When i’m designing a learning solution, i use a methodology that i’ve refined over time. This is about the underlying structure of the learning, so it applies to any format, be that mobile learning, e-learning, classroom training or social learning. Different learning formats suit different parts of the methodology, and part of it’s use it to determine what best to do where, to greatest effect. It’s my blueprint for instructional design and i thought this would be a good time to explore it in some detail over a number of days.
A methodology is a checklist, in this case, across six steps: Context, Demonstration, Exploration, Reflection, Assessment and Footsteps. In each area, i think about different things that need to be done and certain things that i want to avoid. I use it as the conductor uses a baton: to give the learning pace and tempo. It’s not a recipe for success, but it does let me ensure that any learning solution, be it mobile, social or face to face, has integrity and coherence.
This methodology works for me: i share it in the hope that you will use the bits that work for you, discard those parts that don’t and share your own ideas and thoughts. My idea isn’t right, it’s just right for me.
In each of the subsequent posts, i’m going to focus on one element of the learning methodology, provide an OVERVIEW of what should be done, as well as some key QUESTIONS to ask. Finally, i’m going to try to summarise each one with a REMEMBER statement: ‘yes’, this is what it’s all about and ‘no’, this is not the point. If nothing else, it will help to clarify my thinking further.
Learning is not necessarily a science, but neither is it entirely an art. You need structure, you just don’t need too much of it, and structure itself will not guarantee learning (although good storytelling may).
Understanding how people learn and which methods to use at which stage is a foundation for the design of engaging learning solutions. It sits at the heart of everything.