Future Reflection

  When I began my master’s program in Information and Learning Technology (ILT), I was very nervous and at a loss. Before I came to the United States, I knew it would be difficult to study abroad, but I didn’t expect so many challenges. In the first few weeks, I barely communicated with my classmates and professors, as at the time I was still in a transition of language and culture differences. I had trouble understanding the whole contents of the classes and could not communicate with my classmates fluently. It became better from day to day, but for many of my classes, I felt that I did not perform as well as I expected. My classmates were very nice to me and one of my classmates once told me that I did a good job and if she were me, she wouldn’t dare to go abroad. I felt touched and had more courage to keep going. I learned that all my classmates are experienced teachers or instructional designers, and I am the only one with few work experiences.   This is my first time contacting with different educational system. When I took the first class of my master’s program, I was unfamiliar with the education environment. I realized that Americans put a lot effort to their education using a lot of new technologies and new trends to assist their teaching, such as web2.0, podcast, video cast and so forth. I felt overwhelmed at the beginning, but now I feel that using technologies to assist learning or teaching is imperative. I also acquired a lot of theories and design skills to support my works; for example, depending on different audiences, you need to have different strategies.   In my internship, I learned a painful lesson that analysis of the client’s needs is very important. In contrast, things sometimes just do not go as well as you expected. I tried very hard to achieve my goals and failed at the end, but I understood that changing a trend or policy of a school is so difficult. The reason I failed attribute to the plans which are more proper for a larger school. Though I have improved my knowledge to a large extent, there is still a long way to go in the future. I still need to keep learning for being a better instructional designer.   In my country, people barely know about podcast and it was my first time to learn those ways of designing. After the internship, I knew that there are many difficulties when you are trying to change a policy or a trend. That is one of the reasons why education in my country improves so slowly.