Instructional Design and Program Development

Design, implement, and evaluate high quality models of curriculum development, instructional design, and program development for higher education and continuing education settings.

My general approach to curriculum development has been to develop experiential learning activities, including problem-based learning (e.g. psychopath profiling), and project-based learning (e.g. grant writing), but I would like to incorporate more reflective learning, cooperative learning, and service learning activities in the future (Furman & Sibthorp, 2013 (pp.18-19).

For example, I would like to design and implement a wiki assignment as a cooperative learning activity, and not just because I enjoyed the IT 546 wiki assignment (Dagnon, 2013), which included my development of a wiki entry about hypertext. (Wilder, 2013a). Wikis seem to have a lot of potential as an engaging example of a constructivist design, because “learners are responsible for constructing their own understanding of the course subject matter” (Cornelius, 2011, p. 383) in a collaborative context (Wilder, 2009, citing Wlodkowski, 1999, pp. 67-68 to define “socioconstructivism”). A constructivist approach seems appropriate for a focus on research skills development, and helpful for supporting the learning objective described by Caine & Caine (1994) as “a maxim in many professions that a key to success is not knowing the answer but knowing how to find it” (p. 165).

I would also like to incorporate Zotero as both a research resource and as a collaborative research assignment. IT 546 Professor Paula Dagnon describes the collaborative Zotero assignment in IT 546 as requiring each student to be “responsible for gathering a variety of materials related to their topic and then share their library, complete with files, with their partner(s),” (Dagnon, 2014), and in a discussion of authentic assessments, Smith (2008) states that “[o]ur institutions and workplaces benefit when graduates are already adept at working in teams, comfortable at producing and presenting ideas to others, and knowing where to find information and communicating it to diverse audiences” (p. 36). My experience as a student (Gossett, 2013; Dagnon, 2014), instructor, and conference presenter (Gossett, 2014) have influenced my intention to incorporate collaborative projects and web-based research tools into future courses.

Weimer (2002) suggests that students may resist learner-centered approaches for a variety of reasons, including because these approaches may involve more work for learners (pp.150-153). Creating an introduction video for IT 546 did involve a lot of work, but my IT 546 introduction video has also had real-world applications, because it became a way for me to dialogue with students about curriculum and instructional design, and to acknowledge a range of possible emotional reactions to the teaching methods (Wilder, 2013b, Sesame Street, 2009). As noted by Weimer (2002), resistance to learner-centered approaches may be related to learner anxiety about the methods (2002, pp. 150-153), and as an instructor, I have intentionally engaged in discussion with students about the “reasons and rationale” for the instructional design of a course (Weimer, 2002, p. 158) as a scaffold for the learning experience (e.g. Foley & Kaiser, 2013, pp. 9-10; Dagnon, 2014).

The video by Michael Wesch (2007) was included as part of the course materials in IT 546 (Dagnon, 2014), and is included in materials developed for a group presentation in a CCE course (Wilder, 2008). As an instructor, I have shown this video in class as a way to help ‘verbalize my thinking process’ about the course learning objectives (Smith, 2008, p. 77). The Wesch video seems helpful for introducing cooperative learning activities, similar to how the video seemed helpful for supporting the IT 546 activities. My IT 546 introduction video highlights cooperative and collaborative aspects of web technology, and I could show this video as part of an introduction to cooperative learning activities (Wilder, 2013b), which would reflect a proactive approach to learner resistance that is built into the design of the course.



Caine, R.N. & Caine, G. (1994). Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley

Cornelius, S., Gordon, C. & Ackland, A. (2011). Towards flexible learning for adult learners in professional contexts: an activity-focused course design. Interactive Learning Environments, 19(4), 381-393

Dagnon, P. (2013). IT 546 Keywords Wiki Assignment. CIIA 2013-2014 Innovative Teaching Showcase – Paula Dagnon. Retrieved from

Dagnon, P. (2014, June). CIIA: Innovative Teaching Showcase: Paula Dagnon – Portfolio. Western Washington University Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from

Foley, J.M. & Kaiser, L. M. R. (Spring 2013). Learning Transfer and Its Intentionality in Adult and Continuing Education. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 137: 5-15

Furman, N. & Sibthorp, J. (Spring 2013). Leveraging Experiential Learning Techniques for Transfer. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 137: 17-26

Gossett, G. (2013). Digital Security and Awareness. Zotero. Retrieved from

Gossett, G., Wilder, R., & Davidson, B. (2014, March 5). Information Literacy, Privacy, & Risk: What Are the Implications of Mass Surveillance for Libraries? — Online Northwest. Online presented at the 2014 Online Northwest Conference. Retrieved from

Sesame Street (2009, Dec 18). “Sesame Street: The Martians Discover a Telephone.” Retrieved from

Smith, R.M. (2008). Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Weimer, M. (2002). Responding to Resistance. Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Wesch, M. (2007). A Vision of Students Today. Youtube. Retrieved from

Wilder, R. (November 2008). A Vision of Students Today. Learning Document. Retrieved from

Wilder, R. (January 2009). “Motivation.” CCE577. Learning Document. Retrieved from:

Wilder, R. (November 2013a). Hypertext. Learning Document. Retrieved from Originally published at,%20n.

Wilder, R. (November 2013b). IT546 Video Introduction. Learning Document. Retrieved from

Wlodkowski, R.J. (1999). Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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