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Introduction

Instructional design (ID) models serve to guide individuals and design teams in planning instruction. The conscious process of working back and forth through the linear or iterative steps of an ID model improves the chances that key instructional principles will be addressed. "The Dick and Carey model prescribes a methodology for designing instruction based on a reductionist model of breaking instruction down into smaller components. Instruction is specifically targeted on the skills and knowledge to be taught and supplies the appropriate conditions for the learning of these outcomes." (Siemens, 2002). To that end, like many of the popular ID models, Dick & Carey’s model begins with an analysis stage. Specifically, their focus on analysis is built on identifying instructional goals, conducting instructional analysis, and analyzing learners and contexts.

Instructional Goals

Instructional goals are clear statements of behaviors that learners are to demonstrate as a result of instruction. For this project, a three-person design team is utilizing Dick & Carey’s model for the planning and development of a Web-based tutorial on TechSmith’s Camtasia Studiosoftware. The instructional goals for the tutorial are that the targeted learners will both recognize and utilize opportunities within their instructional duties to develop and incorporate screen-capture based demonstrations as a result of having gained:
1. an appreciation of the instructional benefits of using screen-capture based videos; and
2. an understanding of those features of Camtasia Studio software that are essential to developing a simple screen-capture video.

Instructional Analysis

Instructional analysis involves the collection of information on learners’ entry behavior, characteristics, prior knowledge, skills, and attitude, academic motivation and learning preferences by addressing key issues that include:
  • What is the change being requested?
  • Who is being asked?
  • What is currently taking place?
  • Who is requesting the change?
  • Where will this change need to take place?

A consideration of the model's Analysis component necessarily must acknowledge the influence on Dick and Carey of Robert Gagne’s conditions of learning. The basic assumptions on which their model was proposed are:
  • The relationship between instruction material-learning is similar to that of stimulus-response.
  • The sub-skills that have to be mastered should be identified.
  • Acquiring these sub-skills result in the intended behavior (Naryan, 2008)

For the Camtasia tutorial, the sub-skills that target learners will need to master include organizing instructional content for onscreen capture, manipulating the software’s capture controls, using the software’s post-capture editing functions, and publishing the completed video.

Learner Analysis

The target learners for our Camtasia Studio tutorial website are a group of approximately 15 instructors in the College of Education at a large research university in the southeastern United States. The instructors teach in both asynchronous and synchronous learning environments, with course delivery method ranging from strictly online instruction to strictly face-to-face classroom instruction, with some using a combination of face-to-face instruction with an online component. The online instructors use Blackboard Course Management System as their primary method of delivery for course content. The university furnishes Blackboard accounts for all students and instructors and all courses have a default Blackboard account created for each course, regardless of course delivery method. Blackboard features include discussion forums for student-student and instructor-student dialogue and options for instructors to post documents, graphics, and video on the site for instruction.

Our target learners have a wide range of technical knowledge, but the majority of those who use the synchronous method of instruction use the traditional “chalk and talk” method of lecture, or use only Microsoft PowerPoint presentations as part of their lecture. Those who use asynchronous online instruction typically also use Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, post PDF files of articles for students to read, and have students submit assignments in Microsoft Word. Our target learners use technology mostly to send and receive email, upload documents to Blackboard, or compose PowerPoint presentations to be projected on large screens in face-to-face classroom environments, or posted on Blackboard to aid instruction. Please see the map below for a graphical representation of our Learner Analysis.

Click on the image for a larger view.

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Context Analysis

Context analysis seeks to understand the setting where the new material will be delivered (the learning context) and where the new skills will be utilized (the performance context). By researching the performance context, the instruction can be directed to more accurately model the actual place that the learned skills will be employed. By being cognizant of the environment where the instruction will take place, the instructional designer can anticipate possible difficulties or distractions to learning and design the instruction to minimize these problems.

Performance Context
While performance context (the environment where the new skills will be utilized) does not directly affect instruction, it should be used to guide its design. The better the learning context (i.e. classroom) matches the performance context (i.e. workplace) the better the knowledge transfer and student motivation. Several factors that should be examined include support, relevance of skills, and the physical and social aspects of the site. As with any computer software, technical support is essential. TechSmith's Web site provides several options, including online documentation, training videos, and searchable question libraries. Support from the IT department of the University may be limited, as Camtasia is not a part of the University supplied software suite. The skills learned during this instruction are very relevant, even for those who use primarily face-to-face instruction. The physical and social aspects of the performance context, aside from the fact that the software will be utilized on a computer, are almost impossible to predict.

Learning Context
The learning context (the place where the instruction will take place) is studied to determine any possible obstacles to instruction. Factors that should be scrutinized include the physical characteristics of the learning environment, whether it has the necessary equipment to support instruction and the learners, and how closely the performance context can be imitated. Because the instruction implementation is a web-based tutorial, the designers will have complete control over that portion of the learning environment. However, there are other technical factors outside the designers control such as learner computer configuration and internet access speed. Care must be taken to insure that the final Web site is accessible to learners with varying technical capabilities and expertise. One of the benefits of creating a Web-based instruction module for computer software is that the learning context (a computer) closely matches the performance context (a computer).




References

Naryan, A. (2008). Dick and Carey Model. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from http://archiespeaksout.blogspot.com/2008/08/dick-and-carey-model.html.
Siemens, G. (2002). Instructional Design in elearning. Retrieved February 18, 2011 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/InstructionalDesign.htm.
VaTech School of Education. (2010), Principles of Instructional Design. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from http://www.itma.vt.edu/modules/spring10/instrdes/lesson5.htm
U.S. Dept of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from http://www.nedc.nrcs.usda.gov/isd/isd3.html