Now I’m beginning to re-think my decision in taking this course. Instructional Design Technology. When I started this course or even prior to taking this program, the only thing I had in mind was that the field of Training and Development is a very competitive industry, so I needed to stand out and adapt with the times and learn how to incorporate technology and e-learning into my portfolio.
The deeper I immense myself, I am slowly realising what I got myself into. First off, I think I never really kept it a secret that I am a technophobe. I have my IT colleagues at my beck and call at the office to help me out when my machine conks on me or I encounter a message on my machine that I am not familiar with. Don’t get me wrong. I have my own netbook, a portable netbook-tablet hybrid, a smartphone, and a tablet. I can print my own documents provided the printer has been mapped into my machine. (No, I didn’t do the mapping myself.) I occasionally shop online, and check the traffic situation online. I have a Facebook account and I get my daily dose of entertainment and national news from the Web. I know how to use the printer/scanner we have at the office. I download e-books from the Web, and I am equally guilty of Torrent-ing for my TV series fix. But I’m nowhere near comfortable in creating a multimedia material or even creating an educational website. I don’t even know how to Photoshop, and truth be told, I’d rather leave that to the graphic artists and designers.
In addition, I have never really considered myself to be a designer. I don’t notice colours nor pay attention to angles. I probably would not even be able to tell a bad design from a perfect design. I took MMS 173 Photography in Multimedia last term, and I barely came out alive. I learned about the rule of thirds, composition, balance and symmetry. I learned all those things in my head. But when I joined the photowalk, I realised I didn’t have the eye for beauty. While my classmates were content going off on their own and taking pictures of every mundane object they see while coming up with beautiful images, I executed the same things and turned out with such dismal results. I walked out of there with less than a handful of photographs that I could use for my final portfolio (and I needed 30!).
So I don’t have an eye for design, and nor do I have the knack for technology. I should have known it would be a recipe for disaster. But as I was working through the assignments and the activities for this course, I realised a lot of the principles of the design were anchored on organisation and legibility. One does not have to “be an artist to make instructional materials that are visually pleasing.” What matters is there is uniformity among the elements, it’s not crowded and captivates the audience’s/learner’s attention? When I feel like I’m losing it, I can always ask myself these guide questions: “Does this enhance student learning? Will they be motivated to go through this material just by looking at it?” It doesn’t matter whether it’s an audio, a video, a print material, a powerpoint presentation or a poster. As long as I keep myself in check using those guide questions, I shall always find myself.
Maybe in the future, I shall have to work with a team of multimedia experts to help me create a video presentation and even some programmers who can help me put together an educational website. But that would not diminish my role as an educator. They may be able to spot a good design and put everything together, but as an educator, I would have the last say on whether or not this would benefit the student’s learning experience.