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Introduction

My internship took place at the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University
of South Carolina. My mentor for the project was Dr. Aisha Haynes, Program Manager
for the Distributed Learning Department at the CTE. I worked with Aisha and her
Instructional Design team at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) who supports the
mission of the University. The team provides faculty with exceptional levels of
instructional design support to develop and design fully online blended courses.
The team is committed to helping faculty design courses that combine pedagogy,
technology and resources to facilitate access to educational content and help all
students. At the CTE, instructional designers base their course design practices on
nationally recognized best practices (Quality Matters Program), sound student-centric
frameworks, and feedback from teachers and students. The University utilizes the
Blackboard Learning Management System for all traditional and online courses. The
team is comprised of 3 Instructional Designers, and a program manager.
The role I fell into was that of a shadow to Aisha and her team. Rather than
remaining in the cubicle working on course design and development, and quality matters
rubric, I found it to be beneficial to shadow Aisha and her team during staff consults,
training sessions, and presentations they prepared. These meetings improved my skill
set and allowed me to see first hand how many of the concepts we study apply in a real
world setting.
Along with shadowing the Instructional Design team, I took advantage of many of
the resources available to faculty and students at the University by going on field trips of
various facilities. One such tour was of the Assistive Technology Lab at the University
where I met with the director to discuss real world use of talk to text applications, screen
readers and other tools for students with disabilities. We also discussed the use of
closed captioning in the university setting. We went thru various courses within
blackboard to see how accessible they were and reviewed a series of websites to review
their accessibility.
Another meeting I participated in was with the head of circulation at the USC
Library, Tucky Taylor. We reviewed copyright and creative commons. She advised
me of much of the background to copyright and informed me of the challenges copyright
encounters in the digital age. Anecdotally I shared with her a struggle I had been having
in regards to copyright. Details of this situation can be found in Appendix A. Copyright
laws continue to evolve as technology advances and new issues arise daily.
If I were to evaluate myself on the progress I made in the internship, I would give
myself a grade of a B. I grade myself this way as I reviewed my original goals and
objectives. I enjoyed my time drafting curriculm, learning about Quality Matters, and
conducting the review of the course I am currently writing. However, the goals I
accomplished are not aligned with the goals I established at the start of the project. I
dove into a rabbit hole and began participating in team meetings and taking various field
trips as my curiosity was piqued. At the outset, I had created many objectives and
failed to allow myself wiggle room to go on a self directed study, which is what I feel I
did. In the closing days of the semester, I intend to continue to focus on meeting
established objectives while applying skills and techniques I have learned as a shadow.
I feel the time spent as a shadow was invaluable as I learned about real world scenarios
in the life of an instructional designer.

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Lessons Learned
What I recognize now, as being the biggest lesson learned, is the importance of having
the right tool for the job. During my internship I learned about a variety of Web 2.0 and
other technology tools that can be used in instructional design and curriculm
development. The fact that kept rising to the surface was using the right tool for the job,
and knowing how to use various tools. I attended a few trainings learning some new
technologies, and co-presented in a training about the use of adobe connect. Instructors
were really amazed at the ease of some of the programs and how easy they were to
use. Some software, like Adobe Presenter, is sold thru the USC technology office, but
is also available for free in the recording studio in the Distance Learning office. You
can learn more about my field trip to the Recording studio by reviewing Appendix B.
Along the same lines, some technology is not free and not readily available. I
participated in a staff meeting with the Instructional designers from across the Columbia
and Aiken Campuses. That team was comprised of the instructional designer from the
school of business, technology services, library services, and student services. That
team meets three times a year, and that was an excellent opportunity for them to share
new technologies and discuss strategies for success. What caused me to pause in that
meeting was the lack of centralized resources at the university for some of the needed
technology. During the meeting in particular, the team was discussing doing voice
during lectures and other training videos. Some designers found success with
microphones that went on lapels, while others used desktop microphones, but the
microphone that seemed easiest to use was a boom microphone, which extends to the
direction of the person speaking. The designer in the library has this tool for use when
she worked on tasks, however the student success center and distance learning team
who are housed in the same building are unable to share this technology. Each
department is responsible for the purchase and maintenance of their own equipment.
From the maintenance stand point I understand, but in cash strapped businesses like
schools/universities, I would think a system for interdepartmental cooperation would be
in place. Perhaps this is one of the reasons my tuition continues to rise.
Difficulties Encountered
The biggest difficulty I encountered was related to time. With the semester being
compressed into 8 weeks I allotted 10 hours a week to work at the University and
intended to use the remaining time to work from home on reflections, time sheets, and
bibliographies. What I quickly learned was that I needed a lot of time to draft reflections,
complete the bibliography and prepare the contract etc. I also was largely unfamiliar
with the entire Quality Matters Rubric. I had reviewed it once or twice before, but
accepting a full on study of it involved a lot of time. I probably spent 20 man-hours
learning about Quality Matters, exploring the website and gaining a comfortable handle
on its purpose. I considered attending an online workshop for a more thorough
overview but that was cost prohibitive ($500). Around the middle of the term, I realized
that I had yet to complete any of the tasks I had intended on doing and needed to use
my time more wisely. I spent several days reorganizing my goals and created a clear
timeline to complete tasks. Additionally, I met with my mentor to re-evaluate
assignments. While my tasks still arent complete, I was prepared for that and have
scheduled a few additional workdays this week. This coincides with the Learning
Online: Motivated to Self-Regulate article I reviewed where discussion occurs regarding
student motivation beliefs and attitudes are impacted by the learning task. I preferred to

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shadow therefore, I continued to put writing assignments aside to focus on ones that
gave me more pleasure.
Successes Achieved
I think the biggest success for me was networking. So much of my course work is
completing tasks at home and working independently, it was great for me to get out and
meet people. I worked along side some fantastic people and learned a great deal from
many of them. This issue rose to the top during my review of literature as student
perceptions of courses were sometimes modified by the connections that were made. A
study published in 2004 by Song, Singleton, et all, mentioned that students enjoyed
flexibility of online course work, but sometimes missed the connections from traditional
courses. Additionally, I feel good about completing the Quality Matters Review for the
course I am working on. I was able to use the rubric when drafting the course and
when it was time to review it I spent a great deal of time chasing my tail trying to improve
what I had completed to meet the standards. In the end I came to the realization that
the whole point of the QM review is to continually make reviews in your my course to
make it the best as it could possibly be. While my rubric may be completed with notes of
additional changes I can continue to make this guideline; it got my juices flowing on even
more enhancements I can make to improve it further. The process is never really done;
constant review is the key to success. Bento and White discuss the final phase of
Quality Matters in their article Quality Measures that Matter, their final principle is
Continuous Improvement- Courses should be continually reviewed and revised. I think
I am doing that ad nauseam but my course will be very current.
Things I would do differently next time.
This would loop me back to the time management, answers I provided under difficulties
encountered. I noticed at the outset that one of my classmates had a clear schedule
and timetable posted with his contract where he established benchmarks to track
success. My goals were focused complete this task so I left things hanging over my
head saying one of these days I need to complete the Quality Matters Review rubric,
rather than saying, by the end of week one I will complete standard 1, by the end of
week 2 I will complete standard 2 and so on.
Setting milestones and benchmarks can
be a great time management skill I need to learn.
Previous Coursework
I spent a great deal of my time working on Quality Matters, which calls for universal
design. This relates back to Technology for Diverse Populations where we discussed
many strategies. Not only was I able to apply these strategies, I was able to tour the
assistance technology lab and see how many of these tools work in real world
application. Nothing that I learned in this setting was really unexpected or conflicting to
things I had previously studied.
Strong Emotions
The only strong emotion I remember experiencing was one of confusion as I tried to fit
square pegs into round holes. This occurred when I was trying to complete too many
tasks and limited time to complete those tasks. Taking a step back and reevaluating
was the key to keeping my sanity.

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Appendix A
While preparing a course regarding customer service my subject matter expert asked
me to include a clip of the Soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld. When I accessed the link
via YouTube I noticed it was not closed-captioned. I attempted to use various
programs to add captioning to the video but was unsuccessful. Ultimately, I
downloaded the video, transcribed the caption, and uploaded it to YouTube with closed
caption intact. Citing the original source of the video in the notes portion of the YouTube
description. I was contacted via NBC representatives that I had violated copyright, and
they had disabled the video. I tried to reach out to NBC and other parties to see what I
could do to make the video more accessible but wound up having no success. In the
end, I inserted a link to the non-captioned video into my course. Tucky advised me this
would be an excellent textbook case of the challenges schools have in meeting
requirements for accessibility with regards to copyright.
Appendix B
One of my field trips took me to the second floor of the Technology Services building
where I was able to tour the recording studio for distance learning. While meeting with
the representative there, I learned that the studio has been open for about six months
however has very few users. They are currently building a second studio to serve the
same purpose. That purpose is a sound proof room, like a recording studio that has
extra lighting, microphones, and computer screens preloaded with a great deal of
software like adobe presenter and connect. Instructors are able to use this facility to
record voice presentations to accompany their lessons. I thought the concept of this
facility was really interesting and I was discouraged to learn how under utilized it is.
Part of the reason I had been given the overview was so I could teach an instructor I am
working with to use is for his lessons. The instructor I am working with only intended to
complete a 5 minute welcome to this unit overview was not planning on walking thru a
PowerPoint slide with the recording. This caused some confusion, as my trainer had no
idea how to complete such a task. In the end, I sat down and started exploring various
programs preloaded on the computer and found very robust webcam software installed.
I trained my self on this program, then taught the instructor the next day. In using the
studio, I noticed one thing; perhaps it was my lack of training. My instructor had drafted
his thoughts and had prepared statements he intended to read. The room had 5
overhead lights, 5 sound speakers, 2, computer monitors, 2 microphones, but nothing to
use as a teleprompter. Rather than looking ahead at the camera and reading notes,
the instructor had to glance to a piece of paper as his cue cards. I would think given
the other technology in the room, a teleprompter would be there. My final evaluation of
the room as it stands currently, its a nice toy, but the casual user teaching one or two
courses a semester may be just as far ahead working in their own workspace. Perhaps I
should contact the president and advise him of my feelings, then accept a position
improving this resource and advising others how to use this money pit. An article I
reviewed by Michael Moore is an editorial, which discusses how sometimes new devices
dazzle because of their novelty but may not address any identified need.