It’s all in the design.

Leaders & tech

Instructional designers recognise the importance of focusing on the pedagogy, on the learner, not the teacher. The left column is the easier bit, but often educators forget why they’re doing what they doing. Is it just to use a nifty new tool? Good instructional design brings the learner back to the centre, and make the interactions that are planned for most effective. Richard Culatta has a hefty amount of criticism for online courses that upload enormous amounts of content without considering how it will be perceived and absorbed by the learner – the moral equivalent of writing notes on the board and expecting students to copy them indiscriminately. He wants to know how we include interactions in these new environments that are about the learners and their interaction with one another, and not just with the teacher or the content. The value is building the social interaction in the classroom, because that’s where the deep learning is.

Culatta, R. (2009). Designing online learning. YouTube. Retrieved  from

Debbie Morrison’s view on instructional design, focusing on the importance of good planning for online learning spaces is interesting, given her belief that that the classroom walls somehow created boundaries for instruction and learning.This paints a grim picture of what teachers have done in the past. She is trying to say that online learning spaces can’t be treated as a free-for-all and that pedagogical purpose and design is paramount.

Jon Bergmann, one of the original proponents of the flipped classroom, underlines the importance of the design that needs to go into the learning experience.

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