Communicate Knowledge

Artifact 4: Digital Storytelling- “The Seaguard”

Artifact 5: Business Continuity Planning Workshop "Surviving the Pandemic"

Effective communication is a critical skill in any field, but especially in Education, where the ability to communicate a concept to the learner is the very essence of what we do as instructional designers. The first artifact I chose to illustrate this competency is a digital story I developed for use in a busy science museum. It relates the journey of the HH-52A "Seaguard,” a retired helicopter that was the Coast Guard’s first representative aircraft in the National Air and Space Museum. The second artifact is a workshop designed to walk learners through the development of a business continuity plan for pandemic Influenza. The workshop is composed of an instructor-led presentation and an instructional template that walks participants through the composition of an emergency plan.


Communicates effectively in oral and written formats

Of the artifacts listed in this portfolio, the Business Continuity Planning Workshop best demonstrates the versatility of my communication. Within that one assignment, I effectively addressed multiple audiences as demonstrated in the table below. As the examples I have pulled show—and I have learned over the course of this program—effective communication relies on an intimate understanding of the audience receiving the message. Before the development of instructional material much attention is place on analyzing the primary audience. Surely this is very important, but I have learned to also put thought into the other stakeholders interacting with the material. With this project, for example, my primary audience was the workshop’s attendees; however other audiences for the report were potential facilitators (presumably with a robust understanding of preparedness planning) as well as organizational administrators and higher-ups (with little to no understanding of the subject matter).  


Effectively communicates content through the design and delivery of teaching/learning activities that integrate content and pedagogy

Throughout the design of the digital story, “The Seaguard,” I had the opportunity to put pedagogy into practice that could enhance the efficacy of my content. An example of this is my adherence to the Multimedia Principle, which encourages the use of motion in presentations only when it is a “critical aspect of the to-be-learned content” (Mayer, 2014, p. 194). My storyboard included an animated sequence of locations being eliminated as the Coast Guard deliberated over which H-52 to refurbish. This was illustrated by “crossing-out” cities on a map with the final location being circled. I eventually changed my mind after determining extraneous motion might be more distracting than informative. I opted for three consecutive static slides to illustrate the same point, which can be viewed at minute 3:30 (Nagy, 2016a).

Despite having always been confident in by ability to effectively communicate, I can’t help but notice how much I have improved in this sub-competency since the beginning of this program. The deliverables I created in later courses benefitted from my experiences delving deeper into theory and the academic side of communication and learning (rather than just gut instinct). In the future, I will not take my ability to communicate effectively for granted. As I have learned, even natural strengths can be improved with greater study.


Demonstrates the ability to adapt instruction and assessment techniques to the needs of diverse learners

Accommodating diversity was a distinct challenge for my digital story project since it was designed to be featured in a museum that welcomes over one million visitors a year. In order to grab and hold attention, I knew that the pace of the video needed to be fast while providing a look at the aircraft through the lenses of history, engineering and culture. The final video provides solid instructional content to educate visitors to the museum (e.g., aircraft specifications, development info), but is also focused on entertaining, story-based facts for a diverse museum-going audience. In contrast, the Business Continuity Planning Workshop had a much more targeted audience: adult professionals working in an emergency management capacity in the corporate sector. Ensuring the needs of this niche were met required a very detailed learner analysis, which brought to light more specific needs I was able to address throughout the workshop.


Mayer, R. E. (Ed.). (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. New York, NY.Cambridge University Press.
Nagy, S. (2016a). The Seaguard. {Digital storytelling project]
Nagy, S. (2016b). Business Continuity Planning Workshop: Surviving the Pandemic. [Final project].
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (2009). Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic. US Department of Labor.