About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The choice of instructional design impacts skill development

Tony Karrer commented in the previous post that the skills I identified would be difficult to "teach". However, the real question is will those skills be difficult to learn?

I think these skills will 1) need to be developed over time, and 2) need to be learned by doing (not just "taught") with support from instructors. There are many models that would be appropriate for learning these skills such as experiential learning, activity theory, cognitive apprenticeship, communities of practice, inquiry-based learning. All of these models include certain attributes.

  1. Students have an active role in their learning so they are responsible for the outcomes.
  2. The instructor is responsible for creating a realistic environment from which students learn. In a work situation, the instructor does not create the environment, but rather makes the student aware of the environment in which they are learning.
  3. The instructor helps to focus student attention on the situation (environment), identifying problems or gaps between what is known and the ultimate learning goal, supports student learning by providing resources (print, electronic, expert, learning structure) to scaffold student learning, and a combination of "doing", reflecting, analyzing, and application.
  4. Interaction between the content, the environment, peers, and experts that help the learner to see different perspectives, try out different and new skills, and provide the learner motivation to learn.
Many of the skills I outlined in the previous post require time to develop using each of these aspects of instructional design. Each of the models I mentioned are different in structure and measurement, but they each have these 4 factors that will be needed to develop skills in the future.

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