As mentioned in an earlier blog about goal setting (you can read the whole blog here), I shared how my goal for February was to have an article posted in the eLearning Industry. After some thought and hard work, I'm happy to share that the article I wrote was posted on March 22nd. I had submitted the article in February but it had to be approved prior to officially being shared and published with the community. 7 Keys For Successfully Updating Online Courses has been shared over 145 times and allowed me to add something helpful to the eLearning / instructional design community. I am now proud to share it with you!
While working on this project, I realized how important it is to celebrate and acknowledge people's successes - no matter how small or large they may be. A bit of praise can really go a long way in helping develop and build an individual's self-esteem as well their self-efficacy.
There is much research out there on self-efficacy or the idea of one's belief in their own ability to completed tasks and reach their own goals. The process of working on this article and working with my peers to review and help guide my work really helped me to believe that I am making a difference in the ID world and that what I discuss and blog about truly can make a difference to someone. As I reflected on my own process, I realized that without the support of those around me - I may have struggled and questioned my ability to do this. Having a support system has really helped me develop my own self-efficacy in terms of what I'm doing making a difference.
This has lead me to believe if this support system worked for me, why are we not focusing on this with others? As an instructional designer, are there items we can build into course development that helps with self-efficacy of our students? My answer is 'partially.' While an instructional designer can plan for methods and strategies in a course to help with student's self-efficacy a large burden of the process will really fall on the instructor. For example, an instructor can work in group discussions to validate and highlight student comments when ideal answers occur. Asking student's to use their work as samples moving forward - validating their work as something truly special in the field.
I think there is a fine line between making sure students feel vindicated in their work and pushing them to become better students. As an instructor, you do not want to make them feel so 'good' that they think they have nothing more to learn. The more I research and reflect on the topic of self-efficacy, I truly believe it is a tricky concept. The best advice I have for those looking to implement self-efficacy concepts in their courses is to really learn about your students individually and support each one to the best of your ability.