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Colloquium Journal Report
R511: Instructional Technology Foundations
Week 15 Deliverable
24 April 2006
Colloquium Journal Summary
The Colloquium serves as an introduction to the Instructional Systems Technology (IST) field, as well as the Indiana University (IU) IST program, and supplements course materials by presenting important people, ideas, trends and issues impacting the field. The following summarizes key elements within the presentations that provide greater insight into both (a). The IU IST Program and IST Career Field and (b). IST Ideas / Trends / Issues.
The IU IST Program and IST Career Field:
People in IST: New distance students in the IU IST program typically lack face-to-face interactions with faculty. The Colloquium provides a unique opportunity for distance students to not only put a face with a name, but also to learn about the faculty’s interests, research and current projects (see below). Further, it is valuable to hear from those outside IU who are instrumental in shaping the field, including those taking part in the groundbreaking Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Course Ware initiative in which MIT course material is made available (without charge) to anyone with Internet access.
IST Resources: The Colloquium introduces students to IST resources both inside and outside the IU IST program. Dr. Frick’s review of the IU computing environment and other school resources provides a good introduction to the many resources available to distance students (listservs, library and research sources, software). In addition, Dr. Bonk and Dr. Berque highlight new and emerging media technologies that can aid in the instructional process. Further, each presenter includes additional references and resources that encourage and facilitate further review on the topic.
IST Career Perspective: Students enter the IU IST program with varied career backgrounds. While some may already work in the field, specific job and professional experiences may be very different. By hearing working professionals discuss their career interests, backgrounds and projects within the Colloquium presentations, an IST student gains a better perspective on the diversity of the field, as well as the potential career opportunities. For example, some presenters, such as Dr. Reigeluth and Bonnie Bracey, address their diverse interests within a K-12 educational setting, while Dr. Pershing focuses on his work in the area of Performance Technology within a corporate setting. Further, information regarding professional associations supplements course material and provides history and background on IST as a professional practice.
IST Ideas / Trends / Issues:
IST Research and Projects: The Colloquium introduces students to important research and projects related to the field. For example, Dr. Reigeluth’s current research focuses on what he views as a required “paradigm shift” in education to bring instructional processes in line with the “information age”. The outcome of his research is the recommendation for customized and learner-focused instruction that he notes will require a new instructional design process to meet the “complex environment that involves learners in their own instruction.” In addition, Dr. Frick presents his research in designing web-based instruction, as well as the status of his “SimEducation” project. Dr. Frick proposes that design must go “beyond the tools” to the process of effective and efficient design.
IST Media Technologies: The opportunities to integrate media technology into education are discussed in most presentations and many technologies to support learning and instruction are presented. Bonnie Bracey shares her perspective on the importance of incorporating media technology within a learning setting to engage students and create a rich “learning landscape” which provides students with information and experiences far beyond the classroom. Dr. Bonk reviews the growth of online learning and presents numerous emerging technologies to facilitate online and distance education, while Dr. Berque presents technology that he developed to better facilitate face-to-face learning. In addition, Dr. Metcalf highlights the positive impact that Internet innovations (the convergence of Internet, telephone and television networks) may have on the quality and access to educational information.
IST Practices: Those working in the field present their instructional design ideas and instructional approaches based on their direct experience. Many stress the importance of engaging students and of incorporating social learning and constructivist approaches, as does Dr. Ochoa in her presentation of instructional methods for Problem Based Learning. Steve Lerman proposes that too much learning is “passive” and “scheduled” and advocates that instruction needs to be designed to incorporate active participation and “learning on demand”. In highlighting the instructional design process and approach used by MIT in the Sloan School of Business, Toby Wall presents an approach that incorporates significant application and practice, socialization and building community with the instructional design of their programs.