Our Monthly Reads: May
Just like Socrates said: "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know", we are constantly motivated to strive for more knowledge in our area of expertise. In our Monthly Read section we bundle the best articles, blogposts, infographics and videos we came across every month.
1. "Creating a Drag-and-Drop Interaction" - Articulate
We mainly use Storyline as a tool for sound e-learning courses. The ingenuity of this platform lies in the online support. The community of other users sharing ideas, tips & tricks with each other is amazing. Articulate also regularly posts how-to's on their websites.
As our team consists of both senior and junior learning consultants, we learn a lot from each other by sharing our work.
This week we talked about Drag & Drop interactions, in which this article was the perfect stepping stone.
2. "Three big surprises from Learning Technology Research Project" - Agylia Blog
Agylia reported their three main findings from their Learning Technology Research (LTR) Project, with a focus on mobile and microlearning. The LTR Project looks into enhancing training solutions and boosting the learners' experience.
1. The learning solution should have eye for ease of use.
We suspect this comes from the technology economy, where user experience makes or breaks platforms. This marketing-related field might just be the next big thing in instructional design.
2. The learning solution should offer flexibility to the learner.
As you have a certain working preference (place, timing, …), you also have a learning preference. Courses that are time-, place-, tool-independent score high on user experience.
3. Mobile learning is not just for millennials.
Even though we're not a big fan of generational terms, the LTR project shows an interesting fact, telling us that mobile learning is a preferred solution for both younger and older users!
3. "Zuckerberg ploughing billions into 'Personalised Learning'" - The Edvocate
The article describes how Zuckerberg and his wife Chan see Personalised Learning as the future of education and will invest $45 billion dollar in researching this, among other things.
The website went on describing what Personalised Learning actually is, offering definitions such as 'Modifying learning materials and teaching styles to accommodate the different ways pupils learn". However, Edvocate wrote, according to the founder of Facebook himself personalised learning is about teachers “working with students to customise instruction to meet the student’s individual needs and interests”.
The website saw three major pitfalls in this definition, that not only apply to Zuckerberg's initiative, but to all organisations implementing this new approach to Learning and Development.
1. Education is about acquiring both general knowledge and skills relevant to the workplace. If learning is solely based on students' interests, won't we end up with too many specialists and too little generalists?
2. Both life and workplace don't always accommodate a "Do-What-You-Want"-lifestyle. Shouldn't we prepare students early on for this?
3. Interests and preferences are not fixed. Not only do areas of expertise change themselves, our inclination to research it evolves with it.
4. "The Ethics of Instructional Design" - Allen Interactions
Edmond Manning skillfully wrote down his concerns and reflections that sometimes rise when doing an e-learning project. He manages to compare e-learnings to steak and critical questions to questioning what's for dinner. Even though Manning might have been hungry while writing this blog, he raises valid questions that we, as instructional designers and like-minded people, should ask ourselves regularly.
Questions such as:
· Who do I serve as an instructional designer? Do I serve my consulting firm, the client who hires me or the learner who depends on quality learning solutions?
· Is training really always the answer? And if not: how far do you go in addressing this concern?
· What if the project changes mid-way? Do you reflect on this change and the impact on the project? On the learning outcomes?
· What if the client is not (willing to be) engaged in the development process? Where lies the responsibility in the success of the project, then? How do you demand engagement without insinuating lack of engagement to the client?
· How much risk do you take when speaking your mind to the client? Being open and yet professional is a balance only gained with experience. And even then, it can be hard.
Manning offers some solutions to these questions; but his main advice: ponder these questions yourself regularly, whether you are the instructional designer or the client ordering a learning solution.