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Under Construction

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”   – Charles Dickens

I’m not a big fan of wearing a hard hat – it feels awkward and does not care when it wreaks havoc on an hour spent with a curling iron.  But I know its importance, to protect the head while on a construction site.  That is why I considered wearing mine today – as a mental reminder that I was ‘in the construction zone’ as I began building my course on COURSEsites (thanks ADLT 642 cohorts for the tip on this free hosted online course creation and facilitation service).

I hadn’t quite completed my Smith-modeled course outline matrix, but had gotten it to a point where I was almost ready to create the individual learning module sheets. I shopped around for course models that were similar to my vision for this course prior to submitting my course proposal.  None were exact, of course, but two were close enough to be considered ‘best practices’ from which to borrow (which is what educators do quite well and quite often).  These were Dr. Wendy Drexler and Dr. Christopher Sessums PLEK12 open course and the Massachusetts New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute home  As Dickens points out “a thing created is loved before it exists,” and I was itching to begin building this exciting thing I was creating.  Logging on to CourseSites might provide me the mental image of where I was heading – and let me know if it would be a good fit for implementing my design.

Having worked in the architectural world, I quickly drew an analogy for how I spent the next several hours – in design-build mode. Design-Build, by definition, is “a contracting procedure used to accelerate procurement of a contract by allowing the contractor to begin construction before the final design has been completed” – much like rapid instructional design.  While it is a bit frustrating to go back and forth between construction and design, I did enjoy building a bit and stopping to reassess.  It gives a sense of accomplishment (and relief) to see product taking shape.  Smith’s advice to get things all in line and available in a written file before posting is a very good one, and I learned a few additional components that I should have prepared – such as the course introduction.

CourseSites is a good LMS tool – which I guess means Blackboard won’t be as difficult as I anticipated.  I really like how it structures the pages according to your instructional framework, helping you to keep focus.   I hope to learn more about how to enhance the aesthetic, but for now it is back to designing and building.

** For the record, ALDT 642 — in the FAQ I discovered the answer to last week’s class question – you CAN migrate content back and forth between CourseSites and Blackboard – joy!**

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2 Responses to “Under Construction”

  1. Joanne:

    I know how you feel wanting to move out of the design phase, roll up your sleeves, and build your course. I actually like to do this, too. I feel that once I am building the thing, new ideas or approaches that I just wasn’t able to consider in the pencil-n-paper design phase occur to me. Despite feeling a level of satisfaction for “getting on with it,” I’ve always wondered if I was taking a shortcut or prematurely ending important design and planning.

    So, it was with some interest that I read the article Thinking Outside the Toolbox (http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/658/thinking-outside-the-toolbox). When I read your post, it popped into my mind, so I thought I would share it with you.

    • Thanks for sharing. I agree content is so important. That is why I am trying very hard to leave the rest of the posting until last. If it’s not perfectly pretty, that JGE for now.


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