Learning instructional design

by Lilia Efimova on 3 November 2003

Course Development Wars: A Content Expert’s Cry for Help by Susan Smith Nash [via Alex Halavais]

This is a story about a teacher (in a SME role) being pushed to fit instructional design categories

Why did education departments brainwash students in this way? Or, more to the point, why do such people think that they are the only ones who possess the right to comment on (more like “make pronouncements on”) learning? I know I’m only seeing a tip of the iceberg, and that there are real and compelling reasons for accepting the results of carefully conducted, IRB-blessed research. Nevertheless, aren’t we sealing our own fate if we allow ourselves to present information and to mediate learning their way only. Heaven help those who deviate from the norm!

This makes me feeling happy that I studied instructional design after several years of learnt-by-doing training design. I remember my reaction for the ID course assignment: ok, I do it this way once and I’ll play my own rules after. I’ve learnt the language, some useful models, techniques and tricks, but I still do it “wrong way”.

A couple of years back I was designing a teacher training program for PhD students. I had to think how to teach them instructional design and avoid the risk of making them thinking that ID models boundaries are those to respect.

The program was implemented, first results were promising, but I left the job, so I can’t evaluate it properly. Still my recipe for teaching instructional design is the same:

spending more time not on studying ID, but on being exposed to different learning designs and facilitation styles (values, models, methods, technology support) + reflection on what, why and how works and on “what I would do differently?”

This is not a very efficient or easy to reuse method. It also depends highly on learners reflective skills or instructors’ ability to facilitate their development (I don’t have a good recipe for it :) It worked for me and for some others and I didn’t find a better way.

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2003/11/03.html#a823; comments are here.

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