I think that in order to come up with new ideas I need to keep writing. To keep writing I need something to write about. Then it hit me! They (whoever they are) say that you learn something new every day. I’m pretty sure that’s true. So from here on out I’m going to write about at least one thing I learned.

Today I learned about Short Term Traffic Control. I know, it’s a strange topic to write about but why not? I have been asked (told) to create a course about traffic control. I know nothing about traffic control and my subject matter expert isn’t readily available. So that means that if I want to get something designed, I have to research it myself. So, today was the day. This project has been lurking for awhile and I’ve gone from thinking it was quite straight forward to thinking it was highly complex and now I’m back at it being straight forward again.

Besides learning more about traffic cone placement and reflectors than I could ever need, I also re-learned how to organize myself and my thoughts. When I started this morning I was very scattered. I wasn’t sure how to begin. Sure, I had learning objectives I’d drafted as part of the project proposal and scope but those don’t get you very far when you can’t gather your thoughts. After fumbling around for a bit, bouncing between reading bits of regulation, searching for random, semi-related images, and general procrastination, I decided to start with one question…

“If I had to go out and do traffic control tomorrow, what would I do to teach myself?”

That was it! Voila! All of a sudden I was reading the Ministry of Transportation manual making notes like mad with one goal in mind – I have to go be a safe and effective traffic control person. The whole picture actually became so clear I could see myself in a bright orange vest holding a traffic control paddle (yup, learned the real name too!).

So, besides learning about traffic control I also rediscovered one of the tools I learned early in my instructional design days – put yourself in your learners’ shoes!