Session 5 Response to Prompts

1) Discuss your role in the group project

This week, I’m going to post a video for you!  Sit back and relax for a minute!  (Or nine…)

541 Group Project.

Team projects are always a massive undertaking.  Even if you can clearly delineate tasks, there still has to be a consolidation phase.

Our team met in person on February 4th.  We wanted to get started immediately, knowing how much work we had to accomplish in a week.

We used the hour and a half meeting to come up with a design for the course, and quickly hit upon some key elements that stayed in our design: the use of pretests and post-tests with lectures, and the realization that synchronous discussion meetings would be the best way to go to keep the time-commitment down for the students.  (Posting to boards asynchronously takes an enormous amount of time, if you are going to do it right.)

We started the meeting at 9:00 PM after ETEC 544.  Here’s a shot of the board before we left the CSUSB campus at around 10:30 PM on Tuesday:


We spent the time going over the assignment and coming up with a design, but we decided we would divide up the tasks later over email, after everyone listened to the Talkshoe podcast a second time.

When that division of labor came up, I became the editor and owner of the process of consolidating the course design document (created by Hye su) with the development plan document (created by Tsai), and was going to start the Trello prototype cards (which I would then hand off to Meng to complete), and would create the mock-up web site pages that would describe how the students would interact with lecture pretests, post-tests, submission forms, evaluation forms, and the synchronous discussion forum.  I’m also well-versed in using Microsoft Visio, so I would be helping to create some of the diagrams and timelines.

I’m actually pretty proud of the flow chart I created for the creation of media for this course, which you can view here: Resource Flow Chart

For the mock-up web pages, I used Mockingbird. (  For $9 a month, I figured I couldn’t go wrong!  I am now using this site for work, and for my 544 class as well, and it’s fully collaborative.  You can see all of the mock-up pages I did for our 541 project by clicking through the different pages, if you are curious.

To create the rough-in of the course calendar, I used this site (, and then added in all of the information from the UNC Chapel Hill Academic year and the specific tasks for the course using Adobe Acrobat Pro.  Here’s the result: Course Calendar

And, of course, our entire course Prototype was made with Trello. (

2. Discuss your thoughts on the instructional design process in light of this project

I have to envision what I am going to build before I build it.  That’s the engineer in me.  I think, in this case, having a working prototype made it very easy to walk through the design from the student’s perspective, and get a feel for how it could work.

I had a blast creating the diagrams, creating the mock-up web pages, imagining how we could address the needs of the students, and found myself coming up with some cool ideas through this process.  (One of which is allowing the students to create their own question banks from the readings, allowing them to create their own mock quizzes as a study aid for the final exam.)

As a team, we really stuck to our original design that we came up with together, and I think that really helped.  It never felt like we were “changing horses in mid-stream”.  We added to the design with some neat ideas, but we didn’t switch from synchronous discussions to asynchronous discussion boards, for instance.

I really enjoyed working with my team.  Building a prototype was beyond the scope of the project, but it was so helpful to really envision the project.  I wish that we could have made our presentation to Dr. Hunziker, to show him our vision of how the course could work and to get his feedback on our design proposal.

Maybe you could play the role of Dr. Hunziker and give us feedback?

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8 comments on “Session 5 Response to Prompts
  1. Brian says:

    See my email discussion of your project for Dr. Hunziker’s thoughts. The group process clearly worked here!

  2. Hi! Matthewr:
    Thank you very much about the team project. You are a good leader and partner. Thank you again
    Best Regards,
    Tsai Hsieh Heng

  3. bruceosburn says:

    Gracious Matthew! You guys really out did yourselves here. I can appreciate the kind of “out of the box thinking” your group demonstrated on this assignment. You actually performed the task in a more “real-world” format than the instructions called for. Clearly, the process worked well for you. I’m glad this assignment wasn’t graded on a curve. Great job!


    • Thanks, Bruce. Honestly, I just had to wrap my head around it, and our team was very supportive in going full throttle into the assignment. I know we didn’t need to create a prototype, but it was so helpful to use it as a touchstone for the conceptual framework. Thanks for the compliments!


  4. hyesu19888 says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Your post is pretty clear and I am so impressed toward your video.. awesome! Thank you for your hard working! And I learned from you a lot through this project. Thank you!

    • I thought you did a great job with the design document, Hye su! You really consolidated all of the different answers we had come up with and put them into a document that described our plan well. Thanks for your kind words!


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