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4 November 2003 / erikduval

TechLearn (?): New Age Authoring

Blogging a session I am in the panel of – kind of an experiment: New Age Authoring… (Not “authority”, as the notice board mentioned…)

Wayne started off with the “If we don’t turn back now, we just might get where we are going” remark and “melearning” as in learning just for me. Historically, readiness was about being prepared for the expected, now the norm has become the unexpected. Wayne then presented the content model of learning objects.

We talked about the appropriate levels of granularity. Dan mentioned that CISCO has about 1.5 million learning objects, and that Microsoft has about 1 million, so this is not about some new and unproven paradigm. I mentioned that most authoring will happen at the middle level of the content model, and that we should not force end users to enter data in electronic forms in order to make this work.

Wayne and Dan talked about collaborative filtering techniques like Amazon uses and I pointed out that, in addition, information visualization techniques (see: Smartmoney) help to locate relevant learning objects from the large ocean of learnign objects we will end up with.

Someone in the audience mentioned the importance of narrative and storytelling and this helped me to remind people of the importance of “glue” between the learning objects. Wayne mentioned that learning design objects can capture the strategy embedded in such narrative.

The building analogy was briefly explained: most houses are assembled from standard components, but that doesn’t mean we’ve all taken courses on architecture to go build our own house. Similarly, not all end users will become skilled instructional designers, but we do need to make sure that the instructional design input can get to these end users, through tools or in direct interaction.


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