Defining a Problem

My first task in Foundations of Instructional Design is to develop a problem statement.  I knew this was coming up before I enrolled in the course so I had been thinking about this for a while.  I know that I would like to be able to tie this problem statement to the capstone project (creating a unit of instruction) so I can work through the issue throughout my program.  

For the capstone I will need to identify a group of learners, about 15-20, and I immediately thought of faculty at my institution.  Over the past thirteen years I have worked with a lot of great faculty and thought it would be fun to work with a group of them on this project, if they were willing. 

The next step was to think about a problem that our faculty have been facing that would be interesting to tackle.  One of the first ideas centered around BYOD, Bring Your Own Devices.  With the high demand we have for our hands on computer labs it can be difficult for faculty to engage students in instructional activities that have a technological component.  I feel that if I can create an instructional unit that helps faculty leverage student-owned devices they will be able to offer these activities even if a lab is unavailable.  An added benefit is that students will get to use a piece of technology they are comfortable with instead of having to learn a new device (Windows-based PC, laptop, iPad, etc...).  So I immediately started working on the following problem statement:  

Faculty in higher education are increasingly in need of computer labs for instructional activities.  These labs are in high demand and are not always available.  Faculty do have access to cutting-edge computing technology for these tasks as more and more students are bringing devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc…) to class.  If faculty learn how to leverage this BYOD environment then they will be less dependent on computer labs and more successful in their instructional activities.

If my course mentor approves the statement I will start working on my needs analysis!