Hey Joe, Whaddya Know?

INTRO

“Hey Joe! Whaddya know?”

NOW WHERE IN THE WORLD DID THAT COME FROM?

This is my first PuzzlingMix blog post of 2016. It comes to you from the virtual reality of one instructional designer (me) after he came across a #moocmooc post on instructional design as subversion. It's author, @slamteacher, was writing to kick-off a social learning experience MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). I'm not sure that the second mooc in moocmooc means though.

Anyway, moocmooc began yesterday. I tweeted a couple of thoughts about it but wasn't engaged to where I wanted to share deeper. That is not until I came across a Periscope video clip teacher @Don_Jacobs was kind enough to share. In the recorded clip (available for 6 more hours as of this writing), educational researcher Sir Ken Robinson said something which resonated with me: “We see virtual realities of what is.” or words to that effect.

Robinson talked for an hour; maybe he did. I didn't listen to all of his talk. Ideas, like the wheels on my Honda Pilot whilst I'm driving to an EdCamp, started turning in my head. Next thing I knew I was drafting this post.

Photo of varied images with text asking the question what do any of us really see

My point is that instructional design and learning aren't subversive as @slamteacher sees it. My take on it, based on my subjective perspective of reality, is that it's more like subdivision. How any one particular learner slices and dices up what they're learning depends wholly on where they've been and where they're going.

THAT'S WHERE THE FUN IS

The thing about instructional design is coming up with a learning experience that brings people together. The resulting mashup of each learner's shared perspective colors others' virtual reality. It results in a deeper state of know-how. It's like in Mannfred Man's Earth Band in Blinded by the Light: “But mama, that's where the fun is.”, subdivide and learn.

OUTRO

Instructional design involves the mashup of ideas learners subdivide based on their selves (selfs?, elfs?, Elvis?) perception of the learning as they experience it. Learning takes off when learners share their perspectives. The Internet is a great place for finding and sharing stuff. I love it!

 

Ugly Room

PROLOGUE

Growing up I had an aunt and uncle who insisted on gifting clothing on the holidays and anniversaries one associates with presents. Sadly, said presents were invariably colorful and scratchy. It was rare, unless my mom intervened, that I'd wear them. You see, I'm more an earthy natural fabric sort of chap.

UGLY

I finally made it to a Monday Digital Storytellers Gangplank meetup. I knew I as going to like it as soon as I got to the meeting room in back.

How did I know I'd like it? Because, like me, the space was unfinished, a work-in-progress. You see, the ceiling was missing. I could smell wood sap. The fluorescent lights without reflectors or diffusers seemed harsh.

Photo of an open ceiling with visible two by four braving.
It was, in a word, ugly. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Sons learning.
ROOM

In the room were a number of people from diverse backgrounds. There was a published author a couple seats friends me. To his right were a recently unemployed woman, a stand-up comedian, and several men deeply interested in writing screenplays and treatments.

I contributed an idea or two. Mostly I sat in a corner and listened.

I had my first AHA about 20 minutes in. Talking about story flow templates someone mentioned their writing process: Brainstorming, Drafting, Crafting. I know this as the design thinking process: Define, Ideate, Prototype. Okay, so the group put brainstorming before defining: no big deal. Continuing to listen closely to someone describing a story idea I prototyped (crafted) an idea using Plotagon on my iPad.

EPILOGUE

Best of all: The group is having a bootcamp Sunday. I really don't know what to expect but with their motivation to try stuff out and share and my curiosity just try to keep me away. I'll tweet the cool parts.

Oh yeah: I didn't realize it til the meeting was well underway that I was in what @TechNinjaTodd in his #EduLS challenge calls a Learning Mission.

 

 

 

Salt & Paper

PROLOGUE

Successful companies and ideas born in garages and kitchen tables is the stuff of modern-day legend. I wonder if mine's got legs?

SALT

So I'm doing a session at the eLearning Guild's mLearnCon in Austin in June. I've been running through some ideas of how it might work. I'm trying for an immersive learning experience where participants will, well, participate. I think the best notes a learner can take are the stuff they make.

Photo of a paper with notes on a kitchen table

PAPER

I've been digital for so long it was weird the first few minutes I spent writing with a mechanical pencil. Mrs was helping me capture some elusive ideas. Me sketching on my Paper app would have made it difficult for her to see what I was doing, hence the paper and pencil. In the actual session I'll have some tools to make sharing visuals much easier. Or not. It might be worth a brief elevator-pitch of a story to engage people by contrasting rapid with how it's done back at the office.

We, Mrs and me, played around with our ideas at the kitchen table. Later we went to Michael's to pick up some craft supples, the things one associates with design thinking and prototyping. You know, pipe cleaners, ice cream sticks, sticky notes, rubber bands. Mrs kept trying to get me to buy in bulk, thinking it was for the session in June. No, I'd say. “I only need enough stuff to take pictures for marketing.”

EPILOGUE

Not really. I mean, yes, I took some pictures of pencils, sticky notes, and rubber bands that I later tweeted.

Photo of an iPad screen and design thinking prototyping stuff

Mostly I played with the objects and thought thoughts. We're gonna have us some fun times in Austin.

 

Sow Your Work

PROLOGUE

“For everything there is a season..” — Eccliastes 3:1

SOW

Here's an idea that I think will lead to fruition. Explaining the instructional design process to others can be challenging at times. Visuals can help make selling ideas and strategies easier.

Freytag's Pyramid offers a way to diagram stories. Modified just a little bit I think it offers instructional designers an appealing easy to understand way of presenting spaced learning strategies to customers.

YOUR WORK
Each segment of the pyramid is listed below.
  1. A Tantalizing story hooks learner and presents topic material ~ 20 minutes
  2. B Learner chooses a practice problem to work through
  3. C Review practice with all learners
  4. D Resolve issues
  5. X Activity ends
EPILOGUE

I tried it out in a meeting last night. It seemed to take. The conversation afterwards moved towards “What ifs” from “And then”. Good thing?

 

 

 

Kaizen Chasm

PROLOGUE

What’s the key to Kaizen? A: No door to put it in.

Sketch of a door-less cubicle

Engagement problems? Lose the door.

KAIZEN

My 2015 goal is to be un-ordinary. I have to change how I share: more effort on relationships, inviting tinkering to make ideas tangible.

I spent most of the ’80s and ’90s working with companies like Intel and Motorola. Each had their own version of Kaizen, a continuous improvement methodology. It has to involve everyone in an organization to have a chance at success now and in the future.

Intel did it right, at least in part, because there were so few office doors. It’s open-door culture was vital. Dave Marsing, then Intel’s New Mexico site director taught my Intel Culture class. Andy Grove, then CEO, taught my wife’s class. Who taught yours?

EPILOGUE

Having engagement problems across an organization? Bridge the chasm by opening doors.

 

 

Comic AL Blogging

PROLOGUE

He stared, glassy-eyed, at the clock willing the seconds to tick more rapidly.

Comic of a character suggestion meetings that make things

COMIC

Some days it's one meeting after another. An Intel effective meetings class introduced me to meeting types.

  • Process
  • Mission
  • One-on-one
Comic depicting a long unproductive meeting

Maybe there's another way we can do this?

AL (ALternatives)

A recent tweet from @nyff made me aware of Boyle's Law for meetings. Want one? Bring a prototype with you. Prototypes are something tangible meeting participants can relate to and tinker with.

Comic describing alternative meeting possibilities including blogs and podcasts

Podcast anyone?

There are other alternatives, too. For meetings on status of projects for example, how about meeting participants blogging or tweeting them? In a typical 60 minute meeting I'm talking maybe two or three minutes tops. That's a long tweet or short blog. Maybe even podcast your bit?

EPILOGUE

Substituting blogs or podcasts (Voxer?) offer at least one other benefit: transparency. They are accessible all and can be designed to encourage feedback.