Currently working on chapter 2 of "Designing Effective Instruction," by Morrison, Ross, Kalman and Kemp. This chapter is about Identifying the Need for Instruction. The first step to any instructional design is to decide if instruction design is truly needed. The process of deciding if it is needed serves multiple purposes. It identifies a need for a task and the critical needs. It also sets priorities for the instruction, and a baseline to assess the effectiveness of the instructor design created. At first, I assumed because of being the novice to some of the bigger parts of instruction design that I am, believed that many and if all things could be solved by some sort of method of instruction design. The book explains that it may not be the people that need instructing but the method in which things are done that needs to change. This makes sense to me and deep down I think I already knew this, but did not think of it in the same context of how the book explains it.
It is important to know whether instruction design is needed because if it is not needed, it can waste people’s valuable time and money to create, build, distribute, and educate instruction design material. If instruction design is not needed, it can still help the individual, the client, or the target audience know what the real issue is.
A point that was made later in the chapter I was about predicting needs as well. I think this is particularly interesting because even if at first if it is found that a instruction design is not needed it does not mean that one will not be needed later. Some times the need assessment can let the designer or company foresee a need for instruction design later. I don’t believe that there is any instance that could happen in which need assessment is not important. I think that there will always be a need to ask “why,” and that is what need assessment does.
The next step would be to know what kind of need is needed. There are 6 types of needs listed in the book. Normative needs, comparative needs, felt needs, expressed needs, anticipation or future needs, and finally critical incident needs.
1) Normative needs is when comparing the differences between target audience and national standards.
2) Comparative needs is when you compare two similar groups.
3) Felt needs are when a desire to improve performance.
4) Expressed needs are when needs are turned into action. Like registering for a course.
5) Anticipated or Future needs is when a future need for instruction design is seen and planned for.
6) Critical incident needs are when instruction design is critical issues arrive like damaging storms, and mass injuries.
After knowing what kind of need is taking place with your instructional design you need to conduct a needs assessment. There are four phases to needs assessment and the phases are; planning it, collecting the data, data analysis, and the final report. Planning it involves looking at the target audience, strategy, analysis and participants. Collecting the data includes sample sizes and scheduling. Data analysis, involves obviously analysis and prioritization. The final phase, final report, involves purpose, process, results, and action.
The last two section of this chapter are goal Analysis and performance assessment. Goal analysis is used when a needs analysis does not fit. The book explains goal analysis "defining the undefinable." Goal analysis happens when one person voices a need and it is assumed there is a need for it. There are six steps to goal analysis and they are; Identify an Aim, Set Goals, Refine Goals, Rank Goals, Refine Goals again, and make a final ranking.
Performance assessment involves taking the time to see the design through. Many times we want to just work on a project, complete it and we do not see what happens after. There are instances when it is not training that must happen to resolve a problem, but maybe procedures need to be enforced. There are many cases in which training is effective but not necessarily the answer.
I am trying to think of a time where I have been involved with instructional design was not needed. It is difficult because I personally try to take something from every learning opportunity as something gained. There are many instances where I believe there are parts to a course that are created as fillers and less about actual instruction. I feel these are the worst kind of instruction design, because they are not about helping better anyone.
Particularly when students are forced in entry-level psychology courses to go and participate in user testing. As part of the course you gets points. Points should only been assigned to things in which students learn something. By being involved in these user tests, the participant gets little information about what they are involved in except that it will most likely not effect their health or emotions. The student who are undergraduates do not gain any information on the benefits of these tests, why they are being done, what the outcome should be, or the process to how these tests are set up. I could see these tests being examples of good instruction design if the students gained anything from this forced instruction.
I am not sure if this counts as a time in which instruction design was not needed. I understand the context of instances when instruction design may not be needed but cannot think of a true example. I also feel coming up with a faux example in which it was not needed may end up being me just be rearranging information from other examples given in the book or from stories I have heard. This is why I gave the example I did.
Overall this chapter was a little lengthy but was also very informative. Met with my group member for project two. Looking forward to completing that project because I think Zina and I will be creating a very informative project in relation to instruction design.