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Authentic Learning Project

In the fall of 2022 I took EDIT 6400E where we covered foundations, historical trends and current trends in learning design and technology. 

In this portfolio piece, I am thrilled to showcase a project that embodies the emerging trend of authentic learning in education. Through careful planning and thoughtful execution, I designed a series of engaging lessons for an afterschool birding club, with the goal of inspiring young learners to connect with nature and step away from their screens.

The project commenced with a research phase, guiding students to research the local avian ecosystem, identifying species that were both common and captivating. This initial step set the foundation for an immersive experience, ensuring that the lessons would resonate with the participants.

The program is designed to guide students through a series of hands-on activities such as building a blog and track their own birding progress. This hands-on approach should not only foster a deeper understanding of ornithology but also instill a sense of stewardship for the environment.

The culmination of the project allows students to showcase their newfound knowledge and passion for birding to the community. Through presentations showing images of the birds, they encounter; they will demonstrate not only their proficiency in the subject matter but also their ability to communicate and engage with an audience.

I selected this piece for Foundations as it demonstrates the emerging trend of Authentic Learning Projects. This project, like every other in this portfolio, required effective communication visually, orally and in written form. It also required reviewing and selecting instructional materials, developing instructional materials and meticulous planning throughout the process. 

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In my advanced instructional design class I was given the scenario to create a microlearning for a group of new instructional design students. I decided to take the opportunity to deal with one of my many struggles, the relationship between the subject matter expert (SME) and the instructional designer (ID). Many SMEs need to be taught how to be an effective SME. The one's that get it help the ID create wonderful education. There are others that are not so clear in understanding their role as the SME. They often think they are the ID as well. Clearly defining both roles and determining collaborative strategies addressed the objectives for each course. 

I selected this project as microlearning is an emerging trend in instructional technology and design. At first I misunderstood the assignment as one larger course with three modules. As I explored the criteria the definition of what microlearning is became clearer. We were to create three distinct courses that were thematically linked but addressed specific objectives.


I allowed myself to get too wrapped up in the scenario that distinctly defined our project as being tight on a budget. This caused me to omit images that could have been helpful to have such as images of a storyboard. If I could rework this assignment, I would add more images for the learner. 

The emerging trend of microlearning and management of instructional design projects are two foundational themes that led me to select this project. Additionally, it required the development of instructional materials and the analysis of emerging technologies. I settled on Articulate Rise for my authoring software as its microlearning template is very useful and easy to work with given a short timeline. 


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