Merrill states that “Information is not Instruction.”; “If a learner fails to obtain your instruction, it is a waste of time!”; and “Does our instruction really teach or does it merely entertain?”
We all know as teachers that information is not instruction, and with the federal influence of the “No Child Left Behind Law”. Teachers are going to have to be more then the “all knowing” instructor and more of the guide on the side. Students are going to have to have the skills to find the information they need more and more as they get older and older and the federal government gets more and more involved with the actual instructional processes of the teacher.
We know that if a learner fails to obtain our instruction it is a waste of time. We will spend more time getting the student back on track then we spent doing an instructional process that didn’t reach the child. We all know that the key to a good teacher is a teacher that can change his or her instruction based on the feedback that he or she is getting from the students themselves. This is the one element of instruction that is the hardest to recreate in a computerized instructional environment.
The last statement of Instruction or Entertainment is the hardest I think for an instructional designer to get past. We know that our instruction is actual instruction. It is more then drill and practice. It is more then a book on a computer. It is an interactive teacher to an interactive student. The student is more then a passive person in the instructional atmosphere. It is our job to see to it that the student is engaged and is not just being “fed” the information.
What we know and what the public perceives are two different things. As an instructional designer, we have an up hill battle to bring the computer and the instruction back into the classroom instead of being a drill and practice device. Getting the “public” to accept the computer, as an instructional tool is the hardest job for an instructional designer.