Oy! Analysis!

ANALYSIS!

Oh man. There is so much to do with Analysis for the ADDIE model for instructional design. It is almost TOO much to do. I was so overwhelmed by the possible things to analyze last week that I almost forgot that I do this all the time when I reflect on how a lesson went and then make adjustments accordingly as a teacher. The analysis itself is not what is new for me. It is all the templates, possible questions, and potential things to analyze. It is like a Russian nesting doll, you open the lid and there’s a whole other doll! What I can appreciate is the realization that there is so much to consider when designing quality curriculum or an effective training. I also realized that I need a method that works for me, one that makes sense based on memory. Then when I need something  more detailed, I just need to have the resources to rely on. Otherwise, I can’t think straight. In fact, last week was one on going migraine, literally one of the worst I’ve had. I’m not blaming my homework. There are other triggers. But, I will say that I was so inundated with analysis pathways that I literally couldn’t see straight. So, my take away for this phase of instructional design: have a vision. If we don’t want to get lost in all the Matryoshka of analysis, then we have to be able to have a clear view of what we need to analyze. I think this vision comes from the situation you are designing for. I think the less you know of the content, the more variety of analysis you need. However, the more expertise you have in the content, the easier it is to analyze.

 

For example, I am an English teacher. I paired up with another English teacher. This helped me to understand the needs of her students and her needs as a teacher. This made not having access to her students for data gathering less important. I’d love to talk to them, but since it’s summer, it is not an option. But, because I am an English teacher too, I can understand her classroom in a way that a non-English teacher may struggle to. My own experience has helped me fill in the gaps in a lot of ways. However, if I had been designing for a company whose job duties were unfamiliar to me, I would need much more research and data to help me understand the TAP of the training needed. I would need more than an interview and handouts to grasp the concepts and needs I would be designing for. This makes me think twice about designing for people who are outside my scope. I think I will need a lot more practice with the ADDIE model, especially the analysis part, to be an effective designer where I am not a SME.

 

This analysis, especially after multiple conversations with Mrs. Bookmiller, has helped me to narrow in and target a specific skill to design for. Before the analysis, I wouldn’t have imagined actually being able to pinpoint a particular skill to focus on. My mind would have said, the students just need more practice writing or more discussion or more mentor texts to get better as writers. But now, after the analysis, I actually feel like I might be able to make a difference because once I narrowed my focus, the plan of attack just came together. Had I not narrowed my focus, I don’t think this would have happened. Ironically, I teach this in my classroom. When students narrow their topic enough, BAM, their words come rolling out. This was true for me as well in this assignment. However, just like my students need to revise their essays, I too need to come back to the work and look with fresh eyes for things that I could rework. Also, collaborating with Mrs. Bookmiller will make this kind of revision very easy since she truly knows her audience and topic.

 

Analysis and design are interdependent. Without analysis the design is founded on personal feeling which doesn’t bode well in an academic world nor does it make for a good business model. It’s not that personal feelings are bad. They just don’t provide a strong enough basis for education or training. On the other hand, without design, the efforts in analysis are wasted. What I mean is that if you ignore the results of your analysis and create based on that, there is no real design present. Design implies that you structured or created something with a purpose. The analysis results give us purpose for our design. I think the R/Evolution video brought up something an important concept that we should consider in our future ID. Before the internet, we managed information via categories, but after the internet, it is generally though links and key terms. If I want to know about the cast of Roadhouse starring Patrick Swayze, I don’t have to start with possible categories for finding that information. I just type in the title and different links pop up. I didn’t need to click on a movie category followed by action category followed by 1980s movies followed by etc… Key terms lead to links. Information managed! So where does this lead us for the future of instructional design? When we begin to truly integrate technology and the power of the internet, will our ADDIE model change? Part of the analysis requires that we categorize our skills into topics. We create these trees of knowledge so that our human minds can trace the pathways to concepts. Will computers, will the internet, R/Evolve our instructional design? Will our designs become the Russian Matryoshka doll without designers having to do analysis? In the future, will all of the analysis work we do now be “stored” digitally and be accessible without having to always re-analyze the situation? Could there be an internet based engine that takes all of our TAPs and designs for us according to past analyses?

 

My mind and vision are swimming again with possibilities. So, I need to stop, refocus, and come back to the vision I had at the beginning of all this: analysis. Oh man! There is so much to do with analysis!

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