About Me

“It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time.”
T.S. Eliot

Dr. Stokes’ specialty is cognitive education. Her commitment to life-long learning of P-20 students can be seen in the diverse positions she has held and organizations she has worked for.

From authorship of publications such as:

  • Moving Toward Cognitive Excellence
  • Finding Out Real Knowledge
  • Powerful Learning Communities: A Guide to Developing Student, Faculty, and Professional Learning Communities to Improve Student Success and Organizational
  • Academic Curation: Cultivating Dynamic Learning Experiences in the Digital Age, and
  • Decision Making Behind the Use of Metacognitive Pedagogy within Education Methodology Coursework: An exploratory case study

to creation of the facilitating deep understanding and conceptual thinking systems has always been a goal.

Dr. Stokes’ current work is to transform higher educational opportunities for faculty, students, and the community to create learning legacies based on the following four principles:

  • using critique to evoke change
  • problem-solving by taking action
  • using inquiring during interdisciplinary reflection
  • using experience as a capacity to lead

Next Gen Learning

April 9, 2015 Vander Ark blogpost in Education Week.
April 9, 2015 Vander Ark blogpost in Education Week.

As an individual who uses big picture and systems thinking to create plans of action, I thought it necessary to share key learnings about digital ecosystems within the field of education. In the April 2015 article written by Tom Vander Ark, he discussed the underinvestment and feeble articulation of learning platforms within institutionalized learning organizations. The contention was that schools were approximately 5 years behind in creating learning spaces that included competency-based and learner centered activities that shape future citizens to problem-solve, ideate, and test solutions.

My mind began to wonder… “Why are we so behind in our thinking?” ,,, “How is it that a field dedicated to life long learning, inquiry, and knowledge sharing continue to operate in a reactive versus proactive state?”

My contention is that we are so busy making sure that our content is delivered through reliable and valid outlets that we miss transformational opportunities to scale our field’s actions to build the human capital needed in a world with access to rapid information exchange.

Please do not misinterpret the statement above. Validity and reliability within knowledge sharing is vital to societal growth in skills and capacities. But maybe, the field of formal education should take a page from the book of inventors and explorers. Maybe, we need to put some of our resources into design thinking techniques to extend our capacity beyond what we know to be true and dabble in uncharted waters.

So let us journey into dissecting current ecosystem of learning. A plan of action needs to include: collection of the current state of learning institutions’  use of digital tools to provide content and socialization, iterative discussions of why we function within this paradigm, creation of a system that builds on the current ecosystem, and finally ideation of future functioning.

To provide background information about digital ecosystems I have included information from Vander Ark’s blog post, recently reprinted in Education Week’s April 15th issue, to gain more information regarding the idea of a digital ecosystem. Here is what he said,

[There] are 12 components of next-gen learning and 12 development vectors, groups of organizations on a similar path to next-gen learning, and 12 suggestions for philanthropies that want to accelerate progress.

Digital Components

Digital Curation Tool Box Image
Digital Curation Tool Box Image

When defining components Vander Ark described them as digital platforms. Digital components such as  learning, relationship, content, integration, and assessment tools tend to be found in many schools today. What is not seen is the use of these tools to integrate the entire learning experience. If advising, cross-collaboration, data bases for knowledge sharing, integration of data across courses or grade levels, or a comprehensive personalized area that allows for artifact usage were intentionally applied within the student experience these components would enable learners to shine brightly.

Development Vectors

Forces that bring about change within the system can be referred to as development vectors. Re-envisionning social interaction, time, space, place and engagement might create pathways to non-identified learning options. Our field appears to be dabbling in this idea. I believe that many learning and training systems are just beginning to redefine how the concepts listed above have an effect on learning. The challenge is to change our lens as we envision the future. If we take this risk, a door will open to new ways of thinking about competency, data, dashboards and universal design of learning.

Alignment of Services

These groups of constellations create important and beautiful images when discussed in isolation. Each are important and have functions within learning that are all inclusive. However, the amazing power of alignment of student, faculty, institution and administration services is at our fingertips. With intentional integration through strategic planning; day to day operations could become more effective and powerful.

Questions to ponder:

  • What future benefits are derived, within the ecosystem of learning organizations,  through choosing use digital tools to drive systems thinking and learning?
  • What components are important and why?
  • Can they be used to scale effective societal growth?
  • Does mapping future structures, overarching themes, and concepts toward intentional use of these tools catapult institutionalized learning from yesterdays’ intended purpose?
  • Are learning organizations creating a planned digital ecosystem that includes vectors, components and constellations?
  • Is there a blueprint within each institution that shows the relationships between these components and how they will enhance society overall?


Vander Ark, T. (2015). How learning will work in the near future: 12 features of nex-gen platforms. Education Week Blog Post April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015 from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/on_innovation/2015/01/how_learning_will_work_in_the_near_future_12_features_of_next_gen_platforms.html

Post Industrial Paradigm of Instruction

paradigm shift

Re-post from Avila University CTL November 2013

May you live in an interesting age is a Chinese “curse” that reminds us that change often comes with wonderment, but also challenging, and sometimes uncomfortable moments in our lives. As higher education navigates the choppy waters of transition from an industrial age to an information age educators must be ready to expect a dramatic shift in practice. Let’s examine why this is so and how we can manage the challenges we now face.

The historical perspective of public education within the United States goes as far back as the building of the British Empire. The components and functions of modern public education were uniquely designed to support the growth of an empire with little or no technologies that could support standardization. For the British Empire to expand there was a need to create consistencies of skills, beliefs, and attitudes toward building a singular view of societal needs (Louis, 1999; Ferguson, 2003; Brendon, 2007). The ability of this empire to create a bureaucracy that identified common knowledge, consistent verbiage and text, protocols for learning behaviors, and acceptable social norms allowed for the birth of the public school structure as we know it. The rules and expectations found in public (and even some private) schools today extend back to a nation that required a people who all believed and acted within a given social norm. Thus jobs could be filled, economic growth occur, and social mores kept. Today students still sit in rows, sometimes even alphabetical order when learning. Hands are raised as signals for individuals to share learning; while testing of the 3 R’s is still in force.

However, what are the expectations of societal norms today? Have the changes in our global economic status altered our need for standardization? Is there a need for a bureaucratic approach to achieve success within our future workforce? Will those who contribute to our economic, political, and service success even considered a workforce anymore?

Movement from an industrial workforce to participants within an information age has brought about a need to move from the industrial approach to learning to that of a post industrial approach. Post Industrialized instruction per Reigeluth (2011) is defined as a reconstruction of task and space, Knowing the difference can help us in transitioning our approach to education.

‘Imagine a small team of students working on an authentic task in a computer-based simulation (the “task space”). Soon they encounter a learning gap (knowledge, skills, understandings, values, attitudes, dispositions, etc.) that they need to fill to proceed with the task. Imagine that the students can “freeze” time and have a virtual mentor appear and provide customized tutoring “just in time” to develop that skill or understanding individually for each student (the “instructional space”).’

How does one design a space within a Post Industrial institution? Consideration of learner centered instruction is one consideration. Articles and research on use of Learner Centered instruction has been contained within academic literature for at least the past 20 years. In 1996, a report entitled, Making Quality Count in Undergraduate Education was written by the Education Commission of the States. In this document 12 quality attributes of best practice in undergraduate education were outline. High expectations, integration of experience and education, and active learning were three qualities highlighted. These qualities are evident in Socially Constructed Learning Theory.

Socially Constructed Learning presupposes that students and professors will interact with content as well as each other to establish a learning space that is respectful and valued. Huba and Freed (2000) identify learner and professor actions that promote learner centered instruction. Learner actions include: (a) active involvement in learning content, (b) application of content knowledge to solve enduring and emerging issues relevant to daily life, (c ) achieving goals to increase critical thinking, (d) reflection and refinement of learning based on given feedback and, (e) acknowledging and acting on the assumption that learning is an interpersonal skill. Professor actions include: (a) transmission of formative and summative feedback to support student reflection and refinement of learning, (b) coaching, (c ) facilitation of interactive learning and, (d) collaboration to further both student and professor learning. Barr (1995) shared 5 levels of transformation within a university setting that enable and support student or learner centered design.

These include: Identify learning outcomes in detail; system for measuring these LOs; backward design on the curriculum; wide range of powerful options for achieving LOs; and continually investigate alternative methods for empowering students to learn (p.19-20).

When considering Avila University’s practice and policy structure, and Barr’s 5 levels of transformation, levels 4 and 5 appear to be where we as a Center for Transformational Learning can assist. To do this, sharing information regarding learning spaces, student-centered instruction, and professors’ new role in instruction are best described by Reigeluth’s (2012) instructional design for Post-Industrial paradigm of instruction.

‘Research shows that learning a skill is facilitated to the extent that instruction tells the students how to do it, shows them how to do it for diverse situations, and gives them practice with immediate feedback, again for diverse situations (Merrill, 1983; Merrill, Reigeluth, & Faust, 1979), so the students learn to generalize or transfer the skill to the full range of situations they will encounter in the real world. Each student continues to practice until she or he reaches the standard of mastery for the skill, much as in the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.com). Upon reaching the standard, the student returns to the task space,where time is unfrozen, to apply what has been learned to the task and continue working on it until the next learning gap is encountered, and this doing-learning-doing cycle is repeated.

Well-validated instructional theories have been developed to offer guidance for the design of both the task space and the instructional space (see Reigeluth, 1999b; Reigeluth & Carr-Chellman, 2009c, for examples). In this way we transcend the either/or thinking so characteristic of industrial-age thinking and move to both/and thinking, which is better suited to the much greater complexity inherent in the information age – we utilize instructional theory that combines the best of behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist theories and models. This theory pays attention to mastery of individual competencies, but it also avoids the fragmentation characteristic of many mastery learning programs in the past.” (p. 8-9)’


Barr, R. B., and J. Tagg. 1995. From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education. Change 27 (6): 12–25.

Huba, M.E. & Freed, J.E. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. NY: Allyn & Bacon.

Reiguluth. C.M. (2012). Instructional theory and technology for the new paradigm of education. Reusta de Educatcion a Distancia, 32, 1-18.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Reposted from Avila University CTL website

Originally posted August 2014

Image of SoTL
Image of SoTL


“Boyer began the process of examining the relationship between research and teaching and advocated for the scholarly consideration of how teaching methods relate to the subject content being learned by students” (McCrea & Ginsberg, 2009)

The origin of  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) dates back to 1990, when Dr. Ernest Boyer was the president of the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He worked to create a framework that would enhance teaching and learning capabilities of faculty within institutions of higher education.

Boyer proposed that faculty should spend the same amount of time in active scholarship within the areas of discovery learning, content integration and application of learning as they do within their chosen field of study. The intent was to promote an instructional venue that empowered student learning based on research that informed faculty instructional decision making.

In 1997, Lee Schulman became the president of the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He furthered Boyer’s vision through distinguishing scholarship of content knowledge and effective communication of content.

Today SoTL is becoming a guiding practice within higher education institutions. According to Hutchings, Huber, and Ciccone (2011, p. xix), “the scholarship of teaching and learning encompasses a broad set of practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning in order to improve their own courses and programs, and to share insights with other educators who can evaluate and build on their efforts.” Conceptually, the above-mentioned practices are “best understood as an approach that marries scholarly inquiry to any of the intellectual tasks that comprise the work of teaching – designing a course, facilitating classroom activities, trying out new pedagogical ideas, advising, writing student learning outcomes, evaluating programs” (Schulman, 1998). When activities like these are undertaken with serious questions about student learning in mind, one enters the territory of the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

A variety of methodologies are used when actively pursuing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. this includes but is not limited to the “reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, quasi-experiments (e.g. comparison of two sections of the same course), observational research, and case studies” (Wikipedia, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning).


Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching..

Hutchings, P., Huber, M., & Ciccone, A. (2011). The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Reconsidered  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McCrea, E., and Ginsberg, S. (2009, April). What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)? What resources has ASHA Developed for Faculty in Communication Disorders. Access Academics and Research. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from http://www.asha.org/academic/questions/SOTL/

Wikipedia Scholarship of Teaching and Learning retrieved March 4, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholarship_of_Teaching_and_Learning

Digital Literacy

Originally posted on Avila University CTL website

August 2014


Digital Literacy Visual
Digital Literacy Visual

What is digital literacy and how does it apply to the university setting? While researching this topic, I came across a website entitled US Digital Literacy . The site begins with the following definition:

“The definition of literacy has evolved in the 21st century. The basic definition of literacy means to be able to read and write. To be successful in today’s digital world, literacy goes far beyond being able to read and write. What it means to be digitally literate has reflected the change in how information is processed, delivered, and received in today’s highly connected world.”

When reviewing specific competencies within digital literacy there are three basic areas to consider:

  • use of digital technology and tools to find, evaluate and use content provided on the web;
  • having the skills to synthesize aggregated digital content from a variety of platforms and sources;
  • grow personal ability to read, interpret, validate, and manipulate content via the internet.

According to the US Digital Literacy website these skills include:

“learning how to use technology’s tools. The list of digital tools is never ending. New releases make something that was new yesterday old today. Educators as well as students must thoughtfully determine which tools are essential to their digital literacy tool kit. Tool kit’s vary from one educator to another as they do from one student to another. Once you have mastered a particular tool, move on to another so you can increase your digital power.”

Students are wired to learn digitally. They enter higher education with digital devices practically attached to their limbs. Our obligation is to teach them to become responsible digital citizens as well as discerning users of everything the internet has to offer in our globally collaborative world. Pamela Ann Kirst states in a November 2013 Zanesville Times Recorder article, “Accessing information takes a nanosecond; the assimilation of that information, the interpretation and application of it, are the skills we need today. Anyone with Internet skills can find the data; it’s the finder who can tell us why it’s important that gets recognized.”

Media literacy is a 21st century approach to education in which the Center for Media Literacy defines as:

“a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.

‘Technology ignites opportunities for learning, engages today’s students as active learners and participants in decision-making on their own educational futures and prepares our nation for the demands of a global society in the 21st century.’ “

Instructional Strategies that Really Work

Instructional StrategiesSilent Statements are one way to engage a reader in dialogue with the text and the author’s voice. The statement should come from a quote that causes the reader to react from an emotional, perceptual, or associative stand point. The quotes should be open in structure allowing the reader to immediately bring personal context to the writing while creating an opening for the group or class to discuss various components of the author’s content.

This technique can be used the the learning management system, Canvas, by going into the collaborations tab in the left sidebar and choosing to use EtherPad or Google Drive as a platform for information exchange. Simply type the chosen quote(s) within either of these two venues and assign participants to highlight, comment, or edit the content by adding their thoughts, perspectives,and take on the subject at hand.


In an article found in The English Journal, Bob Probst (1988) discusses the importance of having learners create a dialogue with a text. He recounts Rosenblatt’s (1985) principles for bringing the reader into a deep and personal conversation with the text:

  1. Learners should be free to share and acknowledge personal reactions to the written quote provided.
  2. Provision of  “an initial crystallization of a  personal sense of the work.”
  3. The facilitator or group participants should look for a point of contact or connection between the opinions of the readers.
  4. If the facilitator participates the influence should be, “an elaboration of the vital influence inherent in the literature {text} itself.”

For more information see Rosenblatt, L. M. (1985). “Language, literature and values”, Language, schooling, and society. (Ed). Stephen N. Tchudi. Upper Montclair, NJ: Heinemann.

Learning Outcomes

Students/Participants will communicate silently regarding a given text by highlighting and or writing about a chosen section of the given text.

Students/Participants will use the given question or scenario to guide comments about the content.

Students/Participants will interact with each other in written form (within given electronic statements) to challenge, support or defend others comments.

Assessment Strategy

Use history tab to identify the number of times a student/participant interacts with the text and others. Log number or interactions, research based support for comments, and relationship between the given prompt and student/participant text.

Instructional Strategy

Dr. Stokes has used this learning and teaching strategy in a variety of ways…Electronic Posting, Chart Paper Posting, Pass the Paper Posting. Each sharing of the text provides individual as well as group processing. The set up is easy the power of the strategy is in the process.

The Set Up:

  1. Find a piece of text that causes an internal conversation for the reader.
  2. Copy the quote onto a display that will allow the reader to comment on the text. Individual comments should be public to the group so that the conversation extends beyond the individual reader to a group conversation.
  3. Direct the readers to consider on or more of Probst following focuses. You can either “post” the focus and the question or simply provide the guiding questions with each text selection.
Focus Question
First Reaction What is your first reaction or response to the text?
Feelings What feelings did the text awaken in your? What emotions did you feel as your read the text?
Perceptions What did you see happening in the text? Paraphrase it- or retell the major content.
Visual Images What images were called to mind when reading?
Associations What memory does the text call to mind- of people, places, events, sights, smells, or even of something more ambiguous such as a feeling or attitude?
Thoughts or Ideas What ideas or thoughts were suggested by the text?
Judgments of Importance What words would you choose as most important when connecting to your work?
Identification of Problems What concerns do you have after reading the text or other comments? Do you need clarification or disagree with the content? If so, what specific concerns are apparent and how do you navigate these issues to come to a consensus about the usefulness of the text.
Author Who is the individual who wrote the original text? What life or experiential influences might the author have that may be similar or different to your background?
Response How did you respond to the text- emotionally, intellectually, associatively…?
Group Response Did you agree with statements others made regarding the given text? Did you disagree? What connections did you make with the content provided by other readers?
Connections Are there other authors that write on this subject that you referenced? Did other group members highlight research that supported or disproved the provided content?
Evolutions of Reading How did your understanding of the overall content change through participation in this learning strategy?
Text Associations Does this text bring to mind other texts? These do not have to be informational or research text. What connections did you make?

Next the process:

  1. Without speaking have each participant write their comments (based on the focus or question) on each text. The participant text should relate directly to the chosen focus including specific concerns, connections, and perspectives of the individual. At times there may even be a need to require sources written to support the comments written. Then the reader should also respond to at least two other responses from the group.
  2. It is important to note that omitting of verbal conversation creates both an internal and metacognitive processing to occur.
  3. Once the participants have discussed each text based on the facilitator’s focus, a verbal conversation of the group can extend the processing of the text.

Scholarship and Blogging

bloggingAs I peruse through the blogs that I follow, I am continually asking myself “How do these written sources inform my teaching practice and my continued learning?” I realize as I look for new information within the field of higher education that not all blog sites meet Howard Rheingold’s CRAP detection  test I teach in my Introduction to Educational Technology course. Although most blogs do include current information and continue to update and inform the topic at hand, the reliability is difficult to ascertain. Mind you, the kind of information included in the resources are well vetted yet most of the content appears to be primarily opinion. That being said, I am always wondering how much of the content is appealing due to following like minded individuals. I decided to search for a variety of blogs to identify commonalities that would help me create a selection process that would transcend my concern with the reliability and point of view of the author.

In a recent blog post in the Chronicle for Higher Education, I ran across an author I had not followed previously. Although the blog post was a year old, the contents intrigued me. I followed an embedded link to the Bloomsbury Academic site that provided insight into the authors comparison of authorship online and in book form.  Weller (2011)-the author of the blog and book The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Digital Practice- dedicates an entire chapter scholarship and the definition prior to 2000 and beyond.  In this chapter he discusses Boyer’s (1990) components of scholarship:

  1. discovery,
  2. integration,
  3. application, and
  4. teaching.

Although Boyer’s work tends to be sited and used more readily in the humanities and not in the sciences, the intention of learning, connecting, and implementation within one’s practice are all important parts of scholarship. Weller also includes seven “primitives” of scholarship identified by Unsworth (2000). These include:

  1. discovering,
  2. annotating,
  3. comparing,
  4. referring,
  5. sampling,
  6. illustrating, and
  7. representing.

Reviewing the above lists and authors, I wondered how I could use these components of scholarship to guide my selection of scholarly blogs? I believe the first step is connecting the overarching ideas in CRAP detection and the specific content elements in Boyer’s and Unsworth’s research. My first goal is to create my own iteration of scholarly components. Pulling from the two references noted above I have chosen to use the following as markers during my blog searches:

  1. an overt attempt to discover new content,
  2. annotation of prior studies that support an integration of interpretation and cross curricular use,
  3. application of content through sampling, and
  4. representation of content within teaching.

My second goal is to merge the scholarly components with Rheigold’s CRAP detection. Thus, when I am reviewing the currency of the content I will make sure that there is an overt attempt of the author to share discovery of new content. Next, I will make sure that the reliability of the information is supported by annotations of prior studies conducted within the field.
Third, I will look for the authority of the author as it relates to the application of the content through sampling within the field of study. Finally, the author’s point of view should relate the content to the application and representation within the teaching field.

I am excited to begin my trial to see if this merger helps to identify scholarly blogs. I will keep you updated on my successes and failures in addition to new information Weller (2011) shares in his book.


Boyer, E. (1991). The Scholarship of Teaching from: Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, College Teaching, 39 (1).

Unsworth J., 2000 “Scholarly Primitives : What Methods Do Humanities Researchers Have in Common, and How Might Our Tools Reflect This?’ Symposium on ‘Humanities Computing: Formal Methods, Experimental Practice.” King’s College LondonMay 13Available athttp://www3.isrl.illinois.edu/~unsworth/Kings.5-00/primitives.html, 11 February 2011

This is a re-post from August 2013

The original post can be found on the Avila CTL group site Scholarship and Blogging

Team-Based Learning

Team Based Learning an Overview

Team based learning is an instructional design methodology that creates a venue for students to learn as an individual at the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and scaffolds the learners into a creation based learning experience through collaborative efforts. TBL Graphic

The Description of the Artifact

This artifact is taken from a course on Instructional Design that was taught in the fall of 2013. The purpose of the course structure was to guide the learners from acquisition of content regarding design and development within instructional design to creation and evaluation of current practices within his or her organization. Each unit was constructed to include individual readings and quizzes, team based assessments, problems, and participation in team simulations.

Artifact for TBL

IBSTPI Competencies Met

Planning and Analysis- 8

Select and Use analysis techniques for determining instructional content.

Review of scores from individual quizzes allowed for construction of instructional content that would best meet participant learning needs. As seen in the screenshot above, the participants were provided readings to create a knowledge base regarding planning and analysis within instructional design. Each person was then required to complete an individual quiz based on learnings. A group review of content learned based on each question provided me with an opportunity to review the construction of the questions or modify learning content based on the need for additional information. This is why there is a section for additional resources. The intent was to used participant knowledge to drive selection of additional needed content to support the highest level of learning possible.

Design and Development- 11

Organize instructional programs and or products to be designed, developed and evaluated:

  • Determine overall scope of program
  • Identify sequence of instructional goals
  • Specify and sequence anticipated learning

The artifact shows a sequencing of learning that moves from individual recall to interactive team based learning to support exchange of ideas to create a synthesis of learned content. Each unit within the course was designed in the same scope and sequence to provide a usable framework that supports repetition and consistency of learning methodology.


The structure of the team based learning gives participants the ability to own the learning sequence of content thus enabling individual movement through each unit with confidence. The appeal process after each individual quiz is beneficial for both the students and the instructors. This process created clarification of content, reassessment of thinking when responding to questions, and opportunities for learners to provide additional or outside resources to promote higher level learning and ownership of response.

A concern with this methodology that should be considered is the ownership of individuals effort within the team process. Although learners are adults, the ownership of equal participation within team problems and simulations was not always evident. Students on some teams share frustration with team members who did not participate fully within the process.

Using team charters, facilitating team conflict, and learning about the use of collaboration on projects in the world of work are all areas that should be intentionally taught to students to enhance their participation with these assignments.

I continue to use this methodology due to the scaffold learning and require ownership of learning by the student. The structure creates a venue that supports higher level thinking and problem solving instead of a regurgitation of content with little or no connections.

ID 611 Experiential Essay

In 2012 a colleague and I set out to create an interdisciplinary graduate certificate that would support business, human resources, organizational development, training, and higher educational design within learning. Our goal was to create a 5 course certificate that would enable participants to experience adult learning theory within the construct of learning design.

The first course we designed, Introduction to Instructional Design, is described below.


The Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) Course is an accelerated learning, time intensive course designed for adults. The design of the course recognizes that adults learn most effectively and most rapidly through a process of self-discovery and self-learning. The design of the course further recognizes that each adult brings life, work and religious experiences to the course that can be a learning resource to the other students in the class.

Shared-learning is to occur in the classroom, where each participant learns from the life and professional experiences of others. Self-learning is to occur before class so that each participant can contribute in a meaningful way to group discussions and be an effective resource in shared-learning.

Each adult learner in the course must be a participant, with secondary responsibility for the learning of others through the sharing of his or her own thinking and work experience. The principal responsibility of the facilitators is to facilitate the learning process, not to teach the technical content of the course. The facilitators are technical experts in the field and will answer questions beyond the competence of the participants, but the primary responsibility for learning belongs to the student. Ordinarily, the facilitators will not lecture for extended periods of time.

At first, a student may feel that he/she doesn’t have much experience that can be shared. As the course progresses, most students are delighted to discover that they have more relevant experiences than they first thought.


The Avila Graduate Certificate in IDT uses a competency-based evaluation process. The grading criteria is explained below in the next section. Generally students demonstrating an accomplished level of competency in most areas will receive the highest grade. Showing solid competency in most areas will result in the next level. Competencies are assessed through ePortfolios, publications within blogs and wikis, and through observations in various team and individual activities.

At the heart of this process is the ePortfolio which each student will maintain throughout the certificate program. It is based generally on these competency areas for instructional designers (ibstpi (c) www.ibstpi.org and 2012 ibstpi ID Competencies):

  • Professional Foundations
  • Planning and Analysis
  • Design and Development
  • Evaluation and Implementation
  • Management

The class will create and maintain a knowledge base using a wiki site. Students will contribute to the site and collaborate on each other’s work. In addition each student will publish one professional blog article based on work conducted in the team project as described below. The assessment of professional foundations will come from the ePortfolio, wiki, and blog for competencies related to effective communication, application of research and theory, and managing one’s self-learning.

During this course on IDT trends students will collaborate in teams to analyze a training program based on learning theory, instructional design, and technology used in the program. The report will form some opinions, positions, or hypotheses that students may use in an applied setting during subsequent courses in the program.

Students will collaborate in this analysis using a Google shared document. It’s revision history will allow the instructor to view the contribution of each student in the team and to evaluate the meaningful contributions of the student to the team effort.

The analysis will also form the basis for two additional graded assignments as follows:

  • Each students will publish a blog article using their preferred blog tool of choice (a published article in the organizational website of the student’s employment, a personal blog, a Canvas course blog, or as a guest blogger in another blog site. The topic may be directly or indirectly related to the analysis.
  • Student teams will give a presentation to the class on the results of their analyses. Teams will use a modern presentation tool of choice to curate and present (Storify, Prezi, Google presentation, etc.).

Background Information

Introduction to Prior Learning:Introduction Page Icon

Working at Avila University has brought a variety of exciting and challenging experiences. As an employee who is both faculty and administrative, I am continuously reviewing the purpose behind new initiatives in order to bring value and growth into academic experiences.

Participation in book studies, webinars, national conferences, and course development have provided me a plethora of experiences that have guided, revised, helped refine my practice as an educator. The content in the course Instructional Design 611 appears to dovetail nicely with my learning over the past 6 years.

competencyimageThe competencies and outcomes in ID 611 are aligned in four instructional parts.

Part 1: Learning theories (This link supports all three items below)

  1. Use learning theories to describe how people learn.
  2. Describe the impact of technology on learning theory.

  3. Apply aggregation technology in evaluating and describing principles and theories.

Part 2: Instructional design models (Individual links provided below)

  1. Examine ID competencies and create an ePortfolio.

  2. Compare Andragogy and Pedagogy as it relates to instructional design models.

  3. Create and maintain a Professional Learning Network (PLN) through a wiki site to increase IDT knowledge.

  4. Analyze an existing course or case study.

Part 3: New directions in instructional design.

The link below is an artifact for each of the objectives and competencies below.

  1. Explain the difference between learning theory and instructional theory.

  2. Illustrate how an existing instructional design model is or is not an instructional design theory.

  3. Appraise a curation model as an instructional theory. (This link supports the Storify artifact link above.)

Part 4: Theoretical framework behind each intersecting dimension of an academic curation model. (This link will support the objectives and competencies below)

  1. Summarize the intersecting dimensions of an academic curation model.

  2. Use prior course learning to summarize a course or case study analysis.

Academic Curation

“‘Stories of art’ are produced through the curatorial process of selection, juxtaposition and interpretation of art as exhibitions and ‘permanent’ displays. These processes affect not just what the visitors see but how they are encouraged to construct meaning and understand their experiences. Additionally, catalogs and other exhibition publications enable curatorial decision-making to be disseminated far beyond visitor communities.” (Robbins, 2005).

Curating in the field of education requires these same attributes as espoused by Robbins – selection, juxtaposition, and interpretation – with different
content: that which is to be learned. The authors contend that curation of curriculum should be the story of selected content, which provides learners with opportunities to experience or view differing perspectives. The “permanent display” of educational curation allows the learner limitless opportunities to re-view and re-experience the multiple perspectives, with the ability to construct meaning each time the content is experienced. ” (Stokes, Donnell, Eaton, Sherman, in press)

Academic Curation Model

Chapter 2_ Creating an educational definition of curation-1 copyThe model, as drawn above, implies equal weight between the cognitive, social, and design elements, but in practice the relative weight of these dimensions depends on what the desired learning outcomes are and the values of those participating in the instruction. In practice the model could look like any of the following since the design of each learning situation is unique and optimized based on the needs of the learning community.

Finding the right combination is an iterative process as well as an evolving one to meet the needs of the community and the learning situation. A hypotrochoid results from the interaction of two circles where one circle draws a curve as it rotates around the other. The Spirograph is a toy that demonstrates the construction of these curves.
As the inner circle rotates inside the outer circle it draws a curve that represents the interaction between them. The combination of multiple circles or elements can create some interesting patterns. So it is with academic curation. We can consider the weighted interaction of three elements to design a blended educational experience. Although the process is not linear; an explanation of the process will take that form to simplify the description of each piece.

Instructional design of learning is a craft that includes identification of experiences that are carefully woven into a tapestry of experiences. Using the Academic Curation Model as an instructional method requires seeking or taking the time to look, listen and observe the world around you. Identifying those strategic nuggets of gold that propel the learning experience into another dimension. In short, knowing what components are needed to transform existing educational structures into relevant problem based learning venues that increase student learning. Seeking, finding and linking content and instruction is only the first step within Academic Curation. Next the professor or instructor needs to bring a sense of ownership and relevance into the mix. Jarche (2010) describes the act of sensing as igniting passion within the learning context. Identifying ways to create just enough discourse to propel the learner into a place where wrestling with new perspectives causes the learner to question and challenge status quo thus moving learning from a receptive act to one of expression. The final step in Academic Curation is the structure of the engagement. As a designer of instruction, the question should be asked, “How can a challenging exchange of content be constructed to support mutual engagement between and among students?”


Jarche, H. (2010). Network learning: Working smarter with PMK. Retrieved July 2013 from Jarche.com/2010/10/network-learnning-working-smarter/.

Robbins, C. (2005). ‘Engaging with Curating’, International Journal of Art and Design Education, 24(2), 149-158.