deconstruct the design

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Then, reflect on a course that you have recently taken and completed or a course that you have recently taught, and consider the sustainability of its design.

Deconstruct the design and delivery of the course you selected. Then, analyze the level of sustainability of the course. Finally, explain whether the course is sustainable or not—providing reasons to support your position. In your explanation, be sure to describe the sustainable elements in the course or describe specific strategies you would use to make course elements more sustainable. Adopt and defend a firm position on the need for sustainability in eLearning.

Support your analysis using the three pillars of sustainability, personal experience, and at least one research study (PhD, EdD, and EdS students) or dissertation (PhD and EdD students); include course resources as applicable.

I will provide you of some examples of other peoples

1. My greatest experience with eLearning at this point is with Walden courses. For that reason, I have selected the Walden course title Creating a Positive Learning Environment to evaluate for design, delivery and sustainability. This course is presented in a very similar fashion of other Walden courses. However, it adds some additional interactive components. The course will provide a good foundation for examination.

Course Design and Delivery

The Creating a Positive Learning Environment course is a good mix of Learning Design and Design Alchemy. Learning design considers the need of the students when planning the content and the content delivery model (Sims, 2014). Design Alchemy considers each element of the course through the needs of the student (Sims, 2014). The course meets student learning needs through a wholistic approach to the content presented (learning design) and interactive components which provide a simulated experience (design alchemy). The combination of the learning design and the design alchemy provide school leaders and future school leaders with access to content and practical application of the content should a violent event erupt in the school setting he/she leads. In this course the learner is engaged through multiple modalities providing a strong design approach to the course.

Course Sustainability

Course sustainability can be measured through three areas: resource management, educational attainment and professional development and innovation (Stepanyan, Littlejohn, & Margaryan, 2013). Th Creating a Positive Learning Environment is offered as part of a Walden degree program. The funds brought to the project through student enrollment has allowed the university to invest in quality updates to the course which keep the content current demonstrating quality resource management (Stepanyan et al., 2013). Student success in the course and in the degree program is tracked and demonstrate sustainability through educational attainment (Stepanyan et al., 2013). The content in the course is pertinent to the work school leaders are doing. The learning experiences lead to continuous improvement in principal leadership skills demonstrating the sustainability measure of professional development and innovation (Stepanyan et al., 2013). As a student in this course, I can see that it demonstrates the ability to be sustainable over time based on the three elements of resource management, educational obtainment and professional development and innovation.

Need to Address Sustainability in eLearning

The idea of developing eLearning experiences can be approached in a nonchalant manner without consideration for the long-term sustainability of the project. When this happens programs and courses die off due to lack up updated content or budget (Stepanyan et al., 2013). Developers must pay close attention to resources, educational obtainment and professional learning as key elements of sustainability in order to have long-term impact on the field. Researchers have determined that a quality orientation can positively influence the educational obtainment factor of sustainability (“Impact of Online Orientation for First-Time Online Students on Retention, Academic Success, and Persistence – Dissertations & Theses @ Walden University – ProQuest,” n.d.). All of these elements indicate a need for developers to pay close attention to sustainability.

References

Impact of Online Orientation for First-Time Online Students on Retention, Academic Success,

and Persistence – Dissertations & Theses @ Walden University – ProQuest. (n.d.).

Retrieved April 14, 2018, from https://search-proquest-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org

/pqdtlocal1005747/docview/1969128804/previewPDF/1E06CB5F6AFE436CPQ

/6?accountid=14872

Sims, R. (2014). Design alchemy: Transforming the way we think about learning and teaching.

(Vol. 8). Switzerland: Spinger International Publishing.

Stepanyan, K., Littlejohn, A., & Margaryan, A. (2013). Sustainable e-Learning: Toward a

coherent body of knowledge. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 91–

102.

2.Deconstruction and Analysis of RSCH 8310

For this discussion board posting, I analyzed the RSCH 8310 course using the seven elements of the Design Alchemy framework (Sims, 2014). The inclusiveness element was achieved through use of the content materials themselves. Qualitative research takes a look at a diversity of people and ideas so those were explored over the duration of the course. Learning for RSCH 8310 was active in the sense that we were required to practice each stage of the coding process as we learning about it. The learning itself was rather passive but we did have an opportunity to try out each of the techniques that we learned about using sample experiences. We were required to start the course with a problem that we were seeking a solution to and then all of our efforts in the class were geared towards that issue or problem so the problem-solving component of Design Alchemy was met. Since we established the problems on our own, we provided our own context for environment, culture,motivation, needs, and situation (Sims, 2014). One of the Design Alchemy pedagogical elements that was not very strong in RSCH 8310 was the collaborative work area. Outside of discussion board postings, which aren’t really very collaborative to start with, we very rarely interacted with our classmates on project or tasks. Creativity was another area that seemed rather weak in the context of this Design Alchemy framework. While we were required to generate our own codes for the sample activities that we did, most of the assignments and tasks were fairly structured and did not leave much room for creative input on the part of the student. The final area of the framework is enabling emergence of new knowledge and understanding and learners left this course with a deeper understanding of the qualitative research approach and how to use this lens to design a research study. The RSCH 8310 course scored four and a half out of seven using the Design Alchemy model.

Sustainability of RSCH 8310

There are three main domains of sustainability in eLearning: resource management, educational attainment, and professional development and innovation (Stepanyan, Littlejohn, & Margaryan, 2013). RSCH 8310 appears to be a cost-effective and efficient delivery method for qualitative research practices. Staff workload is low since there are only a few major assignments over the scope of the course and instructors are not required to develop new resources during the duration of their term as instructor. All of the course materials, readings, and media pieces are already in place and linked to the content of the class. Educational attainment is partially met due to the fact that the new information gained during the course is usable and applicable to upcoming work in the EDPD 8900 course. There are some concerns with the placement of this course near the end of the course sequence so student retention and participation rates are lower than in previous RSCH courses. This course has some ability to adapt to change as new qualitative research methods come into common usage and may easily be updated to include new texts and media pieces as they become available. While not high, the overall sustainability of RSCH 8310 through the three components listed bt Stepanyan, Littlejohn, & Margaryan (2013) is acceptable.

Sustainability in eLearning

There are various elements to be aware of when discussion sustainability in eLearning ecosystems. These include human and social, technical, environmental, and economic aspects. The needs of the individuals within the eLearning system have a strong impact on the overall sustainability of these eLearning environments (Alharthi & Spichkova, 2017). These social and human impacts are being mediated by the overall increased comfort and experience that people have with interacting in online environments and the more globally diverse communities of learners that they are communicating with (Laureate Education, 2014). With new communication technologies coming into existence and the development of educational technologies like games and simulations, there is a growing need for sustainability in eLearning ecosystems.

References

Alharthi, A. D., & Spichkova, M. (2017). Individual and social requirement aspects of sustainable elearning systems. arXiv preprint arXiv:1701.06433.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Anatomy of eLearning: Conceptual framework [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Sims, R. (2014). Design alchemy: Transforming the way we think about learning and teaching. In J.M. Spector, M. J. Bishop, & D. Ifenthaler (Series Eds.), Educational communications and technology: and innovations (Vol. 8). Cham, Zug, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Stepanyan, K., Littlejohn, A., & Margaryan, A. (2013). Sustainable e-Learning: Toward a coherent body of knowledge. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 91-102. Retrieved from the Walden Library Databases.

3.

At my institution, we formally review courses on a cycle. We try to schedule reviews after a recent teaching of the course so people’s minds are fresh. Our cycle provided for each core course in a program to be reviewed once every three years. Reviewers include faculty, outsiders from our Advisory Committee, which can include people from the industry or with whom we have formed strategic partnerships, and graduates from our or competitive programs who hold the same degree and who are practitioners in the field. Student and faculty feedback from course surveys is also presented as part of the course review process. The focus of the review is on the currency and relevance of the curriculum and whether the learning activities meet the objectives for the course and have transferability to the role of a DBH on an interdisciplinary team.

Design and Delivery of a Course

We recently completed a review of one of our behavioral interventions courses on chronic and comorbid conditions (It’s called Biodyne II) and revamped its curriculum and learning approaches based upon that review. Using Sims’ seven elements of Design Alchemy as a guide, I’ll now reflect on that process and the resultant design of the course. I believe that our approach to reviewing the course was inclusive, as it drew from a wide range of stakeholders. A gap was identified in one area (not enough activities that demonstrated a DBH’s ability to consult effectively with the medical team) and as a result, a collaborative, long-term project was developed for students to fill this need. The basic project is now to hold a simulated shared medical appointment with patients and a medical provider. All of the course’s main assessments now form components of this project. Students are free to choose the subject of the shared medical appointment as long as it includes a behavioral health component and a chronic/comorbid component. They work collaboratively as peer review teams and then to hold a simulated medical appointment where they rotate roles – patient, provider, DBH. This taps into their creativity and also helps them to see the shared medical appointment through different lenses. As many of our students come to us from specialty mental health, this exercise will help them to see that as a DBH, they can play a critical role in addressing a patient’s medical and behavioral needs, as well as being a supportive partner to the medical provider. They will hopefully see themselves emerging not as specialty mental health providers, but as part of the medical team. I feel that this new approach to the course meets the elements of Design Alchemy.

Three Elements of Sustainability

Three elements must be considered when determining the sustainability of elearning. They include resource management, educational attainment, and professional development ( Stepanyan, Littlejohn, and Margaryan, 2013). One of the developments I am quite excited about is in resource management. We decided a few weeks ago to make a much greater commitment to the idea of textbook affordability. As a result, our librarian has been placing copies of textbooks on reserve for students who choose not to purchase them, and we eliminated one textbook from the course, choosing instead to pull readings from a textbook that students already owned but were not using to its full potential. As many course readings as possible come from our library and are inserted into courses via permalinks, which never change. However, there are areas where I do feel we could trim costs and process even more. I as the instructional designer am a resource, so I’m definitely interested in ways that I can reduce the time and work it takes to get a course ready. I am not thinking of the redesign that occurs after a review so much as the re-use of a course during those times that we are not reviewing and revamping. We are guilty of putting too much specific information down in our assignments; that example on readings for interviewing techniques that Sims shared in Table 3.3 in Chapter 3, regarding sustainable v. unsustainable design was a direct hit (2014, p. 36). My team will be meeting about that very shortly, thanks to that reading. As far as educational attainment, I believe the low resource costs will play a role in that since there is a clear link between the cost of materials and student success, with students often choosing to not buy the textbook, which can result in poor grades or sometimes even withdrawal from the course or program (Florida Virtual Academy, 2016). Lastly, there is professional development and innovation. Stepanyan, Littlejohn, and Margaryan opine that sustainability can be viewed as a “commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation to a constantly changing environment” (2013, p. 97). I see this occurring in our courses, but it’s definitely an area to work on where our faculty are concerned. Our faculty is actually very small and entirely composed of adjuncts. Although we have tried to establish a community of practice among them for the purposes of providing professional development on both eLearning and the field of behavioral health, it has not been successful — despite the fact that we developed our plan based upon their input about what they want. We schedule monthly meetings that include either a training on an eLearning component or an item from the field, but turnout is abysmal. I don’t think we need research to tell us what is obvious, but here goes anyways: “Many academics report being too busy to prioritise exploring new approaches to teaching and learning” (Gunn, 2010, p. 96). The most successful thing we have done was to give everyone a stipend to use to fly in for a day of in-person training. We had nearly 100% turnout and the event was a roaring success. However, it is not sustainable from a cost perspective and we had to jettison the idea for this budget year because we just didn’t have the money. However, it’s clear that this element of sustainability needs to be prioritized.

The Need for Sustainability

Asking oneself, “Is this sustainable?” is a solid framing question whenever a new initiative or approach is considered. One of the items that I really like about my very small institution is that we’ve all swallowed the Kool-Aid. Every single one of us gave up a successful job and career path at other, well-known institutions to bring this school to life. As such, we have a real “work harder! We’ll just make it happen! No obstacle is too great! If we’re knocked down, we’ll just get back up!” mentality, especially amongst those of us who have been there from the time the school was concepted. However, in the past year or so, I’ve felt a change in air. That energy is flagging a bit. New employees don’t feel the same way, and I feel it even in myself, and I’m one who has been there since Day One. Several of those who came on board in the beginning have left in the past year, and there are only two of us Originals left at this point, which says something, doesn’t it, about our own personal sustainability. I’m much more interested now in working smarter, not harder, and so this particular module doesn’t have to work very hard to make its case with me.

Florida Virtual Campus, Office of Distance Learning and Student Services. (2016, October 7). 2016 student textbook and course materials survey (Rep.). Retrieved https://florida.theorangegrove.org/og/file/3a65c50…

Gunn, C. (2010). Sustainability factors for e-learning initiatives. Research in Learning Technology, (18)2, 89-103. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ893355.pdf

Sims, R. (2014). Design alchemy: Transforming the way we think about learning and teaching. In J.M. Spector, M. J. Bishop, & D. Ifenthaler (Series Eds.), Educational communications and technology: and innovations (Vol. 8). Cham, Zug, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Stepanyan, K., Littlejohn, A., & Margaryan, A. (2013). Sustainable e-Learning: Toward a Coherent Body of Knowledge. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 91-102.

 

 
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