Revisiting the Role of Instructional Design in E-learning

After my Big Paper on evaluating learner support for a global, blended learning program is finally passed, marked, bound and archived in Sheffield U  I’ve been doing a re-visitation of old e-learning concepts that flit into the real world practice of designing for learning.  Came across George Siemen’s old article Elearnspace’s post on how instructional design figures in e-learning.  A refresher article on some of the classic ID frameworks:

  • ADDIE – refers to Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate. 
  • Algo-Heuristic  “The theory specifies that students ought to be taught not only knowledge but the algorithms and heuristics of experts as well.”
  • Dick and Carey Model – “The Dick and Carey model prescribes a methodology for designing instruction based on a reductionist model of breaking instruction down into smaller components. 
  • Robert Gagné’s ID Model -Gagné proposed that events of learning and categories of learning outcomes together provide a framework for an account of learning conditions. 
  • Minimalism ” The Minimalist theory of J.M. Carroll is a framework for the design of instruction, especially training materials for computer users. The theory suggests that (1) all learning tasks should be meaningful and self-contained activities, (2) learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible, (3) instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising by increasing the number of active learning activities, (4) training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and recovery and, (5) there should be a close linkage between the training and actual system.”
  • Kemp, Morrison, and Ross Nine step instructional design model.
  • Rapid Prototyping – “Generally, rapid prototyping models involve learners and/or subject matter experts (SMEs) interacting with prototypes and instructional designers in a continuous review/revision cycle. Developing a prototype is practically the first step, while front-end analysis is generally reduced or convereted into an on-going, interactive process between subject-matter, objectives, and materials ” Thiagi – Rapid ID
  • Epathic Instructional Design – 5-step process: Observe, capture data, reflect and analyze, brainstorm for solutions, develop prototypes

Coming from the networked collaborative learning viewpoint, my classmates greatly emphasized that e-learning is NOT instructional design.  It is hard though to ignore ID’s prominence in e-learning.  For many, it’s probably the best introduction to e-learning as it informed previous curriculum design courses.  I feel that the challenge of ID is to bring together the current batch of media-rich, complex, yet accessible grassroot technologies as defined in my earlier post on the 2008 Horizon Report, incorporate it into cohesive, blended learning courses and stimulate further the growth of knowledge and collaboration networks that build on the course like a foundation.  In Siemen’s post  ID’s role is  to incorporate through a systematic design process appropriate instructional technology tools , but emphasize that doing so is secondary to designing for learner needs and learner experience.  But Siemen’s old post needs to be updated with the incorporation of the current grassroot collaboration pedagogies.  When one looks now at Facebook, Google Documents (which is a dream for more mature learners who wish to update their IT skills in a web-based environment), Multiply, and the Horizon time to adapation for learning is a year or less, ID becomes a tool to practice what I call technology literacy. That is, to resist the lure of peppering your courses with every New technology that emerges on daily basis, and to discern which technologies, methods, or pedagogies would best accomplish the learning objectives.  


About Maita Siquijor

Trustee (2008-2010), PAREB-Muntinlupa Real Estate Board; full-time real estate practitioner, digital marketer, blogger; seminar speaker/advocate for IT literacy in real estate; e-learning consultant and facilitator

Posted on March 11, 2008, in E-learning, Research, Teaching, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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