Thursday, June 4, 2009

Session 4: Designing Education tools in Layers

One of the best things about this session was the Zork Discussion.  Zork was fantastic.  The reason it came up was the fact that there are multiple layers to how Zork worked.  It was originally a product in a text only format.  When Graphic Design begin to have power and got more than 4 colors, it was possible to peel back the original layer of display/interaction and create a new layer, but leaving the original story/game intact.

Increasing the layers increases the complexity, but allows us to create layers that can be stripped off and replaced with an improved layer.  For example, if all of the images in a 'textbook' or website are connected together and can be stripped out and updated then replace the old 'image' layer.

It is kind of like putting a new cover on an old book.

Becoming an expert when it comes to Instructional Design works like becoming a Chess expert.  A Chess expert has the ability to track more of the pieces on the board at one time than a novice.  The same is true of an Expert Instructional Designer versus a Novice Instructional Designer.

Layering is the natural outgrowth of the increasing complexity of a technology.  Shelter originally consisted of nothing but 4 posts and some palm fronds.  Instructional Design is evolving the same way.

As the complexity increases the ability to create as an amateur decreases.  I could still build a house by myself as an amateur, Instructional Design can be done by individuals but the quality is much improved by having experts do the design work. 

What prompts layers????  The history of movies changing from the Silent Era to the Talkies.  This prompted a whole bunch of layering to the process of creating movies.  This has a bunch of application for what is going on now.  It makes the idea of a Social Learning Specialists so much more valid.  This technology is emerging and it makes sense that Educational Entities would be looking for someone to specialize in Social Learning

Examples of layers:
Message Layer
Representation Layer
Control Layer
Strategy Layer
Content Layer
Data Management
Media Logic

The metaphor for instruction should be conversation!

BTW Dr. Gibbons showed my alma mater's library!!!!

Citation Nods:
flickr User: tina_manthorpe
Andy Gibbons

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