Think Critically and Reflectively

Develops a personal vision of inclusive educational practice

Artifact: Initial & Final Reflective Essays EDCI 660A

The vision described in this artifact demonstrates my personal philosophy and vision as an individual.  Inclusiveness and accessibility are topics I feel strongly about and will continue to be a focus of my learning moving forward.  I plan to engage in further professional development regarding developing instructional materials that are accessible to learners, but also, instructional facilitation materials that are inclusive for facilitators as well.  To do this, I plan to gain greater familiarity with Section 508 (Section508.gov) guidelines, use accessible audio and video, pay attention to color and fonts, and limit the use of complex interactions which may be stumbling blocks for some learners.

Describes the relationship between Educational Technology and the broader field of Education

Artifact: Initial Definition of the Field of Learning Design and Technology – 513

The field of learning design and technology involves the design and development of learning materials as part of a curriculum (formally or informally).  It involves analyzing current materials and the learners and may include the creation, evaluation, revision and adaptation of instructional materials to be used for instructing or training students in order to reach a predetermined goal as determined by the stakeholders.  The learning may occur in the form of face-to-face instruction and/or online presentations, materials, and communications.  It may also include additional technology and media as needed.

Artifact: Final Definition of the Field of Learning Design and Technology – 513

Learning design and technology involves using empirically grounded educational theory and principles to improve instruction, enhance learning opportunities, and improve performance and educational outcomes by capitalizing on emergent technologies.  The instructional design process involves developing, implementing and evaluating systematically designed materials for effective training and education along with evaluating needs and determining solutions for those needs.


These definitions examine the relationship between the field and the distinction of educational technology.  The idea behind them is that educational technology enhances the broad field of education.  One key concept that came out of the exercise of defining the field is the emphasis on finding a solution for a specific need or gap rather than casting a wide net, imparting as much knowledge as possible and hoping to gather minds with it, as has been some of my previous educational experience.  The addition of technology to the field deepens the ability for educators to provide that solution.  This artifact illustrates that connection and highlights the distinction.  I suspect my definition will continue to evolve as I gain more experience in the field and the technology available changes, as it so rapidly does.

Critically evaluates theory and practice

Artifact: Instructional Theory Synthesis: Application of the Knickelbein Game Mechanics Theory of Instruction for Enhanced Learning – 531

While creating the Knickelbein game mechanics theory of instruction for enhanced learning, I needed to evaluate each theory in order to draw from the best parts of each of them, determine how they might fit together, if at all, and reform the theory into a cohesive package.  In practice, learners moving along the continuum of experience as described by Ertmer and Newby (2013) who ultimately reach the point where the learner is continuously reflecting and making decisions based on those reflections led me to make the comparison to the process an individual participating in a strategy game experiences.  This evaluation led to a proposed theory of practice that involves using game mechanics to enhance learning, increase self-efficacy, encourage higher-order thinking skills, promote social learning opportunities and skills, and develop life skills.  This artifact demonstrates my ability to critically evaluate theory and current practice and build upon that evaluation by developing a theory of my own about potential for practice in the field.

Plans for Future Growth

As I continue to learn through industry articles, courses, blogs, webinars and personal learning communities, I will use the filter I have created through the courses in this program to check the information I am receiving.  The foundation of theory I have gained through the courses in which I created these artifacts will allow me to continue to be critical as I evaluate scholarly and informal materials throughout my years to come in the educational profession.

Reference:

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features From an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43–71. http://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21143

GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2017, from https://www.section508.gov/

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