After spending quite a bit of time (basically every hour or so for a day or two) attempting to figure out what the heck I was supposed to write about for this week’s blog topic, I realized that I’m 99.98% sure that it would make the most sense to reflect on the journey I have embarked upon while creating this instructional design for this course.
The fact that it took me so long to get to it feels like a very fitting place to start. Meaning, I am very amused at how ironic it was for me to struggle to figure out what to write to check off the done box for the week. The irony is of course the fact that this entire process I have been fighting with my desire to do things precisely and correctly the first time, for the first draft.
Now this is not a new phenomenon for me – I’m a self-described Type-A perfectionist with a nice dose of anxiety on the side. (I believe the words my therapist used were, “You live life vividly and intensely, while being unjustifiably unkind to yourself frequently in the process.”) I’ve always fought to submit only my highest quality of work at all times in all circumstances, whatever the cost.
This design project has politely reminded me why this mindset is so counterproductive in the creation process. Too many of these assignments were submitted after long days of sitting and obsessing over whether or not it was what the instructor wanted, or whether or not I was so completely out in left field and creating completely unusable trash. It is stupidly paralyzing to really question everything and anything; I got lost in the minutiae in hopes of solving a problem that has existed in my pedagogical field for decades.
Now that I am close to the end, I realize how thankful I am for having this course and process timed so that I could focus on the little things (in the way that I love and innately experience) while also accomplishing so much. Each week was one step towards the end, but I have come to appreciate the interconnections that are made throughout; analysis – design – implementation – evaluation – review: all exist symbiotically, in a “Circle of Life” system, pun intended. There is no true “final” draft – there is no “final” end. We just reflect and continue on, until we find a better solution or create one.
One small fun side note – I also have begrudgingly embraced the practice of labeling subsequent drafts with numbers, saving each version/draft of each process. Being the perfectionist, I’ve always just saved over my prior work; by no means to I want to keep the “bad” versions! I decided to give it a go, and was pleasantly surprised when I went back to look at the minor changes and improvements over time to see how far I’ve come with instructor and peer feedback. It is definitely something I plan on continuing going forward – I must keep working! (GROWTH MINDSET!)