Monday, January 20, 2014

How do I define ID?

How do I define ID?

For me, Instructional Design has always been aligned with formal curriculum. I came out of the Australian TAFE system, with a Bachelor degree in Adult and Vocational Teaching, followed by various iterations of the Australian standard for Trainers and Assessors, the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I spent 10 years in the TAFE classroom, followed by 13 years in various (Training) management and consulting roles, mostly within Registered Training Organisations. This means I have a very structured approach to ID. I am used to working with Course Outlines, Units of Competency (standards), Training Package requirements and workplace procedures. I have difficulty with the term 'rapid' development, because I still need to work through all the process requirements of the preceding items. I come from a background of designing programs intended to be delivered over 40, 80, 200 hour and longer, timeframes.
I find it difficult to conceptualise anything under a 4 hour program as 'real' training! Yet, I know that each time we observe something new and integrate it into our thinking or our actions, we are in fact 'learning'. I see you use the camera on your smart phone as a mirror to apply lipstick, and I copy you. I've 'learnt' a new trick! Demonstration of skill is probably the oldest teaching strategy in the world and ID's spend hours working out how to set up or simulate the demonstration of a skill to students.
However, designing the demonstration of a skill is not all of an instructional design for a learning experience. We know that we must consider the desired learning outcomes, learning environment, the progression of the learning plan. We consider the learner with all their ability, distractions, prior learning and  readiness to learn, and the opportunities for methodology that the content lends itself to.
ID blends analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation but does this (ADDIE) describe it all?
My daughter (a digital media producer), said to me recently, "You're not a Designer, Mum!" as I struggled with some visual materials that I wanted to produce. She's right, and yet she's not entirely right.
I am an Instructional Designer, I design the implementation of teaching and learning methodology. As with all good designers, I analyse prior to designing and implementing. A Designer, (think: architect, engineer, artist, publisher, choreographer etc.), analyses the purpose for which they are designing, the audience who will interact with the design, the environment in which the design will be implemented, the influence of available resources on their design, the opportunities for the use of various techniques and technologies in constructing their design.
Instructional Design is a design based skill, it takes the application of knowledge, thought, creativity, technique, skill and experience to implement successfully.