To begin, Clark & Mayer (2011) stated that their focus is on “instructional effectiveness” (pg. 51). Furthermore, they define this as “identifying instructional methods or features that have been shown to improve learning.” (Clark & Mayer, 2011 pg. 51). As instructional designers, we are all called to do the same thing. We are in pursuit of better learning. For me, this means that I would have to focus on researching what works. I am driven to know what makes a learner learn to the best of his or her ability.
Currently, at my job, we are exploring the best practices for teaching grammar and writing. We think that our students are not transferring the skills they are learning to all of their classes. I have made some recommendations, but I should encourage some scholarly research on the topic. I am luck because I have access to a great database here at USA. Before I was enrolled here, I had to rely on Google Scholar or the public library. Unfortunately, these sources are not the most fruitful. Many times, I found that they wanted me to pay for articles from Google Scholar. I might find a snippet of a book, but not be able to access the whole book. Usually, the public library contained mostly pop culture information.
Although, I am sure experimental research is the best way to determine the best practice This will be covered in Research and Evaluation for any IDDers who have not take those classes yet. it is also costly and time consuming. Many times a “normal” person cannot just whip up an experimental study.
I think an important step to any method is a literature review. Explore what other people have already done. This way, you can avoid some mistakes. Clark and Mayer (2011) suggested “focusing on situations that are like” (pg. 55) your own, have good research methods, and relays the appropriate statistical information. Another useful tool might be finding a person who is doing the behavior you want to see. For online instruction, look at all the professors. See who is getting good ratings and results; then, examine what they are doing. You can observe and examine what is working for someone who is already practicing and has seen success.