Wherever we stand, we take a stance: as an instructional designer or an individual learner. Our stance is the ground we stand upon and the direction that we face. It’s influenced by our experiences and the outcomes we desire. But we do not happen upon our stance by accident: it can be a conscious choice, affecting the stories we tell and the ways that we learn.
Organisations take a stance too: they do this when they seek to define their culture and when they work on a communication plan or learning approach. They do it when they talk about brand values and marketing, or personal development plans and strategy: everything is from a perspective.
Stance differs from Worldview. Our worldview is our internal outlook on the world, the filters through which we see and perceive. We have less control over our worldview. Our stance, founded upon worldview, is a more considered view and can be entirely conscious.
For example, those of you who have been here a while will know that the stance of this blog is to always be positive, to never criticise without offering solutions. It’s a considered approach. I see people being critical without being constructive and i find little value in it. I want this to be a supportive and supporting community, so i have taken a stance appropriately.
Sometimes, in other areas, my stance is different: that’s the point. It’s contextual.
So whenever you are looking at learning design, consider your stance: are you positioned alongside the learner, a partner in the learning, or are you an expert explaining things from above? Are you enforcing or encouraging? Are you creating space for reflection or are you a co-creator of meaning? We cast our roles just as we cast people to be in films: what do you want the stance of your learning to be and how will this impact on the tone of voice you use, on the ways you assess the learning, on the ways learners experience it?