Kevin Forgard: Instructional Designer

Survey of Education Technology Google Community Group

Survey of Education Technology Google Community Group

The latest cohort of faculty from Bristol Community College finished up our 14-week online professional development course with a face-to-face day-long workshop. To demonstrate how to incorporate and encourage student participation, I created a Google Community group. If anyone is interested in having a look at some of our conversations, please visit the page and request to join. 


Presentation on the Transformation Agenda at EDC

Earlier this summer, I was asked to speak on the pilot BCC did in incorporating contextualized curriculum modules as part of the statewide MCCWDTA grant (See

Our team had trained several faculty from developmental reading, writing, math, and ABE/GED programs to work with contextualizing their courses. This process is easier said than done. For one, the modules developed by the state are not designed to be plug-and-play, nor are they designed to be easily used. In helping overcome these dilemmas, I had developed a contextualized curriculum worksheet that incorporates Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction to help faculty-users digest the contextualized materials to use in their courses. So far, the process has been a success.

The video contains introductory remarks by the project director, Kristen McKenna and continues with my remarks on how I worked with faculty during our implemenation process.

Please watch the video on the MCCWDTA Vimeo website –

Bridgewater State EdTech Day 2013

Last Thursday I had the honor of presenting at the 7th annual Bridgewater State University EdTech Day. My two presentations were technology focused, but were very different topics.

Beyond the LMS

The first one titled: “Beyond the LMS: Creating a Digital Learning Space for Your Course” centered on how more and more faculty are using online tools that do not necessarily work within an LMS. Sure, most good LMS’ have tools such as blogs, wikis, games, etc. However, the biggest challenge is to keep course materials open after the semester and have an archive of a course as it is taught over time. This is akin to a student’s personal learning environment (PLE). In a non-empirical way, I simply named these digital teaching environments “External Teaching Environments” or ETE.

Below are my presentation slides:

Working with iPad Class Sets

The second presentation I gave was aimed at helping faculty and administrative staff learn how to implement an iPad distribution program. This happened to correspond well with the keynote presentation from Framingham State University, where they had a similar (and less chaotic) iPad roll out. In both of our cases, the audience was really able to leave the conference with a better understanding of what it means to push for mobile technology at a college or university. Mobile learning has been an interest of mine since graduate school, and I have been fortunate to have been able to work with some fantastic faculty in developing some type of system at our campus. So much more has yet to be done.

SET page up and running

picture of a 3d stereo camera

Photo Credit: TDC Stereo Colorist by bcostin on Flickr

Be sure to check out the new Survey of Education Technology (SET) description. SET has is about to finish its 3rd iteration and its the best one yet. The professional development opportunity was launched last summer and has  trained close to 60 full-time and adjunct faculty members across campus at BCC. Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Business faculty have benefited from the course.

To MOOC or not…

This has really been an interesting week for me. For one, I was able to attend the event, “Unbound University” organized by the New England Board of Higher Education ( This conference was organized around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) , focusing the conversation on the MOOCs developed by edX and Coursera. Some big names presented include co-founders of these two program, Anant Agarwal and Andrew Ng  as well as an introduction by Educause’s Diane Oblinger (among others).

Other than cheerleading MOOCs, the conference also focused on how learning institutions might provide credentials to students who complete a MOOC. This was led by a discussion panel of higher education institutions that are starting to provide degrees based on competencies (competency based education) instead of the traditional Carnegie Unit (credit hour). It was nice to hear about how the higher education industry is expanding with an eye towards assessment beyond their traditions. Accreditation agencies such as the Northeast’s NEASC as well as the Department of Education seems to be on-board with the CBE approach.

Another panel presented how such changes could dramatically decrease the cost of obtaining a degree. This is huge particularly within the current debate of overpriced education.

After attending this conference, I began to dig into MOOCs a little bit more and found some even-handed critiques to the movement.

For those interested in MOOCs, I would suggest reading what might easily become a seminal piece of literature on MOOC, this article by Sir John Daniel “Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility”. You can download the pdf on his website –

Sir Daniels quotes a few lines from Tony Bates’ blog, which is also worth a read –

What I have concluded from hearing directly from the leaders in the movement and after reading some criticisms of MOOCs that Instructional Designers should start asserting themselves as future MOOCs are being developed. I have to admit that I have never enrolled in a MOOC, but from what I have learned this week, we need to apply some instructional design to make these courses quality learning tools.

The NEBHE presentation did have an afternoon session dedicated to The Flipped Classroom, but I did not hear anything about how this would apply to MOOC design. (To be fair, I may have missed that part while I was talking with colleagues.)

For those who are interested, I started a Google Discussion Group to bring IDers together to continue (or really begin) the conversation on designing MOOC courses. Its an open group, so just sign up and start posting –!forum/idmooc

See you online!

Fall 2012 – Survey of Education Technology

This fall semester is busier than ever. My instructional design work at BCC has really taken off. Of note is the online faculty professional development program I developed and am teaching called Survey of Education Technology. Beginning with readings and discussions on the Net Generation Students and the TPACK framework, each module then covers a different set of technologies. For instance, we discuss blended learning while learning screen capture software and personal learning environments while learning about ePortfolios. At the end of the workshop, the group meets face-to-face for a final discussion and to test out their ideas in The Simulated Classroom. 

This is the second iteration of this workshop and it gets better each time. Eventually it will be offered as a series of self-paced modules with limited discussion and monthly meetup times. As one of my former students who just emailed me writes:

Just a shout out of Thanks!   I have put a Camtasia screen cast on one of my lessons that uses a Google Doc for responding to a case study.

We’re trying out different formats for response to case study (Angel discussion, Google Doc and Blog) and I’ll have the class decide which to use going forward.  So far the Blog beats Angel and this next couple of weeks we’ll be messing with the Google Doc.

It’s all possible because of the course this summer.

Thanks again,


Looking forward to moving forward with these types of online workshops. 

League of Innovations Conference Presentation

Presenting at the Innovations Conference, March 4-7

Philadelphia, PA

For those of you who are working in community colleges, the League of Innovations for Community Colleges is hosting a conference in Philadelphia, PA March 4-7. Two of my colleagues, Jacci Barry and Donald Kilguss, and myself will be presenting during the concurrent forum sessions on March 6th from 3:45-4:45. Our presentation, titled “Teamwork: The Key to Faculty Engagement in Course Redesign“, will feature the design and development process of the Title III funded Course Design Toolkits and engage the audience in a discussion of the challenges in working on a system-wide course redesign project. 

I will add our presentation and notes to my blog for those who might be interested. Feel free to stop by and say hi if you are at the conference and read this blog. 

Look for the Twitter hashtag #kfInnovations2012 for micro blog updates. 

Wow! I have readers.

The big question is ‘Now What?’

iPad on Books

I’m busy as ever working at Bristol Community College as an instructional designer. Its been over eight months since I started and I’ve learned so much. There is lots to do and as I lead the way, more opportunities bloom. For those who are interested, have a look at my mobile learning blog here: 

New site!

Egg crackphoto © 2010 Wired Canvas | more info (via: Wylio)

Its been fun and quite a learning experience working with this wordpress site. I must admit however that this portfolio was created for the purpose of my Masters program at Syracuse University – Instructional Design, Development, & Evaluation (IDD&E). Since I have earned my degree, graduating December 2010, I feel that it would be more appropriate to have a portfolio that functions for something other than a ‘school’ assignment. For me it symbolizes breaking away from being a IDD&E Student-professional to an Instructional Designer Professional.

Please head over to for my latest work samples and reflections.

New work examples

Due to popular demand I have begun collecting my most current work examples. It is my intention to present these in a more proper website, but due to time constraints I have temporarily posted them on another wiki.

For now please go here to view my most recent work samples.

My Twitter Feed