The Instructional Design Analysis Project

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Goal: Complete design plan.

Instructional Design is fun! It is also a lot of work. One of the things that surprises new Instructional Designers is the amount of work done that doesn’t directly show in the final product. Instructional Design is not just about the final product. Good Instructional Design is a process, and a series of events and actions that serve to organize the efforts of a whole team of people. In addition, Instructional Designers often have to work in an environment where they must document their actions and decisions and communicate those to the people or organizations that fund the work. – Brian Newberry

My Course Plan

To develop an online version of Library 100: Introduction to Library Research

My Analysis Process So Far

Horton’s Eleven Step Process – Design Quickly and Reliably

1. Identify your underlying goal

  • As stated in my Session Four blog post, the ability to conduct research is an essential foundation for college success. The Cerritos college library offers a research methods class that typically reaches only a handful of students each semester due to the F2F format. There are generally only 5 sections of 30-45 students each offered each semester. In the past, several librarians have experimented with offering an online section of the course but the results have been disappointing. The retention and completion rate was much lower than the F2F classes. As a result it has not been offered online for several years. I would like to develop an online course that will offer content in such a way to keep students interested and motivated.

2. Analyze learners’ needs and abilities

  • Student Needs & Abilities – Most students in the F2F Library 100 class are freshmen. That’s because four of our five sections are part of the First Year Experience Learning Community Program. I have taught both the LC section and the non-LC section. While there’s always a mixture of student ages and technological savvy in the non-LC section I’m always impressed with the generally high level of technology skills of the students overall. I foresee a non-LC online version of Library 100 being appealing to a very wide spectrum of students, many of whom will have already taken online courses or who have taken online courses exclusively. Some students may have disabilities that must be taken into account in the design of the course framework on Sakai as well as with the documents, media, and activities posted there and via the open web. As Horton notes, abilities and attitudes matter more than age, gender, nationality, and economic class (p.13). In general an instructor can’t know specifics about the needs and abilities of individual students until after the first class. An introductory survey or bio piece by each student can give more of this information than the class roster can provide. The course should be designed in such as way to allow easy alterations to take into account unforeseen needs.
  • Instructor Needs & Abilities – Instructor preferences and comfort levels with media, activities, and student interactions must be taken into account (Newberry, Session Two, 2015). The librarians at Cerritos College are comfortable with Sakai and a wide variety of media and technology but I will keep in mind instructor satisfaction when designing the course. Instructors will spend a lot of time emailing and checking discussion board posts. The course should not be overwhelming in this regard and it should allow the instructor’s personality to come through as well as the students’. Learner-Instructor interaction is an important component of a successful learning environment (Moore, 1989). By creating a variety of communication options, both learners and instructor will experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Newberry describes this as Instructional Presence. He contends that it’s important to make sure the instructor is “seen” as guiding class interactions and meeting student needs. (Newberry, Session Four, 2015)

3. Identify what to teach

  • In general terms, the Library 100 content is designed to introduce students to the wide variety of information resources available in print and online through the Cerritos College Library. It is a one-unit, 18 week course that guides students through the process of becoming information competent individuals. In the class they learn how information is organized in libraries and online, how to search for and retrieve information, and how to evaluate information. They learn to use traditional reference sources as well as online tools. They also learn how to constructively search the Internet. One of the main features of the class is learning the steps required for doing a research paper. This includes the choosing a topic, narrowing a topic, selecting keywords, creating a search strategy, preparing a bibliography, and properly citing information resources from a variety of sources in a variety of formats.
  • There might seem like there’s a lot to teach in this class, but I think each individual lesson lends itself very well to online activities. In fact, I think it can be argued that essentialism was used in the original design of this course. Horton notes that essentialism streamlines education eliminating unnecessary content while still accomplishing goals (p. 14). In the F2F class we meet in the computer lab each week so the precedent has been set for using very specific online activities to reach the goal of each lesson. The most difficult task in designing the online version will be to develop interesting activities that can be done without the instructor being present but that still get learners to get the information they need.

4. Set learning objectives

  • Although each lesson has a specific objective as indicated on the course plan the overall learning objective of this course is how to conduct college-level research and to develop information skills that can be applied in all classes as well as in the learner’s personal and professional life. I think this course objective, as approved by the Curriculum Committee, transfers well into the online environment because guided hands-on use of online resources is an essential step in learning to use them.

The Expected Course Outcomes

* Understand the Library of Congress Classification System which is used in the libraries of most institutions of higher education
* Comprehend a Call Number and know how to find books on the shelf
* Master the theoretical and practical skills necessary to use an online catalog
* Understand the significance and use of periodical literature and periodical indexes (print and online) in the research process
* Develop an awareness of the Internet as a major information network and develop the ability to conduct a simple search using various search engines
* Identify basic and discipline-specific reference sources available in most medium to large libraries
* Develop an awareness of the steps involved in writing a research paper, including preparation of a work-cited list for both print and electronic resources

In addition, students will master the following information competencies:

* State a research question, problem or issue
* Determine the information requirements for the research question, problem, or issue
* Locate and retrieve relevant information
* Use appropriate technological tools for accessing information
* Evaluate information
* Organize and synthesize information

5. Identify prerequisites

  • There are no prerequisites for this course according to the college curriculum but as Horton (2012) notes, prerequisites can also specify the abilities, knowledge, beliefs, and feelings the learner must possess before they can even begin to accomplish the main objective (p. 26). In this course there are three important prerequisites to consider – 1) the students’ knowledge of information organization, 2) their understanding of the research process, and 3) their technology skills. Each lesson should be set up in a way that builds the knowledge base and the technology skills that become the prerequisites to the next lesson.

6. Pick the approach to meet each objective

  • As Horton (2012) states, this is the “how” of accomplishing the learning goals (p.35). The objective for each individual lesson can be met by requiring one reading or viewing of a podcast, video and/or screencast, the completion of one reading quiz utilizing the Sakai Tests & Quizzes module, and one active learning activity per week using a variety of media depending on the content of the lesson. In addition there will be a weekly discussion question or blog post that students must respond or react to.

7. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives

  • According to Horton, bottom up is the most common teaching sequence (2012, p.43). When teaching in a learning community I have often used the sideways sequence to meet the assignment objectives of my co-classes. For instance I might have the students learn to use a periodical database to find journal articles before learning to use the online catalog to find books. In the non-LC section however it makes the most sense to stick with the bottom up sequence. Each lesson lays the foundation for the next and as the semester goes on the research process is completed step by step. The final project, the annotated bibliography, is the culmination of all the lessons. This is when the students put together all the resources they’ve gathered throughout the semester.

8. Create objects to accomplish objectives

  • Learning objects are chunks of electronic content that can be accessed individually and that completely accomplish a single learning objective. (Horton, 2012, p.47)
  • There will be at least three learning objects for each lesson – 1) a Word version of the lecture which includes images such as screen shots of the online catalog or database, 2) a podcast or video version of the lecture, and 3) a screencast tutorial demonstrating the procedure such as finding a book in the catalog or using an online database.

9. Create tests

  • At the start of the course an ungraded pre-test will be given using the Sakai Tests & Quizzes module. The same test will be given at the end of the course.
  • There will be a sort Lecture Quiz each week. The quizzes will be created in Sakai and will be multiple choice or fill in the blank. The quizzes will be open book. In a research class I don’t mind if the students look up the answers. The ability to look up (aka search for) information is part of the process. However, having the quiz each week will give the instructor some assurance that the students are looking at the content.
  • Students will be asked to create screencasts of their search strategies and share them with the class for comment.

10. Select learning activities

  • There will be one active learning activity per week using a variety of media depending on the content of the lesson. In addition there will be a weekly discussion question, blog post, or media creation that students must respond or react to.

11. Choose Media

  • In a research methods course such as Library 100, demonstration and hands-on skills activities are very important. New technologies will enable me to create lessons and activities that fully engage and connect students no matter where or when they login to the course. As D. Randy Garrison points out, “technological innovations should be first and foremost about improving the effectiveness of the educational transaction.” (Garrison, 2011, p.65) In the library these innovations have increased not only our effectiveness but our reach.
  • Web 2.0 technologies such as content management systems and cloud-based productivity programs can be incorporated into this class quite effectively. As I mentioned before, Cerritos College uses Sakai as the LMS and the Library uses LibGuides, so those two content management systems would form the basis of my course. I’d also use screencasts, created with Jing or Screencast-O-Matic, to show students how to use the various online catalog and databases and to have the students capture their own search sessions. Slideshows can be enhanced by using Prezi, a cloud-based presentation software that make slideshows come alive by zooming, flipping, and otherwise animating the slides. Prezi presentations are much more interesting to watch, thus making them more memorable and motivating. I would use Google docs have the students create shared documents.
  • Social media applications such as blogs, wikis, YouTube, Facebook, etc. can also be incorporated into the class as well. These types of media are especially important in the CoI framework because they focus on and enhance what Friedman and Friedman refer to as the 5 C’s communication, collaboration, community, creativity, and convergence by allowing students to work together to create their own new knowledge. (Friedman and Friedman, 2013) Students can be asked to create screencasts and upload them to YouTube so others may comment. Students can collaborate on a works cited list or annotated bibliography by sharing a Google document. Students can create avatars using Voki and give a “lecture” on a resource of their choice. Students can create a wiki for book or article reviews. Students can be asked to create a blog to submit all assignments and thus make them shareable and permanent.
  • In ETEC 674 Professor Newberry advised us to keep in mind the following common characteristics of good educational presentations:
    • brevity
    • accuracy
    • topicality
    • production quality


Friedman, L.W. & Friedman, H.H. (2013). Using social media technologies to enhance online learning. Retrieved from

Garrison, D.R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century. New York, NY: Routledge.

Horton, W. (2012). E-learning by design. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons.

Moore, M.G. (1989). Three types of interaction. Editorial. Retrieved from

Newberry, B. (2015). ETEC 541 Session Two Lecture. [Word document]. Retrieved from CSUSB Blackboard ETEC 541.

Newberry, B. (2015). ETEC 541 Session Four Lecture. [Word document]. Retrieved from CSUSB Blackboard ETEC 541.

Newberry, B. (2015). ETEC 674 Session Five Lecture. [Word document]. Retrieved from CSUSB Blackboard ETEC 674.