Intelligent Design….of Learning

Learning 2.0 || Web 2.0 Maybe this is a thought crime, but the meme that’s propagating in my head this morning is that instructional design will once again mimic software design. (Where do you think those human performance flowcharts came from anyway?) Read this article about lightweight software development and the surge toward Web 2.0. Now, let me indulge in some cut-and-paste thinking. Modify the article by substituting instructional or instruction for software, and Cross for Fried. Here’s what you get.The more I dig into how people learn, the more convinced I become that we’ve been trying to do things the hard way. We used to think our job was designing instructional systems. I’m beginning to think we’re nurturing the evolution of learning experiences. Instructional design tries to fix things that are broken. It begins with assessing what’s wrong, “gaps,” and leads to developing grandiose, cure-all solutions. Learning evolution begins with what you’ve got and nurtures incremental improvement. We see the same sort of issue on the front page of our newspapers. One the one hand, some people believe a master designer released Earth 1.0 about six thousand years ago. Others folks believe Earth beta has been evolving for billions of years; it’s a web without a weaver. Do you believe in the intelligent design of instruction or the evolution of species of learning? Next up: Instead of “the network is the computer,” think “the network is the brain.”

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