Most instructional designers will tell you their work begins with getting a foot in the door with faculty and building rapport from there. Here are three ways to make that relationship a success. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. The Role of Metaphor in Interaction Design
I think metaphor is the foundation of human reason (more accurately, I think similarity is the foundation of human reason). So it should be no surprise that I would be interested in Dan Saffer's essay on the role of metaphor in interaction design. More...
Following what I thought was an interesting turn of discussion on ITForum (aggregated here) I wrote this item, first, to underscore the role of philosophy as informing educational theory, and second, to highlight the difference between online learning and 'traditional' distance education. I argue that the theory of distributed representation has a profound implication for pedagogy, as it suggests that learning (and teaching, such as it is) is not a process of communication, but rather, a process of immersion. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Learning by Design: Good Video Games as Learning Machines
PDF. James Paul Gee asks, "How do good game designers manage to get new players to learn long, complex, and difficult games?" Here's how (quoted from the text):
- Learners feel like active agents (producers) not just passive recipients (consumers).
- Different styles of learning work better for different people.
- People take on a new identity they value and in which they become heavily invested.
- They can manipulate powerful tools in intricate ways that extend their area of effectiveness.
- Early problems are designed to lead players to form good guesses about how to proceed when they face harder problems later on.
- Challenges feel hard, but doable. Learners feel - and get evidence - that their effort is paying off.
- Repeated cycles of learners practicing skills until they are nearly automatic, then having those skills fail in ways that cause the learners to have to think again and learn anew.
- Give verbal information just in time and on demand
- Create simplified systems, stressing a few key variables and their interactions.
- Risks and dangers greatly mitigated (one of the worst problems with school: it's too risky and punishing).
- See the skills first and foremost as a strategy for accomplishing a goal and only secondarily as a set of discrete skills.
- People learn skills, strategies, and ideas best when they see how they fit into an overall larger system to which they give meaning.
- Make the meanings of words and concepts clear through experiences the player has and activities the player carries out. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Five Lenses: Towards a Toolkit for Interaction Design
This is a very nice paper that cuts through some of the issues I have felt (but never really discussed) in learning theory. Two major things. The first is the recognition that interaction theory (and by extension, learning theory), can be viewed from five distinct points of view: the cognitive, the anthropological, the artifacts, the social and the ecological. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Universal design for learning
KerryJ, KerryJ's Neotenous Tech, July 31, 2011.
Nice post highlighting the advantages of accessible learning (also, dig the nifty presentation pack on her about page). It should show us that we need to design for diversity generally. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. MOOCs and Connectivist Instructional Design
Geoff Cain, Brainstorm in Progress, October 28, 2012.
Geoff Cain describes designing a class to teach "the core skills that allowed anyone to adapt to any technology they might find themselves in." What's interesting was what happened when they set up an open class form at. More...
By Joshua Kim. Go check out Matt’s book, Creating Online Learning Experiences: A Brief Guide to Online Courses, from Small and Private to Massive and Open. This is a must-read book for anyone thinking about teaching or designing an online course or program. The book is clear, concise, research-grounded, and even fun to read. More...