Working on the assignment for week 4 has been a significant challenge. I had to contend with two issues. The first issue was understanding how to convey an instructional piece using only images with no text. The second issue was how to use Adobe Photoshop. I have invested a significant amount of time these past 2-3 weeks trying to work through these challenges.
The instructional design challenge was difficult as I was trying to show a process in basic electronics using only images. The difficulty is that most of electronics is based on theory, reference tables, and mathematical models. Without these resources the learner would only grasp some of the top level capabilities of electronics. Using a text only approach to electronics instruction can accomplish the task, but with some difficulty. Using visual images only is extremely difficult without the reference materials. The combination of text and visuals is the optimal to communicate the basics of electronics.
The Adobe Photoshop challenge is that I have never used the application before. Despite all of the literature that Photoshop is easy to use – this is misleading to the first time user. I had to acquire a Photoshop guide book to review the basics of using the application. The guide books for Photoshop discuss the capabilities of modifying different images and creating some complex images, but there is a lack of instruction to use the tools to create images. It took me two weeks of trial and error to develop some basic images.
My perspective in instructional design is that different content types are required in order to convey the desired content. Each design type (text or visual) have limitations as a stand-alone consideration. The blending of the design types must be weighed carefully in order to maximize the effectiveness of the training. I have learned that if my instructional design is to be effective I must consider both the text and visual content of the instruction in order for the student to achieve the intended transfer of knowledge.