EDIT 704: Instructional Technology Foundations and Theories of Learning
This was my first course in Instructional Design and it gave me a good background about this field and different learning theories. All my life I was taught using a behaviorist model and I resented it from my first grade, but did not know any other method existed. In this course I initially found myself resisting other methods, but eventually realized there has been an evolution in learning, which I knew nothing about and was never exposed to or benefited from. By middle of this course I was actually angry and sad realizing that for 16 years I was taught the same way you would train a dog. Looking back at my life I now realize that almost all the knowledge that have stayed with me through out the years is the knowledge I became interested in and learned on my own. I can easily say that this course turned my ideas about learning upside down and I am grateful for it.
EDIT 705: Instructional Design
My main take away from this course was a good understanding of the ADDIE model. My group took a simple subject, making yogurt at home, and ran it through different phases of the ADDIE model. During this process I learned how to do need, learner, task, and context analysis and produce a professional instructional design. This was my first team project course and even though there were some initial challenges, I quickly learned how to get along and how to benefit from teamwork, which was a valuable lesson in my future courses.
EDIT 730: Advanced Instructional Design
This course had so much content packed in it that it could have easily be divided into two separate courses. The thing that attracted my attention the most was the beauty of Constructivist Learning Environment. All my life I learned with only one learning model, the behaviorist, but in this course I realized how much better a constructivist model can be used to teach even simple things like math and algebra.
I did multiple projects for this course and the last one became my favorite. How to educate high school students about Global Warming without influencing them one way or the other? I turned this prototype into a fully functioning website, which is ready to be used by anyone. Our instructor recommended that my partner and I present this at the World Conference on E-Learning. We submitted our document and it was accepted by the conference organizers and we presented it on Nov. 15, 2016 in Washington DC.
EDIT 706: Business of Learning Design and Technologies
This course taught me how to stand back and reevaluate existing ways of doing things in a logical manner. Look at the outcome produced right now and what the desired out come should be. Do a gap evaluation and come up with various plans and analyze each plan and present it in a proper business case document. This was very valuable to me in my current position and I actually did this for my team and how their operation can be improved.
EDIT 526: Web Accessibility and Design
Never realized how challenging a simple web surfing can be for people with various impairments. An estimated 300 million people have some kind of visual impairment. How do people with various color blindness see web pages? What tools are available for people with accessibility issues? These and so many other questions like these never occurred to me until I took this course and learned about them and they can be addressed properly by following existing guidelines.
EDIT 573: Agile Project Management
Agile project management was something I had heard before, but never learned. What I learned in this course was very helpful in my present position. I started to implement Agile methodology at work even before the course was over. By the time this course was over I had converted all projects in my group to Agile and trained my coworkers on it.
EDIT 590: Educational Research in Technology
This course taught me about various research methods like quantitative, qualitative and various mixed methods.I also learned about searching existing research papers and how to properly do a literature review. It was interesting to see how my initial research idea evolved once I examined existing research and completed my literature review.
EDIT 732: Analysis and Design of Technology-Based Learning Environments
Analyze and design software is something I had done for many years, but what I learned in this course was way beyond what I had done in the past. We spend over a month on analysis phase in this class and learned all the things that need to be considered before the design phase. The most important aspect of this course was to be able to see a project from end-user’s point of view or what is known as User Experience (UX). This is specially important for developers, who get so involved in proper syntax and coding, but forget or neglect the importance of UX. Needless to say I started using these principals in my present position with great success even before the course was over.
EDIT 575: e-Learning Design Applications
Somehow I never learned how to manipulate images like a pro, or create a dynamic presentation with animations, or produce a training video in all my years of using a computer. This one class taught me all three of them in a short time and I am grateful for learning these new skills from this one valuable class.
EDIT 752: Design and Implementation of Technology-based Learning Environments
I had written many software applications in the past and had it tested using various method, but it was this course that taught me how to properly design and document an evaluation process from start to finish. Not only I learned about various methods of evaluation, but also had to properly run and document it twice in this course.