Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Teaching with Technology

Technology should not be used as a method for delivering information to learners, but instead it should be used as tools to assist learners in developing knowledge. Technologies should engage learners in meaningful learning, where learners are intentionally and actively processing information while pursuing authentic tasks in order to construct personal and socially shared meaning for the phenomena they are exploring and manipulating (Jonassen, Peck, Wilson, 1999). The goal of technology-constructive exercises is for technology to help learners articulate and reflect on what they already know and apply that to the new learning environment.

Excellent hybrid courses apply creative combinations of teaching strategies, using methods like instructional units, case studies,
simulations, video units and other Web based resources to encourage learners. Such courses adhere to the following:

  • The readiness principle, enabling learners to see the relevance of the material
  • The experience principle, respecting the expertise learners bring to the course
  • The autonomy principle, allowing learners to control their own learning paths through meaningful exercise and activities
  • The action principle, emphasizing clearly and continually the connections between what is being learned and the real world in which it is applied

Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. As we all know, we learn an awful lot by making mistakes (although we still feel awful). There is a fascinating article — “The Importance of Failure” — that explores the service we provide to humanity when we screw something up. Seriously, I feel Unsworth is also warning us not to get caught up in a euphoria brought on by change, without truly assessing where that change is leading. Is the emperor wearing cloths or isn’t he? How do we know for sure, especially at a distance?

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2011 by in Distance Education, Instructional Technology and tagged , , , .

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