As future instructional designers, we must find methods to satisfy multiple requirements while providing an engaging learning experience. We can all win by personalizing the learning experience while accommodating learners and aligning with standards innovatively.
Offering open-ended student-driven projects has been a cornerstone of the MET curricula. With the freedom to design to meet our own needs, we create personally exciting projects. As online students, we are accustomed to independent learning. Throughout multiple courses, we have been tasked to explore resources to help us create authentic experiences independently. As I designed my online course, I intentionally incorporated opportunities for my students to drive the learning experience by guiding them to explore their design projects.
Accommodating learners can be a challenge. In any course, you can work with multiple learning styles and levels of understanding. When we incorporate tech into the process, we can help level the field. I have found that when I introduce a concept or tutorial and offer both written and video guidance, the students are more likely to succeed. We also accommodate our students by developing physical and online learning environments. Throughout the designing and online curriculum course, we were presented with multiple opportunities to ensure our designs addressed ADA, UDL, and WGAG requirements. This accommodation is sometimes overlooked in structure but is a crucial element that deserves our attention.
The deliberate design of lessons to align with standards from the beginning, rather than trying to retrofit the task to the standard, is critical for a designer educator. We can use education models like Gagne’s nine events and ADDIE to help us find the best ways to deliver lessons that will satisfy all the requirements … and, with luck, be a little bit of fun.
Recognizing and accommodating learner variability can create innovative lessons and artifacts that resonate beyond the classroom. But none of this can happen if we as designers are not continually challenged to innovate. We must constantly seek ways to build our knowledge and encourage self-directed exploration.