Learning Technologies 2008. Reflections part 1. Learning Design.

After reflection, I’d like to share the messages that I came away with after attending learning technologies last week.  Track 2 focussed on effective learning and covered the areas of design, roll out, infrastucture, rapid e-learning and deploying content that works for the business.

The first session ‘great design for great learning’  contained the clear messages of; prototype early and involve users in the design process to ensure that learning solutions meet individual and business needs Patrick Dunn spoke about ‘Re-learning; beyond traditional instructional design’ and stressed the need for more creativity & innovation in the design of learning. He suggested we should be asking “how should we design rather than what should we design”. The traditional engineering & sponsor based approach to design assumes that we can fully understand the problem and can clearly define objectives. Patrick suggested that this design approach was not based on the problems that really matter. We are working in a changing, messy, user focussed world where we have many options, constraints are often unknown and problems are unfamiliar & complex.Patrick outlined some suggestions on how we should be designing to meet the needs of today;

  • Start with a prototype; prototype driven cultures are better able to innovate
  • Involve learners & users; evidence suggests that if learners are involved early in design, it will take less time and money to complete the process.
  • Act first; Design is a conversation in which a spiral design process should be used. It’s important to focus on the big idea and the common vision rather than adopt a parts orientated approach to design.

  Kenny Henderson from Sky spoke about ‘learning design fit for purpose’  Kenny believes that content makes e-learning relevant to learners and the business as well as promoting the brand and ensuring a joined up business and learning strategy.

Sky have developed content that is informative & fun to complete using vehicles such as video, voice over, and the sky handset in their e-learning. Sky developed an early prototype and sought input from learners in the design process. A variety of approaches were used to ensure that the content was engaging. This included learner input & review which although did lead to scope creep, resulted in learning that was relevant to both learners and the business. Kenny stressed the need for strong project management and encouraged us to ‘believe in better’

Off to make some pancakes now and think about the roll out sessions


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