Welcome to week four of 12 on our journey through the Design for the Greater Good Instructional Design online course.

Over the past two weeks, we have been focusing on the ‘Synthesize’ phase of the design process, where we have made our initial design decisions. It was at this point where we chose our subject, target age level, and other high-level design decisions.

design decisions

Our Course Design Decisions

The premise of this course series is to create instruction that aligns with the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) that underlie high school equivalency exams and other adult basic education programs. We were able to select the intended grade level and topic of the instruction: English or Math.

I have always had more of an affinity for math than language, so I chose Math as the subject of my lesson. As I deliberated on the specific subject, I thought about one of the core requirements we preach all the time and that’s relevance to learners. I thought about all the subjects I remember children and young adults complain about saying they’ll never use outside of school, and wanted to bring one of these topics to light in a real world context.

What I came up with was to teach fractions within the context of cooking with a recipe. So, my content “domain” within mathematics is fractions. Many people struggle with adding and multiplying fractions, so I felt presenting these in a common, everyday usage would add the relevancy and context to properly motivate the students.

One premise of this class is to create these lesson plans under the Creative Commons License, but as part of that, to search for existing Open Educational Resources (OER) to potentially leverage for our materials.

As I began looking for OER on this subjects, one of the first relevant ones I found was targeted for students a little older than I plan, so I will need to adjust the difficulty slightly.

Additionally, it was an entire unit that contained 13 lessons, which is far longer than the scope of our ultimate materials. So, I will have to select the most relevant content and adjust the scope accordingly to fit the target duration of our project.

That said, with this much content, there will be a lot of ideas to draw upon for my assignment. Because this unit license I found allows for remixing and sharing, I will be able to leverage content as needed for my assignment.

Pros and Cons of Creative Commons Licenses

Speaking of existing content, let’s talk about Creative Commons licenses. In many cases, Creative Commons licenses have pros and cons.

Pros:

-You’re allowing others to use, build upon, and improve your work.

-It’s a resource that’s free an accessible to all.

-Your original copyright is still in tact.

Cons:

-Unrevoakable

-Can’t ask for compensation

-Ambiguous copyright rules

While it can be great to contribute additional works that will be free and available online, you give up a lot of your rights to the exclusivity, or potential future profit, from the work. However, within the context of this course, the whole point is to give back to society, so I don’t see a down side to providing these resources publicly.

Next Week

Stay tuned, as next week we’ll dive into the Synthesize phase of the process and begin designing the instructional experience.