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Utilization

Once an instructional solution has been designed and developed, it cannot have any real impact unless it is actually used. Utilization focuses on Instructional Technology from the learner's perspective.

Since most of my professional work in instructional design focuses on the call center environment, and my background is in that very environment as well, I tend to have a strong focus on my users. When making media selections, I always tend to keep in mind how my learners will receive and interact with the media for learning. Prior to my experiences in the ITMA program, however, I did not fully grasp that the selection and utilization of particular media or technologies does not necessarily guarantee effective instruction will occur. After working through the ITMA program, I have learned that an effective instructional strategy is most important and will help ensure that effective learning will occur when it comes to utilizing the instructional materials, resources, and media.

The AECT breaks down Utilization into the following sub-domains:

  • Media Utilization
  • Diffusion of Innovations
  • Implementation & Institutionalization
  • Policies & Regulations

For complete details of the AECT standards, view the Initial and Advanced Standards.

The following content demonstrates my competencies in each of these areas.

3.1 - Media Utilization

This area refers to the organized use of resources for the purpose of facilitating learning. Media utilization deals with the decision-making associated with implementing a learning solution based on specifications from the instructional design process.

Lesson Using Visuals (Instructional Media course)
In this lesson plan that I created based on the ASSURE Model, I have incorporated the use of video and printed materials for the purpose of teaching the key phases involved with Project Management. I include this artifact here for two reasons: 1) it discusses how the media and instructional materials are to be utilized to facilitate learning and 2) it provides guidance for teaching the audience how to utilize a key technology: project management.

Quality and Credibility of Web Sites (Education & the Web course)
This document provides a checklist of guidelines that can be used to evaluate the quality and credibility of a web site. This can help learners properly utilize Web-based resources for educational purposes, ensuring that only credible sites are used.

Triple-S Training - Multimedia Instructional Program (Multimedia Authoring course) [Requires Adobe Flash Player 10 - includes audio]
This is a multimedia instructional program that I created in Flash. I include the program in this section because it includes a Help screen that is used to help the learner know how to use the instructional program. After accessing the course, try clicking the Help button to view the built-in assistance that is provided to the learner in the program.

3.2 - Diffusion of Innovations

Diffusion of innovations involves disseminating technologies by communicating information to broader audiences to encourage adoption of the technologies.

Reigeluth Questions (Intro to Instructional Technology course)
In this document, I discuss the piecemeal changes that many states are making to the education system by moving toward the use of Standards of Learning (SOLs) to evaluate teacher effectiveness and student ability. On the second page, I discuss how a more systemic change is feasible in my work environment by continuing to promote participation in learning and development programs and by having our trainers work as true facilitators by partnering with our associates.

Audio in e-Learning (Professional context)
In my professional context as an instructional developer, I saw an opportunity for improvement in terms of the process for recording audio for use in e-learning programs. In this document, I provide an informal explanation of some of my thoughts and recommendations for the learning organization to adopt as process improvements in this area. This document spawned additional conversations and ultimately resulted in process changes.

3.3 - Implementation & Institutionalization

Implementation brings instructional strategies and materials to life in a real setting. Institutionalization integrates an instructional innovation into the structure and behaviors of an organization.

Media, Technology, and Learning (Instructional Media course)
In this assignment, I analyzed a real instructional situation that occurred at my organization. The instructor-led course discussed the fundamentals of effective business writing, from theories to practice. I include the analysis in this section because 1) it provides an example of instructional strategies and materials being implemented and 2) it was transformational for me and the organization. The concepts taught in this course were adopted into the very nature and culture of our business. I have since had the opportunity to train new members of the learning organization on these same concepts, continuing the trend of adoption within our organization.

Media, Technology, and Learning (Instructional Media course)
This document discusses implementation of specific instructional media in a learning environment. It then describes the lessons learned from that implementation, as well as the resulting improvement of instruction. I include this document in this section because it demonstrates implementation of instructional materials in a real setting. In this fairly simple analysis, I learned that incorporating a particular media or technology selection does not necessarily ensure the instruction is effective.

3.4 - Policies & Regulations

This area refers to the rules, regulations, and standards that govern the use of technology.

Copyright and Fair Use Issues on the Web (Education & the Web course)
In this document, I discuss three topics related to copyright and fair use on the Web - digital images, digital music, and text resources from the Web. The document discusses appropriate utilization of these technologies for educational purposes within a commercial setting.

Telecommunications & Distance Learning (Telecommunications & Distance Learning course)
This document discusses a number of issues related to proper utilization of media in a distance learning setting. In particular, it discusses how a facilitator or administrator can approach distance learning in a way that minimizes negative psychological impacts on the learners. It also provides information about factors that need to be balanced when selecting a specific distance learning technology.

Designing Courses for Distance Delivery (Telecommunications & Distance Learning course)
In this document, I discuss not only the important considerations for designing distance learning courses, but also the careful planning that needs to be involved in utilizing this medium for learning. The document includes a customized plan for creating and utilizing a virtual classroom based on research done in the course and my own professional experience.

References
Seels, B. B., & Richey, R. C. (1994). Instructional technology: The definition and domains of the field. Washington, DC: Association for Educational Communications and Technology.