Several months ago I completed two very valuable courses: Blendkit 2016 and Designers for Learning: OpenABE but both were dramatically different in how they made me think about instructional design. I have detailed my experience with Blendkit on this blog, and described the lesson I designed for Designers for Learning on my portfolio. One feeling that has plagued me since I discovered instructional design, is a constant feeling of being behind. I assume that is common for tech integrated careers: how to stay current? I have made a commitment to myself to always be learning, reflecting and adapting. Luckily I found a course whose goals are to train me in just that: Skillagents.
Anna Sabramowicz has not only provided a wealth of knowledge regarding instructional design, but she practices what she preaches. Her lessons are approachable, engaging, and clearly organized. Not only that but she has built a strong community in Facebook with current and former Skillagents. She encourages, if not demands full participation in the course and regularly and personally checks in on you, asking for feedback in the course, pointing out new resources available to you, or in my case keeping me on track with the lessons.
The first part of the course is a general overview of the current climate of education and how this is both intimidating and exciting. Traditional education is changing if not dead, and instructional designers can be active participants in the engineering of new types of educational experiences if they are willing to adapt to these changes. One of the primary changes is that now the learner has greater access to information and greater control of his or her learning, and the it is the goal of the instructional designer to place the learner as the primary focus of the lesson.
Skillagents is clearly focused on the learner and I look forward to learning more valuable lessons and using this blog to reflect on what I am learning, how it is encouraging me to adapt, and in what ways.