How do instructional design stages help us understand online teaching?

The five stages in instructional design are known as the acronym ADDIE: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. According to Gordon (n.d.), in the analysis stage is the who, what, when, where, why, and by whom of the design process. The design stage is when the blueprint and structure is created. In the development stage the blueprint is used to create the training product. The implementation stage is when the training is delivered to participants. In the final stage, evaluation, the project ends. In this stage, learning should be assessed. Also, I believe the designer/facilitator needs to reflect on the overall course and participants should reflect on and communicate their learning, so meaningful tweaks and adjustments can be made.

In online teaching, ADDIE can be very helpful in understanding how to design a successful course. I found this table at that breaks down each part of ADDIE.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-38-01-pm(Way, n.d.)

I spent time comparing this to online courses I’ve taken. I knew that there was a lot that goes into designing an online course/class, but I was surprised at how ADDIE can be used for both face-to-face instruction as well as online instruction.

I will admit that I made the mistake of thinking of the process as linear, until I found a really good model that showed me the error in my thinking. I thought I would share it here.screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-16-29-pm(Forest, 2014)

According to this model, the ADDIE process is constantly in revision. I have seen Lee make changes to our classes based on feedback (Evaluation). I feel like she is always looking for ways to make beneficial changes, so it makes sense that the ADDIE model is an ongoing process, especially for online teaching where new websites and information is being added by the minute.


Forest, E. (2014, January 29). The ADDIE Model: Instructional Design. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from Educational Technology:

Gordon, A. (n.d.). ID Roles and Responsibilities. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from Instructional Design & Online Course Development:

Way, R. (n.d.). Instructional Design – Using the ADDIE Model. Retrieved October 6, 2016, from



Week 4 Reflection

This week was very exciting for me because I learned about something I had no idea I was apart of…CoP’s. I enjoyed reading the blogs of others and finding out that they also had the same revelation. I especially connected to Mariah’s blog because she used a quote from Harasim about how knowledge. I commented to her about it because I have been thinking a lot this week about how social people are (even just in their own circle of friends) and their need to share their thoughts and ideas about things they are passionate about. I can talk all day with other teachers about students and teaching in general. I love going into other classrooms and learning about how teachers are teaching subjects to students. I want to know more because I am interested in it. Theresa shared the commandments of CoP’s and I thought they were a good guideline to use. I shared with her that I thought they would be a good starting point, but I personally would adjust them to my own needs and the needs of my group. I am definitely going to think more about this as I try to identify all the CoP’s I’m in.

What lessons might we take from successful (and unsuccessful) OCL Institutional Innovations and from the concept of the Community of Practice (CoP)?

I think it is important to remember that OCL means Online Collaborative Learning because I feel how well the “C” or collaboration is implemented has a major impact on the success of institutional innovations. I was impressed to find out that the University of Phoenix was the first virtual university because I completed two online courses from it in 2004. At the time I was married and working full time. I liked the flexibility it offered for me to complete courses. The policy innovations at the University of Phoenix are that it “employs OCL pedagogy and asynchronous learning environments, emphasizes small class size (10– 12 students per class), significant investment in teacher support major emphasis on developing state-of-the-art educational resources, significant investment in student support services, standardized approach, and significant investment in teacher training” (Harasim, 2012). As sometimes happens, life got in the way of my finishing a degree there, but my experience there was very positive. I liked how the courses were set up and facilitated. It was not very different than how our courses are set up now. Both are centered around learning through collaboration.

Before reading about Communities of Practice (CoP), I was not familiar with them. According to Wenger-Trayner (2015), “Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope.” When I think about the meaning of Community of Practice, I think about the importance of collaborating to make it successful, because “When collaboration takes place within a community, the most evident reflection of its effectiveness is learning” (Kapucu, 2011).

Therefore, I think the most important lesson we can take from successful OCL institutional innovations and the community of practice is collaboration. People are naturally social beings (there obviously are exceptions…you know, the Unabomber, etc.) and I feel that is why collaboration is so engaging. Of course, leadership and design (curriculum) plays an important role, but the exchange of knowledge through collaboration is key.


Harasim, L. P. (2012). Learning Theory and Online Technologies. New York: Routledge.

Kapucu, N. (2011, October). Classrooms as Communities of Practice: Designing and Facilitating Learning in a Networked Environment. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration:

Wenger-Trayner, E. a. (2015). Introduction to communities of practice. Retrieved September 28, 2016, from



Week 3 Reflection

This week was busy, yet fun for me because I was able to work with Josie and Amy on presenting. I thought our presentation went well, but I did not like how the Quizlet game worked because it was harder than I planned. It seems like I always struggle with writing quizzes and tests. I think it’s because I rely too heavily on the text instead of just trusting my own ideas. I always worry that I am going to make things too easy and instead I end up making them impossibly difficult for others. One positive I got out of it was that I heard a lot of discourse in some of the rooms as people worked to find the correct answers. Another positive was that people were really nice about how hard it was instead of getting mad at me. I really did feel bad about it. It is definitely something I will work on in the future. I read all the blogs this week and then went back and commented on two that were very thought provoking to me. Dan raised some questions at the end of his blog that made me think about how important it is to have your learners interested in what they are learning. In my classroom I can see when students aren’t engaged, but how do you address that in online courses? Theresa’s blog also connected to me because we both had the same “aha” moment of seeing how our reading connected to the courses we are in through UAS. It is really awesome to be able to see what we are reading/learning in action.

The role of discourse, collaboration and technology for distributed learning in online courses.

The role of discourse, collaboration, and technology each play an important part for distributed learning in online courses. I think it is important to note, “a key aspect of knowledge creation is discourse” and “collaboration and discourse are key to building knowledge, an endless human conversation of changing and improving ideas” (Harasim, 2012). I have had many incidences where I’ve talked through problems or ideas and because of those conversations I had a “light bulb” moment. I used to tell my kindergarten students that they are problem solvers and they need to talk to each other. I loved to listen to their conversations and ideas.

Discourse and collaboration go hand-in-hand. I read an article by Jabari (2014) where he wrote, “Classroom discussion, dialogue, and discourse are the principal means of exchanging ideas, evaluating mastery, developing thinking processes, and reflecting on content and shared thoughts. Engaging students in effective classroom talk begins by creating a discourse-rich classroom culture.” His article was about the importance of effective class discussions in his face-to-face classroom, but I would argue it is just as important in online courses. I believe that ‘a discourse-rich classroom culture’ is not only possible in online courses, but we have it in this course. Our discussions take place on Thursdays through Blackboard and in our weekly blogs. When we share thoughts and exchange ideas with each other, we are ultimately building knowledge through discourse and collaboration.

We would not be able to achieve our discourse and collaboration without technology because our course is online. We use computers, smart phones, blogs, and Blackboard. In the past, I’ve used Twitter, Google Docs, and apps like Edmodo. “Online collaboration tools are an excellent way to engage students in both virtual and physical classrooms. They not only enable active learning, but also facilitate peer learning. For example, incorporating online brainstorming tools such as Padlet or MindMeister into library instruction allows students to bounce ideas off one another and share their own individual experiences and perspectives, which has been shown to increase cognitive thinking and comprehension” (Mallon & Bernsten, 2015). I have found that online courses are naturally more engaging to me because I am actively involved, even if it is only typing. There is so much technology available to use now and it just continues to grow. Even when it doesn’t work they way I want it to, like my Quizlet Live activity, I learn from it and think about ways I can use it in the future.


Harasim, L. P. (2012). Learning Theory and Online Technologies. New York: Routledge.

Jabari, J. (2014, November). How Rich Is Your Classroom Discourse? Effective class discussions focus on critical thinking rather than right answers. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from Association for Middle Level Education:

Mallon, M., & Bernsten, S. (2015, Winter). Collaborative Learning Technologies. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Association of College and Research Libraries and American Library Association:

Week 2 Reflection

This week was fun because it pulled from some of my prior knowledge about cognitive, behaviorism, and constructivist learning theories. I think it is important to integrate all three into teaching. While I was reading Josie’s blog and Genevieve’s comment, I started to wonder whether a specific learning style would mesh better with a specific theory. I am curious about seeing if I can find some information about it. Dan made me think more about the challenges of secondary educators and how the behaviorist theory can motivate students…especially if they are grade driven. Teresa posed a very good question on my blog and Lee’s response helped me pinpoint why I’ve been so frustrated with teaching phonics. Dan also wrote on my blog about jumping onto new idea bandwagons. I don’t think it’s bad for people to try out new things to see if they work for them, but there needs to be a balance.

How do learning theories manifest themselves in online courses?

Learning theories are found in online courses through the programs instructors choose to use to deliver them as well as in the instructors beliefs. Many tools that an instructor can decide to use can be adjusted to fit the instructors own learning theories. As Moore and Kearsley (2012) wrote, “If an online course is being delivered via a Learning Management System (LMS), such as Blackboard or Moodle, the content can be designed using the editing capabilities of this system. The system provides a structure for the creation of the course materials, and the instructors decide which of the options provided they want to use”. In my opinion, it really depends on the instructor on whether multiple learning theories will be used in the online courses they teach and how they will use the behaviorism, cognitive, and constructivist learning theories.

“A behavioristic approach focuses on guiding learners reach pre-established learning outcomes. Learning is considered to take place when learners manage to reach these expected outcomes designed to meet the learning objectives of the eLearning course” (Keramida, 2015). With behaviorism, learners should focus on the expected outcomes while learning. At the end of the lesson, they should analyze their learning and decide if they met the expected outcomes.

“Cognitive psychology claims that learning involves the use of memory, motivation, and thinking, and that reflection plays an important part in learning. They see learning as an internal process and contend that the amount learned depends on the processing capacity of the learner, the amount of effort expended during the learning process, the depth of the processing, and the learner’s existing knowledge structure” (Alzaghoul, 2012). Much of distance learning is cognitive because the learner needs to be motivated to complete each lesson and the course. He or she is responsible for his or her own learning and therefore must reflect on his or her own learning. It is important to think through readings and make meaningful connections to it.

“Constructivists see learners as being active rather than passive. Knowledge is not received from the outside or from someone else; rather, it is the individual learner’s interpretation and processing of what is received through the senses that creates knowledge. The learner is the center of the learning, with the instructor playing an advising and facilitating role” (Ally, 2004). I feel like this is the foundation of our courses with Lee because she wants and expects us to take an active role in our own learning and the learning of our classmates. Of course, we cannot do that without the cognitive (where we read the material and make sense of it) and behavior (achieving the expected outcomes each week).


Ally, M. (2004). Foundations of Educational Theory For Online Learning. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from Athabasca University:

Alzaghoul, A. F. (2012, April). The Implication of the Learning Theories on Implementing E-Learning Courses. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from The Research Bulletin of Jordan ACM:

Keramida, M. (2015, May 28). Behaviorism In Instructional Design For eLearning: When And How To Use. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from eLearning Industry:

Moore, M., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.