Everything old is new again

I recently became aware of a “new” trend in learning called flipping. If you’re like me, you rolled your eyes when you heard about it. I think Jane Bozarth said it best:
Before I had even heard of flipping, I had been wondering if it’s time for instructional designers to rebrand ourselves. Renaming tried and true instructional methods is not what I had in mind.
I’m sure I am not alone when I say that more than once someone has approached me and said “You’re an instructional designer. Will you build an eLearning course for me?” There’s a misconception that designing eLearning is the core of what we do. And maybe we’re partly at fault for perpetuating this misconception. After all, eLearning is a major tentpole of our field. Some IDs, myself included, joined the field after eLearning came into being. We can’t imagine workplace learning without it.

And yet, we don’t like our own dog food. In her book The Workplace Learning Revolution, Jane Hart shares the results of the 2013 Learning in the Workplace survey, which found that knowledge workers prefer to learn in the flow of work, continuously, immediately, socially, and autonomously. ELearning offers none of these things. So if we don’t like to learn this way, why do we insist on continuing to force it on our learners?

I’m not saying eLearning is dead. Compliance and regulatory training require that companies prove that every employee received the same message, and eLearning in an LMS fills that need nicely. But just as the eventually worldwide adoption of technology necessitated a computer-based approach to instruction, the social web requires new tools and new strategies to more effectively meet the needs of our learners.

Posted in elearning, learning

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