Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
Probably the most serious problem we have in educational institutions is the general lack of imagination about the possibilities of technology for meeting the needs of today’s students. We need to move away from the dominant paradigm of the fixed time and place classroom (Andrea del Sarto’s “silver-gray, placid and perfect art” in the chapter’s opening quotation) as the default model for university and college teaching, and think of all the many other ways we could organize and manage teaching.
I think that along with missing the opportunity to educate and inspire, we are skipping over identifying three associated important skill sets that described in current professional literature as well as comments made by leaders from a wide array of disciplines, including education, government and business: Collaboration, creative problem solving and innovation. My biggest complaint against pure assessment based education is that it generally focuses on more rigidly-defined data sets and processes (in other words- just one way to solve a problem). It seems to me that the scope of problems that face us today is immensely complicated and require input from more than one discipline. Perhaps we may want to revisit a new/old approach to learning by addressing the natural differences in what and how people learn by integrating discipline-based learning. More specifically, multi-discipline, collaborative learning. Learners can problem solve by gravitating towards their own strengths and natural interests while at the same time participating in dialogues with other discipline- individuals. These dialogues will not make then experts in everything, but they will provide them with an understand of basic concepts and language of other disciplines so that they can truly innovate.