Aug 22, 2010

The Instructional Designer

Watch the little animation Patrick Dunn made on his blog.

So, is the future of instructional design in danger? Are Subject Matter Experts the ones we need?

I will only add this to the debate: I see a lot of 'degraded' instructional design roles, and to me an instructional designer for learning is like the TV format creator in entertainment.

Yes, degraded. When I look only at my own company to all the people that carry the title 'instructional designer' (especially in one country that attracts a lot of outsourced work and shall remain unnamed)  and I look at what they mostly do, I get worried. Somehow, over the years the skill of matching learning need with proper learning activity design degraded into how to arrange stuff on a screen. That is not what instructional design is about. If it is, or if it got degraded into that for most that carry the title, please let subject matter experts take over.

A proper instructional designer is like a TV Quiz format creator to me. It is the design of the 'template', where other people can make a 1000 shows on... We don't need 100s of instructional designers for that, but we need a few damn good ones.

Learning isn't knowledge transfer

Via Clive on Learning: this YouTube video. Learning isn't just knowledge transfer. (I would not make every learning activity based on emotion either... We would all need shrinks to cope with the affection overload.)

Google's CloudCourse

Google would not be Google if they didn't do everything themselves. That goes for the LMS too. Or at least what they need of LMS functions. They now have opened up the source code of what they call 'CloudCourse' for the benefit of the rest of us people. It runs on their appengine platform, which is their cloud computing service.

You'll find it here.

It comes as no surprise to me Google would internally reinvent the LMS for how they believe it should work. In a video from one of Google's learning folks (forget where or the name, sorry about that), they even don't make learning content anymore. They just find it on the net, and link it together. Makes sense if your core business is finding stuff. What could you possible want to learn about that is not somewhere covered by someone on the Internet?