In two weeks, I will be participating in a panel discussion at the 2014 AECT International Convention. with four incredible scholars: Drs. Vanessa Dennen, David Merrill, Charles Reigeluth, and Wilhelmina Savenye. I thought I would write out some of my thoughts on the future of the ID programs in this blog post and will share these thoughts in the panel discussion.
The Context: Shift to Knowledge Society
We have seen a major shift in the last several decades to the knowledge society, and with this shift comes a change in the skills and competencies required. And because instructional design is very clearly knowledge work (what could possibly more knowledge work that the design of learning and instruction?), our designers must develop and gain these competencies.
Our ID students must be gain the following skills. How well do we teach these abilities in our programs?
I am not stating that instructional design programs do not teach some or most of these competencies, nor should necessarily teach all of these skills and competencies. However, we should think about how our instructional design programs fit within the context that requires these abilities.
Problem: Lack of Perspective and Defending the Turf
Solution: Integration of HPT
Need: Complexity and Human Management
Many instructional design program graduates end up managing trainers and instructional designers. However, in their training they appear to receive little training on how to effectively manage those individuals in their work.
Do the theories we espouse and teach in our programs help learners gain the competencies required for success in the knowledge society? Do they enable independent learning and problem solving? Do they enable learners to achieve internal motivation and the attitudes necessary for a successful career?
The concept of "instruction" seems to imply the delivery of detailed information about how to accomplish a task. Perhaps we are still teaching our students to design in ways that are more directive in nature. There is and will always be some need for this, but our designers must also know how to teach their learners "how to fish" instead of simply "giving them a fish?"
Technology options will like continue to grow, and they will also continue to become easier to use. As they do so, what will separate us from an individual with no formal understanding of instructional design concepts? As a field we need to be able to demonstrate that we are relevant and add value based on our knowledge. Our students must also be willing to continually adapt to the technological needs and preferences of the learner.
While I have a great deal of confidence in the general process of instructional design (ADDIE), We must teach our students the importance of continuous improvement. The competitive environment in which we work requires increased efficiency, and designers must be able to analyze, change, and improve the design processes they use. The integration of HPT into ID programs will likely assist in making this shift more effective. In addition, design processes must enable IDs to create appropriate learning solutions while still maintaining efficiency and quality output. The balance will be difficult to find, and designers must know how to work toward that balance.
Well, I look forward to the panel discussion. It will be great to hear the ideas of the other panelists, and I hope I can contribute to the conversation.