Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Creative Instructional Design

In a recent article by Tom Sehmel in eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions Magazine, Sehmel describes a growing disatisfaction with the design and development of many learning projects.

The rethorical questions he asks in the abstract highlight the frustrations felt by many:

  • Do standard templates and rigid development processes have you feeling like you are stamping out identical parts instead of creative instructional solutions?

  • Do you worry that your learners are going to find content and treatment repetitive and boring after the second course?


  • In part one of his article, Creative Design Solutions for Three Training Projects, Sehemel overlays the ADDIE Process (Fig. 1)

    with what he calls the Document Flow Process (Fig. 2)

    to illustrate how these compliment one another to produce more creative training solutions.

    What do you do to ensure more creativity in the courses you develop?

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Learning by Doing

    aka How to develop engaging, interactive learning experiences

    I recently finished the second book by Clark Aldrich on educational simulations. Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences (Pfeiffer, 2005) is a good primer and foundational piece for anyone interested in educational simulations, which Aldrich defines as:

    "A variety of selectively interactive, selectively representational environments that can provide highly effective learning experiences. They do this in part by teaching cyclical and systems as well as linear content.

    At the same time they include not only the pure modeling elements of simulations but two other elements:

  • Game elements, to make the experience more enjoyable (or at least less tedious or frustrating)

  • Pedagogical elements, to set up the experience by explaining the critical elements, to help during the simulation, and then at the end to explain what happened and how it ties back to real life.


  • Aldrich goes on to explain this definition as one "only an analyst could love" recalling his background with Garnter. My experience with corporations and vendors working on projects would prove there are many who share this sentiment as we pursue a different way of learning that is more relevant and engaging.

    The first Aldrich book on this topic was Simulations and the Future of Learning: An Innovative (and Perhaps Revolutionary) Approach to e-Learning (Pfeiffer, 2004). This was an excellent case study in how the simulation VirtualLeader was developed.

    Want to purchase your own copies? Click on the links below: