Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Instructional Design Reflection

During this term, we have explored Instructional Design through many articles, videos, and through a book study of Rapid Instructional Design by Piskurich (2015). Piskurich (2015) offers a definition of instructional design as “simply a process for helping you to create effective training in an efficient training” (p. 1). I believe instructional design is the process a trainer goes through to create professional development for the trainees which takes into account what the trainees need to know and how they need the information delivered.
While I have been a technology coach and a teacher-leader for several years, I don’t believe I have slowed down to really think about the process I go through in order to design training for adult learners. I believe the most beneficial thing I will take with me from this course is the ADDIE process for developing training. While I intuitively went through this process as I planned, it has helped tremendously to be able to read and study what each stage entails. Specifically, I have found my largest area of growth to be in the analyze phase of my planning. A needs assessment must be done before beginning to design effective course work. Piskurich (2015) says a needs assessment’s purpose “is to determine what needs (gaps) exist in the performance of that portion of the organization” (p. 55). As a tech coach this can be easily implemented in future trainings by sending out a Google Form to assess what the teachers hope to get out of the training. I hope this data will allow me to gear my trainings to relevant information for the teachers.
For the application part of this course, I have chosen to highlight an upcoming professional development I will be leading. This training is for Hoover City Schools' Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI) Facilitators. ELI is the initiative which was started with the implementation of 1:1 Chromebooks for students in grades 3-5, but also represents an overall mindset of innovation which comes with technology integration.  Two years ago, the tech department started a facilitators program which is a train-the-trainer model. Each grade level team at each of the ten schools has one teacher represented on the facilitators' team. The team together is affectionately called ELFs (Engaged Learning Facilitators). The ELFs are rock star teachers who are innovative and creative. I work on a team of three elementary coaches. Every year before school starts, the coaches have a workshop ("camp") for the ELFs. This is our chance to set the stage for the year. It's a chance to build the ELFs knowledge and to encourage growth. The training is from 8 am- 3 pm on August 3rd.
The handout on the first page is the overall structure of the day. Everything is linked from this page. I have pulled out the different elements needed for the project for convenience. It can be navigated from the tabs on the top-right of the website.
This training will prompt the ELFs to choose one passion project to focus on this year. The ELFs will join Google Classrooms based on their choice and will virtually meet throughout the year. They will essentially be forming PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) within this PLC of the ELF group. Tech Coaches will facilitate their discussions and growth. The handout will serve as the ELFs future reference for the training. They can access it through the URL we will share or through the Google Classroom.  


Piskurich, G. (2015). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. New Jersey: Wiley.


  1. I think creating PLC's in your training is a great way for your participants to be involved. Good instructional design is developed around the participants and it seems that you have taken that into account for the planning of your workshop. I too found the analysis phase to be most beneficial. If that stage is done well it can really make the rest of the phases easier because you know who you are speaking to and what their needs specifically are.
    Melissa Wallis

  2. Sara, I was fascinated with this course as it reminded me of how we actually design classroom experiences for our students. Just as said, we do not think about it, yet we do it. Throughout this study, the trainee has always been put at the center of the design process. The needs of the trainee came first, even though we were dealing with adults. I never knew how important it is to consider that they too learn in a specific way. I am excited about your training that you have planned! It sounds terrific! Professional Learning Communities will support both the ELFs and your students will benefit greatly! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sara,
    I really enjoyed reviewing your project. I really liked how you included the participants in the decision-making process. The activities well-planned as well and each seemed to really engage the participants.