This post is a continuation from a post about the impact of lots of freely available content on learners. My argument is that systematic instructional design can be used to help students navigate the tremendous amount of content that is available to them.
ADDIE is our friend
I know everyone hates on ADDIE, but using ADDIE as a true design process can help to create a Learning GPS for our learners.
A: The first part of ADDIE is A – Analysis.
If we are designing instruction, one thing we should be analyzing is our audience:
- Are they experienced?
- Do they know the vocabulary of the discipline?
- Are they newbies?
- (If you design corporate education) What is their job role?
- How much time will they have to come up to speed on this topic?
D: Once you know this information, the Design process can start.
Maybe part of our jobs as learning professionals is providing a GPS, based on the experience level and job role of the student. For total noobs, we’ll have to design a way for the students to learn the vocabulary. For experienced folks, we can show them the most relevant places to search for information and let them build a CoP or PLE (whatever we’re calling it this decade).
E: Notice how the E in ADDIE is not at the end, but connected to each step of the process?
If you design something that you think will work as an information navigation device for your audience, pilot it! Evaluate it!
Just because the navigation system works for you does not mean it will work for your audience. Not only do learners need to understand how to find and filter information online, they need to have an affinity with the source of that information. They need to be able to trust that source if they are going to add the source to their PLN. The content needs to resonate with the learners for them to take action on what they are learning.
D: If your pilot went well, go ahead and Develop this new system.
I don’t know what it will be – you are going to design it for YOUR learners and THEIR needs. Once you have built the system, go back to E (evaluate!).
I: If everything still looks good, Implement the new design.
Once again go back to E (evaluate!).
Help learners learn to find content
We can use ADDIE (and other instructional design models) to design new systems of instructions, taking advantage of the user-generated content that is building the enormous digital universe. We can help newbies learn the vocabularies they will need to perform effective searches. We can create a learning GPS that will help experts and novices navigate to the content they need to get their jobs done.
This is just the starting point though. How do you get learners to connect with each other? How do you get them to trust you to provide content relative to their needs, and to stay connected to you? More on that in a few days.