Once again I am referencing Integrating Features of Constructivism into "Emergency Preparedness Exercises In Virtually Simulated Environments," this time because it demonstrates my ability to take a critical look at theory and practice in the Instructional Design field. I am also introducing my discussion contributions from a Master's level course. In Foundation of Learning Design and Technology we examined the various qualities that make instructional design what it is. We were tasked with developing our own definitions, both before and after the class, which allowed me to retrospectively compare the two.
The inclusivity of my definitions is perhaps the most observable change between my initial and final iterations. In my revised definition I included the aspects of instructional design that go beyond the traditional understanding of design and development (i.e., analysis, evaluation, and human performance technology). As I mentioned in my reflection, throughout the course I found that the multifaceted nature of learning design leads to a distinct challenge in defining it. I was grateful for the opportunity to read my classmates’ contributions and preferred to see our entries as mere parts of a greater whole. Even at the time I did not think that my final definition encompassed all aspects of LDT. I instead chose to focus on the priorities that my definition brings to the table, namely, an accessible, colloquial representation of the field to outsiders.
The core of my definition remained constant over the eight-week course. I was adamant about characterizing LDT as the study of “the way people learn in order to determine the best strategies to teach them” (Nagy, 2016b, p. 3). This was my way of articulating the place of Instructional Design in Education. Without reference to k-12, adult learning, or corporate initiatives, this definition acknowledges that learning design serves a foundational role in the creation of educational programs. Also included in both definitions was the instructional designer’s job of“integrating technology to optimize learning” (Nagy, 2016b, p.3). With that statement I incorporate our responsibility as designers to develop, scrutinize, and assimilate cutting edge technologies for the purpose of enhanced education.
The purpose of Integrating Features of Constructivism into Emergency Preparedness ExercisesIn Virtually Simulated Environments. was to align instructional theory and practice to the routine operations of emergency management. For example, in the following excerpt I bring to light a common issue faced in exercise design and introduce a solution based on ID theory and best practices:
“A lot of attention is paid to making VR exercises realistic though, unfortunately, realism is often confused for production value. Debates on how realistic the sights and sounds of VR environments need to be to support learning abound, with opponents of hyperrealism arguing that inundation with details stresses one’s cognitive load and supporters citing a higher level of learner engagement… Factors like budget, resources, and the goals of the program will dictate how realistic the animation will be, while relevance, complexity and exploration promote engagement” (Nagy 2016, p.5)
This paper took an analytical look at the exercise planning process, and detailed the need for sound theoretical basis in future operations, positing that doing so would not only result in more effective training experiences, but a more credible depiction of exercise planning in general.
Nagy, S. (2016a). Integrating Features of Constructivism into Emergency Preparedness ExercisesIn Virtually Simulated Environments. [Research Paper].
Nagy, S. (2016b). Initial and revised definitions of instructional design. [Discussion Contributions].