Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sticking to Basics--part 1

Sticking to basics...which basics?

I came across this recent posting on another edublog and thought it was worthy of sharing (Read the original blog post here)

Maybe we don't have a problem with basics or Maybe our basics need to be upgraded.A few years ago, we sold our home when returning to school. One of the attractive selling points at the time was that my brother and I had installed the latest CAT 5 cable (for internet acess) in every room in the house (including the laundry room--who knows??). That CAT 5 cable served us very well for a few years and helped sell the house, but today I would not install it again in my home. point is, while we don't want students to walk into our course "home", see 90's "wallpaper", turn right around and head for the door, nor do we want/need to install bluetooth location awareness devices in every room (currently the buzz in home automation). [...however, we DO want to make sure we make the needed repairs in our courses, possibly repaint, fix the drips, repair that one dangerous step, patch that hole in the get my drift]

As we look around us and see/hear vodcast, blog, gaming, wiki, second life, podcast, social networking, twitter, web 2.0, mLearning (mobile learning), and wonder if our "home" is up to par, let's stick to the basics in learning design. Let's focus on what these technologies enable, and how they facilitate learning within the context of our educational mission and responsibility.
At the same time, and what gave me pause in this article, is what today's basics for learners are/might be. Quoting another site (also worth reading) the author suggests today's learning basics are...

1. Be able to Connect
2. Be able to Create
3. Be able to Communicate
4. Be able to Collaborate

Are these the new basics??!
While I'm on a role here, let me suggest that my old (current?) basics used to be (and I hope you recognize these), to ensure my courses:

1. Gained learner attention
2. Informed learners of objectives
3. Stimulated recall of prior learning
4. Presented the content
5. Provided "learning guidance"
6. Elicited performance (practice)
7. Provided feedback
8. Assessed performance
9. Enhanced retention and transfer to the other contexts

Do our courses facilitate these new basics? Are these the new basics? What were the old basics? It seems to me that as designers, we should be able to answer some of these questions. Are we taking stock of what affordable upgrades our homes might need?
Read the original blog post here
-Joel G.

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