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NOVEMBER 12, 2018


When I applied for the Instructional Design and Technology Master’s Program at

the University of Oklahoma (OU), I genuinely had zero knowledge of what it would entail. After

graduating from OU with a undergraduate degree in Special Education in Spring 2017, I

immediately went into my master’s program starting Summer of 2017. My advisor, Dr. Cullen,

had pointed me into that direction and after some conversations, I decided to take it on and I

am very glad that I did. At first, I was worried that my special education knowledge would be

useless, but I learned that instructional design has multiple facets it can fit into and the

education world is one of the facets. Throughout my quick time in this program, I have gained a

lot of knowledge about an array of things that I think will not only make me a better educator,

but make me a better creator.

Major Points of Learning and Development

My first semester in this program was Summer 2017 where I took EIPT 5183 Motivation

and Learning in Classroom with Dr. Heddy. This being my first online course ever, I was nervous

of my adaption with an online environment; however, I had Dr. Heddy during my

undergraduate and was familiar with his teaching style. He created a wonderful, online

environment that allowed an open discussion of learning and motivation theories that would be

crucial to creating and designing units and lesson plans for students. In this class I learned how

to motivate students through token economies, instinct and extrinsic motivation. I also learned

of important theories like self-determination and schema theory that would allow me to know

that students and learners need to be motivated to learn or they will not. Also in Summer 2017,

I took another online course, EIPT 5023 Analysis of Quantitative Data I, which made me realize

that I was not in undergraduate anymore. I had no experience with SPSS software let alone the

terminology used when analyzing data. I learned how researchers collect and analyze data,

along with knowing what type of measurements are needed for certain types of data.

Fall 2017 was probably my biggest semester for learning what my master’s degree was

all about. In this semester, I took Instructional Design I with Professor Hardre. In this class, I

was introduced to the ADDIE process that would end up being the guiding post to all this

instructional design. I also learned the whole process of creating, designing, implementing, and

evaluating an original training seminar/course. I created a training workshop for general

education teachers on knowing more about Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The workshop

covered what they are, why they are used, and how they are created. I wanted to create this

workshop to help promote student-led IEP meetings where students with disabilities would be

the conversation leader in their own IEP meetings to teach them self-advocacy skills. During this

project, I learned about the type of analyses like needs, context, learner, and task that must be

done before creating any sort of training program. Also, the work that goes into not only

creating the program, but devising a way that the program will be evaluated.

Fall 2017 also brought two courses both taught by Dr. Amy Bradshaw. The first was an

in-class course, EIPT 5533 Intro to Instructional Technology. In this class, we covered all things

instructional technology like design considerations that need to be taken when creating course

or training materials. This class was one of the classes that I learned a lot from my peers due to

the ample opportunity of discourse and sharing our work with one another that Dr. Bradshaw

provided in her class. In my classes, I was usually the youngest and one of the few in the

education field. I always loved hearing what other people were doing with their projects

because it usually led me to look at certain things differently and not in an educator view, but a

designer view. The other class I took with Dr. Bradshaw was online course, EIPT 5033 Intro to

Research and Evaluation in Education. The main concept I learned in this was writing a good

literature review. I had little clue on what to do when a literature review is needed to show the

research that has already been done on a subject, but this class laid out the steps necessary on

completing a literature review.

Spring 2018’s courses were both relating to the idea of evaluation. EIPT 5023

Assessment of Evaluation with Dr. Hennessey was online course that introduced me to basic

concepts of educational measurement, evaluation, and testing. We went over reliability,

validity, and all that comes with educational evaluation. We were provided opportunities to

evaluate some educational assessments on some of the concepts that we learned. I got to

evaluate some of the assessments used to help find student’s weaknesses and strengths, as

well help diagnose students with certain types of learning disabilities. The other course I took

was Dr. Greene’s EIPT 6073 Program Evaluation. This class help me develop knowledge of

program evaluation so that I could plan and carry out evaluations of programs that provide

educational and/or psychological services. Working at the Disability Resource Center, I

evaluated the services provided through the center, which will be discussed later. This was the

first class that was more practical than theoretical based because of the knowledge that we

were already acquiring, I think Dr. Greene wanted her students to really get to working on

practicing some of the skills that we have been discussing for some time at this point.

During my Spring 2018, I completed my practicum at the Office of Digital Learning with

Angie Caton as my supervisor. During my practicum, I got to aid Angie and the staff at the ODL

with creating promotional videos for teachers of online courses specifically in the Price College

of Business here on OU’s campus. I worked with creating storyboards that outlined the script

alongside what visuals would be presented when certain things are said. I worked on two

specific videos for Beth Stetson, a professor promoting her class ACCT 5403 Accounting Ethics. I

was nervous because I know little to nothing about accounting let alone accounting ethics, but

my knowledge of accounting did not affect me in anyway. I worked in a studio where we filmed

in front of a green screen, as well as, shooting headshots for the professor. I created the

storyboards and followed up with the editors to make sure the storyboard matched what was

produced. I loved working at the ODL so much, I did my internship there, which I will discuss

deeply in the projects part of the essay.

Summer 2018 I completed my internship, as well as taking Analysis of Quantitative Data

II that reinforced the ideas from the first class, but developed more deeper understanding of

the types of analysis that can be performed using SPSS. The analysis came to easy, but

understanding what each analysis meant was difficult for me to understand at first. It took

some time before I actually knew what to look for when certain questions were asked. Going

into Fall 2018, I had a lot of my plate for me to complete. On top of the Comps exam, I took 9

hours. Since I am currently in this semester, I am still working through my massive pile of work I

am needing to do. Dr. Bradshaw allowed me to have two independent studies during this

semester for her two classes, EIPT 6503 Design Text-Based Instruction and EIPT 6523 Visual

Literacy of Educational Media Production. These two classes are all about creating and

designing educational media using Adobe products. For me, I wish I had more time and in-class

instruction for these courses because I love the content so much. I am a computer guy, so when

I got the syllabi for this course, I was excited to get started. I really only had experience with

Photoshop from using for fun sometimes, but no experience with another Adobe products.

With these two classes I have learned to manipulate photos, make animations, create

infographics, and a lot of really cool ways to produce visuals for an assortment of reasons. I

think there needs to be more about using Adobe products in this program because I intend to

use these products for creating visuals and designing modules in my future.

The last class I am taking currently is Dr. Ge’s EIPT 6343 Instructional Design Theory and

Models. This class has probably the most out of all my classes. Theory and models is where I

struggle the most because there are so many and I can never remember which theory pertains

to whatever design aspect. However, Dr. Ge laid out the class perfectly to where now I have a

good grasp of the theories that can provide rationales for design choices in the future. With this

class happening at the same time as comps, it provided me with some good references to make

sure I covered all theories during my comps. This theoretical knowledge I have gained will truly

carry into my future as an instructional designer.

Projects in Portfolio

The first project in my portfolio came from the Intro to IT class with Dr. Bradshaw. we

were assigned to create a unit of some sorts where we incorporated certain required aspects in

the unit PowerPoint. This included the use of images, navigational buttons, use of audio, etc.

This project helped not only explore the wide array of tools PowerPoint provides, but it allowed

me to create a lesson fully through an online avenue to show how students can learn in any

setting with the PowerPoint made. With the PowerPoint having directions imbedded

throughout, students can work with the PowerPoint at their own pace to put the learning in the

hands of the students. Looking at the project now, there is honestly not much I would change.

Some slides seem to be very busy, but it is busy in a fun way so that kids would be more

engaged with the screen and would want to click on every button, which is the point of the

unit. This unit has visuals, animations, text, directional cues, and opportunities for practice that

students can engage with. This project allowed me to see how teachers can create materials

that can be student-centered with the teacher acting as a scaffolder.

The next project was what I had mentioned before of the evaluation plan devised to

evaluate the services provided by the Disability Resource Center here at OU. This project called

me to perform a literature review for the subject of students with disabilities in higher

education, then propose a way to evaluate the services provided by the DRC. This project was

my first time combining my undergraduate degree of special education and my graduate

degree with looking into the higher education world that I have grown to be very interested in.

Looking at the evaluation plan now, I would look developing my evaluation materials a little

further. I created a checklist and sample questions, but I would want to develop some sort of

Qualtrics that would allow the evaluation to be sent out for people to complete. I talked about

most of the evaluation done in person through individual and group interviews, but creating an

online avenue for students to help give their input of the services provided by the DRC would

increase my sample size and allow more accessibility to the evaluation of the center.

The last project in my portfolio is what I completed for my internship. In this internship,

I really got to put the ADDIE model to the test. For my internship in the EIPT program, I spent

the summer working at the Office of Digital Learning (ODL) on the University of Oklahoma's

campus. During my internship, I spent over 100 hours working to complete a canvas course and

workshop that covers the accessibility of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Canvas.

From researching and exploration, I wrote up guidelines for professors and campus staff to

follow when they are making canvas courses or course materials to ensure that students with

or without disabilities can access, but more specifically students who use screen readers due to

visual impairments, reading disabilities, or blindness. At the end of my internship, I lead a

workshop to the staff of the ODL on the accessibility of MS Word and Canvas. The workshop

covered the considerations that should be taken to allow screen readers to read what is

presented on word documents and canvas correctly. The workshop included group work,

games, and a canvas course that the participants gained access to once the workshop was

complete. The canvas course has the guidelines I wrote, along with the workshop materials so

participants can reference and share with other faculty and staff on campus. Looking at what I

completed for my internship, I would have practiced my workshop a little more because of how

nervous I was, plus I ran into some technical issues with the PowerPoint and videos during it. I

also wish I had more time to research more about accessibility across the board rather than the

sole focus on screen reader accessibility. This project and internship led to me looking more

into jobs in the higher education world with working with accessibility and online course work.