Cathy's talkFor more than 25 years, Cathy's used technology to help people learn. These days, she helps people strengthen their instructional design skills, and designs and writes elearning for businesses.
We as instructional designers have jobs because organisations have problems. They have useful information and we have to get it into peoples heads. We decide to make this information interesting, so we chunk it or add interest by adding narrators. Sometimes we play games to make it fun. We tell stories with a character who need help.
We've got into the business of putting lipstick on a pig through these approaches. Information isn't bad -- getting information into people's heads doesn't change behaviour. Knowing that smoking is bad for you doesn't make you stop smoking?
So we need to start over.
Cathy is a great proponent of instructional design using action mapping. It's a simple process:
- Start with a measurable goal.
- State job behaviours to help people reach the goal. These are real world behaviours. A useful question to ask, is "Why aren't people doing it?" Is it really a lack of skill?
- Brainstorm realistic practice activities for each job behaviour.
- We then identify the bare minimum information people will need to complete these activities.
Our job is not to design information -- it is to design an experience.
As we do this, we start to solve performance problems and stop converting information into interactive presentations.
Patrick's TalkPatrick Dunn has been designing, producing and thinking about various forms of learning technology for more than twenty years.
According to Patrick, instructional systems design is perhaps an outdated, heavy process. On a pragmatic basis, what really happens in instructional design is the ADDIE process - analyse, design, develop, implement and evaluate.
In this world of gaming, social media, twitter, etc, is our old approach to instructional design still appropriate? Earlier, our options were few. Constraints were few and clear. Learning challenges were structured, well understood. As against that today, we have many options, many and unclear constraints and very chaotic learning challenges.
Patrick is looking a cheap, quick and effective design that combines:
- Social Learning
So here are the ways to move to fresh approach.
Think experience, not content
- Think about experiences in the real world that are changing people.
- Get emotional!
- What's the tone?
Design bottom-up and top-downWe don't design from business objectives to performance objectives to strategies, etc. We should have Lean design, where we start with learning tactics and trust our hunches. If our strategy doesn't work, we should be flexible to change. Everything should be flexible to change.
Use multi-role teamsSubway subs are great because they get created by people in sharply defined roles. If people switch roles, then the subs can be awful. We don't want this in our teams. We need few people overlapping in roles and generalising deeply. Writers should be able to build, builders should be able to do graphic design, etc.
- We need more contact with learners.
- We need the right kind of contact with learners