Congratulations to Ken Hubbell for earning the first student spotlight in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education. We asked Ken some questions about his training and career in educational technology. We present Ken's replies here.
What formal and informal learning experiences have contributed to your education?
I am currently pursuing the Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology. This program of study was preceded by the PMBOK Project Management curriculum (2008-2009), Six Sigma Specialist Certification from Raytheon (2007), a certificate in Multimedia Human Factors Design from Georgia Tech (1991), a Bachelor of Industrial Design from North Carolina State University (1984 – 1988), and one year studying Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy West Point (1983). My position as a leader at Ingersoll Rand also requires formal online or classroom training in areas like Coaching for Performance, Communication, Behavioral Interviewing and a variety of other role specific courses.
My career in multimedia started in 1978, learning programming in the sixth grade on a TRS-80 Model I and the TSO computers at the University of South Florida. My first instructional simulation on what was considered then “state-of-the-art technology” demonstrated how pulsar signals reach earth through the great reaches of space. This passion for technology grew through high school where I spent many days in the “stacks” at Duke University and NC State absorbing all things electronic, computer, and mechanical. I was a product of the SRA Reading system and by then self-paced learning was a critical part of my learning process.
Upon entering the School of Design in college, my formal studies served to shape the scaffolding for what I was to learn, and provided resources like the machine shop and computer lab to develop skills and behaviors. These hands-on activities, both required and independent, helped to focus my attention in the classroom on real-world solutions. This same skill I would use later as both consultant and innovator in the learning profession. For example, I provided advanced learning strategy for the FAA ATCOTS training program and developed the first online 3D Caterpillar simulators using Adobe Shockwave 3D.
I have also learned about instructional technology by speaking at conferences, particularly the 2009, 2010, and 2012 East Coast Games conferences on Serious Games; and the 1999 and 2001 Macromedia User’s Conferences on Shockwave 3D.
If nothing else, a career in multimedia exposes designers and developers to a wide variety of subject matter. I learned how content worked inside and out from textile machines and pharmaceuticals to backhoes and air traffic control; and, I discovered some of the best ways to transfer this knowledge and skills to learners. There is nothing like the impact of standing on the upper landing of the launch tower ten yards from the nose of the space shuttle to make the content real. Sometimes the technology was a complex simulation, while other times a simple job aid sufficed. I was fortunate to have directors and managers who shared their customer relation skills and experience with me and provided opportunities to practice these skills myself so that I could grow into a successful consultant.
Twenty-five years and hundreds of courses later I am finally adding a formal Master’s degree to my quarter of a century worth of field experience. My current role as Senior Manager of Learning Technology involves much more than just applying technology to create learning solutions. Strategic planning, leadership, networking, vendor management, collaboration, writing, proposal development, process design, sales, communications, marketing and many, many other business skills are critical to becoming a leader in the learning space. These skills usually do not come from the classroom; they come from looking for opportunities to try new roles and responsibilities. Key to succeeding is finding a quality coach and mentor willing to share openly and provide critical feedback.
Award Winning Instruction
Ken received the 2011 AECT Interactive Media Production Award in the Linear Media Award Category. What did you produce? How did you produce it? you?
I received the award for producing Matchstick Rockets: A Lesson in Basic Propulsion, which is an instructional program I developed in a section of EDTC 7030, Web Teaching: Design and Development, which was taught by Dr. Abbie Brown. The deliverable was a five-minute instructional video to teach Newton’s 3rd Law of motion for a target audience of young scientists thirteen years of age and older.
Following the basic tenants of instructional design, I conducted needs and learner analysis to determine the learning objectives and structure of the program. Using a multi-camera setup of two Flip cameras and a Canon digital video camera, I shot a step-by-step procedure for constructing and launching a matchstick rocket. I then created the titles, credits and animated graphics of Newton’s 3rd Law of motion using Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. Photos and images were obtained under Creative Commons copyright. Video of the rocket launch was legally obtained under public domain from http://archive.org/details/stock_footage. The music was licensed under Creative Commons from http://www.danosongs.com.
In designing and producing this type of instruction, it is important to understand the nature of not only the instructional content, but also how and where the learner will use the instruction. In my development of the content and during the pilot of the course, my test subjects and I were in close proximity to my wireless network and could access the video using my laptop computer. Fortunately, the summative evaluation participants had access to SmartPhone technology and were able to view the streaming YouTube video instruction outside where they conducted the experiment on the sidewalk. One interesting note about the participants I discovered when speaking with their father, a co-worker of mine, was that he said that the oldest of the girls, the one who found the video boring, was also the most successful at building the rocket that went the farthest. After completing the evaluation she also went on to build ten more rockets to show her friend and her sister how to improve the design. This type of anecdotal feedback makes me question the accuracy of solely using written surveys.
Perspectives on Educational Technology
Do you see any parallels between instructional technology integration in K-12 schools and in corporations?
Corporations and K-12 schools have much in common when it comes to the development and deployment of learning. They are all under pressure to reduce cost while improving measurable outcomes. Instructional technology plays a key role in achieving these goals. As society recognizes the concept of learning as a journey and not a series of isolated events, learning technology will provide the rails to manage and deliver lifelong learning. Students introduced to smart boards, tablets and self-paced learning will evolve into adult learners accessing just-in-time modular learning and performance support materials.
What do you predict will result from increased participation in Distance Education?
As globalization of the workforce grows and the cost of education in brick and mortar buildings with paper textbooks is driving many schools and learning institutions into collapse, the need for distance education solutions grows larger every day. Flipped classrooms, open-sourced online learning, peer-to-peer coaching and mentoring and learner-generated content are serving to rapidly bring learning to the individual on-demand. Instructional Technology is all about providing learning when and where the learner needs it in the form the learner needs to consume it while meeting the business requirements of those funding it.
What perspectives do you bring to the development of instructional design models?
During the first half of my graduate studies at ECU, I have combined my professional experience with instructional theory and developed a Learner Experience Design (LED) model. This instructional design model adapts traditional instructional design and focuses on analyzing and developing the overall learner experience rather than solely focusing on the content (see figure below). Learner experience includes all aspects of the learning solution as relates to the learner from content to modality including pre- and post- course materials; it also takes into account John Keller’s ARCS (Keller, 1987) theory during the design and development of course content. The LED model applies elements of the Dick and Carey Instructional Systems Design Model, the ADDIE model, the Spiral Development model employed by many engineering firms, and the work contained in the PMBOK guide as defined by the Project Management Institute (or PMI) with several fundamental improvements regarding stakeholder involvement, localization, and learner experience. It is the latter three elements which provide data necessary to implement structured learning while producing data required for reporting return on investment to the business or organization. In order to use the LED model effectively, formative and summative evaluation should be conducted during each cycle. The five steps of initiating, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing are applied to each stage of the model as well as the model as a whole. These stages relate to the ADDIE model (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) and the revised set of stages is:
- Business Alignment - Purpose/Goal(s)/Business Objectives/Stakeholders/EROI
- Baseline - Current State - Content/Learner/Organization/Industry Benchmarks
- Analysis - Goals/Task-DIF/Learners/GAP/Content Review
- Optimization - Curriculum/Content Rationalization – Deployment System
- Localization - Generic/Specific/Regional/Individual
- Instructional Design - Objectives/Taxonomy/Mode/Measurement
- Content Design - Process Maps/Script/Storyboard/Wireframe/Media
- Development - DTP/AV/eLearning/VILT/Sim/Game
- Translate/Localize - Language/Culture/Location
- Implement - LMS/MarComm/T3
- Track/Collect/Process Metrics - Usage/Results/ROI/Feedback
- Evaluate - Quality Assurance/Quality Control - ISD/SME/Learner/Stakeholder
- Sustain/Maintain - OJT/Coaching/Mentoring/CoP/T&OD
Program/project management oversight is key to the scalability of this model.
Learner Experience Design model
What do you envision as the potential for educational technology?
The field of instructional technology is not static and neither is the definition. It has been formulated over the past century and evolved with each new layer of communications technology (including media type and computers) and advancements in instructional design. The role of instructional technologist has evolved from media specialist and single modality developer to needs analyst, instructional consultant, multimedia designer, and researcher and implementer of an ever growing number of additional disciplines including sociology, psychology, quality assurance, metrics and analytics, etc. As learner, business and societal requirements change, the boundaries of instructional technology will continue to adapt as well. As learners become contributors as well as participants, instructional technology professionals may in turn become more and more looked upon as instructors and facilitators than simply practitioners in the business of producing educational products.
What would you like to accomplish in the future?
I plan on graduating the Summer of 2013 with a M.S. in Instructional Technology.
My future goals include pursuing my doctorate with a potential thesis on the Application of Game Mastering in Narrative Centered Learning with a focus on problem based learning scenarios (or quests). I believe teachers/professors can apply this style of learning to concepts like innovation, leadership and sales for business. Ultimately, I would like to use this style of hands-on learning as a university professor while pursuing research in the application of this technique to support business innovation.