This article was submitted to ASTD's Learning Circuits for their November Big Question- Are our models (ISD, ADDIE, HPT, etc.) relevant in the future.
Some recent projects have gotten me thinking about how to best balance eLearning 2.0, traditional instructional design models, customized learning content, users choosing their own learning path and measurable learning validation assessment. It seems many of these items conflict with one another.
eLearning 2.0 is truly about social learning bringing in the theory of eduChaos in that, if given a stated learning goal with an interactive group, learning will naturally occur. eLearning 2.0 is truly the ‘edge of chaos’ in that ‘students’ are self facilitating and learning comes from interaction and social networking. The result is sharing knowledge and groups ‘questing’ for the answer.
Of course, eLearning 2.0 comes at a price. In the corporate world, we generally see requests where all aspects of learning must be carefully controlled, planned, and measured. Moving to a complete Learning 2.0 model is far more of a cultural shift than it is new ‘development’ work.
Traditional Instructional Design Models, such as Gagne’s model fit corporate expectations in that it is a methodical, controlled, timed model that is easily evaluated on. Gagne is sound but does nothing for the modern learners if looked at in it’s purest form. Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials all have a unique learning style that has quickly evolved over the technology of the past two decades. From Gen X who demands self study, to Gen Y who demands choice in delivery and now to our newest generation of workers, the Millennials who demand social networking, traditional models often leave these learners with the feeling that something is missing or frankly, are bored.
What is the solution? When thinking about this quandary, I am reminded of one of my favorite eLearning gurus- Thiagi.
In Thiagi’s Four Door Approach to eLearning your learners choose their best learning style and can shift from one to another to meet their needs.
Thiagi’s Four Doors of eLearning are:
The Library- Performance support and reference materials available for self study- Perfect for Gen X and prior who wish to tackle problems with data at their own pace.
The Playground- Learning through gaming- for Gen X and Gen Y who grew up on Nintendo and Playstation, this door offers a way to learn though the channels programmed since childhood.
The Café- Learning 2.0 in it’s purest form. Learning through social interaction is what Gen Y and the Millennials demand. They have grown up on Blogs, Message Boards, and sites such as My Space. For Café learners, what we see as the Chaos in eduChaos, they see as the most profitable educational experience.
The Torture Chamber- Like it or not, all learning should be measured in some way. The Torture Chamber provides an opportunity to test your skill or knowledge at the big picture of learning. The Torture Chamber, however, is far more than an a,b,c assessment. The Torture Chamber should simulate the real life scenario the learning is based on. For many like myself, the Torture Chamber would actually be the first place we venture. If we pass the gauntlet, we have saved time learning. If we don’t pass the gauntlet, we go back to our preferred path of learning with the knowledge of what the end goal is.
I plan to look more at Thiagi’s Four Door approach and how to incorporate this into learning. I would love to hear from anyone reading if you have used the Four Door approach and it’s successes or lessons learned.