My Instructional Designer Dilemma and My Attempt to Elucidate

The Instructional Designer Dilemma – My Attempt to Elucidate

In May 2002 I decided I wanted to become an instructional designer to help faculty develop online learning. I still have the job ad in a folder neatly tucked away with a copy of my application for a position I was much unqualified for. It required a Masters degree and I wasn’t even finished with my AAS. But – it was my first encounter with the job titled “Instructional Designer” and it sparked a fire in me, a passion – to become one. The dream hasn’t died – but I now have a dilemma: Continue reading

Philosophy – Love to Wisdom

Does an avatar still exist when you log out from the virtual world?

This weekend I have been exploring ideas of philosophy – the love to wisdom. Philosophy can roughly be split into nine areas: logic, epistemology, metaphysics or ontology, science theory, language philosophy, value theory, ethics, esthetics, and religious philosophy. I took a closer look at epistemology and ontology. Philosophy as a whole, deals with the thought processes we have as humans, the knowledge, the perception of reality, true truth, and perceived truth. Continue reading

Cronbach Alpha

Statistics – Using Cronbach Alpha

This first week of CECS 6510 Dr. Knezek had us look at correlations using Pearson Correlations, reliability and validity computing Cronbach Alpha to measure internal consistency, and effect size using Cohen’s D. What kicks me is that it is fascinating to me and I only want to read more about it. Who would have thought? Having my own set of data to try it all out on later on is very motivating to me. Continue reading

Scott J. Warren, Ph.D. “Emerging Ethical Issues in Virtual Worlds” March 11, 2010 at UT Dallas

Dr. Scott J. Warren was invited as a guest lecturer for a Metta Alsobrook’s seminar of 83 engineering students at UT Dallas on March 11th, 2010. I held an introduction to Second Life and how UT Dallas got their three new islands in August 2009, and what we are currently doing with these islands: Undergraduate students have been teamed with campus clients to develop content for the clients on the islands and at the same time learn the emerging technology and create competitive portfolio for themselves for the future. I developed the program called Students Second Life Success and am running it during spring semester.   Continue reading

Online Course Development


Patrick, Sherrie, and I skating in Second Life

Click for video

Patrick, Sherrie, and I finished a Machinima today presenting our course development. We will present this to our class. I am uploading it over-night as I write. We had so much fun working together on this project I will miss them both dearly. I will also miss their help as I move on to finish up the remaining 12 modules of Dr. Byrd’s online course in Educational Psychology, the one we have been developing four modules of as a team. It sure was great to work in a team. Course development takes a lot of time.

Dr. Byrd has a possibility to teach this course online this coming summer. The summer semester though is 8 weeks as oppose to 16 weeks. I think I will have a rough job ahead of me not only designing the remaining weeks of course work but also leveling it out to less weeks. This is an interesting and very useful process for me. I’m loving every minute, especially since I get to practice on the Moodle, SLoodle, and implement instruction leveraging Second Life .

In-design Mode

I’m in design mode. I’m suddenly facing opportunities to lead students doing design projects in-world. A tantalizing idea but it will bring out the most of me. Ready or not, I have a feeling the load will land on my shoulders. Not that I don’t want it to, but it is a huge responsibility. There is nothing like a challenge though. I managed to lead our team of three through a successful online course design development. I just need to make myself a plan and follow it strictly to be successful also with this larger project involving undergraduate students.

We’re wrapping up our online course design for Dr. Byrd. The design document with its job aids and screen shots is a great documentation of our hard work. I am very pleased with what we have accomplished. The implementation of the modules into the Moodle and Sloodle went well. I still do have some Sloodling to do. Have to figure out if the quiz chair actually won’t work with this version of the Moodle like I hear from others, or if I am doing something wrong.

Dr. Byrd got an email from us today with questions to help her evaluate our work. BSU students went through the Scavenger Hunt and the Dominoes game yesterday and provided feedback through the Google Form we set up. I am hoping some of our UNT students will jump at the opportunity to run through it as well and give us some additional feedback. We’ll see. I placed a carrot.

Team work

Team work is about collaboration, tweaking here and there, taking and giving, adapting to other people’s wishes, and sharing unselfishly for the benefit of the project. In a perfect group project the project gets done faster and more efficiently than had the project been individual. The efforts get focused, feedback flows, collaboration and learning occurs among the team members. Each individual member can bring in their unique skills, special knowledge, and ability improving the outcome. Each team member needs to be recognized and embraced by the rest of the team. When this happens members get a sense of participation that builds towards project investment and successful implementation.

In a less perfect group project work may even stall to a halt. Often this is the result of poor communication, the absence of a strong and enthusiastic team leader, and unwillingness among the members to put in their best efforts. It can also be the result of incompetent group members ending with a compromise of the design. Antagonism may build with people not involved or with those who get their suggestions rejected. The team might also think the efforts are not worth their while resulting in a poor project, a costly project, or a project that takes more time to complete than necessary.

Reflecting on communication and participation for a moment; communication needs to be continuous, scheduled, and freely flowing to keep the team members moving along in the direction the group needs to move. Communication is important to ensure the team members they are part of the team, performing as expected, and that there is a reason for the project. Communication tells the story.