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Self-insight and reflection about portfolio project

1. Instructional strategies selected and justification

My RLO is designed to teach a very basic skill so I used a combination of Absorb and Do
type activities and a chunking strategy.
The first activity in the module is a software demonstration which is an Absorb activity.
A software demonstration was selected because the target audience is new student who
may have never seen the Assignment Tool in Blackboard before. The software
demonstration shows students the exact sequence of events necessary to successfully
submit an assignment with an attachment.
Upon completion of the absorb activity the student participates in a hands-on practice
activity where they can apply the skills demonstrated in the Absorb Activity. As Horton
states practice tasks do not teach new information. They give learners an opportunity to
exercise newly acquired abilities which is exactly what this activity does.
This module is one of many in an orientation series. Because the content in the
orientation is at the most basic level I have incorporated the chunking strategy of
organizing and grouping various pieces of information as I did in this module. This
module is intentionally designed to be small. Like the content and exercises in this
module the content and exercises in the other modules in the series are bite-sized
making the course and tasks seem less intimidating. Students should be able to move
quickly through the content in this module as well as the others in the series giving them
an immediate sense of accomplishment and confidence.
The Cognitive Evaluation Theory states that learners evaluate a task in terms of how it
meets their need to feel competent and in control. Because the Blackboard Navigation
Orientation series is broken up into several small mini-lessons and begins at the most
basic level, just as this module did, I am confident that it will match the students current
level of competency. As their confidence and competence levels rise they will be more
comfortable in the environment which increases their chance of success. As CET states,
students who feel they are in control of their environment will be motivated to
2. Decisions made along the way with the design
I am a big fan of chunking and Cognitive Evaluation so I made a conscience decision to
make my RLO bite-sized and the content in it delivered in small easy to achieve steps. I
thought this would best serve my intended audience of novice Blackboard users.
I selected a demonstration and interactive activity to help my students achieve the
selected enabling objective of Submitting an assignment with an attachment using the
Blackboard Assignment Tool.
Once the decision was made on the methodology I selected Captivate as the application I
would use to create the RLO.

I decided from the beginning to make the RLO as accessible as possible. There was to be
no time limits or limitations on the number of attempts. I narrated all slides and closed
captioned the only video in the RLO. I chose fonts and colors that supported those with
Once the objective was chosen, the strategy defined, the delivery methodology selected,
and accessibility considered most of the major decisions were made. However, there
were many other decisions to be made throughout the process.
3. Accessibility components taken into consideration and employed
To make the module accessible every page of text was narrated and the video was closed
captioned. I also limited the use of colors and insured that font was large enough and
easy to read.
The module is also self-paced with no time restrictions and no limitations on the number
of times it can be taken.
4. How interface design and visual design principles were incorporated?
I must admit that I made a major error in this area that was pointed out in the feedback
I received. I developed the module on my home machine that has a high resolution
which leads to a very large image when displayed on a machine with a lesser resolution
I should have been more aware because it is the first topic discussed in the text
regarding interface design. I made the correction in my revised RLO.
The other topics interface design topics I incorporated are:
Presentation Modes:
Test Quality I made sure the text was large enough and easy to read with minimal
Animation, graphics, audio, and video The graphics, animations, and video supported
the module objectives. The video and audio could both be controlled by the user. Video
could be paused and volume on the audio could be raised, lowered, or muted.
I kept everything confined to a single window with no scrolling.
I provided my own back and continue buttons for most pages so the user did not have to
rely on the browsers buttons.

5. What assessment methods were used and why?

The interactive activity not only provided practice but also provided an assessment of
the students understanding of the process and ability to execute it. This is important
because the mastery of the process is critical to their success in any Blackboard course.
A 4 question quiz consisting of a multiple choice question, a true false question, a
matching question, and a drag and drop question. This assessment provides both the
student and the instructor confirmation of understanding. Students can then use the
results to remediate any area they were weak in.
6. Describe the results of your usability test and any changes you made to your
product based on the feedback you received
The feedback from the usability test indicated that I may have been too conservative
with my use of images and color making my RLO plain and perhaps less interesting. I
added some color to the background of each page and some Blackboard images. I believe
it made my RLO look better and more appealing.
I also had several typos in my project that I have since corrected
I also made adjustments to my buttons in the assessment piece so that the Submit
Button comes before the Next button to match what is stated in the question
7. New insights into competencies for instructional designers
I realized that Instructional Designers need to be like the conductor in an orchestra.
Even if we play all the instruments we need to have a score that we follow so we do
not hit a sour note or miss a beat. The design is critical to the success of the project.
More than just the design, the Designer must have at least a familiarity of many areas of
the process. Knowledge of varied and complex technologies and learning strategies,
graphic design, project planning, the ability to manage coordination and cooperation
between departments are critical skills to be a successful ID.
Many of us work in one person teams. We are the ID department! We must take on the
responsibility to gain as many of the skills mentioned above so that we can best serve our
We must be constantly evolving. We can no longer function as an island. We need to be
involved in professional groups, seek and attend as much training as can afford, design
training that is out of our comfort zone so that we are exposed to different
methodologies and strategies. We must do these things to stay on top of our craft.

Professional growth and reflection on CBT design

What are some significant ways in which you will expand the use of CBT in
your current position?
We are in the process of designing an online orientation for faculty and students. I will be
able to create small SCORM compliant objects that we can import into our Blackboard LMS.
This means we can deliver GCC specific training, and because of the SCORM ability, track
all users who participate in, and satisfactorily complete, the training. This could lead to the
creation of a completion certificate that users can earn by completing the training.
I will also seek out faculty who I think would be open to working with me to design some
CBT modules for their courses. It could improve the quality of all of our courses at GCC.
In addition to faculty I am going to suggest that we create professional development training
for staff. Training for customer service skills, emergency procedures, and many other topics
relevant to all staff could easily be delivered to their desktops with CBT.
What were the most valuable concepts/ ideas gained during the course?
Understanding the three phases of development was important for me. I have been doing
some of each phase informally but always as if it was just one process or phase. There was
some planning but the primary focus was more on the development because thats where
the results were. Little attention was paid to the Planning or Design phases.
The documents in the process I found most useful. The Design Document, the Storyboard,
and the Flowchart are now going play a role in each design project I am involved in. They
are critical to creating training that meets the needs of the clients and students.
What was the most valuable, most fun, or most interesting activity during the
The most fun and valuable for me was also the most challenging. I decided early on that I
was going to use Captivate to create my project. I had minimal experience with it but knew
that it could produce what I wanted. As the project evolved the Captivate learning curve
increased. It became a challenge for me. I have always loved to learn new applications but
for some reason I was struggling with Captivate. After many hours of viewing help files and
videos I think I can make it do what I need it to do. I am excited about its continued use and
the taking full advantage of its real potential. There are many projects that I know Captivate
will be a real asset to.
How will this course impact your instructional design?

I have a better appreciation for the importance of the process and as a result I will be more
deliberate in my own design process. In the past I think I focused most of my energy in
phases 2 and 3, Design and Development. Now I realize the criticality of the planning phase.
Without a good plan it could be a struggle to make phases 2 and 3 successful.
The Design Document, the Storyboard, and the Flowchart will now be incorporated into my
course design process. I found they kept me on task and focused on the process. Though we
didnt use it in this course I can see great benefit in using the Constraints Document during
a project.
What questions/ concerns do you have about designing and developing
computer-based training?
One of my concerns is that I will be unable to gain the breadth of knowledge necessary to
design computer based training that meets the needs of my clients. I worry that I will miss a
critical step, a better technology, a new strategy, an improved process which will lead to my
client not receiving the best possible solution.
Another concern is convincing people that creating high quality training takes time. We are
often tasked with a last minute request for training. I now understand that sacrificing any of
the three phases of development for the sake of expediency is a recipe for poorly designed
ineffective training. I need to convince the decision makers.
Where will you go to answer these questions/concerns?
I already belong to several ID groups on LinkedIn and follow ID leaders on Twitter. There
are many online resources available. The fellow students in this course will also be a great
resource upon completion of the program. Any dialog with someone in the trenches is good.
If we as a group continue to communicate and share ideas and experiences we all benefit.