could add time to the development cycle. But the cost will be more that worth it to end up with a quality product that meets user expectations. 

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