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Friday, June 10, 2011

Tony Bates comments on Instructional Design

Interesting summary of a workshop in instructional design at University of British Columbia from Tony Bates:

There is a lot to think about in the article.  I came away considering one of his last points:
Lastly, I was interested in what was not discussed. For me the elephant in the room is the design of campus-based learning experiences when much can now be done online. For what kinds of students, and for what areas of a subject domain, is online learning appropriate or when would it be best to use the campus, and for what? Are we really fully exploiting the campus experience in a world of online learning? What theoretical frameworks or design models do instructional designers have that will help with such decisions?
 CMC is both a residential college and a commuter college.  The goal of the Online Learning campus is not to bring in a "super-commuter", students from far far away, but rather to support and enable the students we already have.  Given that, how should online learning practices inform classroom practices?  How do we design online learning to help students get the most from their campus experience?  Interesting to think about as the relationship between face-to-face learning and online learning continues to evolve.

I also thought about his comments on mobile learning.  Perhaps mobile learning is not a significant part of formal learning experiences, but rather a method of increasing informal learning and the kind of continuing education that needs to spring up to fill the gaps in time and space with the information and analysis people need to continue to grow and innovate throughout their lives.

Does mobile learning have to be about sound bites?  Small bits of information that students can digest in a few moments between other parts of their lives?  Is it limited to reminders and notices?  Should it perhaps include answers to small questions?  What about larger questions and critical analysis? Is it always to be in response to a questions, never proactive?  I think of phones as something that you look at briefly, then move on with life.  How does that affect educational practices?


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