Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 4.1 Project Management, 512 Online Course Design, DESIGN, MANAGEMENT

Learning Task Map


Part 1: The learner task maps identifies the major steps participants will need to complete the activities outlined in this course. Click on the brainstorm image to see it full size.

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 6.25.32 PM

Part 2:

Task-Objective Assessment Item Blueprint by Gillian Riley

Part II: Task Objective Assessment Item Blueprint


Laying the tasks helps the designer realize how just many steps are involved in each objective. Perhaps more importantly, misalignments become apparent. In constructing the Task Objective Blueprint, I could see how both my objectives and my activities were aligned. After spending a good amount of time with teachers, I realize they want something that’s applicable…tomorrow.

While the realization about what teachers want was heavy on my mind at the I set into design mode, the Task Objective Map helped me realize skills were embedded, but I wasn’t asking the most important questions: Why is this important to me? What benefit does this process produce for me and my students? How does the implementation effect my students or I long run? and If I do this, then what? The task objectives helped me extend my orignal activities to reach for more depth in the critical thinking process. In each course design, the Task-Objective Assessment Item Blueprint is the most helpful.

Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 512 Online Course Design, All

Project Analysis


When you ask teachers what they want more of, emphatically they answer TIME! Time to collaborate, plan, reflect, analyze data, and give feedback. These are fundamental to sound instructional processes.  Yet their time is often spent working in isolation, improvising, and using their bare hands to grade 100’s of assignments weekly. Public k-12 education has been one of the slowest industries to adopt time saving technologies and teachers are paying the price. Consider that even the auto mechanic leverages his time more effectively. Technology can automatically diagnose a car’s problem, identify needed parts, locate them, and place automatic orders. Repair shops use databased of information to preemptively market to their clients based on miles and make a BEFORE the repair is every needed.  Can you imagine such sophisticated and proactive data to educate our children?

While the similarities between cars and students are slim, what doesn’t change from the mechanic to the teacher is  one field the need to work smarter. Teachers will be the first to admit their attention and time is divided in 100 directions and rarely is the right amount spent on the design behind of the instruction. In conversations with teacher, they’ve said they need more time to:

  1. grade & give feedback
  2. get to know their students
  3. plan
  4. figure out how to engage students


Digital tools have the ability eliminate  or reduce some of symptoms I see daily working with teachers as an Instructional Technology Coach. These symptoms include

  • High stress levels
  • Sense of isolation
  • Bitterness toward professional development and other things that are not “A priorities.”
  • Make it up as you go instruction
  • Reinventing the wheel
  • Lack of communication with students & parents
  • Lack of engaged students


The root cause of this problem, is that the responsibilities of teachers huge and the number of hours in the day outside of instruction are limited. Time management is a popular training topic in corporations across the county, yet after 10 years in the education field, and after completing three education programs spanning 6 years, time management has never been addressed. Another cause is that teachers are challenged to manage their multiple daily responsibilities along with finding time to grow professionally. Taking their planning time for professional development is like robbing Paul to pay Mary.

In a recent professional development survey of 30 high school teacher 83% of staff said that an opportunity to exchange ideas with other teachers was very important.

PD ideas Exchange 2013-02-13 at 1.21.14 PM
Likewise, 87% said it was very important to be able to express concerns on school, classroom, or curriculum issues.

Express Concerns 2013-02-13 at 1.21.28 PM

When asked how important it was to have time to learn to play with new technologies, only 67% said this was very important

Learn New Tools 2013-02-13 at 1.21.40 PM

My conclusion from this is that there ins’t a strong connection between time invested to learn new tools and the long term pay off of daily efficiency.

The evidence for creating a blended learning solution is slightly less conclusive because participants could select multiple options on this survey question. However, it does show that 37% prefer an online option, and 33% said a blended solution would be preferable.

PD Time 2013-02-13 at 1.19.53 PM


That said, the rationale for creating a web-based course is two fold. The first is to differentiate professional development and to meet the needs of already overtaxed teachers at the high schools I work with. The second rationale is so the course can be offered virtually over the summer to teachers across the district to support them as they plan for the 2013-2014 school year. This solution will allow us to accommodate more users by offering more options.


Grading and feedback is widely still done by hand. Teachers are often the only ones giving feedback on student work. Class wide rapid assessment tools and data is inconstantly gathered and used to inform instructional decisions. Rapid assessment tools are regularly implemented and used to drive instructional decisions. Students take a more active role in assessing each others work before it is submitted for teachers feedback.
High school teacher have reported it’s a difficult to get to know 120+ students. Differentiated instruction cannot be implemented without prior knowledge about the students. Teachers will implement tools that allow them to hear from and learn about their students regularly.
Teacher often plan in isolation and reinvent the wheel year after year. No Virtual collaboration space is in place. Many teachers are unaware of the benefits of cloud-based storage solutions. Teachers collaborate regularly with those in and outside of their school and use a cloud based solutions to keep track of lesson plans and teaching resources.
Instructional time is not always maximized. GAPS analysis reported a lack of closings in lessons. Teacher report they often run out of time for closings. Lessons may not be fully thought out and therefore specific goals may not be met. Time indicators are rarely utilized to keep lessons on track. Daily instructions are clearly printed so students have direction and flexibility to move at their own pace. Teachers utilize tools like digital timers to ensure openings, work sessions, and closings stay within targeted timeframes.


At the end of instruction, teachers will be able to identify how technology tools can be used to streamline their duties in gathering assessment data,learning about their students, planning, maximizing instructional time, and creating authentic engagement  They will also be able to evaluate if these tools can be applied in their classroom. Further, they will have the skills needed to apply these tools if their learning environment permits.


As an Instructional Technology Coach and former teacher in the district, the course designer has personal experience with the learners. This course will also be offered as a blended solution before it is offered online. The blended version is a pilot to be revised based on evaluations and complete rates before the online version goes live. The image below outlines what is known about the learners. Below is a link to a survey that will need to be conducted to answer the unknown, namely discovering disabilities and learner technical skills. Click the image to enlarge.

Learner Anyalitics

See the Prerequisite Survey.

Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 512 Online Course Design, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT

EDTECH 512: Online Course Design

Time Management Tools for Teachers Designed by Gillian Riley


Web Based Instructional Design 


Final Products

Posted in All

Thinking of an Online Course to Design

Our district has just recently adopted a Bring Your Own Device policy. This leaves teachers wondering what a BYOT classroom looks like. Aside from gathering resources to share and facilitating conversation about the possibilities, I’m considering what online summer support we can offer them to explore. I created this Flyer as a brainstorm of a possible course outline using for creating infographics. Then I screenshot the photo and imported it to ThingLink, which allows you to link to other media or webpages through small targets to make it interactive. Click the image to see it in ThinkLing Action.