Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Scope Creep Experience

I experienced scope creep in one of my instructional design classes. I was part of a group project. We each chose our jobs and were assigned a list of duties to complete for the project. Everything seemed to go well in the beginning. All group members were eager to do their part. However, I noticed some warning signs immediately.

Some group members were never available to attend meetings. This would lead to communication problems among our group members. Those who depended on the work of other members in the group found they could not do their part because someone else failed to complete their portion. The rest of the group did not find out there was an issue until it was too late.

The week our project was due some members began suggesting that we change certain parts of the project to go in a different direction. It was very frustrating because they wanted to implement a lot of last minute changes that would require other members to re-vamp work they had already completed. If I was managing the project, I would have connected with each group member weekly and ensured that those who needed to complete their assignments simultaneously with other members would have successfully met with one another. I would have immediately shut down any proposals to re-vamp completed sections. I would have found ways to solve problems with sections without having to re-do the entire project in such limited time.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Interpreting Messages

The tone of the email message sounds like Jane is a little worried and in need of a portion of Mark’s work in order to complete her assigned work. She does not sound like his boss. She seems to be a fellow co-worker who has waited patiently for his portion of the work, however it is close to her deadline and she may miss it because he has not submitted his portion to her yet.

The tone of the voice message sounds a little nicer than the email message. Jane does not sound so worried as she does in the email. Listeners can hear her exact tone in the message and inflection in her voice. There is no guessing on how she might be feeling or the tone in which she is making a request of Mark.

The video message adds another layer of understanding to the message. Listeners can now hear the message and visually see the speaker. We can see Jane’s body language, facial expressions, and eye movement.

This exercise showed me the importance of how the modality of a message can impact the its meaning. I am always careful when corresponding via email because it is easy for the tone of a message to be misunderstood. Therefore, these factors must be taken into consideration when communicating with team members. This will ensure proper communication and good morale for the team.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Learning from a Project Post Mortem

I once worked with a group of classmates on a class project. Our project was supposed to teach young children about health food. I believe we all went into the project with the best of intentions, however the final project fell short of our desired outcomes.

Our group decided to split up the project assignments among each member. We also met at least once a week to present what we had worked on to the entire group. Everything seemed to be going well until it became clear that certain members of the group were not completing their assigned portion of the work load. Some members started missing important group meetings. Other group members had to take on parts of other assignments just to ensure that everything was completed on time. Ultimately, we turned in a finished project, but it was not as complete as it could have been.

The project would have been more successful if we had appointed a project leader. This leader could have kept everyone on task and held them accountable to project deadlines. Also, when we faced problems with other group members it would have been easier to address them. The project leader could have contacted them one on one to discover the reasons for the lack of participation. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Future of Distance Learning

In the next 5-10 years, I think distance learning will still be perceived in a somewhat negative light. However, in the next 10-20 years, I believe we will see a shift in online learning. It will gain more respect and notoriety over the years. Even now, those who have negative views about distance learning programs cannot deny the fact that technology has changed and improved many industries.
Education has been greatly affected by technology. As a result, many programs are now available to people who did not have access to education before. Online learning will only grow over the years as technology continues to improve. People with work and family obligations will still be able to continue their education as a result of online learning.
As an instructional designer, I can help improve the societal perceptions of distance learning by providing quality programs for students. These programs should be based on sound research and well organized. Over time this will help people understand that instructional design is necessary when planning online courses.
I believe I will be a positive force in the field of distance education by advocating for its value. No matter what I do in my current field I will always incorporate some form of online learning. I think this will help improve the perception about distance education. I will also continue to be active in the instructional design field. I think these actions will add to the improvement of distance education.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Distance Education Defined

The definition of distance learning will never be finalized because just when we think we have found the right words to describe it, our concept of distance learning begins to change. I believe the definition of distance learning is always changing because the tools and resources that make distance learning possible are continually changing. I also think these changes are based on a person’s professional field. Each field has its own unique standards and time constraints that affect components of distance learning.
          Before I began this course on distance learning, I thought distance learning was all about location. Distance learning meant taking a course at a different school while being registered at another school. For example, a student could attend Florida State University and take a summer course at the University of Central Florida. The student would attend a face to face class at the other university. There was no online option. However, as the popularity of computers increased, I saw my concept of distance learning quickly change.
          This week I learned that distance learning can encompass a combination of tools and resources. Distance learning can be a combination of face to face and online learning. Students can complete portions of a course online and others in the presence of a teacher or proctor. Students can now take courses online from the comfort of their own home or any location in the world. With a strong internet connection and a reliable computer, learning can take place anywhere the student is located. Instructors can bring the outside world into the classroom and bring their lesson plans to life. For example, an art class can tour a museum located on the other side of the planet online.
Distance education is an institution based, formal education where the learning group is separated, by geography and/or time, and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources, and instructors (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). Tools, such as YouTube, video conferencing, and the iPhone have made it possible for students to access course materials wherever they are located. Students and instructors can live in different time zones, but still connect with one another.
Distance education is the future of learning and will soon be an integral part of all classrooms. I believe the Internet and technology have helped increase the popularity and availability of distance education. I do not think it will replace traditional learning institutions. I believe it will be infused into these traditional environments to better facilitate learning (Laureate Education, n.d.).


Coleman, C., Foshay, W., Huett, J., & Moller, L. (2008). The evolution of distanceeducation: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63-67.

Foshay, W., Huett, J., & Moller, L. (2008). The evolution of distance education:Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70-75.

Foshay, W., Huett, J., & Moller, L. (2008). The evolution of distance education:Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Distance education: The next generation [Videofile]. Retrieved from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance:Foundations of distance education.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Welcome to Distance Learning


I am taking a new course on Distance Learning. Watch out for future posts on this topic and many more. Thank you in advance for following. Feel free to comment below.


Sunday, December 20, 2015


As this course draws to a close it is a bittersweet ending. I have learned so much over the past few weeks and feel I possess a deeper understanding of how people learn. I was surprised to find that learning does not encompass one thing or one theory. Learning encompasses a multitude of learning theories, activities, behaviors, and methodologies. Knowing this helped assure me that there is not one right way to learn concepts and therefore, as an instructor, I have a lot of room to try different methods to engage students in course materials.
This course helped me understand that learning is a personal process. Everyone learns concept in different ways. Some people are more visual learners, while others prefer hands on activities. Knowing this will improve my teaching skills because it reminds me of the importance of being patient with my students. It reminds me to approach every student on an individual basis without comparing them to other learners in the class. If a student does not grasp a concept immediately I realize I should take that as an opportunity to try and present material to the student in a different way. It does not mean that student is not intelligent or that I am a bad teacher. It is simply an opportunity to approach the learning process with a different method.
Instructional designers should not rely on one learning theory because one theory does not explain all of the ways in which people learn. Using various learning theories provides a clearer picture of how students learn. All learners possess the ability to learn via the various learning styles, but they may be better at some styles versus others. Educational technology can provide a way for more learners to pursue continuing education efforts. This is particularly true for adult learners who may work full time, care for young children, or care for elderly relatives. Therefore, instructors must do their best to keep students engaged and motivated in learning course material. Information that is engaging and relatable to students can help keep them motivated to do well in the course.
I will always be thankful for taking this course because it has been the catalyst for my involvement in the instructional design field. Before this course I had thought about starting a blog, a website, and running my own business. However, I was not sure of how to get started. Assignments and material in this course helped me better understand the blogging process, how to subscribe to RSS feeds, and helpful sites for instructional designers. Without this course I do not think I would have discovered all of this information. I am happy to say I learned more about information I had been seeking and that I was able to apply knowledge from the course directly to real world situations. This course provided a foundation for me to stand on as I explore the instructional design field further. I will always be thankful for what I learned in this course because it helped connect me with an entire online instructional design community that I was not aware of before taking the course.