One of the more insightful assessments I have heard regarding technology assisted learning came from a colleague after he attended his first on-line synchronous meeting. He said, “This is an incredible technology! I hope we don’t use it to host more bad meetings.”
This assessment has become my guiding principle as I continue learning and working in this field. While recent innovations in technology are truly incredible (on-line classrooms, rapid e-learning development tools, RSS feeds, streaming video, YouContent, collaboration software, etc.), we must be careful not to become blinded by the “wow-factor” of the technology. The secret to high quality learning, remains high quality content.
Clive Shepherd, a UK-based e-learning designer who has worked with LINGOs and its member agencies, asserts that a central requirement for high quality content is high quality instructional designers. Furthermore, he recognizes that for many organizations it is the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), with little or no training in instructional design, who design the majority of training content.
To help organizations improve the instructional design skills of their SMEs, Clive (and a group of professional instructional designers from around the world) has created a course entitled “The 60 Masters”, designed to train SMEs in the basics of instructional design ( Note- Originally Clive set off to create a 30 minute masters, but soon realized that even a high-level overview course would require 60 minutes.)
I highly recommend these materials for a number of reasons. In addition to the fact that they are excellent, relevant and freely available (although you must register to access the content), Clive also outlines an articulate argument why organizations should invest in building the capacity of instructional designers. Furthermore, the course (built in coordination with Kineo) is a great example of good instructional design employing Articulate Presenter and Articulate Engage .
Link 1: Clive Shepherd’s Presentation on “Why We Need More Instructional Designers”
Link 2: The “60 Minute Masters” Course (audio enabled; registration required)
Link3: The “60 Minute Masters” Course (no audio; no registration required)