Hi all, Happy New Year! Hope 2011 gives you what 2010 didn't... ;). 2010 was interesting on several fronts -- and work-wise was a year of learning and learning design for me! More on that soon.
To kick-off 2011 I've decided to make only one resolution: to make work simpler. That doesn't mean to make my work less engaging, interesting, or informative... it really means to undress it, to de-accessorize it. In that vein, it dawned on me that as an instructional designer I really only need to do three things:
- Provide information before interaction. This is a traditional approach to instruction — inform the learner about the subject matter and communicate what it does (This is what the button does when you click it).
- Offer feedback during interaction. This is how the object behaves so that it reinforces what it does, or what it’s doing (The button displays the help screen).
- Encourage reflection after interaction. This is what the person should know after she has finished interacting.
By understanding how to "do" these three things, you can create more effective learning experiences. That's what we really strive for -- and there's been a lot of talk about "dressing up" what we do... build engagement, heighten emotion, ensure contribution... sure, there are valid points to make on all these fronts. But if you unwrap the glitz, you'll find that these three elements are the foundation to anything instructional. How you accessorize it is well... up to you and your audience.