Clark Quinn on the value of understanding the theories behind instructional design. He suggests that at least some exposure to the theories is necessary because you have to understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
You don’t have to read Vygotsky in the original Russian, but what you can not do, and I see all too often, is follow a cookie-cutter approach which says “I have to have an introduction, concept, example, …”, and then write one of each without understanding what are the key principles behind each of those elements…
Note that Cammy is a ‘reflective practitioner’ to use Schön’s term, as she reads and reflects on what she does. That’s why she’s effectively done her own ‘masters’ in learning/ISD. So, I’m not comfortable with trusting experience over time to yield competent results, I think it takes someone being an ongoing learner. That’s easier in a well-designed program, though the caveat is that all programs are not necessarily well-designed.
Karl Kapp explains his view of the value of instructional designers in integrating multiple theories and making learning experiences more effective. If the delivery medium doesn’t matter (and the research says it doesn’t), then the quality of the design is what matters.
The discipline (and it is a discipline) borrows heavily from psychology, cognitive science, behavioral science, information design theory, and media design theory. However, it is the blending of these theories and ideas into the design of instruction that makes the difference between merely presenting information and creating an event in which learning actually occurs.
Karl Kapp argues that instructional designers should have formal training, and that if degrees were required that it would be better for the field of ID as a whole. Understanding the theory and research behind ID, plus having standards and best practices, would make instructional designers more effective.
As a professor of instructional technology and a consultant in the field who has written, reviewed and advised on ID projects for hundreds of organizations big and small. I have to say that in my extremely biased opinion…a degree is not only needed, it should be required!…
On an individual basis, it is possible to learn enough, be smart enough and talented enough to eventually become a top notch designer (as Cammy is a great example.)but this doesn’t benefit the field as a whole. And, I would argue those cases are rare.
But to say that you can develop instruction without understanding the underlying theories, developments and ongoing research trends is not believable to me….
I’ve seen too much bad instruction which has pointed me in the direction of saying that a degree is needed.
Practical tips for applying connectivism in the classroom and using some networked learning even within a more traditional environment. Suggestions include having students blog, increasing transparency, and using online resources to extend learning past the end of the course