Archive for Instructional Design

Open Educational Resources (OER)!

This post is in conjunction with the Workshop that was given at Bristol Community College on October 24, 2017, at 11:00 am for the CITE Lab’s Instructional Design Series. October is OER month so look for other events!

Locating, Assessing, and Adapting OER 

Interested in moving away from a publisher’s traditional textbook? This session will help you understand your options when it comes to locating, selecting, and incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER).   

Read more

So, you want to use Rurbics?

This week I was asked to do a workshop on Rubrics at Bristol Community College. I got to the conference room early,  set up the computer, entered the collaborate room, and started my presentation. Apparently, the computer didn’t like it, and my sound in part of the video didn’t work! Wow. It was a great session with lots of great questions on Rubrics.

A rubric is a scoring tool that provides feedback using criteria, levels of competency, and explanation of expectations (Blach, Blanck, & Blach) (Reddy, Andrade). Learners find that having this tool provided to them from the start help them to manage the assignment.(Reddy, Andrade).  They use it as a checklist, understand what needs to be completed, and identify what is important. (Reddy, Andrade).

According to Stevens and Levi there are several good reasons to use rubrics;

  • Timely feedback to students
  • Inspired Critical Thinking
  • valuable communication
  • Provides a sense of fairness

Typical Rubric: Criteria is on the left side, levels of competencies are on the top. The middle section is the descriptors.  Each descriptor should be clear, consistent, and understandable to the learner. Total possible scores for each criterion are usually listed under the criteria. (Blach, Blanck, & Blach) (Reddy, Andrade)(Stevens and Levi) Although I have Excellent to Not acceptable, some use the opposite. Just keep it consistent across your course.


Excellent Very Good Good Fair Not acceptable
Topic (20%)
Formatting (10%)
Introduction (10%)
Body (10%)
Conclusion (50%)

For more information on rubrics:

Using Rubrics to Measure and Enhance Student Performance from Northern Virgina Community College

Rubrics- Sharing the rules of the Game 

Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning

Introduction to Rubrics templates (Free downloads)

Where to find rubrics if you are not going to create your own?

Rubrics for Higher Education has many rubrics from scientific to humanities.

Rubistar: This site has a lot of rubrics – many of them are k-12 bases

IRubric: Is Higher Ed centric

Pinterest: Yes there are a lot of rubrics on Pinterest

When considered a pre-made rubric, read through the whole rubric, to see if it fits assignment that you created. If it’s close, consider reworking it.

What do you do with it once you chose it?

If you are using it in Blackboard, you will have to enter it into the system. The good part of entering it into the system, it’s easy to reuse, edit, and copy.

Blackboard: Rubric

Rubrics can make grading easy and help students better prepare for the assignment. I would recommend going through some of the material above to create great rubrics.




References:    Link will take you to the reference page.


Instructional Design Templates for Storyboarding


Well, what is Storyboarding? It’s a visual way pre-visualize learning assets. It can be done in many different ways, digital (Word, PowerPoint, etc…, pen and paper, whiteboard, etc.. One of my favorite sites, has some great information has more information on what it is. Also, this pdf from Columbia shows the process of storyboarding for Higher Education.  Another great blog on storyboarding can be found at Most likely, you will not storyboard a whole semester or a large project, but you will find storyboarding helpful on a small project, that can add up to a larger project.

It’s frustrating to find one great template, especially for Higher Education. I found a template that I really like. It’s by eLearning Brothers, This website has a lot of great resources that you can use in your designs. If you have Captivate CC, you have access to all of their assets. This comes in handy if you need to create a Learning Asset on the cheap (which if you are in public Higher Education, is a must).

Along with their assets, they have lots of templates. The Template that I have used is the ID template. I think it’s robust and really has a great theory behind it. The template is free all you have to do is register. It is created in PowerPoint so you don’t have to pay for Captivate (or know how it works), or other software. It’s really is for an Instructional Designer rather than a developer (sometimes this is missed. Instructional Designers, although they can be, aren’t the media designer.

The only things that I would add to the template are; accessibility (is the project ADA compliant, the right use of closed captioning, can it be accessed by screen readers– all important areas especially in Higher Ed.), copyright (who owns the rights to the images, the content material, etc., and finally, what will the copyright be for the project.  These things must be identified up front, so they won’t be a problem after the learning asset has been designed.

If you don’t know how to approach storyboarding, have no worries the eLearning Brothers have something for you. It is called 8 Steps for an Awesome eLearning Storyboard. I highly recommend it. eLearning industry has a good article as well. 12 Tips To Create Effective eLearning Storyboards.

The creation of an Educated Citizen

This came up on my Facebook stream. Of course, I remembered the speech from a long time ago, I read it rather than watched it. Watching it reminds me, that sometimes, historical speeches need to be listened to. As a history and political junky, I do at times search YouTube for speeches from political figures that hold an understanding of the world that they live in. This speech today somehow moved me as it linked to a discussion I have been having in the world of academics and with those who care for Higher Education.

JFK’s speech, showing up in my feed, caught my interest because it was about education. As I listened to it. I realized that this is the same argument we are having today about the very nature and need for education. Even more so with the Trump’s administration attempt to rob education, and thereby robbing the future of democracy in which a citizen can fully participate not as a spectator but as a participant.

He states in his speech, “…only an educated and informed people will be a free people; that the ignorance of one vote in a democracy impairs the security of all…” Isn’t that’s what happening today? It’s clear that because we live in a 24-hour news cycle, fake news serving red meat along side of biased news, we push of critical thinking skills away because it’s on the internet..

We rush out and we grab on what makes us “feel” something, rage, anger, hate, and passion. What happens when the news cycle changes? We don’t get to take the time we need to be informed citizens. I don’t think that JFK is saying that everyone needs to be college educated or even “formally” educated, I believe what he is saying is that we need to be diligent, use our ability to think and inform ourselves about our world.

We as good citizens should pursue activities that will allow ourselves to learn about the world we live in, add to our knowledge base and to be able to look at all points of view in order to make an informed decision which is best for our government and our world.

As educators, we need to really understand this. We are not just educating learners on a particular subject, we are creating educated citizens, who can contribute to democracy, not just our niche.  Education should include things like Critical Thinking, independent exploration of ideas and thoughts, and a good understanding how our political system works. This doesn’t have to be party or ideology specific, good critical thinking skills should be used no matter what the ideology is.

Yes, it’s hard and sometimes difficult to create assignments in your field that can help challenge, create discussion, and provoke thought, but doing so will help and encourage participation. JFK in the speech talks about service to our country, what better service can an educator have than to provide tools to all citizen learners so they can make informed and educated choices to make our country strong.

“…the educated citizen has a special obligation to encourage the pursuit of learning, to promote exploration of the unknown, to preserve the freedom of inquiry and to assist at every level of government…”

Isn’t that what an educators mission is? Just asking….

NERCOMP: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Course

If you never heard of NERCOMP before, I highly encourage you to go over and look at what they have to offer to those who are IDer and ITers in Higher Education in the New England area.

certificates for ceit

Wall of Certificates at Work with recently added Completion of CAPM course

I was lucky enough to receive professional development money to attend a 3-day course for CAPM. CAPM stands for Certified Associate in Project Management. This certification process is through the PMI (Project Management Insitute).  The class was offered through NERCOMP and facilitated through to New Horizons Learning Solutions. The PMI have tough requirements which made this particular course crammed packed full of information and how to take the certification test.

I decided on NERCOMP because the ATD has modified the Project Management course to make it relevant to Trainers or Instructional Designers. They call their program Project Management for Learning Professionals and is a 2-day course, it was more expensive than the NERCOMP course and didn’t cover as much information. You can also pick up the Project Management for Trainers through Amazon. I strongly recommend the book, it’s a good “techie” read and will help you understand the basics of Project Management in the ID process (they use ADDIE, SAM, and Agile — more towards SAM because that is what the ATD is moving towards).

Although, it looks like that the two course are different, even though they share the concept of project management, the two are not the same. Project Management from the viewpoint of the PMI is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements (PMBOK p. 554) The book also defines a project as a temporary endeavor and is different from operational controls — For instance building a course is a project, while the maintenance of the course is operational.

PMI has created a system to manage projects from large to small. Their system can be found again in their guide, known at PMBOK, on Page 61. In this chart it lays out five processes and 10 areas of knowledge. This “system” guides the Project Manager from start to finish. The PMBOK is a comprehensive guide.

The course is extremely taxing on the mind and body, it’s 3 days 9:00am to 5:30pm (the last day we went to 6:00pm). It covers everything from how to initiate the process to how to close. As you can see from the PDF that I linked above there are a lot of steps in the process and as Instructional Designers you might not have hands on experience with, like Risks & Cost, but will have control over Time, Quality, Scope, Communication, Quality, and possibly Managing people.

I think I will sit for the CAPM exam, within the next few months, be

PMBOK and Bootcamp books

Two heavy-weights. The PMBOK which is 589 pages and the BootCamp book weighing in over 624 pages.

cause I truly think that Project Management and Instructional Design are interconnected. Although, Instructional Designers are taught in school time management, and we might have created a gantt chart, understand what a milestone is, Instructional Design systems leave out a few steps that Managing Instructional Designers might not be exposed too. It’s important I think (even in academia) it’s important to know the cost, the risks, associated with courses.


I am sure that I will hear rounds of; In academia, we don’t need another business model, because of Academic Freedoms. I don’t think some systems lack Academic Freedoms I think it allows Academics to be more creative and invest in tools that will allow Learners become critical thinkers. Let’s face it, it’s pretty scary suddenly have to understand costs and risk (in money).

But if we academics can look at the Risks and costs, in terms of the human element. What if this course doesn’t run, how will affect a student’s retention or ability to gain employment or the college’s ability to get a particular certification from a licensing body.

I look forward to sitting for the exam even with my dreaded Test Anxiety.

What I would like do is write a few blog posts on the differences between IDS and PM (PMI)  and how these systems can be used in Higher Education.

Updated Note:

The NERCOMP Course provides the material that is needed to complete the course. It doesn’t include the cost of membership to the PMI ($129 plus $10 application fee) nor the Fee to take the Test.


Would I recommend this course to others? YES, I definitely would.

Will I take the Certification? Yes, but most likely in the late Spring.


Certificate of Completion

Personal Learning — An Instructional Designer perspective


Screencapture of Watercolor Study notebook

OneNote Watercolor Study. Note Book

Sometimes you don’t want formal instruction, but rather to explore on your own, to take your time and focus on certain things. Personal learning is a concept that learning is directed by the needs of the learner. Although, more and more personal learning spaces are showing up in Academics, individuals can set up their own Personal Learning Spaces with tools like OneNote. You can see my personal learning space I used in Onenote: Watercolor Study – OneNote – View only 

The set up is very simple, I added tabs across the top that will allow me quick access to those specific concepts, ideas, and interests I have in watercolor. In the first tab, I asked what I wanted to do, this is my goal, assignment, mission statement area. This tab includes my story. It gives me the ability to set long and short term goals. I can even give myself specific measurable learning objectives. In Academics, Instructors could provide a syllabus and instructions. Since this is an informal learning space in which I am learning as I go along, my goals will be broad and not specific. As I learn, I can be more specific and detailed. Since I am using OneNote as my platform, I can add editors and viewers, which means that I can add mentors or others who share the hobby or the profession.

To keep track of the material that I consume, I use the OneNote chrome extension and

Image of Chrome extension in action.

OneNote Chrome Extension

place it under the tab that I think it belongs. I really like the extension app because it allows me to save things quickly in different formats, full page(saves an HTML file in Onenote), screen-capture of area of screen, bookmarks, or other formats.  No need for cutting and pasting. In OneNote, there is an ability to annotate the page, add notes, and to customize it. This comes in helpful when I want to make notes about my work.



Screencapture of My Work Section in OneNore

My Work section with notes!

At some point I will want real feedback from others, this will help me share the work with the person I want feedback from and allow them to edit the notebook. Possibly to add additional resources I don’t have, to evaluate the material I have in the Notebook (is it good enough), give assignments, and/or project ideas. Feedback not only from those who are in the field, but other learners can be a powerful tool. The nice thing about OneNote, is that you the learner can dictate how you want the feedback and in what format. To keep track of my work I created a My Work tab and used my camera on my phone to take a picture of it and upload it via the OneNote Android app.  I can also use the Andriod App to upload images for future projects, take notes on the go (using the keyboard or draw with my finger).

Starting a OneNote for a personal learning is easy and totally customizable. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Title the notebook for the type of learning you want.
  2. Create goals, and break down the goals into bite-sized pieces that you can obtain in short periods of time.
  3. Give yourself assignments. Just don’t “watch” a video, make sure you do something with the knowledge in the video. If you watch a video on “how-to” something then follow along. You can always pause, go back, or move forward.
  4. Be critical of the material you are using. Only you can see if the material is useful to you.
  5. Create different sections. Even if you don’t end up using them, or they turn out to have a life of their own, you can modify them, split them up, or even delete them.
  6. Use the clipping tool from Chrome, it helps you to organize better.
  7. Be creative, look at different ways you can use OneNote.
    1. Record a note – Audio or Video
    2. Draw with a pen tool or your finger (on a touch screen device)
    3. Use the TO Do list and if you have it linked to Outlook you can add them to your calendar.

Over all, this process is working for me. As an Instructional Designer, I like to have neat and organized areas to put my learning material. As I grow more comfortable with Watercolor, I can imagine this space growing into a Place where others can benefit from the information in it.

#OneNote #PersonalLearning #Instructional Design

How I use OneNote for Instructional Design

I have used #OneNote for many years. OneNote is a tool that comes with Microsoft Office 365 and can be used free online. I really love the freeform and how easy it is to use. I started to use it while I was in Graduate School studying for my Master’s Degree in Education (Instructional Design). I found it very helpful to organize my thoughts, projects, and assignments.

When I started to work at a college I used it to manage the programs that I was assigned to. I worked closely with the Occupational Therapy  and kept records of Instructors, courses, notes about particular classes, and tasks that I needed to complete. It really allowed me to see what I did, look at what was in process, and plan for the future. Everything was in place.


As One Note added more and more features, like cloud compatibility. I started to share notebooks with others, use it to collaborate with others, and use it to give structure to courses that I was designing.  In this example of the Workforce Notebook, I organized the course that I was designing with a tab for Meetings in Admin (meeting notes, timetable, tasks- which I could also link to my outlook inbox-, any important email, document, or other important to the project information. The next sections addressed each module of the course (each page laid out the flow, content, order, and any content that would go into the course.). Finally, there was a tab for the information about the current project, description, stakeholders, etc…

What is the process that I use to create a OneNote Notebook? I start with a pen and a notebook at meetings, whiteboards in meetings. I create a Notebook for a project prior to the first meeting, I organize it into sections. After the meeting, I upload pictures of my notes, whiteboard, audio recordings, videos, files, or any other important information, into the relevant section. I then assign tasks, notes, and actionable items. For tasks, I link them to my outlook calendar.

OneNote in the classroom can be a powerful tool. It could allow instructors to annotate math problems, allow students to collaborate on projects, share web information (by using Clip to OneNote for Chrome), ideas.


Here are some places to help start you with OneNote:

Microsoft OneNote 2016 – NEW! Tutorial – YouTube

OneNote for Teachers – Interactive Guides

OneNote Class Notebook



Social Media For Higher Ed

Mind Map

Mind Map Social Media for Higher Ed

Social Media is a catch-all phrase that includes anything which allows for a person to interact with others (and information) through the use of the internet. Social Media exposes us to new information, knowledge, and culture in ways that were not possible without it. Social Media over the last 10 years has been sneaking into every aspect of our lives due to smartphone usages.

Business Insider lists the top apps for this year Facebook Messenger is rapidly becoming the most used messaging app, it allows people to connect whether it’s through Facebook of SMS (text messaging through your cell phone) It has over 700 million users worldwide.

Along with messenger apps, that allow you to talk to your friends and family, there are also live streaming apps like Facebook Live and periscope. Apps like Facebook live allow people to stream news and important events from anywhere, it has been used in several high-profile cases in the last year.

But there are also “idea” sharing sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Instant new apps like Twitter allows you to follow what is happening now in your area of interest. It allows people to have a voice.

Social Media, if we like it or not, is where people get their news, knowledge and non-formal education. For instance, my 10-year-old niece wanted to learn how to draw a character from Pokémon and she went and found a YouTube video that helped her.  Because there are many people on YouTube generating videos, she was able to select the style of video that would help her the most.

Using social media in a classroom can help students, think critical, develop analytical skills, and develop their research style. Before thinking about using Social Media in the classroom you should consider the following.

  • FERPA – Protects students private records like grades. This means that student grades, or feedback, should be published online. Grades should be handled through protected means like the LMS or college email. Also, consider students privacy, by allowing students to register anonymously or with a pseudonym when registering on a particular site. You might want to review netiquette requirements and talk about professionalism.
  • If students do not wish to have an online footprint then allow for alternative submission.
  • Check your own online footprint and see if you want to create separate accounts for personal and educational.
  • Check the reason why you want to use social media
  • Make sure you understand how to use the tool, including privacy settings and terms of use.

Here are some great websites about the use of Social Media in the college classroom.

Social Media Library , Educause

Social Learning In Instructional Design: Practical Tips To Design Effective Collaborative eLearning Activities, eLearning Industry

Is Your Use of Social Media FERPA Compliant? (From 2014) Educause review

How I Teach Social Media in My University Classroom, Hootsuite blog, Karen Freberg

Social Media: You’re Probably Doing it Wrong Inside Higher Ed

Importance of Social Media in Higher Education, Ed Tech Review

A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom, edutopia

25 Awesome Social Media Tools for Education, Inform Ed

99 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom [Updated], Online College

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom,

30 Innovative Ways to Use Twitter In the Classroom, edudemic

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom, Center for Online education

Using Pinterest in the College Classroom, Pinterest

Effective Use of Instagram in the Classroom Infographic, e-Learning

5 Ways to Use Snapchat as A Teaching and Learning Tool in Higher Education @aiaddysonzhang, I social fanz

Snapchat as a tool (NPR)

Bullet Journal Update

I have been using the Bullet Journal System for the last 2 years. I have used different notebooks, I started in a Filofax but quickly moved away from that system because I couldn’t find a thin printable high-quality paper that I could use in my Laser printer. After using the  Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted that you can purchase from places like Goulet Pens. I recommend them because they have great customer service and the turn around is great.not to mention they have a great pen selection for fountain pen lovers.

I currently use a notebook by Nanami Paper called the crossfield, it is 480page,  5mm, A5 sized, tome river paper, dot grid notebook. The paper has a beautiful feeling to the touch. It loves fountain pen ink (although it dries slower than other paper, but they give you a blotting page), and watercolor.

I roughly use the Ryder Carrol system and you can find out more at his website Bullet Journal. What I love about the system is that it is very flexible and allows you to take control over your own time. I use other products to combine it with my notebook to help me keep on track. The inserts I get from DIYFish on Esty, she has great inserts for Filofax or midori style notebooks. I use Hyperdex Stamp Set and I use 2017 / A5 1-year Calendar / fold into A5 – Inserts Refills Filofax Binder Collins.

I use my Bullet Journal in a different way, because not only do I use it for planning, track tracking, I use it for everything. It’s the one book that comes with me everywhere.

For work:

  • Note taking at meetings – in conjunction with OneNote (I will do a separate Blog post about this.
  • Note taking – for articles, books, or blog posts
  • Brian dump for ideas, understanding.
  • Mindmapping. great for designing courses and helping faculty
  • Everyday tasks and reminders. I use this in conjunction with Outlook.

Here are images from my October 2016 set up.

octorber 2016

two pages from a bullet journal spread


I try to make each month my own. I like to add the Moon Phases for my spiritual work, add paydays, holidays, time off, or anything that is important to me.  The point of this is to make it work for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just something that you will use.

I do like to use watercolors in my journal. I currently use Prima

page from Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal week on two pages with Hyperdex stamp

Watercolors, They come in pan form and easy to store in a bag. It’s a great way to add emphases to your entries or to de-stress.


To the right is how I use DIY stamps for my daily time tracking and tasks. I have one week on two pages I really like this because I can quickly see what I need to do, and, well, what hasn’t.


been done. I use the time tracker because I want to see my sleeping habits and time spent on projects. I do color code by using a

Week on Two Pages with Hyperdex from August 2016

Week on Two Pages with Hyperdex from August 2016

pentel mechanical pencil that has an assortment of 8 colors.







Color Code

Color Code Key for the Hyperdex

I really love the system and encourage everyone who loves pen and paper to give it a try. I love technology as well and do use tech tools as much as I can. I think of my Bullet Journal as my collection of ideas, that I can then enter into the digital world. Below you will find my YouTube Video which walks through my just completed Bullet Journal.



Transitioning Faculty…

..from face-to-face to fully online

Welcome! I encourage you to look around my blog if you have any question please ask or send a question via twitter using #CeitIDLinks,


Join the conversation at #CeitIDLinks on Twitter.  This is an embed tool created by Twubs. Twubs allows users to follow a Hashtag and background conversations.


Working copy of Course Development Checklist the Instructional Design team at Bristol uses to provide feedback to faculty.

Syllabus template used at Bristol Community College

Don’t forget to check out Sandra Campos’s post on Transitioning to fully online.

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