Thursday, October 12, 2006

Learning is ...

I am working on articulating this notion that PRESENTATION + INTERACTION always leads to LEARNING. While simple, this concept is also profound. Throughout our life we are constantly LEARNING! Instructional Designers are devoted to providing support and expertise in the area of creating presentations and structured interaction experiences in order to reach a learning objective. This is true regardless of whether or not it occurs face-to-face or online.
There are hundreds and even thousands of content delivery approaches that can be effective. Presentation or communication requires a source and a recipient. For example a textbook is the source and the reader is the recipient. Also, the lecturer is the source (S) the listener is the recipient (R). We should be aware of the reality that source reliability and recipient preparedness each contribute to the effectives of presentation.
After content has been received, interactions need to take place. These interactions are not limited to, but typically include, S+R, R+S, R+R, R+non-R, R (self-dialogue), and R+computer. The Instructional Designer should be skilled and crafting scenarios in which these interactions can be mediated and recorded, for later assessment. The biggest challenge is likely to be understanding those variables (gender, culture, religion, language, etc ...) which can have a direct impact upon how individuals/groups interact.
This is our business. This is our vision. Hopefully, this is our passion! We believe that everyone capable of engaging in the presentation and interaction and capable of learning. This learning then becomes the foundation upon which future learning can be built upon. While I don't think the term "student" is appropriate for the 21st century, we typically say that we are serving them. Yet, how focused are we on measuring the degree of learning? Also, how concerned are we that learners have retained what they have learned?
I realize that this might seem rather simplistic, but I am concerned that learners have not been adequately primed to learn. When was the last time that you heard or read, an introduction into how the learner would be learning the material? Just a though ... think about it.

1 comment:

J. Bowen M Ed said...


You have described the environment for instructional designers to a tee. One of the biggest hurdles that we face however, is getting the buy in from the stakeholders. They want the end product but don't want to acknowledge what is necessary to achieve it. Keep telling it like it is.

Janet Bowen M Ed
Doctoral Learner at Capella