Prompt: Reflect on your experiences creating Project A from start to finish. What worked and what did not? What do you think was the strongest aspect of the design process? The weakest? How do you think the experience will affect you on Project B?
I made it through my first instructional design (ID) project! I must admit that I started this project with much trepidation, worry, and doubts. I had to keep reminding myself to take it one ADDIE step at a time, to breathe (thank you, Professor Dolliver, for the built-in reminders) and to focus on the task at hand, not the entire process. Adjusting my thinking has worked well. Not only has it helped me in this class but also in my other one. I think I will continue this mantra for future classes and for my job.
Overall, I enjoyed my first ID experience. I think what made it most successful was that my client was/is really easy to get along with and has excellent suggestions and ideas. He is passionate about what he does and this translates to any type of project he commits himself to undertaking. I did not encounter any big hurdles. The bumps and bruises that did occur were easily changed or resolved, e.g., formatting issues and changing the order of the document to match how it was actually used. Mostly, it was a matter of finding the time to really sit down with my client and ask the right questions so I could design the project to best meet his expectations and needs. In addition, my review partner was also awesome (thanks, Crystal!). She had some very helpful suggestions for formatting my documents that I had overlooked, such as making it clearer that the empty boxes were meant for checkmarks. It really made the entire document more complete and usable.
In my opinion, the strongest part of the design process was the analysis. I think that since I devoted so much time and effort into questioning my client to determine his needs first it made the other steps flow more smoothly. Since I performed more analysis during the implementation and evaluation phases, i.e., after my beta testers actually used the document, it made it easier to refine it based on fact and not just my opinion. I saw first-hand what worked, what did not, and received input from actual users.
On the other hand, the weakest part of the design process was the implementation and evaluation phase. I know this made sound contradictive to what I just said but stay with me. The implementation and evaluation phase fell during our Spring Break. I had limited student assistants and staff that I could use to beta test the documents. My original thought was to use day staff and evening staff but since it fell during Spring Break, we did not have any evening staff. I had to compromise and use day staff. It still worked out as the people I used had great suggestions but I wanted more.
For Project B, I now have a better idea of what I am doing. By no means am I an expert at ID but at least I have a road map and a template of sorts that I can follow. It also helps that I will be using the same client from before so we already have the rapport established. I imagine I will still have bouts with trepidation and worry but I will continue to tell myself to breathe and in the words of Dory, “Just keep swimming.”