Artifacts on: Designing web-supported learning

The following artifacts showcase the basics of designing an e-learning environment.

1. HMID5003: Principles and Practices of Instructional Design Assignment
This artifact encapsulates my scepticism at the beginning of the MIDT programme regarding the area of Instructional Design (ID) as Rossett (2003) argues at first that: 
ID has failed to make its case as the means to ends of designing effective instruction in a timely and customized manner. 
However, upon reflection, am later convinced by Rossett that:
The issue of the limitations of ID to address contemporary learning needs are mainly a result of the inexperience of the practitioner, not a result of the limitations of ID models and well established ID practices, based on data from learners and relevant literature. Therefore the future of ID is assured as long as effective instruction is our main goal.  
2. HMLT5203: Applying Theories of Learning to Instructional Technology Position Paper: Upon reflection working on this artifact enabled me to engage with the theory and practice of web-supported learning in order to ensure that theory guides and informs my practice. Later, I came to apply the new knowledge when I worked on other artifacts, whereupon theoretical frameworks which guided the design of a course were indicated.

3. Screencast on designing e-learning for course HMDD5603: Design and Development of Interactive Content. The idea behind the screencast presentation was to use a multimedia Jing software to design a presentation based on an article guided by sound instructional design principles, such as analysis of target audience then to ensure that presentation meets the identified instructional needs.

Upon reflection, designing for e-learning affords us with a wide array of tools and templates which makes design to be manageable, such as the Jing screen movie software used here. Even though one benefits from technological templates and software, the bottom line is that we still follow sound pedagogical design principles. We still need to formulate intended learning objectives in line with Bloom's taxonomy with a hierarchy of cognitive levels, from basic knowledge to high order critical thinking and problem solving.Then such objectives need to be constructively aligned to matching assessment activities as well as teaching and learning methods. I now fully appreciate that:
designing for e-learning is still designing for effective learning irrespective of the learning delivery mode
4. Assessment is a core element of basic web-supported learning design, which has to be well-aligned to objectives and teaching methods or strategies. To apply the new knowledge and skill covered through course HMOA5403: Online Assessment Tools, see a Webquest as Artifact 4, created as both an alternative and authentic form of assessment within a Swazi cultural context aligned to a deep learning outcome as part of a professional course in order for students to practice problem-solving within an authentic work-based learning setting.

Lessons learned
Working on the artifacts has helped me to apply the knowledge and skills as a member of the IDE Working Group, by ensuring that when designing an e-learning environment we elicit user needs rather than to approach design from the content to be learned.  We have first identified a set of pedagogical needs or principles followed by in-depth interviews with distance learning lecturers and students in order to identify their specific challenges. We then identified and described the user roles according to the responsibilities of main users such as students, activities and their real world objects from which we derived their needs.Therefore as the artifacts illustrate, we are more likely to be responsive to the needs of our students when designing their web-supported learning environment.