The course I am currently studying online, Designing for Flexible Learning Environments↑, asks that students participate in a flexible learning experience and review that experience. Interestingly, this is what I do professionally as an educational designer, I review and (re)design higher education courses. Privately, I also analyse the courses that I take as a student in a Masters of Education to see if they have been designed well. My interest is to see if environments can be designed where people learn how to think and learn.
The search for a flexible learning experience
Ironically, I could have selected the Designing for Flexible Learning Environments course but I decided not to as I want to experience something different. I want to experience a course that was specifically created to be taught online by a team of experts rather than one academic plugging away inexpertly in a learning management system.
To find a suitable flexible learning experience a needs analysis should be done, this time on oneself! Initially I found this counter-intuitive and just randomly looked for courses that might be of interest to me, without doing the needs analysis. This led me to start several courses on Lynda.com↑, including starting a course on WordPress. I thought this might be a good course to do as I could use the skills in my job and personal life. As I reflected on my choice and talked to others, it dawned on me that my real interest for learning would not be satisfied, I didn’t want a technical ‘how-to’ course, I wanted a course about thinking. Unwittingly I had begun the process of a needs analysis.
A needs analysis enables you to identify the purpose of creating a course – in this case it is the purpose for doing the course. Here is what I learnt about myself using the Instructional Design Expert’s analysis process↑, as part of the ADDIE Model, as a guide (Instructional Design Expert, 2009).
- to experience a course that was specifically created to be taught online by a team of experts on a conceptual topic
- to enable evaluation of the course for the Assignment 2 in the Designing for Flexible Learning course
My skills & knowledge
- review and (re)design higher education courses
- good technical skills
- ability to learn independently (self-directed)
- to see if environments can be designed where people learn how to think and learn
- to experience an online learning environment created by a team of experts
- fully online course that is self-paced
- ability to re-use design ideas and concepts
- no credentials required
- access course through internet on laptop and mobile devices
- variety of mediums and teaching approaches
- highly rated course by other students
- not a ‘how-to’ course
Stay tuned for my reflection on the course selection…
Instructional Design Expert. (2009). Analysis Process. Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesignexpert.com/analysisProcess.html