Monday, February 25, 2008

Links for 2-17-08 to 2-24-08

This is my eighth week posting my links. It's been a good exercise for me, not only because I'm keeping track of what I'm doing, but because I've also started blogging a lot more, and I like that. As I look over this week's links, I realize that these posts are more the cool tools that I'm looking at, but that's just fine.  See this week after the jump.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have we "Reclaimed" Instructional Design?

In 1996, David Merrill and the ID2 Research Group published Reclaiming Instructional Design, a paper that "attempts to make clear [their] belief that instruction is a science and that instructional design is a technology founded in this science," and they wanted "to identify some of the assumptions underlying the science-based technology of instructional
design, and to clarify its role in the larger context of education and social change."

In short, as they titled the paper, it was time to "reclaim instructional design" from "a lot of people associated with instructional technology who don’t seem to know where they are going. Neophytes who are pursing instructional technology are lured this way and that by the varied philosophical voices crying lo here."

So, twelve years later, where are we? Have we "reclaimed" instructional design?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Links for 2-10-08 to 2-16-08

It's been a busy week on the blog, so without further adieu, here's the links for the week.

From my del.icio.us account:

And see those from my Google Reader after the jump:

Friday, February 15, 2008

An immediately accessible instructional design education

Cammy at Learning Visions asked me to whittle my list down more. As a former English teacher, I relish the thought of making my writing "tighter." So while the purpose of my initial post on how to get an instructional design education without paying tuition was meant as a "here's what you need to know," I still missed the mark.

Let me explain.

All of these posts back and forth with Cammy have dealt with instructional design in a non-academic context. We have been talking about how to do the job WITHOUT a graduate degree. So what did I do? I gave her a graduate reading list. How's that for good design?

So I decided I was going to trim the list to only FOUR things, and they couldn't be theory-laden. Rather, they had to be something a brand new designer-by-assignment could pick up and learn something that would be immediately applicable.

See the list after the jump.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition

Well, yesterday Cammy has responded to my post on the disconnect between academic instructional design and practical instructional design. Subsequently, the last five hours or so has been interesting. First of all, I see that Stephen Downes has mentioned our conversation on OLD~Daily, and that has led to a number of comments on my blog as well as others posting about them on their blogs.

I've got to admit, I'm enjoying thinking about these questions.

Wendy Wickham from In the Middle of the Curve has joined the conversation. Wendy has an MA in Instructional Technology from Towson University (I don't think I know anyone on that faculty). Wendy makes a good point saying:

How I use theory - selling my instructional design ideas.

People respond to jargon. And, interestingly, people love learning other people's jargon. I had never seen such an excited group of people as the day I introduced ADDIE to the Project Management group and related that process to how they do business.

Do I use ADDIE? Not always - but it does seem to be a nice way to keep track of the status of my ID projects.

Citing academic theory makes it sound like you are putting more effort into it than "I dunno - this just made sense. Whadya think?"

Do I need my MS in Instructional Technology to practice? No. The theoretical ammunition I received in that program helps.


Great point. I had the same experience working with some military officials earlier this year. But later Cammy responds:

I completely agree that this stuff impresses clients. I use it all the time.

But one can learn the jargon without going to grad school. And one can cite the academic theory by reading and staying informed.

Perhaps the (somewhat cynical) question to ask is -- what's the right amount of jargon needed to get by? Do I need to know all of the things on John's list?

Personally, I don't think so. I've gotten by well enough without most of those theories, it seems.

This comes back to my quest from last year of getting an informal masters in ID.

If one were to construct an informal, self-paced, DIY instructional design curriculum, what content would you include?


So Cammy, only because I'm a big fan of yours, I present How to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Instructional design in academia--where theory and practice RARELY meet

I've had Cammy Bean's posts running through my head all weekend. I've been mulling over the differences between what I teach my students that instructional design and design theory are and how we actually do it. Anyone involved with the field at all knows that there is a huge gap between the two.

I remember having this conversation with a graduate school friend of mine, Platte Clark, a few years ago. Platte and I worked on our master's degrees in English at the same time, and we shared an office for about a year. Actually, Platte and another guy, Rulon Wood, are responsible for steering me to Instructional Technology, as they were both working on double master's degrees in both English and IT. At any rate, Platte left school with work still to do on both degrees. He had been offered a big job with Novell Education (I believe), and it was too good to turn down. He later went to work for Franklin Covey, but suffice it to say that Platte is HIGHLY intelligent, and a gifted designer. Again, he just *gets it.* Eventually he finished his MS in English, but not his MS in Instructional Technology. I remember talking with him about his frustrations about the academic field.

Links for 2-02-08 to 2-09-08

I'm behind on posting last week's links, so I'll get to them first thing this morning. From my Google Reader:

And those from my del.icio.us account:

Friday, February 8, 2008

This one's for you, Cammy Bean! Or, is the role of the instructional designer changing?

I've never shied away from my adoration of Cammy Bean and her Learning Visions blog. If you don't know who she is, she describes herself by saying:

I'm Cammy Bean, the author of Learning Visions. My business card currently says "Manager of Instructional Design", but I do a bit of everything. If you're interested, read my current job description.

Learning Visions is my place to explore topics related to e-Learning, including things like web 2.0 technologies, Second Life, wikis, Facebook, and other new tools that can be used for training and development. I attempt to share my experiences with current e-Learning projects and challenges I might be facing. I ask a lot of questions. Like most bloggers, I also tend to write about blogging.

I've been working in the corporate training field since the early- to mid-90's. Most of that time, I've been working for the e-Learning vendors: companies that design and develop e-Learning programs for a wide variety of projects. I've served as instructional designer and project manager on programs for banks, airlines, department stores, consulting firms, construction companies, training companies, and more. These days I work at InVision Learning in Westborough, Massachusetts (USA).

I started blogging in earnest in February 2006. A lot of really smart people were talking about some really interesting things and I wanted in! Every day I learn something new from the blogs I read and from the comments people leave here.

Please join in the conversation and leave a comment on my blog if you've got something to say. Don't be shy!


I think the thing that I love most about Cammy's blog is that she does what I do, and yet, I went to school and earned a Ph.D. that says I'm an instructional designer, and she didn't. I don't know why that to me is so fascinating, but it is. I've often thought that in academia we act too much like we're curing cancer when, in fact, we're not. I think instructional design is something that is a talent. Some can do it without the training. I could. I knew what effective instruction was before I ever took a class. At the same time, however, I also think it is a skill that can be developed. I've told my students for years, "I can teach anyone to hit a golf ball, but Tiger Woods was born to be who he is." I can teach anyone the clinical side to instructional design, and they'll be able to write good behavioral objectives, align it to a proper assessment, etc., but if they don't just *get it*, I can't teach them to.

Wanna see some INCREDIBLE artwork?

Check out Brandon Dorman's blog. He was a student worker of ours at BYU-Idaho when I was there. Now he's a professional illustrator with a book on the NY Times Bestseller list. He's amazing. For more, check out his website.

Below is his illustration of my favorite baseball player of all time, Ted Williams.

Which blog are you?

Vicki Davis at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog posted a presentation by Rohit Bargava and Jesse Thomas of the 25 basic styles of blogging.

Me? I'm a sometimes life blogger, most of the time link blogger.

Which one are you?





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Are we really *THIS* desperate?

So I love movie trailers, and I ran across the trailer for Never Back Down. And I have a serious question--so I found a copy of it on YouTube. Watch the clip, and after the jump, answer my question.




Monday, February 4, 2008

Meeting famous people online

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you how of an experience I've had over the last couple of weeks.

I'm constantly amazed at how Thomas Friedman has it right that the world is flattening. With the advent of all the new web 2.0 technologies, we are truly coming to a point where the majority of the people have the same opportunity for voice. Granted, there may be technological issues keeping some from being able to share their voice or opinion, but given the opportunity, we are coming together.

So, if you actually read this blog, you know that I really enjoy the web 2.0 technologies. And my world has been flattened!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Links for 1-26-08 to 2-01-08

This week has been trying to the point that I don't even think blogging about it will be cathartic enough. So let's just say:

UGH. Update: I just had a book chapter proposal, "Podcasting in education: Practices and precautions", accepted for publication. That'll pick things up a bit!

I'm glad that's out of my system. See this week's links after the jump.