(Preeti Jasnani, Deputy Head – Instructional Design with TATA Interactive Systems reflects on the Learning Circuits Blog’s Big Question for April.)
I could start making a genuine attempt to adopt a simple and what experts call a ‘no-nonsense’ approach to learning, and thereby design.
As an e-learning professional, most of my work caters to adult learners. And we adults don’t like to waste time; at least we’d like to believe so!
Each time I get down to designing a new course, I focus on ensuring sound instructional design that would work for the said target audience and the said subject matter. I think in terms of scenarios, stories, simulations, and games and make every attempt to come up with a new, ‘out-of-the box’ strategy to create a learning environment that is fairly interactive and engaging for my learner. Holy intentions indeed!
Then, why does each course I build almost always leave behind the lingering question:
Do the learners really need all the information and interactivity that has been plugged in or is the learner being held hostage by the course?
I must confess I’m afraid to hear the answer. That brings me back to the big question: What could I do better as a learning professional? I sure could start building courses that don’t waste my learner’s time.
And how can I do this?
It’s all about focus, I reckon. About understanding the real purpose of the course and defining definite objectives, thus avoiding information overload. About adopting a ‘no-nonsense’ approach with which I can decide which course needs to be interactive and engaging and which other could be a simple ‘click and read.’ About realizing that each course need not really be a course!