This semester with EC&I 834 has been a great one and the focus of designing for online and blended learning really felt like the perfect way to wrap up my degree. I talk about this stuff all the time since I’m an instructional designer who works primarily on online courses but usually I have to let someone else make final decisions. This time it was all on me. I also usually have additional members to my team but this time it was just me (and Steve, my co-developer, but that was mostly for idea bouncing and some edits).
So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I had a decent idea of what things were going to look like and I pretty quickly had decided I wanted to do some hand-drawn animations. I am not a fan of Windows Movie Maker. I agree with everyone who commented along the way that it isn’t as easy as iMovie and there have been a few of us commiserating in Google+ about it. It’s not particularly easy or intuitive. It’s the knockoff of iMovie that can do some of the things but makes it far more difficult to do those things. That being said, it worked okay. It did what I needed to do. I didn’t have to try to do my voice recordings in a Mac lab (considering how many repeat takes I did, that does not happen in public). I didn’t have to struggle with iMovie on my iPad. It worked and I got a product I can share. It’s something I could bring up to instructors if there is some reason that screencasting wouldn’t work (and if it’s PowerPoint, that’s still WAY easier).
It helps that, like I said, I do a lot of this daily. I’m used to working with Moodle, even if I don’t love it. I’m used to designing courses in a particular way and the options I have for features I can use and how they might work. That part was the easy part.
The content, that was a bit more of a challenge to me. To think through what needed to be said, what would need some illustration, and how to mix multimedia and text effectively. Also, the order in which students should do some things. Some of it feels obvious to me but not everything, so I did a little back and forth about video or readings being listed first.
In the end, it was good. It reminded me how much time the conceptualization phase of developing a course really takes, at least for me. I’m a thinker. I want to mull things over for a long time before I’m ready to dig in and get it done. In some circles this is called procrastination but honestly, a lot of stuff is going on in my head! And there have been a whole lot of conversations about the development, how things can or should go, with my colleague. I am lucky to have people to bounce ideas off. I don’t think I would want to be doing online development solo. There are so many aspects that other people have specialized in that I really do feel lucky to work with people who can do parts of this better or quicker than I can, at least normally.
But the real test will be in the feedback. I’ve had constraints to deal with but I am hoping that within those constraints, what I have done makes sense and gives the right flexibility. I am designing for adults, so it’s a bit different than what I would do for children or teens. I tried to strike the right balance between flexibility and structure so we shall see.
As a note, for anyone taking the EADM 820 course this summer, it’s still going to change visually between now and then. Aside from the rest of the content that isn’t filled in yet (it’s all in progress or mostly complete, but Steve and I decided to leave it out for the purposes of the peer – and instructor – review), there’s going to be some use of the graphics and multimedia people in my unit so don’t be surprised if you look now and then again in July and it doesn’t look the same.
And now, for the summary of learning!