The Educational Technologist


Bio – Educator George Siemens

Posted by on 12:58 am in Best Practices Series, People of Interest | 0 comments

Bio – Educator George Siemens

George Siemens is a educator and researcher on learning, networks, analytics, and openness in education. He is the author of Knowing Knowledge, an exploration of how the context and characteristics of knowledge have changed and what it means to organizations today, and the Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning. Knowing Knowledge has been translated into Mandarin, Spanish, Persian, and Hungarian. Dr. Siemens is the Associate Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, leading the learning analytics research team. He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 30 countries on the influence of technology and media on education, organizations, and society. His work has been profiled in provincial, national, and international newspapers (including NY Times), radio, and television. His research has received numerous national and international awards. He received an honorary doctorate from Universidad de San Martin de Porres for his pioneering work in learning, technology, and networks in May 2012. We recently discovered his article entitled Learning Development Cycle: Bridging Instructional Design and Modern Knowledge Needs, and consider it to be an important set of guidelines as the field of instructional design evolves with the needs of the global learning community. The article can be found at: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/ldc.htm. Link to Siemens blog:...

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ID&CMS Recognized with Award

Posted by on 12:32 am in News | 0 comments

ID&CMS Recognized with Award

“A team of instructional designers and e-learning specialists at Western Washington University were given the NWACC Award for Innovation in Educational Technologies at a celebration on campus Monday, Nov. 18. The WWU group — Justina Brown, Marc Ravaris, John Farquhar, Andrew Blick, Maggie Barklind, and Peter Agras were given the award for an experiential development program they conducted in the past year.” Excerpt from Western Today, 11/19/2013. Read the entire article at: http://www.onlinefast.org/wwutoday/news/wwu-team-wins-award-for-innovation-in-educational-technology. For information about the award, and the Northwest Academic Computer Consortium...

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Marc Ravaris, ID&CMS Founder

Posted by on 11:51 pm in People of Interest | 0 comments

Marc Ravaris, ID&CMS Founder

Hello and welcome to our website. I’m Marc Ravaris, M.Ed., the founder of ID&CMS. I moved back to Bellingham from Seattle in 2002 in order to pursue a long-standing life’s goal of becoming an educator, after spending over 30 years employed in the media production industry. My original interest was to teach TESOL (ESL). I obtained the TESOL certificate, and a B. A. in Spanish from Western Washington University (WWU, 2003). I wanted to experience being a language learner myself before teaching language to others. As I progressed, I became interested in the design and implementation of blended and online courses  (instructional design), probably as a result of my existing fascination in technology. The discipline of Instructional Design allows me to combine my new  passions for lifelong education (adult ed.) and the use of technology. I enjoy in-classroom teaching and see it continuing to have a valuable place in education, but also see the value in the internet, online education, and educational technology as powerful tools to enhance  the transfer of learning, and having the potential to bring more accessible education to broader communities, both locally and on a global scale. I especially find blended course design and delivery of interest, as it allows educators to utilize the best of both the face-to-face (F2F) and virtual environments. After operating a gourmet sausage stand for 8 years while working as a part-time TESOL instructor, I decided to augment my education and obtained a master’s degree in adult education from Western Washington University (WWU) which I completed in June, 2012. To enhance my design skills, I took a web design course while getting my the master’s. Instructional Design is dependent on web-based applications, and as designers make extensive use of content management systems (CMS) and learning management systems (LMS), it is important to have a basic understanding of how these platforms operate. I prefer to use the Canvas LMS, am a Canvas certified authorized trainer (CAT, level 1), and am currently enrolled in the  level 2 cohort program (expect t  level 2 certification in the fall of 2013). As business owner, I still operate a sausage stand in downtown Bellingham. However, I am focusing on a my new career in lifelong (adult) education Specializing in the areas of; instructional design, educational technology, WordPress site development, content development and management, multimedia production, eLearning applications, and program...

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Best Practices Framework Part 2 The Seven Principles

Posted by on 11:26 pm in Best Practices Series | 0 comments

Best Practices Framework Part 2  The Seven Principles

In our previous installment in this series, we discussed how ‘best practices’ were important in course design and included the union between structure and strategies, the yin and yang of course development. To quote our first article, “Structure often includes instructional design tools such as learning management systems and multimedia production software. Strategy includes what we often refer to as ‘best practices’ – the appropriate combination of structure, engaging content, best practices and evaluation strategies to help ensure the transfer of learning”. And while I speak to the online or blended learning environments, many of the methodologies we’ll discuss have evolved out of what is now considered the more traditional face-to-face learning environment, and with adaptations, are as applicable today as they have been in the past. Remember, Dewey spoke of ‘experiential learning’ long before it became ‘vogue’ in online learning. A case in point is the first strategy I’d like to discuss, one of the foundations in the instructional design framework used at ID&CMS, is known as the “Seven Principles” (first published as the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” by Chickering and Gammon).[1] Quoting from the more recent article, “Since the “Seven Principles of Good Practice” were created in 1987, new communication and information technologies have become major resources for teaching and learning in higher education. If the power of the new technologies is to be fully realized, they should be employed in ways consistent with the Seven Principles”. Published in 1996, “Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever”[2] updated the original seven principles with technology in mind. In it, the authors (now Chickering and Ehrmann) say, “This essay, then, describes some of the most cost-effective and appropriate ways to use computers, video, and telecommunications technologies to advance the Seven Principles”. You may smile and say to yourself, “In this day of rapid changes, an article from 1996 is as old as the wind.” And while true, that is partially the point. The information – applicable in 1987, updated to be more applicable in 1996, continues to be applicable today. You will find yourself doing some internal mental editing while you read the article, updating some of the already out-of date technology that’s described with technology that has replaced it, sometimes twice over. I’ll list the seven with a few caveats that I’ve added. Other than that, I’ll leave the details of the principles themselves to the article, which I heartily encourage you to read. Good Practice: 1. Encourages Contacts between Students and Faculty This means “quality” contact time, which I consider to be interactive time. So while lecturing may have a roll in certain educational applications, traditional lectures have relied on passive transmission of information. While that is changing to a degree, simply being in a classroom with a teacher or professor is not interactive, and I would not consider it ‘contact’. 2. Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation among Students Most of us would agree this facilitates deeper learning. There are both structures and strategies that support this end, and educators can do a great deal to include structures to support these goals. But educators must stay very aware of interactions between peers in online situations, as toxic emotions do exist and can manifest themselves in unique ways, especially in online discussion forums. As a professor I work for recently...

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Best Practices Framework Part 1 Introduction

Posted by on 11:45 pm in Best Practices Series | 0 comments

Best Practices Framework Part 1  Introduction

“Designers no longer create (only) instruction sequences. They must create environments, networks, access to resources, and increase the capacity of learners to function and forage for their own knowledge”. “Instead of courses, designers need to see learning as an activity without beginning or end. Instead of programs, learning needs to be viewed as an activity that occurs within an ecology. In many types of learning, the task of the designer is to create the right environment for continued learning. Learners themselves will seek and acquire needed elements”.[i] A Best Practices Framework, Part 1 – Introduction Creating effective learning programs is a union between structure and strategy. Structure often includes instructional design tools such as learning management systems and multimedia production tools. Strategy includes what we often refer to as ‘best practices’ – the appropriate combination of structural tools, engaging content, best practice, and evaluation strategies to help  ensure the transfer of learning. Good design is a fusion of structure and strategy. It too, needs to be adaptable. The design process is recursive and cyclic in nature; it includes evaluation and redesign when needed. We agree with current thinking that describes learning as a lifelong process where knowledge is constructed by individuals with information and experiences from a variety of formal and informal settings, and use this as a starting point for our framework. It often seems that the term ‘best practices’ is used as an expected buzzword, rather than an identifiable set of concepts. One problem an educator faces is the dizzying array of strategies that are termed best practices. It can be difficult to identify which of them, truly ARE best. Identifying valid frameworks for best practices is often overshadowed by the myriad of other requirements placed on today’s educator. After much trial and error, ID&CMS has developed a framework that helps ensure the  we include the appropriate balance of form and function in the educational application that is being designed or implemented. Our framework is adaptable to the variety of lifelong learning environments that an educator is required to navigate, including designs for online, blended, traditional, and non-traditional delivery formats. It  has evolved out of numerous sources and is updated frequently, but draws from six or seven primary sources, each more-or-less representing areas that are emphasized in our design process. In our first series of articles, we will discuss elements that comprise the foundation of our framework, and briefly the reasons for their inclusion. In general, the process of design takes place on multiple levels.The component elements need be aligned with the global vision of the learning application, and checking alignment on a continual basis is an important part of the process. From the standpoint of the Instructional Design process itself, we draw on the Ragan and Smith model, preferring its emphasis for strategies demonstrating an understanding of diverse learners. We also draw on the work of George Siemens (cited below), especially on his work regarding the evolution of instructional design and the quickly evolving needs of the learners, marketplaces, learning communities, businesses, and institutions. Other elements of the our foundation are outlined to a great degree in the footer menu of this website, entitled “Resources,” and will be discussed in future articles. Each link in the menu takes you to a resource that provides a detailed more detailed background...

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ID&CMS adds Level 2 CAT to Resume

Posted by on 12:54 am in News | 0 comments

ID&CMS adds Level 2 CAT to Resume

ID&CMS is pleased to announce that Instructional Designer, Marc Ravaris has been recognized with the Canvas Authorized Trainer certification (CAT). Marc was among 20 graduates who participated in the second cohort offered by Instructure. Marc considers this training an important addition to his repertoire of design skills. “Marc is an energetic consultant with previous experience in multimedia. He’s particularly attuned to the process of building relationships online,”  said the Instructure training...

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