Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Innovations in eLearning - Final Thoughts

I had to race out of the conference Thursday afternoon since I was headed out of town that evening. The delay (and lack of electricity at my location) gave me a chance to reflect a bit on the week.

A few things that popped out at me:

A move away from "courseware" and towards "information bits" or very short chunks of information that can be accessed when needed. The line between librarians and instructional designers continues to fade.

My early gut instinct that the more senses you engage during training, the more likely a student will learn seems to be playing out as the call for greater sophistication in our materials increase. The rumble function in our game controllers, increased interactivity beyond the Next button.

Design for "One more turn" (Thanks Sid Meier!).

We have a tendency to want to give all of the information up front rather than let the student discover it. We think it takes less time for the student. It actually takes less time for the designer. Because we've always done it this way and it requires less thought on our part. Ultimately, letting the student discover the information as they move forward takes LESS time for the student and they are more likely to retain that information. Now the trick is convincing clients to let us design that way.

Collaboration collaboration collaboration collaboration collaboration
And I saw good examples of how to put that into practice in the design. Again - it will take a lot of thought and a leap of faith to do it. Education is no longer an individual sport.

Wendy's big "Ah Ha!" moment courtesy of Stephen Downes - Web 2.0 does to servers what social networking does to people. Web 2.0 tools assist collaborative processes.

Can build 3 level interaction - demo, guided practice, test with further feedback (courtesy of Dr. Kapp!). Keep it simple. Waste less student time. Access prior knowledge.

I am still amazed at the amount of stuff I have stored in dusty boxes in my mental attic. Foucault.....hmmmm....where's that box....and I think there's a piece that connects to Marx here somewhere..... Mark O - I hope it wasn't too obvious that I was mentally sifting while we were talking. Haven't thought about that stuff in ages. Thanks for exercising my brain.

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I'm finding the technology curve alive and well. This conference, I was starting to see less "sage on the stage" and more conversation / practice built into the sessions. And these sessions were only 50 minutes long! The most successful interactive sessions focused on keeping the objectives simple and modeling their techniques. Seeing that there were at least a couple of sessions designed around the question "How do I get the audience participating in a way that communicates my objective?" tells me that momentum is growing towards a new education world order.

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