Competency 4: Think Critically and Reflectively asks us to demonstrate three sub-competencies:
- Develops a personal vision of inclusive educational practice;
- Describes the relationship between Educational Technology and the broader field of Education; and
- Critically evaluates theory and practice.
The first two sub-competencies were met by my initial and final reflections on the relationship between the fields of instructional design and project management. In EDCI 627: Instructional Design Project Management, we explored the application of project management ideas, concepts, and strategies in instructional design settings. The first and last assignments for this course asked us to consider the relationship between instructional design and project management, and create a visual representation of how we interpret this dynamic.
Project managers in the instructional design field must constantly practice inclusivity. As my graphic design depicts, communication is a fundamental aspect of managing educational projects. Learning is enhanced when we communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures from our own. Similarly, the reflection also examines how instructional designers may be able to get away with working in a silo in some cases, but a project manager would never, by definition, be isolated from other people. This is akin to the relationship between educational technology and the broader field of education. That is, in order to see the forest and the trees at the same time, we must zoom out, connect with people, and practice good communication skills.
In my work, I have come to understand the importance of great communication skills as well. Without it, projects are doomed to fail.
The final sub-competency was accomplished by an artifact already presented in Competencies 1 & 2: my final paper from EDCI 531: Learning Theory and Instructional Design. I critically evaluated the theory and practice of learning theories like constructivism and situated cognition in my paper, “Virtual Cognitive Apprenticeships to Fill High School to College Knowledge Gap.” The paper not only discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the education practice, but applied it to a proposed solution in the field of transitional education. The paper allowed to think critically and practically about theory — I was able to consider the potential ramifications of adopting an educational viewpoint by playing the situation out.
Working in the field at the same time as being in this program has been a huge benefit to my learning. I have been able to apply knowledge right away and see practical examples of what I’m learning constantly.