Jennifer A. Frost
Educational Technology Training and Support Specialist – Sheridan College
I have worked in education for over ten years; I started working as a student advisor at Independence University in Salt Lake City, Utah. I worked my way up to different roles within the college, most of all, I found great enjoyment assisting faculty and students. When I moved to Canada, I wanted to continue working at a college, to put my skills to good use. I currently work at Sheridan College as an Educational Technology Training and Support Specialist. My job responsibilities include assisting faculty and staff in all aspects of our learning management system (LMS) which is called SLATE hosted by Brightspace by Desire2Learn. I find great satisfaction in my job, and I find great enjoyment working with faculty.
A year ago I had a different role at the college and was looking to make a career change and hopefully move into a job with more responsibility. I was not successful in a few jobs that I applied. I was fortunate enough to get feedback from the hiring manager from one of the interviews which gave me some great advice about exploring the possibility of getting a degree in educational technology. It was a field that had always interested me, but I was unsure if I was ready to go back to school, yet again. After soul searching and research, I decided this was going to be the best move for me professionally. The job I currently have would not be possible without my coursework from Boise State University (BSU). Although I had not finished my degree at the time of the interview, I know the coursework and knowledge already gained put me ahead of all the other candidates.
The purpose of this paper is to explore all the artifacts I created while a student in the Master of Educational Technology program at BSU. BSU aligns all coursework with the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). These standards include Content Knowledge, Content Pedagogy, Learning Environments, Professional Knowledge and Skills, and Research. Throughout this paper, I will be matching artifacts that I created with each standard giving an explanation why I selected it, what I learned, how it applies to teaching/learning theories and if applicable, how I am applying it to my daily work.
STANDARD 1: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE
Creating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to create instructional materials and learning environments using a variety of systems approaches. (p. 81)
503: ID Project – Instructor Guide/Learning Materials: The instructional design project required for this class was to create a training course on a technology/educational related subject. I completed my project on Using Camtasia in Teaching. The purpose of this project was to use different methods of instructional design to create the training. For this artifact, I am referring to the Instructor Guide, on page 13 and the Learning Materials, on page 20. This was an example of creating instructional materials by utilizing different teaching and learning methods. The instructor guide was designed to assist any new instructor with the guidelines that should be used when teaching the course. Enabling any new instructor the ability to teach the course with ease and clarity. The learning materials organized within the project place all the resources required in the hands of the instructor. This included ways to present the information with examples, how to gain and direction attention to the students, learning strategies, and how to have the student practice on their own and give feedback. In all, this creates an active and productive course.
502: WebQuest: For this assignment, I completed a WebQuest on Gluten-Free Living. This idea is based on the work of Bernie Dodge (Dodge, 2002); he developed a model where students discover and hunt for information found on the web. I based my assignment on creating an educational technology-rich inquiry-based WebQuest, which created interactivity for students in addition to creating awareness regarding gluten-free living. The WebQuest included the following activities: Start, Introduction, Task, Process, Evaluation, Conclusion and Teacher Resources. The element of HTML and CSS were utilized in the course creation; this speaks to using technology in various ways by using different system approaches. The lesson I created asks students a series of questions to deepen their understanding of the subject and create an investigative journey. I found the idea of a WebQuest an exciting one, by using a WebQuest you can add more interactivity to an online course and adds an element of fun. In my professional life, this assignment assisted me in understanding multiple page design and developing a lesson of inquiry.
Using – Candidates demonstrate the ability to select and use technological resources and processes to support student learning and to enhance their pedagogy. (p. 141)
533: Interactive Video: In this assignment, we were asked to create an interactive video with the annotation tool in YouTube. This type of tool will allow the student to link to other videos as they progress through the video. The video was recorded using a green screen and interactive icons in YouTube. The subject of the video was on SLATE, which is the Learning Management System (LMS) that my college currently uses. I used technology based resources, YouTube, to create a welcome video for new faculty. In an article by Dr. Kerry Shephard, he discussed that videos that are in short segments will maximize the learner’s concentration and ultimately recall of the subject matter. (Shephard, 2003) I used this notion in creating the video by ensuring that each segment was short and concise. The instructor in the student role and by using different visual interactive technologies, the goal was to create training that was informative and fun. In the end, the teaching pedagogy, that the message you are trying to convey in the video, may be more important than the video itself. Without a clear message to your students, you will not be effective. I found all the video assignments that I completed in the M.E.T program to be very beneficial. There is no denying YouTube has its place in education, and this task has given me many ideas to add to my professional life and maybe a side-job creating education related videos for a broader educational audience in the future.
502: Virtual Art Tour: This assignment was to create a web-based virtual tour, via pictures and maps, of famous museums around the world. We were required to use a pre-made HTML template that was Dreamweaver compatible and learn how to add rich media to the tour. Virtual tours are ways for schools to have students “see” the world without leaving the classroom. With today’s technology, it is so easy for students to be able to research and “visit” anyplace in the world. In this example, I found world famous museums, investigated creative commons pictures to share, find exciting exhibits within the museum and link to Google Maps in addition to using HTML effectively. This artifact reflects the ability to use technology to help students gain a better understanding of a subject they otherwise would not be able to see in person.
Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the effective integration of appropriate technologies and instructional materials.
503: ID Project (Eval Plan) The purpose of this project was to create a training plan using instructional design principles and standards. The subject of this project was Using Camtasia in Teaching. For the purpose of this standard, I will be focusing on the Evaluation Plan, found on page 21. To gauge the effectiveness of the project, it was imperative that an evaluation was conducted to measure the efficiency and design of the materials. For this project, I drafted a set of questions within a survey I created in Google Forms regarding the training, I then asked a colleague, who is an expert in the field, to review my materials and to use the questions as a guide to get feedback for improvement. This included questions like: Is the instruction aligned to the course outcomes? Is the instructor guide written well? Do you feel the students would be engaged throughout the class? The purpose of asking the expert in the field was to ensure that all course outcomes, expectations, and clarity is apparent throughout the paper. Since I asked an expert in the field, they would be able to spot any subject matter materials needed improvement. I also asked another set instructors to review the material, that were not subject matter experts, these questions centered around the flow and ease of the materials. This artifact demonstrates how evaluation can measure the quality and effectiveness of training and provide resources for development. This was an incredible learning experience for me since it was difficult to ask work colleagues to evaluate something I created. But I found the exercise to be extremely beneficial, and I feel I gained experience in asking for help and having a tough skin about receiving feedback.
Managing – Candidates demonstrate the ability to effectively manage people, processes, physical infrastructures, and financial resources to achieve predetermined goals. (p. 178)
505: Request for Proposal: This assignment is focused on writing a Request for Proposal (RFP) the RFP was based on a particular set of criteria established by the instructor. The goal of the assignment was to be able to outline and complete the RPF successfully. During this assignment I was able to take the information given by the instructor to imagine a fictitious company; complete with key employees that would be crucial for the RFP, draft a fictitious financial resource plan and prepare the outline of the project proposal request. This was no easy feat, but it was an enjoyable assignment for me since I had not had any experience in this area. This artifact helps to demonstrate the use of managing resources for the end goal of completing an effective RFP. One could say this was more difficult since we were using a made up company, but this helped me get a background to use project management to meet goals. This assignment helped give me the framework to manage people and processes when drafting an RFP.
Ethics – Candidates demonstrate the contemporary professional ethics of the field as defined and developed by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (p. 284)
502: Netiquette: I chose this artifact to demonstrate how professional ethics including digital citizenship must be considered to ensure a safe and collaborative online environment for everyone. This provides students with a guideline of professional behaviour in the online classroom and how to safeguard the student to understanding their rights. I found this assignment personally informative since I feel netiquette expectations are missing in most professional ethics settings. One would assume that people know how to conduct themselves online, but that is not always true. These type of guidelines will help build better online communities.
STANDARD 2: CONTENT PEDAGOGY
Creating – Candidates apply content pedagogy to create appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes. (p. 1)
533: Special Effects in Education: This was a fantastic assignment; we were asked to create a video using a green screen to add special effects. The task was twofold, to create the video and also to create a video showing the process of creating, editing and recording the video. I chose to complete my assignment based on my favourite Canadian authors. This was by far my favourite assignment that I completed in this program. I took the class to learn more about how to use YouTube productivity and useful ways it can be used in education. For this example, I was able to take my love for books and use it within this assignment context. I feel that this one assignment helped give me the background to complete some instructional videos I have created for my current job. This artifact helped me decide on a subject matter and create the process I was going to take to ensure that there would be improved performance and understanding from the viewer.
Using – Candidates implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 141)
502: Online Jigsaw: The jigsaw activity I completed in this course was on using Google Drive more efficiently. The idea of the jigsaw is based on the work conducted by Elliot Aronson (Aronson, 1978). He believed that there was a more efficient way for instructors to utilize group work. The jigsaw model was created out of the research he conducted to help give the instructor a framework to follow. Based on this artifact, I completed a jigsaw activity that includes adult learning principles and processes to aid the learner in learning more about Google Drive.
Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates demonstrate an inquiry process that assesses the adequacy of learning and evaluates the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and processes (p. 116-117) grounded in reflective practice.
503: ARCS Model: For this assignment using our comprehensive instructional design project, we completed an ARCS Motivational Plan to help keep the students engaged and learning throughout the course. This process is vital in the planning of any instructional design project to ensure that all aspects of the teaching and learning are included. The ARCS Motivation Model (Keller, 1987) was introduced by John Keller. Using this model the designer will consider the students motivation to learn and include activities that can be added to support that process. I felt this assignment helped me see how the learner is motivated and to help lay a sound basis before course development starts. This includes deciding on the best assessments of the teaching and learning and how they should be measured. This artifact shows how an inquiry-based process is formed in a reflective practice to introduce motivation and better learning.
Managing – Candidates manage appropriate technological processes and resources to provide supportive learning communities, create flexible and diverse learning environments, and develop and demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy. (p. 175-193)
501: EdTech Challenges: For this artifact, I created a video using Xtranormal to discuss EdTech challenges that I felt my college encounters. At the time of this assignment I worked in Continuing Education, we employed online instructors from many walks of life, with or without a proper teaching background, let alone online teaching experience. As I created this assignment, I acted as though I was talking with my current Associate Dean. I found this task helped me see technology processes and resources that were within our community and how we can leverage that information to aid these new instructors with their teaching practice. This is an important consideration since online learning must be flexible and adaptable to a changing and diverse student population. I did share this assignment with my AD, and we did make some progress on creating proper orientation materials for incoming new faculty members.
Ethics – Candidates design and select media, technology, and processes that emphasize the diversity of our society as a multicultural community. (p. 296)
502: Accessibility Links: This assignment was completed using Dreamweaver by creating a page on Accessibility and the Web. The goal was to create HTML anchor tag within the webpage to move the user to different parts of the main page quickly. The subject of this assignment helped me gain knowledge by designing a website that tackled media issues with accessibility and how to ensure your content is accessible by all. I concentrated on content on the Government of Canada recommendations, accessibility features on different browsers including extensions and add-ons to assist the user in gaining accessibility. This was an eye-opening assignment about the pitfalls of not having a fully accessible site and knowing that we need to design everything on the web to be accessible by anyone.
STANDARD 3: LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Creating – Candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices. (pp. 8, 243-245, 246)
501: Digital Divide: In the first class in the EDTECH program, Introduction to Educational Technology, we explored the idea of the digital divide. The digital divide is the division between the people that have access to the Internet and those who do not. I took the idea of the digital divide and talked about what barriers I saw for students within the divide. The video is an overview of my ideas, along with a written response, based on some probing questions. I posed the question: Are online classes available to anyone? I explored the idea that people might be interested in taking courses online but based on their digital divide status they might not have access to the proper resources they require to be successful in the course. I chose this artifact to demonstrate the ability to take a learning concept and build upon it to create a knowledge-based activity for professional development. The video was created with instructors in mind, so they could better understand their students that might fall under the digital divide. I found after completing this assignment awareness of issues that our students might be facing within the online classroom. The video was completed using Powerpoint for Mac and Camtasia for Mac.
Using – Candidates make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning (pp. 122, 169) based on principles, theories, and effective practices. (pp. 8-9, 168-169, 246)
522: Rich Media Tutorial: The purpose of this assignment was to create a tutorial based on an educational tool. I chose to do my project on using Evernote in Teaching by using Camtasia. For this assignment, I used the ADDIE model (Smith, 1999 )to ensure that the exercise was designed and developed well and had an evaluation component of self-reflection. This artifact is enhanced since I used a particular principle to make a professional decision to enhance learning. This was one of my first assignments in the program that I was required to use video, and I loved it. I was still new video capturing, but this assignment helped spark my interest and ultimately lead me to take YouTube for Educators course. I am excited to hone my skills and use videos in my professional job as a faculty trainer.
Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates use multiple assessment strategies (p. 53) to collect data for informing decisions to improve instructional practice, learner outcomes, and the learning environment. (pp. 5-6)
505: Final Evaluation Project: This was our final project for the evaluation course. The evaluation project had to be based on something in the real world that we are currently involved. The project stood the entire span of the course, and we built upon our previous knowledge from week to week. I chose to complete the evaluation of the self-directed training that is offered through my department for our faculty members. Within the evaluation, I used a few different data collection methods including surveys and interviews. I found this assignment extremely beneficial to get a better sense from others about the quality of training we offer and what improvements can be made. The survey that I created in Google Forms was sent to support staff and faculty, and I found the respondents were more candid and gave the best feedback about the training offered since it was completely anonymous. Based on the information I found, I feel that I can have further discussions with the interested parties and make sound improvements to the training.
Managing – Candidates establish mechanisms (p. 190) for maintaining the technology infrastructure (p. 234) to improve learning and performance. (p. 238)
512: Design Document: For this assignment, we created a design document for an online class that we were developing. This document included a front-end analysis, design mapping, prototype of the course structure and a formative and summative evaluation. In instructional design, establishing guidelines for the technology infrastructure is vital to project success. Without a design document setting the foundation, the project may not improve learning or student performance. This artifact showcases the ability to manage a project from the start by maintaining standards and structure. Without a clear plan, a project can and will fall off course, possibly cementing the failure of the project. Having a design document from the start, gives you a set of guidelines to follow, as you go through the process and helps you keep on task.
Ethics – Candidates foster a learning environment in which ethics guide practice that promotes health, safety, best practice (p. 246), and respect for copyright, Fair Use, and appropriate open access to resources. (p. 3)
543: Social Media Policies: In this assignment, we were to take the social media policies at our college and build upon those ideas to create a list of our own. I based my social media policies on the college staff and their responsibilities as employees. I had a unique experience since we deal with student data and have a high social media presence. I also realized in completing this assignment that I am in charge of my department’s YouTube and Twitter accounts, and I have no set rules to follow. This opened the opportunities for me to have better communication with my manager regarding any and all activities I complete on social media. This artifact reflects the use of best practices in social media, considering all copyright and fair use standards.
Diversity of Learners – Candidates foster a learning community that empowers learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities. (p. 10)
533: Vlog with Closed Captioning: For this video, I created a vlog about my personal feelings about YouTube in Education. The second part of the assignment was also to add closed captioning to the video, adding an element of accessibility. This artifact helps us relate to the diverse population of learners; it also helps us to develop plans that will help any student and ensure proper understanding and accessibility of all materials. I used the YouTube’s automatic closed captioning tools, just having to go back and edit. I did find out, that I mumble on camera more that I realized. This was a great exercise in self-awareness.
STANDARD 4: PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Collaborative Practice – Candidates collaborate with their peers and subject matter experts to analyze learners, develop and design instruction, and evaluate its impact on learners.
543: Final Project (Course Design): For the final project, I worked in a group. We were tasked with creating an online course with social media elements. We created a course entitled, College Prep 101, in Google Sites. The goal of the class was to provide new college students with a baseline to prepare for college. It was an incredible experience, and we created a class that I know we were all proud to showcase. This artifact is an example of working in a group to collaborate to develop instructions for learners. Within this project, we met online a few times to divide up tasks for the upcoming week. Our plan from the start was to divide and conquer, and we did an excellent job keeping in contact with one another about goals and what we were going for the course. We divided the tasks based on roles of subject matter expert, designer, and developer. all came together beautifully, and I think we would all agree that we are developing something amazing that could be used by actual college students.
Leadership – Candidates lead their peers in designing and implementing technology-supported learning.
Self-Created Learning Paths for Faculty: I took a lead role in creating a web-based training regarding our college’s LMS, SLATE, which is powered by Desire2Learn. The training is divided into three areas Getting Started with SLATE, Communication, Collaboration and Learner Engagement, and Assessment Tools. Each lesson has objectives and a set number of items to complete, upon successful completion of each area the participant would receive a certificate. The training was created in WordPress with a plugin from LearnDash. This artifact was met by leading the charge to establish a self-directed training module for faculty that was lacking and needed at our college. In the book Employee Training and Development, Raymond Noe discusses the requirement for a needs assessment to be conducted before any training is developed. (Noe, 2010) Without taking these extra steps, training could be prepared with incorrect objectives, content and spend unnecessary money on training that might not be needed. I was able to take instructional design knowledge that I gained at BSU to create technology-supported learning that will help our faculty move to that next level. I started with instructional design principles and ending with powerful video and design ideas. I was proud that I was able to create something that is being used at my college to aid in professional development for our professors.
Reflection on Practice – Candidates analyze and interpret data and artifacts and reflect on the effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of technology-supported instruction and learning to enhance their professional growth.
597: EdTech Portfolio: (including the Learning Log): There is no better example of this artifact than to showcase the Rationale Paper that I am currently writing, my ePortfolio and the Learning Log that is started at the beginning of my studies. These three artifacts are a culmination of all the knowledge I have learned to date and reflecting on that experience in an educational setting. Throughout my time at BSU, I kept a Learning Log that included copies of my assignments, in addition to reflections for each assignment. I took all the information in my Learning Log, choosing the best assignments and matching them to artifacts. This also includes, verbally and visually showcasing a few selected artifacts, to show how I grew professionally from everything I learned in the M.E.T. program.
Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates design and implement assessment and evaluation plans that align with learning goals and instructional activities.
503: ID Analysis: Based on the Instructional Design project that I completed, Learning Camtasia. This assignment enabled me to look at the evaluation plans that I wanted to use to ensure that any activities or goals that I had set in the class directly tied to my learning goals and objectives. I had to consider my goals for the training and what I wanted the students to have gained by the completion of the training. This enabled me to use the backward design model. The backward design model includes identifying what you want your result to be, decide what learning you want the student to complete, and how you want it designed (Wiggins, 2005). This includes ensuring that you know what you want before you start, it all begins with beginning with the end in mind. (Covey, 1989) As an Instructional Designer once you understand the ultimate goal of the training, you can start developing the course, always checking in to ensure you are considering the result.
Ethics – Candidates demonstrate ethical behavior within the applicable cultural context during all aspects of their work and with respect for the diversity of learners in each setting.
502: Copyright and Fair Use: This assignment included researching copyright and fair use in the education realm. The goal was to create a page with video and headings throughout in a specific colour and design. The scavenger hunt included an element of fun within the course to help the participant hunt for the answers to questions about copyright on their own. This artifact helps the participant understand ethical implications of not following copyright and fair use laws. This assignment was integral in my profession; and to better understand copyright issues with sharing assignment information, linking to outside resources and other copyright issues that educators face.
STANDARD 5: RESEARCH
Theoretical Foundations – Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of the contribution of research to the past and current theory of educational communications and technology. (p. 242)
504: Final Synthesis Paper: This was the final assignment for EDTECH 504; we were asked to complete a synthesis paper on educational theory/principle of our choosing. I chose to complete my paper on Constructivist and the Adult Learner in the Higher Education Online Classroom. Before I was able to start writing my paper on this subject, I conducted research by curating many sources on this subject. I started with a large list and by reading and researching each reference in detail, I was able to narrow the list down to the references I wanted to include in my final paper. I have worked in the adult education side of higher education for many years. Constructivism can be defined many ways; Peshal Khanal says it is an umbrella term for many different theories. The biggest of these theories is that the meaningful learning occurs as a result of the students’ active engagement in a shared learning environment (Khanal, 2013) I found this paper contributed to me researching the past and current educational technology for the adult learner and reflecting on the positive attributes and deficiencies. In addition, this was a groundbreaking assignment for me for many reasons; I have never considered myself an essay writer or a writer in general. Using the knowledge, I gained in EDTECH 503, Instructional Design, helped me deliver an amazing paper that I was proud to call my own. The teacher in this course kept me on my toes, and I gained a greater appreciation for writing and all that is involved to deliver a strong paper.
Method – Candidates apply research methodologies to solve problems and enhance practice. (p. 243)
501: Research in EdTech: For this course I created a video entitled, Using Evernote in the Classroom. For this assignment, I created objectives and instructional standards in addition to creating a bibliography for the resources I was planning to use for the video. This artifact showcases the ability to take a subject matter and create an excellent presentation using scholarly communication and by linking a group of peer reviewed references that will add credibility to the end product. I chose this artifact to show the research that is conducted before planning a credible video on a particular subject. It also shows how technology is such an important aspect to consider when instructors are moving their teaching to a more online and technology-driven environment. In my professional life, from this research, I was able to start using Evernote in my day-to-day life with great success. It has been a win-win assignment for me.
Assessing/Evaluating – Candidates apply formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating processes and resources for learning and performance. (p. 203)
501: School Evaluation Summary: Based on the Maturity Model Benchmarks that was developed by Peter Sibley and Chip Kimball’s (Sibley, 2005) we evaluated and ranked the school technology at our college. The Filters included: administrative, curricular, support, connectivity, and innovation. I gathered data by researching internal written policies as well as interviewing a few members of the Information Technology team. After I had analyzed and assessed all the data I gathered, I measured the filters based on two island categories, behavioral and resource/infrastructure. When I started this project I had a notion that my college was ahead of the game in technology on so many fronts, but I knew there were some of the issues that they were facing as well. I chose this artifact because I felt it gave a great example of taking raw data gathered from interviews, using that data in a simple analysis to see what is lacking and what is working well. This created a useful evaluation for my college to use to measure their effective use of technology.
501: Technology Use Planning: This assignment was a response to what technology use planning is and provides a list of resources that can be used within the education field, including documenting my past experiences and current thoughts. In technology use planning, you take all the key people on a project and develop, plan, and execute the project. Most of the research I used was based on National Educational Technology Plan (2010) that called for more standards and clarity. This artifact demonstrates accessing the processes that have been created and how to improve the learning and performance of planning within the organization. This baseline is a good recommendation to enable proper technology use planning in the future.
Ethics – Candidates conduct research and practice using accepted professional (p. 296) and institutional (p. 297) guidelines and procedures.
504: An Annotated Bibliography: This assignment was completed based on the final project I was completing on Constructivist Learning Theory and the Adult Learner. Using American Psychological Association (APA, 2011) standards, I created the bibliography including all the references I was planning to use for my project. This included the specific formatting that the APA standards requires. For all the references, a well thought out research plan was implemented to ensure that all the references were viable, professional and peer reviewed. This artifact showcases the ability to conduct professional research in an efficient manner to use in a professional way.
The M.E.T program at Boise State University was an incredible blessing and fantastic learning experience for me. Before I started the program, I had worked in education for eight years but did not have any formal schooling behind me in education. I was honoured to receive formal hands-on education in the field I was interested in. I found all the classes in the program to be beneficial; I was able to apply most of what I learned in my current job, and I know my time at BSU assisted me in getting the position I currently have. I have always been interested in instructional design and education; I am excited that I can use this experience to better myself and the world around me. I know that the education I received at BSU will translate into many opportunities for me in the future.
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