Final Reflections and Future Directions

Here I share my overall reflections based on interconnected elements from all the courses I have studied as part of the MIDT, prefaced with some contextual background on my professional development. 

2005: I became interested in the possibility of designing blended e-learning environments, as part of my studies towards an MA in International Education. Upon reflection, my motivation for blended e-learning was born out of challenges with working as an instructional designer for an Institute of Distance Education. Since then, I have tried to probe how best to design a learning environment that will enable a student to learn effectively at a distance from tutors and other students. 

2007: I participated as a member of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) in a month long workshop on web-content development, where we created Open Educational Resources, designed and developed through free authoring tools, wikiEducator platform and Moodle Learning Management System.
Participants and facilitator during training for tour guides in
Swaziland, through an OER developed by the VUSSC in 2007

2009: I enrolled for the MIDT with the Open University of Malaysia. Before MIDT and after studying many courses until now, my knowledge and skills on e-learning co-existed as independent elements.  However, browsing through samples of e-portfolios and lessons from constructive comments made by fellow MIDT students, a transformation in my learning can best be highlighted through the following changes:

  • to showcase as part of my e-portfolio well-coordinated lessons learned and challenges encountered to show links and connections in knowledge, skills and attitudes learned through different MIDT courses
  • to acknowledge that working on Artifact 11 for the course HMPD6204: Research Project Design on research project proposal has enabled me to synthesise not only previously discrete knowledge acquired from all courses but also learning loops in skills and attitudes which have come to enable me to engage in reflective practice. 
  • to be in a position of reconceptualising my practice at the Institute of Distance Education from a content-based approach to an interactive, activity-based approach when designing multimedia learning resources.
  • to continue to upgrade my very basic knowledge learned through course HMTT6003: Instructional Technology Development Tools, see Artifact 12, this course blog for HMVS 6502 where I have applied my basic skills on basic HTML and using a template to present the learning portfolio. Upon reflection, this was the most frustrating of all the course yet the most rewarding as the visual effect of the product by far outweighs the long and painful process of learning basic HTML and Dreamweaver..
  • Effort is being made to reconcile research, theory and practice in web-supported learning through course HMCD6304: Conducting research in instructional design and technology, see project Artifact 13 on Enhancing professional capabilities through participatory web-supported learning design
Upon reflection therefore, studying the various MIDT courses has enabled me to begin a long road towards reconciling research, theory and practice when designing any learning media assets, including web-supported learning design, development, implementation and evaluation. In doing the research project, I have referred back to course HMIR5103: Research in Instructional Design and Technology as a checklist for critical aspects of a research project, drawing from Artifact 14 on Critical Analysis of Research Article. Even though my research project focuses more on needs analysis, like the reviewed article it is based on the design-based research approach as a more relevant research  perspective. For my overall impressions about the MIDT, it is a programme equal to none. I strongly recommend it to all. One colleague from the University of Swaziland is already studying towards the MIDT. 

Way Forward
For future directions: see my additional storyboarding artifact (still work in Progress) as a recent application of knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired from many MIDT courses. The application of elements from courses converged during scriptwriting/designing a video clip to be used in training IDE tutors for facilitating online learning through involving other tutors in a participatory learning design culture.  It is no longer one person designing for learning, but a Community of Practice. I also look forward to my MIDT community to continue to be part of my community of Practice.