Learning Design Basics: Definition, the take-off point!

As I reiterated to myself in the previous post, the most critical aspect of my taking up any exercise is to wholeheartedly embrace and internalize its BASICS. Because, that’s where the core lies.

Get the core right. Do not, at any point in time, let it go off the radar because it seems too obvious. Do not let it get overshadowed by other ‘important’ things. Because, this is what invariably happens… extraneous details come in, grab the spotlight, and totally eclipse the core. What happens thereafter is some diluted stuff which is of no use whatsoever.

Alright. End of prelude. I’m back on track.

Definition: The take-off point!

The core of Learning Design lies in its very definition. This one really caught my attention.

“Learning Design is the art and science of creating an instructional environment and materials that will shift the learner from the state of not being able to accomplish certain tasks to the state of being able to accomplish these tasks.”

Seems rather obvious, the definition… but, that’s where the trap lies. The criteria – or the core – of the learner being able to accomplish the given tasks goes so easily out of the window amidst a whole lot of nonessential stuff in most learning experiences designed. Not without any reason!

One of the powerful reasons – read traps – is superficiality. It’s so fatally tempting to stay on the surface, not having to look beyond or go deeper. Because, not many are even aware of the actual need. Therefore, there’s no dire need to look further. So, be happily done with some superficial stuff… and, move on. Project after project scrapes through the surface. And, that is the end of game.

The real game starts only when I decide to scratch the surface of superficiality to look a bit deeper… and, face the stark reality.

Someone’s becoming able to accomplish a given task is definitely not a joke. If I, as a learning designer, have to achieve that feat, I should brace myself to dive deep into the psychological depths. I should acquire a taste for relishing the realms of cognition – ‘the mental action or process of acquiring  knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and sense’.

Which means, I need to look beyond ‘just treating the content’, and appreciate pedgogical nuances that would shape up my learning design.  Put it another way, I should get a hang of pedagogical content knowledge to understand the context in which content best converts to effective learning.

Easier said than done. Agreed. But, I just experienced a whiff of thrill breeze past me, courtesy of the realization that there’s so much more to learn… so much more to explore.

And, I’m game.

More in my next post!

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