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January 31, 2006

Week Two: The Name Game

I have to say, I should have seen this coming having taken a previous course with Aaron, but I was a bit surprised. Yes, it's the deal where we all attach an adjective to our first names and everyone reads them off in order. IIRC, the last time I was closer to the beginning where it's pretty easy, but this time I was dead last so I got to rattle off the whole class! I'll admit that "Action" Aaron's game is a pretty effective way to learn the names of those in the class, which is on the large side.

This week, among other things we talked about just what the heck ID is. It can mean a number of things, but it often has to straddle the line between conventional teaching planning and theoretical educational psychology. Taking Ed Psych concepts and weaving them into the fabric of either conventional teaching or online learning is a big part of what ID is all about. Having taken a class in Ed Psych (student learning) last year, it's interesting to apply some of what I learned there into the ID issues we've been talking about in class...such as the Pedro/Jenny case.

This was a really interesting one on at least two counts:

1) Yes, it was a translation of a conventional class/workshop which is not uncommon, but what made this one more challenging was the fact that it was more about changing behaviors than just getting information to the participants. This fact has an effect on how you deliver the material and the material itself. This is where knowing the learners makes a difference. Knowing their motivations, while always important, is critical here since behavior change is the goal.

2) The people working on it had very different ideas on how it should be done. Each person portrayed had a different style as well, which is a good representation of how these projects can go in the real world; dealing with different personal styles is part of the process. Each person has something of value to add in this scenario. Perhaps the management is what's needed here to put it all together.

Tonight we also discuss our final project ideas. I'm looking forward to fleshing out mine more to confirm that it's the right way to go...or whether I should consider something else.

January 24, 2006

Week One: Why Are We Here?

Hmm, sounds pretentious, no?

Since I sprained my wrist (ouch!), I'm going to be brief this time around...

So far, Sir Aaron's class has been fun/interesting (oops, brownie alert). We had our usual "who we are/why are we here" introductions, which are always interesting to me; such a diverse mix of people in these classes.

The topic of why we are studying design and why it's important was brought up. I think it's important to be aware that good design crosses over into so many things we deal with everyday, which was mentioned with Aaron's pickup truck radio question. Things in design should be there for a reason and that's part of what we're going to be doing throughout the semester. So let's get going!

I'll leave you with a Colbert quote:

"Facts change, but my opinion never does."