Three artifacts were chosen to demonstrate the requirements for Competency 1: Synthesize Knowledge:
- My final paper for EDCI 513: Foundations of Learning Design and Technology
- My final paper for EDCI 531: Learning Theory and Instructional Design
- A case study analysis from EDCI 672: Advanced Practices in Learning Systems Design
The final paper for EDCI 513 asked us to select a topic related to the field of educational technology and write a 10-page critical analysis or position paper where we define the specific problem we’re addressing, synthesize the current literature, and make an argument as to what we think the solution to that problem is, or at least could be. My paper, “Beyond Cost Savings and Grade Improvement: The Value of Open Educational Resources at Elite Institutions,” explored the topic of open educational resources (OER), and what benefits they can provide to upper-echelon colleges and universities, which aren’t often the focus of OER research. This paper is a good example of the sub-competency: “Demonstrates ability to read and understand educational literature related to Educational Technology.”
Similarly, my final paper for EDCI 531 demonstrated my ability to “describe fundamental theories of human learning,” which is the second sub-competency. This course was my first in the LDT program, and provided great foundational knowledge in various learning theories. We learned, in essence, how people learn, and what strategies could be deployed to meet those learning processes. My final paper for this course used the many readings and discussions on theories of human learning we had throughout the semester, and expanded on them to create a short training lesson. My paper, “Virtual Cognitive Apprenticeships to Fill High School to College Knowledge Gap,” detailed a developmental and college transition program and connected the research to my rationale for such a program. My suggestion for cognitive apprenticeships in an elearning environment provided an innovative, interesting way to approach a well-known model.
Finally, the case study analysis from EDCI 672 is an ideal representation of applying “knowledge of human learning, diversity, and effective pedagogy to solution of problems.” This course allowed us to analyze and synthesize instructional design practices through case studies, and apply basic concepts and principles of instructional design within authentic instructional design situations. My reflective case analysis addressed issues such as:
- Who are the relevant stakeholders in this case?
- What are the key instructional design challenges in the case?
- What are the non-instructional design issues that impact this case?
- What are possible solutions to the issues in this case, laying out the pros and cons of all options?
The end result is a final recommendation for how the instructional designer should proceed. My solution for Lynn was one that respected diversity of opinion in an instructional setting, while still focusing on quality content first before investing resources into out-of-scope additions. This project allowed us to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who is dealing the complexities of human learning and help solve the challenges that come along with that.