Friday, July 24, 2015

Teaching and Instructional Design: two sides of the same coin?

This month I decided that it was high time I started preparing for the fall semester.  Sure, my third class  -EDDE803-(and third semester) of my EdD program is 2 months away, however since I have the books (thank you Athabasca for planning ahead! :-) ), why not start now that I am a little more relaxed?  The first book that I just finished is by Diana Laurillard Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. This book was on my to-read list on Goodread for a while, so I am quite happy to finally get an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

The book makes, in my mind, a valid point that teaching should be approached from a design science perspective, implementing, analyzing, tweaking, analyzing some more, tweaking again, and so on. As I was reading this book I was thinking back to the process of instructional design. Instructional design is iterative in nature and there are many elements of this book (if not all of the elements) that I know from an instructional design lens.  When I finished reading the book, while it was interesting and it framed things in a slightly different way than I had encountered them before, I was left wondering two things:

1. What is teaching?  Being an experienced instructional designer, if teaching, as is presented by books on teaching, deals in most part with the instructional design aspects, then what separates teaching from instructional design?  I suppose that what I was hoping for was a more philosophical discussion on teaching, teaching as a philosophy, rather than teaching as a process.  Then again, the title does indicate that teaching is viewed as a design science, and instructional design is a design science, so I suppose the overlap is inevitable.

2.How much overlap is there between teaching and instructional design?  If you think of a venn diagram, with one circle being "teaching" and the other "instructional design", how big are the areas that are not mutual?  And what are those areas?  I suppose one area might be the analysis part: determining if there is a learning or performance gap, and if this gap can be remedied with instruction.  This would fall on the ID side of things.  But, are there elements like this on the teaching side of the diagram.  There must be!

I've been teaching as an adjunct for a few years now and I can pick a number of words that describe what a teacher does.  However, how one operationalizes these without going over into instructional design is something that I haven't been able to fully identify yet.  As I wrote above, I am wondering if what I am looking for is slightly out of phrase with what I am given and the answer is right in front of my eyes.

What do you think?  What is teaching? How does it differ from instructional design?
blog comments powered by Disqus