Monday, February 1, 2010

Distance Education - Ed Tech 650

The Spring semester has begun and I started a new class in the Educational Technology program at San Diego State called Ed Tech 650 "Distance Education" although the name may soon be changing to something like "eLearning Design and Development." I'm excited about the class taught by Dr. Bob Hoffman because it really dives into the development side of eLearning by applying principles from the textbook; "Michael Allens Guide to eLearning." To this point, most of the classes I have taken focused mainly on instructional design topics so I am eager to learn more about the tools that can make those designs happen. I've always taken a "Do it yourself" approach to eLearning development and I am looking forward to learning about different tools and methods from others in the class. Being that I am the lone instructional designer/eLearning developer in my company I don't have as many opportunities to learn from others in a formal learning environment like this class provides.

I love that the structure of the class is flexible and highly project based. Most of the semester is based around completing 2 eLearning projects that can be for any topic, audience, or in any format you would like. I think this is a great idea considering we all come from different backgrounds and have different goals for the course. The first project is to design and develop a "self paced" eLearning course and the second project is to design and develop a synchronous, instructor led eLearning course. At work, I mainly develop self paced eLearning courses so that project will provide the opportunity to use a work project and kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Due to scheduling difficulties I don't have many opportunities to develop instructor led eLearning so I am looking forward to learning more about developing that type of eLearning course in the second project.

Things are off to a good start as I am already working on a needs analysis for the first project and I am looking forward to what the rest of the semester has in store. I'm sure you will see more blog posts throughout the semester updating you on my progress on the projects. I'm hoping to keep the blog posts coming while juggling school assignments so hopefully the class will give me some hot topics to blog about.