Saturday, August 23, 2008

Call a Spade a Shovel - but make sure you describe!

A short post expressing my opinion on a subject that I was asked comment on.

Is the term Instructional Designer a dead description, title, category or classification?

In light of web or learning 2.0, there are theories that in fact a better name would be an information and instruction architect. I have to say I have mixed feelings on this and each time it comes up in conversation I find it hotly debated but still with no specific outcome achieved.

I like the analogy of the architect as it implies a design and build with intent in mind but no guarantee with how it will be used or what the results will be. Instructional designer seems to imply that an outcome, as a result of receiving the instruction, will be achieved. I know this is semantics to some but again, I find with the rapid growth of personal learning environments and the change in learner centered dynamics, there is an opportunity to recognise what is happening, what shifts are taking place and think about the intent of workplace learning and what it is meant to achieve.

As it is adult learning, there is a perspective that the responsibility lies with the learner and what we need to be able to do is design with enablement and access at the forefront. This is why architect seems to be a more apt term rather than designer to me!

I will ponder this some more but again welcome all your comments. Always happy receiving the email comments but feel free to post on-line. Don't be shy!

1 comment:

christytucker said...

My thoughts got a little long for a comment, so I posted a response on my blog instead. I hope this sparks some more discussion. I think it's an interesting analogy--I'm just not completely convinced.