Technology Enhanced Education Fund: Weeks 5 & 6

Course Site

Figure 1:  Map of Fund 2017 course site

 

Following the topic of design principles for multimedia in Week 4, we zoomed out a bit in Week 5 to talk about the content and course delivery strategy, and designing for different kinds of learning gaps in Week 6.

In Week 5, different modules of the course delivery were introduced together with case studies to help our learners understand the capabilities and constraints of different delivery strategies so that they have more flexibility to choose appropriate modules for their course in the future, and hopefully be able to make smarter decision on course delivery based on the comprehensive analysis of their course goal, their learners’ characteristics, and their budget.

The topic of Week 6 tied back to the analysis of learning gaps we had covered at the very beginning in Week 1. As the Fund gets to the design, development, and tool assessment phase, it’s important for the design teams and the faculty to take a look at the learning gaps again and find solutions for each different gap. The solution could vary from redesigning a more engaging content for motivation to building a more efficient platform. It could even include a clearer instruction or smoother process to make the learning environment more learner friendly, and even providing extra trainings to make up for any missing knowledge or skills.

 

Design Sessions

At this point of the design, development, and tool assessment phase, the design teams and faculty have been using the design meetings to work together on exploring solutions to the projects with the NYU resources and available technologies such as Google Sites, Google Classroom, and Zoom. Despite different obstacles each team has met during the design phase, a lot of progress has been made as the first round of prototyping of class sites, promoted student placement process, content visualization and dashboard gradually come into being.

Kevin Weaver’s Clinical Residency Program in OPT

Forms are reorganized and redesigned so that they are more user friendly and accessible to the residents. The combining use of NYU Classes and the Google products facilitates the data tracking and the communication between the residents, the mentors and the director.

Figure 2: Dashboard of Resident Tracking Form from Kevin’s Project

Susan Murray’s Television History Project

To make the students more engaged in the course study and help them building the connection across different periods of television history, a chronology template and a student centered instruction have been designed for the students to fill in historical events and periods as one important assignment. Right now the team is working on building the NYU Classes and trying to get the video clips that will be used in and out of class into one more stable and accessible place.

Figure 3: Chronology student template from Susan’s project

Frank & Nada’s Pilot Video Annotation Project

With the help from other supervisors, the team and the faculty has finished going through the student teaching activities week-by-week and created a weekly workflow chart which includes the information of student teaching expectations, the classes, and on-site seminar.

Figure 4: Student Teaching Experience (EC) Expectations from Frank & Nada’s project

Jules & Alyssa's FieldX Project

The conversations on Jules & Alyssa’s project have been around the question of how to redesign the user flow of the student placement to make it more efficient and easier for record tracking. A detailed Fieldx wireframe and the user flow have been designed with the help from the participants and other faculty in the Teaching and Learning Department.

Figure 5: Part of Fieldx Wireframe of Jules & Alyssa’s project

Carolyn’s Texts, Tools & Culture Course Project

A Google Site-based new course site for the class of Texts, Tools and Culture has been set up and is under development. With the strong affordance of Google Sites and its compatibility with other Google products, the site is able to house and classify all the media resources that are needed to be collected by the students as as assignment.

Figure 6: The new course site of the class Texts, Tools and Culture


The next step for the Fund design teams and faculty is to wrap up the early development of the design and gather feedback from user testing.

 

Reflection

  • I would like to call an instructional designer a consultant in the educational field. My job as an assistant academic technologist gives me an opportunity to take part in different projects with experts from various fields. It requires me, as part of the design team, to get familiar with completely new subjects and their discourse quickly, to pinpoint the problem with the expert and design team, then take one more step to find out the solution. The qualification that we find in the job description for a company consultant such as strong communication skills and the capability of learning quickly are also core skills for an instructional designer.
  • Through my working with the design teams, I learned that it’s good to get back to the analysis phase and do more research any time question or uncertainty arises in design and development phase. Following ADDIE model, it’s very likely that people would have the tendency to stick to each design phase in a straight linear way. However, the design wouldn’t be a good design if it just comes out of the designer’s assumptions rather than solving the real problem and benefitting the target users. Taking a step back by doing more research, having an expert review the solution can help clarifying some doubts and keeping the designers on the right track.

 

Big Ed Tech Takeaways

  • It’s an art to balance between providing appropriate scaffolding and keeping the learning pace adjustable. According to the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) theory and the learning theory, we know how crucial of a role scaffolding plays in the process of learning. However, it’s also important to not overwhelm/bore the learners with lengthy instructions and deprive them of the control of their own learning pace. Sometimes putting the instruction at a place accessible rather than making it part of the main content is a good choice.
  • It’s important to have the ability of rapid prototyping to work in the Ed Tech field. Skills like graphic design, drawing storyboard, wireframing are all good skills to help the designer to frame and convey his/her idea.
  • Pilot testing before implementing the design on a larger scale! Quite often the first design needs to be modified or even replaced in the future, pilot testing or user testings is an efficient way to get the information for iteration with minimum cost.

 

Personal Growth

The habit of constant learning across different knowledge fields often gives me inspiration, and makes me more confident in this ever changing technology driven world.

 

-Yiwen Claire Wang, NYU Steinhardt Digital Media Design for Learning