November 2010


I’ll admit it.  I’m starting this course over a week late.  Sometimes, life and bloody cold weather just get in the way, and before you know it, your curled up in bed with the 2 year old in an effort to stay warm.

But after the boy finally went to sleep tonight, I broke out our new textbook and read Chapter One.  And fell in love.  I’ll admit that Instructional Design (ID) was new to me, but already I am a huge fan.

But there is a problem.  As I read the chapter and learned more about the steps to the instructional design process, I realized that I have not AT ALL been loyal to that process.  Reading the words, “the designer focuses on the individual learner and what the learner must master to alleviate a problem rather than focusing on what content to cover” was like a giant whallop to my stomach.  Because that is the total opposite of what I do.  I am a content-addict.  I scan the curriculum for the key content, and then design my course around that content.  I  have to admit – my students perform well on tests.  But not spectacular, and I’ve often wondered why not.  Maybe the answer lies in this book.  I need to look at my students as learners, and try to design the instruction to fit where they are, and who they are.  I need to look at the educational problem, and work on developing strategies that will allow the students to acquire the skills to solve that problem.

I will also admit that I picked up our LRNT 504 textbook without much enthusiasm this evening.  But by page 4, I was hooked.  I can’t wait to learn more!

…and on a Monday morning, it sure looks like a train, about to roll right over me…

So far this morning, my new software updates (Office for Mac 2011) had made my laptop freeze up (something that’s never happened before), the wireless network here at school has made me log in three times in an hour, and the assignment I put on the assignments drive for students will not open on 50% of the computers in this lab.  Apparently somebody didn’t quite finish off the installation of the Adobe suite…  I converted the pdf to a Word document and stuck that up on the drive, but we lost about 10 minutes.  But the assignment asks them to research the legacies of historical globalization in Rwanda, and write a letter to the United Nations.  But, there are only 29 computers in here, and I have a class of 40.  A computer lab of 40 simply does not exist in this school, so my students have learned to team up, even on assignments that I wanted done individually…

The one bright spot in all of this is that I have NO MASTER’S work for another week.  Which is great, as report cards are due next Wednesday, and I haven’t done a lick of marking in the past week, choosing to spend my time frantically working on my final assignment for LRNT 503.  I think it’s pretty good.  Of course, that often means trouble.  I thought the last assignment was a pile of crap, but the professors gave me an A.  I’m worried that if I think it’s good, they are likely to disagree…

Do I seem a bit cranky?  🙂