Friday, February 12, 2010

Interview with Ana Donaldson: Episode #5 on EdTechTalk ID Live

In this week’s edition of Instruction Design Live, we talked with Ana Donaldson author of Engaging the Online Learner.

(These are my liveblogged notes while participating in the conversation. Apologies if they don’t always cohere. I will post a link to the recorded conversation and recommend you take a listen!)

Ana’s background: Started as a programmer. Discovered ID and it became her passion. At University of Northern Iowa for 8 1/2 years in ID with specialty in performance and training. Took early retirement and now teaches part-time with Walden University (Ph Students in ID). Ana is a candidate for AECT President (see info below on AECT).

Different phases of engagement:

Moving from introductory activity to collaborative to activities in course that allow students to lead the learning process.

How do we promote learner autonomy among students?

As instructors, we don’t often set the bar high enough. Instructors can show why this important – spark intrinsic motivation and then get out of way. Need to create a safe environment.

Trust in online environment is hard without the ambient atmosphere of the classroom. Need to build one-to-one relationship. Go through a honeymoon and some ups and downs.

In classroom, many students don’t have a voice. But in online environment, you can’t be a lurker.

Need to have fun with activities.

“Learning is too important to be taken seriously.” It should be fun and doable.

How do you monitor students who are collaborating online?

Collaboration is where we’re all headed online. There are several ways of doing this. Need to be careful about how put people in groups – make sure there’s balance and diversity. Ana doesn’t like students to self-select their groups

At Walden, Ana uses Wiki Spaces. Evaluating performance through rubric – half of their score is how they contribute to that group.

She uses a group contract. “ This is where we’re going to post, this is what happens if I have to be gone” – the monitor expectations of each other.

Another class – did journaling where only prof and student could read (not the other students).

When doing a project – don’t wait until last day to grade it. Instead break down into smaller deliverables – give feedback along the way. On the last day, when they deliver the collab project, show they’ve done their best work

What types of collaborative projects do you design? What types of projects work for an online format?

Ana did a collaborative ID project where they actually created a training module on how to do grant writing. One group used Dick & Carey; one used HPT model. When they were done, they did a comparison. This was a real training program for a client.

The projects must be real. Birth them in the class, but they live beyond and go into community.

Study case studies – what happens when it doesn’t go right.

What is AECT?

Association for Educational Communications and Technology-- AECT has an ongoing group of folks who look at how we define our field and how it keeps changing. latest definition includes ethics and performance.

Started way back when as the A.V. folks in the classroom. It’s now an international organization – looking at technology, what’s going on and the issues of what’s going on today.

Annual conference – this year in October in Anaheim. Half of attendees are usually masters students in ID programs.

High percentage of people in higher ed.

Provide theory and research – behind the technology.

David Wiley is an active member. Looking into training and instruction in Second Life.

Links and Further Reading from Ana Donaldson:

  • PIDT (Professors of Instructional Design and Technology) 2010 - May 21-24, 2010 • YMCA of the Rockies • Estes Park, Colorado PacifiCorp Design & Development Competition - Phase 1 is due May 1st 2010 AECT International Convention 'Cyber Change: Learning In Our Connected World'
  • October 26-30, 2010 Hyatt Regency Orange County Anaheim, California - AECT 2010 Research Symposia. The symposia will begin July 20, 2010 with a dinner and end on July 23, 2010 before noon. It will be held at the Memorial Union Hotel of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Conference fee (with included meals) is expected to run around $250.
  • International Student Media Festival -
  • Walden University - Educational Design: PhD program description:

Be sure to following Robert’s Instructional Design Commons blog to keep up with the latest on ID Live.

Coming up:

Interview with Cammy Bean (that’s me!) on February 19.

Interview with Charles Reigeluth on Februrary 26.

All ID Live shows are Fridays at noon eastern at


Anonymous said...

Cammy--Just a point of clarification: Ana was at the University of Northern Iowa, not the University of Iowa.

Cammy Bean said...

Thank you, my dear fact checker! I've updated the copy.