My time as a Gamecock has come and gone relatively quickly. When I first applied for the program, I thought I had a grasp of educational technology and instructional design. From the start of the first class, I felt I had a lot to learn. However, as my courses progressed, I understood the importance of what I was learning. Moreover, I found that the lessons I learned were being applied to my position as director for digital learning and outreach from early in my studies.
Most of my job would be to jump in and fix designs. But, by assessing and using ID models and applying them to the tasks I had been assigned. Using summative evaluation and content specific ID models such as ADDIE, Morrison, Ross & Kemp, and Smith and Ragan gave me insight into issues that before may have perplexed me. Because of this new understanding and use of the skills that I learned I now have a deeper appreciation for the process behind instructional design.
My main takeaway from returning to academia as a student after 20 years was discovering that I should have never left. I would have considered myself an expert when it came to the world of educational technology. I was mistaken. Technology is ever-changing. By investing in my education, seminars, and certifications, I can stay on top of the foundation I have gained from the University of South Carolina.
Among the things I need to spend more time reflecting on is assessment. I have felt that this section of my education was always what I struggled with the most. Although I have improved my understanding, deeper study and more learning are warranted.
The choice I made to pursue my master's degree at the time seemed mainly to get the credential that said I could do what I was already doing. However, what I learned over the past 20 months is a skill set that I will take moving forward. Although I look forward to the challenges ahead as ID becomes a more significant part of my responsibilities at William Paterson University, I feel more confident in my skills because of the challenge offered by the program and the results of the work I put into the program.
While this reflection has had me look back on the projects that framed my education and reminded me of things that weren't a part of my understanding of educational technology or instructional design. Each artifact presented here is a part of my growth and understanding of ID and educational technology, and approaches to education as a whole.
My decision to pursue this course of study has been advantageous, and the first time I felt my education has had real-world applications. I am proud of the growth and comprehension I have found at the University of South Carolina.