A 2.0 Thought about ID

Clark has written an quick note about the work he is doing in the area of mobile learning. He says: 

It’s been fun, as I’ve had to expand my thinking on how to ‘think different‘ to accommodate mobile learning. And you really do need to think differently, as traditional instructional design won’t likely lead you to the opportunities. Yes, you might get job aids, and even distributed applications (capturing data from the field), but the whole ‘learning adjunct’ thing might well be skipped, for example.

Sticking to the traditional form of instructional design will be limiting, not only to mobile learning, but to most Web 2.0 applications. There is definitely a significant opportunity to exploit from the coming-of-age of social software. However, if these are to be used beyond keeping in touch with your friends, it has got implications on the instructional designer’s role, like I said earlier:

The instructional designer’s role will have to cover a bit more than Bloom’s and ARCS and the lot, in this very pervasive, collaborative and socially hyperactive way of learning.

I see an interesting debate (an on-going debate, more like) about the use of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook being considered as practical eLearning tools – even as eLearning platforms. A few educational institutes have begun using these tools (the article I quote from below, is more about ELGG, however)

Some schools ban social networks for wasting classroom time or to protect students from weirdos. But, as part of a wider trend toward less top-down teaching, other institutions are putting tools like MySpace, Bebo and Facebook on the curriculum — and teachers are saying: “Thanks for the add.”

ELGG is in a different league altogether – its popularity is suspect – because students may not necessarily choose to use ELGG as well as their MySpace or Facebook. But I digress.

Even if these tools (MySpace or Facebook) are being used for the purpose of learning – the instructional paradigm for their use will be very different from the learning delivered via conventional Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).

As instructional design for computer-based learning found its unique adaptation through different media and delivery platforms (even the move from CD-ROMS to the Web was significant transition – the web made online learning more interactive, it affected design paradigms, it allowed content to be more dynamic and data exchange more real-time), so will it have to find it’s way to pervade 2.0 technologies.

There is more interaction than before and we have multiple methods to manage and leverage that interaction. That – and the changing attitudes of the new learners is the new instructional designer’s new problem.


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