The game of course

Jay Cross

The largest obstacle holding L&D professionals back from taking advantage of network technologies, distributed networks, social connections, peer interaction, and informal learning may be their bedrock belief that learning = courses. What’s a course? Where did courses come from? The word course derives from twelfth-century French for running or moving forward. Today, a course is a standard unit of measure of learning. Design Meta-Learning

Course 141

Instructional Design Orthodoxy


I will be dating myself here, but so much of the orthodoxy in the instructional design process was forged back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when the only Computer-Based Training (CBT) tools were Toolbook for the PC, and Hypercard for the Mac. The idea that you might allow scrolling was to many an Instruction Designer taboo. In my blog posts, I’ve been challenging instructional designers to embrace cultural shifts, and evolving technologies rather than brace against them.

Design 208

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The 'Course' in MOOC

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Given the opportunity, these learners have a burning desire to 'complete' the course. Well-designed and smartly-delivered" MOOCs with a valid, transferable certificate of completion (learning experience) may be 1 viable solution. In this sense, the concept of course completion doesn't really make sense - what is it to 'complete' joining a community? Here's why the C in MOOC continues to stand for 'Course'. Today, of course, they're not necessarily lectures any more.

Course 193

Designing Backward and Forward

Clark Quinn

After a mobile learning panel I realized that, just as mlearning makes it too easy to think about ‘courses on a phone’, I worry that ‘learning experience design’ (a term I’ve championed ) may keep us focused on courses rather than exploring the full range of options including performance support and eCommunity. From there, we can design forward to create those resources, or make them accessible (e.g. design meta-learning

Design 170

udemy Course with Marissa Mayer

Jay Cross

CEO Marissa Mayer, win $1,000 for your best design, and learn how a student just like you is succeeding with what she learned on Udemy. Marissa’s free Udemy course will teach you how to build a culture of innovation at your company. Take This FREE Course. The course is billed as “Over 10 lectures and 24 mins of content!” The course was first announced 10 hours ago; 8,305 people have already signed up. It’s a stretch to call this a course.

Course 130

Creating the Connectivist Course

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

So the form was not something we designed and implemented, at least, not explicitly so. One was the beginning of open online courses. We had both seen them in operation in the past, and had most recently been influenced by Alec Couros’s online graduate course and David Wiley’s wiki-based course. What made these courses important was that they invoked the idea of including outsiders into university courses in some way.

Course 152

An integrating design?

Clark Quinn

In a panel at #mlearncon, we were asked how instructional designers could accommodate mobile. I’ve advocated that we consider learning experience design, but increasingly I think we need performance experience design, where we look at the overall performance, and figure out what needs to be in the head, what needs to be in the world, and design them concurrently. ADDIE designs courses. design mobile strategy

Design 135

When the Learner is the Teacher, Do We Need Instructional Designers?


It’s a new world out there for the Instructional Designer. When designing for mLearning, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of the user who is walking around with a very powerful tablet and/or smart phone. In light of this, a waterfall ADDIE process that cranks out a monolithic elearning courses doesn’t work anymore. The days of all knowing instructional designer that drives a process of extracting and interpreting information from the SME seems way too mediated.

Design 216

UX Intensive All New for 2012

Adaptive Path

Designed as a skills builder for practitioners, UX Intensive delivers the best tools and learnings from our practice in a workshop setting. We have been working on a completely revamped UX Intensive course over the last few months. We've gone over the material with a fine tooth-comb, listened to attendee feedback and have developed a course focused on where the practice of user experience is headed.

Design 164

X-based learning: sorting out pedagogies and design

Clark Quinn

Learners are engaged in working on real things, and the contextualization facilitates transfer to the extent that you’ve designed the activity to require the types of performance they’ll need in the world. There are arguments for both, of course; for me, problems are easier to specify, it takes a special teacher to help shape a project and wrap the learning goals around it. Getting there requires a different type of learning design that one focused on standards.

Design 190

Musing on Google’s Power Searching Course and marketing

Jay Cross

Today I completed Google’s Power Searching Course. After the course, I treat search more as an iterative process. I spent three or four hours taking the course. More, importantly for me, the Google course inspired me to contemplate how corporations can use co-learning to create more loyal customers. Course design. The Google course is obviously marketing — they are teaching us to make better use of their product.

Search 132

Learning Design isn’t for the wimpy

Clark Quinn

We’ve been given some content, and it’s not just about being good little IDs and taking what they give us and designing instruction from it. We could do it, but it would be a disaster (in this case, that’s what we’re working from, a too-rote too-knowledge-dump course. If you’re not willing to do this, you’re not cut out to be a learning designer. design

Design 139

Education and, of course, the Net

Harold Jarche

Roger Schank: the on line education revolution: its all about the design. Not on ages’ old traditions of learning, but on a system of reducing human qualities to measurable, standardized productivity designed for the assembly line. Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via Twitter this past week. . Learning by doing is really how we learn: Teaching others to do this is the next step in the education revolution. aronsolomon – Generation Why.

Course 151

UX Intensive All New for 2012

Adaptive Path

Designed as a skills builder for practitioners, UX Intensive delivers the best tools and learnings from our practice in a workshop setting. We have been working on a completely revamped UX Intensive course over the last few months. We've gone over the material with a fine tooth-comb, listened to attendee feedback and have developed a course focused on where the practice of user experience is headed.

Design 118

Final Exam: Design the Ideal Organization. Use Course Concepts to Defend Your Answer

Bob Sutton

  I put in on the course outline so they can see it the first day of class.    I believe it was largely because my two course assistants, Belinda Chiang and Isaac Waisberg , did such a great job of giving students feedback during the five writing assignments that led up to the final.    It was touching and made lovely use of course concepts -- incentives, influence, and group norms, for example.

Culture and Design: Collective Versus Individual Progress

Adaptive Path

This collection of observations has made me realize just how deeply culture and cultural differences impact the practice of design. Culture and Design" is the overall theme I have chosen to write about in a series of posts covering the following topics: Culture of legacy and preservation versus culture from scratch. Why is it important for design? This approach is often characterized by interrelated products and services designed to benefit the community as a whole.

Designing Civic Engagement for the 21st Century

Adaptive Path

We need to recognize these behaviors and design appropriate channels to engage with communities and governments for the smartphone age. Inspired by the great work that the folks at Code for America are doing, PJ and I came up with the idea of creating a university program that would get students to work together across academic disciplines (computer science, design, and liberal arts) to create software products that address real civic and social issues.

Design 159

Designing Civic Engagement for the 21st Century

Adaptive Path

We need to recognize these behaviors and design appropriate channels to engage with communities and governments for the smartphone age. Inspired by the great work that the folks at Code for America are doing, PJ and I came up with the idea of creating a university program that would get students to work together across academic disciplines (computer science, design, and liberal arts) to create software products that address real civic and social issues.

Design 147

The imperative of designing and building agility in customer service

Trends in the Living Networks

It is somewhat frightening that still in 2012 companies are getting the fundamentals of effective customer service in place. It is of course not nearly as easy as we would like to imagine to get even the basics right, yet the bar continues to rise. The challenge – and priority – is to design an organization that is agile, responsive, and truly excellent in customer service.

Design 107

Pick of the Month: November 2012

Jane Hart

1 - Visualize real learning – Mark Britz, 5 November 2012. How do they affect our approaches to teaching, learning, and designing instruction or learning experiences? ” 3 - What does L&D need to do to survive in the 21st century – Helen Blundon, 16 November 2012. ” 4 - Train the what? – Andrew Jacobs, 16 November 2012. ” 5 - Reflections on #Chat2lrn: New Skills for Changing Times – David Kelly, 21 November 2012.

Designing E-Learning 3.0 in gRSShopper - 1

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

For example, instead of creating a course simply by filling in boxes in predefined forms, I can think about the structure and format ahead of time and design it exactly how I want. From the University of Sussex - yes I know it's from 2012 but we can manage with that.

Design 175

Levels of eLearning Quality

Clark Quinn

Of late, I’ve been both reviewing eLearning, and designing processes & templates. As I’ve said before , the nuances between well-designed and well produced eLearning are subtle, but important. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the work is well-produced, and explore some levels of differentiation in quality of the learning design. I recommend this in general, of course. Which brings up another way learning designs go wrong. desig

February’s Top 50 Posts on Working Smarter

Jay Cross

February 1-29, 2012. Working smarter draws upon ideas from design thinking, network optimization, brain science, user experience design, learning theory, organizational development, social business, technology, collaboration, web 2.0 Social Learning: what actually is it? - Jane Hart , February 1, 2012. Design Interrupted: Design-time Versus Meeting-time - Adaptive Path , February 23, 2012. Layers of learning - Clark Quinn , February 1, 2012.

Personalization for Knowledge Workers


When content is broken into discrete learning objects – rather than buried in large courses – I believe users will willingly access specific lessons, assessments, topics, procedures, and videos – as they are needed. A good place to start is by mining existing learning materials entombed in the 3-ring binders, and monolithic eLearning courses and disaggregate them into their usable parts. Content Development Industry Talk Instructional Design L&D

The future of higher education and other imponderables

George Siemens

We will be running an open online course from Oct 8-Nov 16 , 2012, addressing some of the concepts in this post. I’m also presenting on the topic of systemic change at the 2012 Campus Technology conference in Boston in July, so change in education is front of mind these days (actually, the first two years of my phd were on higher education change before I shifted my focus). The Rockefeller Institute released a report in 2012 (.pdf) On to the open online course.

International MOOCs Past and Present

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Starting this week, you can begin taking two of their courses ( Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport & Services Marketing – The Next Level ). By next March, the Perth-based university plans to offer two courses (one in sociology, the other in oceanography) using an adapted version of Stanford’s open source platform, Class2Go. It’s billed as “the first open online Spanish course for everyone.” 2012) [link] [link] Distance Education in Portugal and Brazil.

Course 210

Stop creating, selling, and buying garbage!

Clark Quinn

One of the causes is unenlightened designers. You know, it’s not like one dreams of being an instructional designer as a kid. This is not to touch on their commitment, but even if they did have courses, they’d likely still not be exposed to much about the emotional side, for instance. Good learning design is not something you pick up in a one week course, sadly. That’s the designer’s job, but they’re not equipped.

Buy 172

The edX, Udacity and Coursera Showdown

Dan Pontefract

February 20 – First official Udacity courses launch - CS 101: Building a Search Engine and CS 373: Programming a Robotic Car. March 5 – MITx launches first course 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics). April 23 – First official Coursera courses launch . May 2 - MIT and Harvard announce edX, a $60m venture between the two Boston area universities with the first courses set to launch in the Fall of 2012.

FAQ 205

Reconciling Formal and Informal

Clark Quinn

Performers know when they’re on deck for a course. They’re even willing to take courses when they know there’s a significant skill shift they need, or when they’re novices in a new area. And L&D knows formal learning (all too well), they know how to design and develop courses (or think they do; there’s a lot of bad stuff being produced under the rubric ‘course’ that’s a waste of time and money, but that’s another topic).

Content as a Service


As instructional designers, we create our learning products, package them up with all the content and media, wish them well, and ship them off to the LMS’s – never to be seen again. Learners must go through a cumbersome process of logging in, registering for the course, launching the course, then navigating through it to find the bit they are interested in. It takes months to create big monolithic eLearning courses that we lose control of once we ship to an LMS.

Is the cloud hastening the demise of the LMS?


This specification provides a way for courses running in IMS-conformant Learning Management systems to securely access remote content, tools and services, and receive back user’s results. is a game changer – the content and services are not packaged in the course, rather, they reside in the cloud. The learning designer finally has the flexibility to pick and choose the best content, and the best services available. LEARNING REACHES TO THE CLOUD.

GiveMN 2012 Giving Day by the Numbers

Beth Kanter

GiveMN 2012 by the Numbers by Jeff Achen, GiveMN Digital Strategist. A quick look at the social media data from Give to the Max Day 2012 shows a sizable jump over the previous year. Check it out: Click for our full Give to the Max Day 2012 results. We made a much more deliberate attempt to organize social media efforts in 2012.

Flipping assessment

Clark Quinn

Because, in the course of investigating what should be important, they’re beginning to learn about what is important. Say, for instance, they’re designing a better services model for a not-for-profit (one of the really interesting ways to make problems interesting is to make them real, e.g. service learning). This is part of good design; you should be developing your assessment criteria as part of the analysis phase, e.g. before you start specifying a solution.

Why Training Needs to go Agile (Part 1 – The Basics)


Much of what is currently rolled up monolithic, one-size-fits-all courses must give way to small but relevant content updated and delivered continuously to learners based on their individual profiles or needs. Rather than designing an entire web based document application, we start small. We might be inclined to design a more complete first version. The logic being it is easier to design everything in from the start. We code to the test; back our design into the tests.

Focus on ‘do’

Clark Quinn

I’ve been working on a project where we’re reviewing the curriculum before we design the learning outcome. The level of detail is admirable: courses are defined by objectives, which then drive learning objectives, from which are extracted key concepts to present. Some of the learning objectives are focused on tasks that were clearly designed to incite learner interest, but not in an intrinsic way. design strategy

Review 148

5 Phrases to Make Mobile Work

Clark Quinn

The second one focuses on looking beyond the initial inference from the phrase “mlearning”: Anything but a course! Here we’re trying to help our stakeholders (and designers) think beyond the course and think about performance support, informal learning, collaboration, and more. While it might be about augmenting a course, it’s more likely to be access to information and people, as well as computational support.

Kapp’s Gamification for Learning and Instruction

Clark Quinn

Chapters 7-9 are, to me, the most valuable from my point of view; how do you do game design (the focus of Engaging Learning ). And Chapter 9 provides valuable guidance about the design process itself. It needs to be carefully planned, well designed, and undertaken with a careful balance of game, pedagogy, and simulation.” design games

Tips 157

STEM Literacy is for Everyone

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Among LINC’s key projects is Blossoms - Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies , which is developing a large free repository of video modules created by gifted volunteers from around the world to assist school teachers with math and science courses. They are not even taking STEM courses in school, - be it high school, post-secondary education or college. MIT professor Richard Larson recently wrote an excellent opinion column - STEM is for Everyone.

Skills 201

Exploring passion – what kind of passion do you have?

John Hagel

  Another example of fans becoming players can be seen in some products like Lego building blocks where certain people become so passionate about the product that they actively engage with companies on the design of next generation products. It will be a long and challenging journey, but also an exciting one, and the true believer is committed to staying the course.  I've become passionate about passion. 

How to make a New Year's non-resolution | Daniel Pink

Dan Pink

Design (52). Design (52). January 2nd, 2012. And as I contemplated my resolutions for 2012, I reached out to Kelly McGonigal for some guidance. Jeffrey Cufaude on January 2, 2012. Matteo Becchi on January 2, 2012. Andrea Shepperson on January 2, 2012. Stafford Kendall on January 2, 2012. Emma on January 2, 2012. Owen Richard Kindig (@ztoryteller) on January 2, 2012. Randy on January 2, 2012. bfuruta on January 7, 2012.

5 Disruptive Trends That Will Alter Your Mobile Strategy


This is of course different from the previous way of thinking that implies just having the content out there and accessible is enough. More specifically, organizations are moving away from big, monolithic courses with annual update cycles to content that can be update in much shorter cycles of two to three months to support the constantly changing learner expectations.

Trends 202

MOOC reflections

Clark Quinn

A recent phenomena is the MOOC, Massively Open Online Courses. The downside of the latter is just that, with little direction, the courses really require effective self-learners. These courses assume that through the process, learners will develop learning skills, and the philosophical underpinning is that learning is about making the connections oneself. design meta-learning social

Skills 157


Clark Quinn

Which may mean modifying, not necessarily just replacing, but it does take conscious effort in analysis and design, diagnosing misconceptions, figuring appropriate levels of practice, etc. Genially, of course. Recently, there’s been a lot of talk and excitement about unlearning, and it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. Because, frankly, unlearning physiologically isn’t really an option.