09 June 2010

A fresh look at instructional design

Patrick makes some nice points about rapid prototyping, play as part of the design process, and getting users involved at any stage. To me, design has become a more creative and emergent process because of the range of tools, problems and solutions available. I'm redesigning some online modules from a college freshman success course, reshaping them into stand-alone "learnlets" or other forms I haven't quite figured out yet. The content is there; the experiences aren't. Some of the content can be framed the same as it was; some of it needs to be recast. Most of it needs to be reformulated with contemporary tools and more innovative ID. Fortunately, I planned users (students) into the redesign process, so I'm able to experiment with a few design motifs.

My first is using Animoto.com. At first glance, it looks like it's a sexy way to deliver powerpointed information and in fact, I'm taking a bland ppt and redesigning it with Animoto. I'm protopying it first.
I've already noticed the experience and content completely transformed by the tool. In the ppt, the author filled slides with long-winded, academic jargon and pictures of the campus. It looked official and was officially boring  as users read and advanced each slide. I'm using slang, as few words on a slide as possible, no pictures and throwing together some loops in Garage band for background music. Animoto will do the rest. This use of it convinced me to give the tool a try.

Talking in terms of design motifs is a way to express the design process as creative and emergent, while not entirely arbitrary. The end products of this project will be a part of a virtual student resources center (a website), where some branding continuity and varied learning experiences will be needed. A motif allows for variations on a basic form and I can imagine the Animoto motif achieving that. I can also imagine it becoming gimicky, and thus ineffective, very quickly. This was another reason for approaching this project with several motifs.

"A fresh look at Instructional Design" - eLN webinar presentation from patrick dunn on Vimeo.