Dee Schmidgall

One Instructional Technology Consultant’s Holiday Wish

Boy Writing LeetterSince it’s the holiday season, and I’m fresh out of deep, pedagogically significant ideas to post, I’m offering this letter-to-Santa missive as my final contribution of the year.

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a busy time of year for you, what with bringing toys and goodies to all the faculty and instructional designers that beavered all year to make online and hybrid learning effective, efficient, and enjoyable, but I have a few things to ask of you.

Please, could I have a new Spiff-O-Matic® DreamMaker LMS so I could do some meaningful research into our tools and methods? It’d be so great if I If I could run a course that pushes out one version of content to a randomized set of students, and a different version to another randomized set. I could run real A/B tests, with reliable comparison and analysis, something big tech firms like Google do when they want to test the efficacy of a new interface. Wouldn’t that be neat!

With the Spiff-O-Matic® DreamMaker I’d be able to see if there’s a significant difference in achievement between students who see a voice-over PowerPoint screencast, and students who get the same content through static text and images. And if I had the optional Anonymizer® package, instructors wouldn’t know which students were in a given set. Say goodbye to interviewer bias!

Boy, the things I could test! Video modalities. Information architecture. Assessments. Discussion formats. I’d use its powerful analytics to compare metrics like time-on-task, number of visits, attempts, and environmental factors. I could start making recommendations based on reliable data instead of anecdote!

Anyway, Santa, I know this is a tough request to fulfill, but I’ve often been told it never hurts to ask. Oh, and maybe you could throw in a SpeeDee CourseMaker® agile design kit. I’ve got some pressing development timelines and could really use some design world help!

Happy Holidays!

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