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Shelly Richardson

Project 02
Instructional Design
EDTECH 503-4201
Our university library created an Assignment Planner webpage within the research section of
the library website. The content from this webpage will be adapted into an Assignment Planner
App for use with mobile devices, which will give learners give learners easy access to this tool.
The learning and performance contexts of this instructional tool adaptation are closely aligned in
that both the environment where the skills will be applied and where the skills are acquired are
independent learning, virtual environments. The learning context will be supported by university
personnel in a feedback and assessment capacity, which will directly advise the content
included in the app. Repeated learner use of Assignment Planner App content should foster
learner confidence and reinforce basic research principles to be utilized throughout their
academic career.
Part 1. Context Analysis
1. Describe and analyze the performance context
By using the Assignment Planner App in conjunction with assistance from university personnel
(faculty, library staff and writing center staff), our students will improve their planning,
development and writing skills when conducting a research project. These skills and knowledge
will be used throughout their academic and possibly, their professional careers.
The performance context of this web-based learning tool will be an environment where our
students develop and construct research projects. The physical characteristics of this space are
unknown but it is highly likely that they will be using resources such as computers or mobile
devices to gather and disseminate information, will need internet access to connect with online
resources, and software to create the documentation of their research projects. It is also highly
likely that students will visit the academic library to seek print materials that will aid in their
research process.
Employing exceptional research skills is a tool our students will utilize repeatedly throughout
their degree programs as they will be expected to adequately communicate complex ideas to
their peers and instructors. As academic success is dependent upon developing research skills,
our students should be motivated to understand and master this process.
2. Define the learning context and compare it to the performance context
As this learning tool will be an app designed for a mobile device, the learning context will be
almost entirely virtual. In most cases, students will be working individually through research
process by following the steps outlined in the Assignment Planner App.

When used in conjunction with foundation level writing courses, checkpoints may be integrated
into the reminder system of the app, providing an assessment tool for key steps in the research
process. For example, a student may be required to meet with their professor (virtually or in
person) at a certain checkpoint to assure they have successfully completed a stage of their
research. These checkpoints can also be incorporated into the grading rubric for the research
assignment, reinforcing the knowledge gained from the learning context may be successfully
applied in the performance context.
3. Analyze the culture and climate of both the performance and learning contexts
In 2010, the president of our university announced an ambitious plan to make our university one
of the top 50 public research universities in the country by the year 2025. (Kansas State
University, February 2010)
With input from every department and college on campus, a strategy has been developed and
goals initiated. It is quite obvious that the climate and goals of our organization would support
and encourage instructional tools that would aid in developing the research skills of our student
Additionally, incoming freshman at our university participate in a first year programs that
encourages community and supportive relationships for our students. Programs like these
demonstrate the value our university places on student retention and inclusion, helping
students establish a great foundation for the rest of their college career. (Kansas State
University, July 2013)
The university libraries have a role in this first year development program, orienting students to
the facilities and information resources available to them. The Assignment Planner App would
be just one of many research tools available to aid in their academic success.
4. Determine the assumptions about learning held by all key stakeholders
It may be safe to assume that most key stakeholders expect to engage in an Instructivist
pedagogical approach, as is defined in Streamlined ID (Larson & Lockee, 2014. p.78). Faculty
and staff engage students in a practice-based environment where their skills and knowledge of
the content presented to them is to be assessed based on previously stated goals. Throughout
this process, support and guidance are offered to the students, creating a healthy trial and error
process based on motivation and reward for success.
Through my own experiences and beliefs, I know that there can be tenuous points within this
Instructivist learning structure where connections need reinforcement. For example, not all
students want help, some are afraid to ask for assistance or may not realize that they need
assistance. Communication between students, staff and faculty may become disjointed,
misinterpreted or inconsistent, preventing accurate or helpful information from reaching its
intended target.

The learning expectations of staff and faculty may differ greatly from those of students,
especially with the advent of assistive technologies. With the design of this instructional tool,
clear expectations and lines on communication between learner and instructor can be defined
and developed. Incorporating standards for feedback and assessment within the research
structure can build strong connections in the learning environment for all stakeholders.
5. Analyze the contextual relationships and compile recommendations
As the Assignment Planner App learning tool is intended for independent and virtual use, the
performance and learning context can be closely aligned. The environment where research
skills will be employed is similar to the environment where these skills are acquired, with one
exception: instructor feedback and assessment.
As suggested previously, by incorporating checkpoints within the learning context, the learner
and instructors can develop communicative feedback based on the specific skills being
developed. These standards can be incorporated into assessment within the app itself and in
the grading rubric for research-based writing courses.
Additionally, creating opportunities within the app structure to connect students with other
invested and knowledgeable university stakeholders, such as library and writing center staff, will
reinforce the supportive, interactive community our university strives to provide.
Part 2. Content Analysis
1. Gather and review the available content resources
The overall project goal for adapting the library Assignment Planner website (Kansas State
University Libraries, December 2009) into a mobile application is to enable students to develop
healthy research habits that will aid in their future educational success.
The sub-goals of this instructional learning project are to improve student writing skills, connect
students with campus resources that will aid in their research, develop supportive connections
with their instructors and university staff based on the content and learning assessment of this
tool and to give learners easy access to this content through a mobile platform.
As this is an adaptation of a resource that is currently available, much of the structure has
already been created. The Assignment Planner Committee, stakeholders and SMEs will revisit
the content of this website and consider incorporating additional aspects such as University
Writing Center support and curriculum based checkpoints to create assessment standards and
communicative feedback between the learner and instructors/staff. In the prototyping process,
time will be allowed for further feedback from stakeholders to suggest useful application
features and content. Library administration will also be consulted for approval during this
content development process.

2. Identify and classify what the learner must DO, KNOW, and BELIEVE
Based on the library Assignment Planner website (Kansas State University Libraries, December
2009), the student must enter an assignment deadline which is then aggregated to construct a
nine step process for their research project. At numerous points, these process steps require
the student to practice independent decision-making and offers links to online resources to
assist with these decisions. This website allows students to sign up for email reminders of the
deadlines for each step in the plan.
As this learning tool is likely to be used by a novice, it can be assumed that their knowledge of
the subject matter (conducting a research project) will be limited. After using this research tool,
students will be able to plan and manage research deadlines, understand the types of resources
available, use these resources to support their thesis statement and construct a successful
research document.
The Assignment Planner App will be a supportive aid in the learning process and will be used in
conjunction with faculty and staff assistance. By creating guidelines and communicative
connections, students will gain confidence in their abilities to create a research project. They will
believe that by following the steps outlined in the Assignment Planner process and utilizing
resources and support systems available to them, executing a research plan will become
second nature. This process will be internalized yet the planner will still be available should they
need to refer to it.
3. Isolate essential content and prioritize
Essential content adapted from the Assignment Planner website (Kansas State University
Libraries, December 2009):

Plagiarism and copyright

Selecting your topic
Find Resources
Evaluate Resources
Write Thesis Statement
Write first draft
Proofread and revise draft

There are additional tabs for useful campus resources that should be revised and expanded.
4. Identify and map content dependencies and prerequisites
The guidelines outlined in the Assignment Planner (Kansas State University Libraries,
December 2009) will aid students in making independent decisions with regard to the research
process. They will need to be motivated to explore these options on their own and this aspect
can be reinforced by classroom activities and instructor/learner interactions.

The two steps of choosing a topic and evaluating resources are integral to the steps that follow
and will determine the success of the final outcome. These two steps should be carefully
reviewed with the student. For example, if the chosen topic is too narrow in focus, there may not
be enough resources to support their research project. Likewise, if the chosen subject is too
broad, the research project may lack directed focus.
Though this learning tool is aimed at a novice audience, it is assumed that a number of
prerequisite skills will be present. As they have been accepted to a higher learning institution,
they should have some experience with writing composition, grammar and spelling. It also may
be assumed that the learner has had some experience using computers and the internet.
As this learning tool is an adaptation for a mobile device, it could also be assumed that the
learner is familiar with using a mobile application. This prerequisite experience my come with
certain expectations from the user as far as functionality and user interface are concerned.
These factors should be given important stature when prototyping and design considerations
are being revised: simple is better. As the viewing device is smaller, selective content should be
a priority.
5. Verify the content and scope
Before beginning the design process, this content analysis will need to be approved by library
administration. This will include clearly stated goals of this instructional design project and an
outline of the essential content of the Assignment Planner App, both of which are included in
this content analysis document.
At that time, library administration will make the necessary recommendations and/or decisions
regarding the Assignment Planner App design creation and implementation.


Kansas State University. (February 2010). K-State 2025: A visionary plan for Kansas State
University. Retrieved from

Kansas State University Libraries. (2009, December 29). K-State Libraries assignment planner.
Retrieved from

Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2014). Streamlined id: a practical guide to instructional design.
New York, NY: Routledge.