I need some clarification of what I am witnessing in the eLearning environment. Please let me know if I am completely off base here. And pardon me for my rambling...
Looking through my Google Reader over the past few months, I am seeing 2 seemingly conflicting trends.
Trend 1) Build performance support tools. Short how-tos / reference materials at the point of need. These tools aren't "instructional" per-se. Help when you need it.
Trend 2) Build instructional tools. Tools that are truly educational using the most advanced brain research and design methodologies. Tools of this nature are more like "events". Objective-based, skill-based. Hang out for an hour or two and play...
I'm certain that these 2 trends are not mutually exclusive. That one can build an instructional strategy that incorporates the best of the 2 worlds.
I know that my professional environment wants me to focus on trend 1. Essentially, becoming an online documentation specialist. Make it easy, make it quick, and one day put it all someplace where we can get to it fast. It's not about instruction or permanent "learning" so much as it's about access to resources. The "learning" is knowing where those resources are kept.
I know that my natural leaning is to build trend 2 - particularly for the residents. The ability being able to evaluate how well they can perform whatever it is they need to do. Something more objective-based.
I'm seeing the tug-of-war in the ever-shifting requirements for the online tutorials I am building.
Build short resources - no one is ever going to use it. And they are not in this to think. Just show them how to do it, and let them go.
But the residents need training, so we need to build a full training deck.
However, they aren't really going to learn how to use it until they are in the clinic.
We want to sell the tutorials to outside parties. Make sure other organizations can use it for training. It should be instructionally sound.
But we want the docs to be able to eat their lunch while they watch....
I suspect my confusion is a result of having too many stakeholders with conflicting agendas wanting a piece of my work. Still - I see the same tug-of-war in the e-learning blogs.
Maybe if I focus on mini-games...... short game like things that have them perform the task they need to "learn".
But so much of what they need to do is in the context of a process....
How can I combine the pressure for resources and allowing people to find stuff for themselves vs. creating things that are truly "educational?" Are my attempts to "educate" actually a need for control in disguise and I should just give up altogether?
Am I completely off base here?
Thanks for your help.....