Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Intro to Instructional Design - what should it be? (part 1)

In the past couple of months I've had some interesting discussions with colleagues and classmates about the introduction to instructional design class that we've taken in our instructional design program. It's interesting that people generally tend to fall into one of two camps: the anti-Dick & Carey camp, and the for-Dick & Carey camp.

Before I go on, let me just say that our program uses the Dick & Carey model for approaching instructional design. The camp that loves the Dick & Carey model likes it for breaking down the process into discreet steps. They don't like models like ADDIE or ASSURE because they view them as sloppy.

On the other camp, the Dick & Carey haters, I've heard arguments that the intro to ID course should not be a course on Dick & Carey; even though Dick & Carey might be a great model to use in real life do you really have time for all those steps?

I think that the truth lies somewhere between both camps. I think that an intro to ID course should cover all of the sub-steps involved in the process of creating instruction (learner and context analysis, instructional analysis, materials selection, etc.) The model you use makes no difference in the end product. If you're a sloppy and careless designer no model will save you. Crapid elearning is just that - rapid crap - no matter what model you use :-)

Having said that it would be useful to pick one model (I would personally go for Dick & Carey), and then contextualize that model and how the steps in that model overlap with steps in other models. Just going over the sub-steps and not giving learners the overall picture is of no use.

The disadvantage of Dick & Carey is that the textbook is simply awful and too dense to be used by novices. You need someone to 'translate' what the book says, you can learn the content, and then go back to the book for both an in-depth analysis and additional content.

Just my two cents on the subject...
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