Instructional Design and the Global Pizza

Hands forming a circle

It can often be challenging to work in a design group and even more so if one of your members is located in South Korea and another member is located in the United Arab Emirates, while you reside in the United States. Yet this is exactly what occurred in a graduate ID class through the instructional systems design department at Indiana University, Bloomington. Our assignment was to design instruction for a procedure, develop a professional design report and create instructional materials that the instructor and students would use in the class.

We decided to build our instruction around making a pizza from scratch, since it turns out pizza is popular around the globe. And additionally, as far as procedural knowledge goes, cooking generally yields some potentially delightful outcomes. Still, even though pizza is popular everywhere, there were a few snags. For example, unbeknownst to most Americans, people in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates don’t generally have ovens. And then there are ingredients and cooking tools that are hard to locate, as well as cultural differences in when people learn to cook and what they know about cooking. Students in many South Korean universities, for example, generally go to school closer to home and have the benefit of a home cooked meal far longer than the average American student, who discovers the realities of burnt food, bad recipes and sliced fingers much earlier in life. And there was also the issue of what comprised instructions too complicated for English language learners (ELL). How do you create instruction that doesn’t confuse people with words like ‘knead’?

After some research and flurried messaging with our respective local networks, we decided on South Korea for the site of our trial of the instruction. We also procured an American SME (Subject Matter Expert) located in the baking department of an American community college, but not before exploring holding the class in India, where one of our group members hailed from originally. We decided we could feel our way through the cross cultural landscape and bake a truly global pizza As part of our design report, our learner and context analysis helped us look at what would be the problems in designing the instruction and we used Skype to communicate across the time zones that sometimes spanned different calendar days.

Here is our design report and learner materials, featuring Priyanka Chopra, Lindsay Herron and myself:



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