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A great day
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
palmsIt has been a glorious day in California. These palms adorn the entrance of the University of Santa Clara.

Tomorrow, Uta and I are off to Fredericton, New Brunswick, for a week. We will celebrate our 35th anniversary there. I should probably have my head examined. Last week you could paddle a canoe down Fredericton's main street. Residents drove their cars to high ground.

Click for Fredericton, New Brunswick Forecast

If you're a member of CSTD (sort of like ASTD but "C" for Canadian), you can see and hear Clark Aldrich, Stephen Downes, and yours truly remotely. It will cost you $50, but I assume that's Canadian funny-money.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., there's a new blog in town. Check out Ted Cocheu's Rapid Learning Blog. Great overview of Rapid Learning. Plus, I loved these lines most of all:
"The general subject of this rant is not unlike that of most of my rants. It is the tunnel vision, myopia, or what amounts to the ideology of many instructional designers, and, worse yet, instructional designers who have been promoted into management. They have somehow deluded themselves into believing, against all common sense and daily observations to the contrary, that “true learning” cannot take place unless the learning experience has been instructionally designed."

mission flowers
This is the Mission Santa Clara. Isn't the campus beautiful?

terriProfessor Terri Griffith and I chatted about informal learning, communities of practice, measuring the value of learning, and oodles of other things we share an interest in for a couple of hours on the patio behind the faculty club.

At one point I went on a tirade similar to Ted's about the priests of instructional design praying at the altar of an obsolete religion. Take the core argument of The World is Flat, that individuals and small groups count, that interoperability fosters a kind of business process bricolage, and that we're all members of a giant, ever-evolving network. How does ADDIE address this? We don't have time for it.

Terri, Ted, and I all wonder about what I've called the "informal learning paradox," i.e. most corporate learning is informal; most corporate spending goes to formal learning. I close the day convinced that my book on Informal Learning must contain unassailable proof of the results one can achieve by improving informal learning.


Blogger mindful learner said...


I am getting so sick of Instructional Designers getting the blame for the prevailing market conditions. Why are there so many bland, electronic courses out there? dumb I.D. people? Of course not. Don't be so foolish. The companies that hire I.D. people need to make a profit and they do so under very trying circumstances. The customers buying e-learning don't want to spend much money, they typically have amazingly poor infrastructures and they are incredibly conservative in what they will purchase. So, what do e-learning vendors do? We give them what they want - we serve the market as it stands. Not through lack of skill or knowledge or stubborn ID beliefs, but out of necessity.

It is so tiresome to hear everyone lumped into the same category. Take this quote,

"what amounts to the ideology of many instructional designers"

Where the heck did that come from? I don't know ANY I.D. people who hold that belief. How ignorant do you believe we are?

And how about,

"the priests of instructional design praying at the altar of an obsolete religion"

That has me so angry I don't even know how to respond sensibly.

You want to rant? Fine - rant in the right direction: rant at conservative, uninformed, cheap-skate customers, or rant at companies for their lack of vision, drive and persuasive powers. But for God's sake leave the hard working, trodden I.D. professionals alone. Oh, and get out and meet more of us before you go pointing fingers.

8:24 AM  

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