Competency 5

Engage in Professional Development

Sub-Competency 1: This competency demonstrates the disposition for engagement in life-long learning and continuous professional development.

I have loved to learn for as long as I can remember. When I learned to read, I hid under my blankets at night with a flashlight reading anything I could get my hands on. In a discussion post dated March 18th, I explain my early love of learning that has continued to this day. In response to a question asking us to write about a multimedia experience that stands out in our mind, I shared this one:

...what stands out is the Encyclopedia Britannica and Funk and Wagnalls dictionaries. My father threw our television out three months after he brought it home because he said we were watching it too much. This was in 1959 when we had to sit watching a screen saver of sorts until the programming would start. He then purchased a set of Encyclopedia Britannica that came with a two volume set of dictionaries. Those wonderful books were filled with black and white illustrations, even the dictionaries. I got to keep them when I became an adult and have spent many hours over the years pouring over them; in recent years comparing the information with new data; and, yes, still studying the dictionary (Krause, 2015).

Today, if I do not have enough to keep my mind busy, I will study any of a wide range of topics just for the sheer joy of learning. Learning equates to living, in my paradigm.

Since starting this course, I have read a plethora of additional books and articles (above what we were assigned). I have reviewed a large number of software packages related to all aspects of Instructional Design. I have signed up for test drives of Moodle, Sakai, Canvas, CourseSites, Blackboard, EdX, and TinCanAPI (xAPI). I was concerned that I do not have hobbies like other people, but, I realized learning is my hobby. 

I present a sampling of some of the learning experiences I have engaged in (or currently am engaging in) since starting my MSEd. 


Currently, I am taking an EdX course through Notre Dame entitled I Heart Stats in an effort to better understand the statistical side of the articles we are reading.

Planned Collaborative Learning

I have also been meeting every 4-6 weeks with a graduate of the Purdue LDT program. Kathy has given me tutorials on Articulate and has been sharing the projects she is doing for her employer—showing me tips, tricks and techniques that she is learning as she designs/develops their training materials. I in turn help her with graphics and tech issues. 


Sakai Showcase | The Lessons Enhancement Project
October 15, 2014

A discussion of the Sakai community, best practices, understanding/experience between Sakai community members (includes developers/system admins/QA/UI designers/support/documentation, etc) and faculty.


  • Comes out of LEaP
  • Lessons: Spreadsheets not best answer to organize info UX skills vary.
  • Too process heavy—can Agile be used?
  • UX is a major issue; but, limited resources.
  • NOTE: The group may also include a representative from other Sakai groups such as Teaching and Learning and the PMC (Lessons Enhancement Project Governance Model)

Erika Vail | The Many Hats of the Educational Technologist
Posted on
March 31, 2014


  • The misconceptions about the role
  • AECT's definition of Instructional Design
  • The difference in institutions as far as research prior to doing a project.
  • Where the IDer fits in. Ambiguity around what we do.
  • New field—we're the glue that holds the moving pieces together and that's making education better. 
  • Time spent on tasks in her position: 
    • 70% faculty support / one-on-one training / determining best instructional delivery / restructuring course designs
    • 10% student support
    • 10% admin
    • 5% research
    • 5% development / working on projects (this is the reality; only 5% of time to develop her own course)

Last Hat

  • Educational Technologist as a Game Changer
  • Be change agents

MOOCS: Need clear vision of who the audience is:

  • 5% of college students completed MOOC
  • Average completion rate under 7% 
  • Motivation is an issue
  • Assessment: how outcomes are achieved
  • Erica feels there is a chaotic structure
  • Successful learning does not scale / Joshua Kim (Dartmouth)
  • Successful learning defined by having the human element and being able to interact with an instructor
  • So, can technology replace teachers? Is a MOOC a content platform vs personalized learning platform? 5 of 6 purely mechanical / no peer assessment required Udacity / said lousy product
  • Student to content (this is present in a MOOC)
  • Student to student
  • Student to facilitator

Believes MOOCs as they are need tighter vision and authentic learningCompetency Based Education / Digital BadgesEducational Gaming

  • need collaboration
  • personalization
  • problem-based
  • project-based
  • discussion-based
  • need facilitators that respond to timely feedback
  • Need connectivism
  • Constructivism and Connectivism / Media-rich, interactive environments
  • Use content as a conduit to connections George Siemens
  • Also use MOOCs for flipped classrooms: chunking bites / video bites
  • Outside the classroom
  • Package instruction
  • Post video on bb and in class discuss the content
  • MOOCs are video based so use EdX videos"wasting class time to watch videos"

Why care? One of the hats we wear is to be a game changer: we work at the intersection of education (how people learn) and technology (how the world changes)... 

Joshua Kim: We have the best gig in higher education. We get to be innovative. 

Megan Torrance | Tips & Tricks: Using Agile Methodology in Instructional Design
December 19, 2014 |  Agile Webinar Notes

The Agile methodology helps project managers respond to rapidly changing business requirements that can shift even before a project is complete. It guides you to better target the deliverables required to meet a project’s goals, fine tuning as necessary. A form of Agile, the Lot Like Agile Methods Approach (LLAMA), is designed specifically for instructional projects.


• Identify business goals that will help you align your project.
• Leverage the LLAMA approach to define the scope of a project.
• Select a primary learner persona (PLP) for your project.
• Break your project into easy to manage tasks.
• Use iterative development to refine a project’s deliverables.

4 e-Learning Design Principles to Leave Behind
October 29, 2014  | Richard Sikes 

Email: Thank you for attending yesterday's webinar! 

  • Stop: Relying on Templates / Design for Performance
  • Stop: Documenting Design with Storyboards / Work with Examples to Describe Design
  • Stop: Using Prototypes as Drafts / Use Prototypes for Design Discussion
  • Stop: Starting with Content / Start with Performance

Mike Rustici | Impacts of the Tin Can API: How 8 Companies are Using Tin Can (xAPI)
January 21, 2015 | | 

Thanks for attending "The Impacts of the Tin Can API: How 8 Companies are Using the Tin Can API (xAPI)

Organizations and vendors of various types are rushing to adopt Tin Can because it enables many things they have wanted to do for a long time.

Things like mobile delivery, offline delivery, serious games and hosting content outside the LMS were all difficult or impossible with SCORM. These are easy with Tin Can. 

Eight companies tell how they are using the Tin Can API, and what it means for their business: 

  • CM Group
  • Knowledge Guru
  • Riptide 
  • Risc 
  • TES 
  • Tessello 
  • Torrance Learning 
  • ZebraZapps 

Purdue iTaP Webinar on WebEx
November 18, 2014

Email Correspondance

I also believe in seeking the source when I have questions about a reading that I cannot answer by looking at the research or publication(s). For that reason, I reached out to and received responses and ancillary readings from John Keller and Richard Clark. While I do not always get a response, it seems that the members of the Instructional Design community are more responsive to my inquiries than those in the business arena. 

Email Communication with Dr. John Keller
Email Communication with Dr. Richard Clark

I believe that while this represents only a small sample of the outside learning opportunities in which I have participated, it is indicative of my world view of learning as a way of life. Learning is that which helps me make sense of my environment and experience, and helps connect me to the rest of humanity. It is essential to life, growth, well-being, and a sense of self and purpose. 


Krause, T. (2015). Week 2, DQ. The possibility of multimedia. EDCI 566. Purdue University