19 Feb 2018

Books discovered, Pathways better understood

Moderating panels discovered a few month ago: I recommended it recently. It was written by a blog writer, from there it's name. It is for everyone to understand deeper "Moderating Panels". And yes, as the Project suggests to us, we should also be panelist, we learn by moderating and also being in one moderated by someone else.
More then Blended Learning is the main book I study now. Slowly. So much to absorb! It all begun with asking myself, again, the question: what is "Instructional Designer" ? What they do? What is their task? 

What is Learning management system? LMS from which Pathways inherited a lot?

First, I read some articles and looked at some pictures, downloaded the free sample of beginning of many books on the subject. Designing a system for learning for instruction. How, what? 

There is a lot about how we learn, how different people of different knowledge absorbs and learn best. We are so different! It is not an easy job!

Even if nowadays so many different medias are available! Perhaps, even because of all those media one can use, "blend together" to design the best experience with most success for the learners and the organization who asked for it. 

What I understood it was a huge undertaking, changing our educational system. Got a deeper respect for those who created and and those who still have the task to improve it, after a while. It is said, as with learning, it is a cycle of trial and error and adjusting to improve it after a while. It is not something carved in a stone once for all.

All parts that have to come together! 

Chapter by chapter, the More then Blended Kindle book analyses the Learners, Learning styles, Knowledge levels, Available Medias, and sometimes, goes as far as Socrate, to remind us that Learning Methods go far in the history. 
One by one the Learners, the Learning and the Logistic are analyzed. Who we want to be taught? What skill or knowledge they need to acquire? What medias, and yes also money are available? Indeed, then the Social Context. Will be the learning Alone? One-by-one? In a group? Or, all those combined? How it will be delivered at any time?  Strategy and communication mode, and who can deliver, who can give feedback? So much to be analyzed even before proposing a solution!
  • Preparation: prepare the learners before the learning takes place. Some need short other long so their confidence "I can do it!" grows. 
  • Input: is the material we learn, and the interaction with those who teach or with the material. 
  • Application, is the practice needed to acquire the skill, with usually a cycle from Input ->Application -> Input -> Application.  And between them to reflect of what worked and what did not work. Improving our skills. 
  • Follow-up, is improving the skill and knowledge, using also research, google, books, internet and yes! groups of peers where we can discuss together. 

Why does it look as a juke-box? One of chapters speak about Video games theory and how it can be adapted to the creation of the learning systems. One example was to build, mostly for beginner learners in LEVELS of Increasing Difficulty, isolated from each other. 

The book explains why the levels has to be isolated. It is a challenge but also having to learn only so much, increases the confidence of the beginner. "I can do this!" Of course, the experts resent it. "I want to see the whole picture." So many difficult choices to make while deciding which way to go, specially when addressing a wider audience of learners!

So much more to say about designing a learning system. For sure, it goes far from the "small details" of user interface! Of course, with time, those have also to be addressed.

At level 1 we learn the fundamentals. And one of the Projects is Research and Apply. The Veterans can go each time farther in the Research of each Project, as often is suggested. The new one could mostly go out to find a subject for a speech (as if there were not so many around us day by day) and most important, learn different means of finding when needed.

 I found this book, and yesterday, I tumbled on the third one: Getting to Yes with yourself, and from it, even if I am yet at its beginning only, I found echos from projects I passed through, found useful but did not understand enough. Now I realize, with each project, I have to stay longer, each skill takes so much more time to become "unconscious", if ever. "Practice every day, at least a few minutes" writes William Ury. It has to be trained like a muscle. 

Learn to listen. 

First, most difficult, learn to listen to yourself! Learn to go to "the balcony" to see from afar, the bigger picture, learn to go deeper "what you really want" and learn to be "in the moment". I did not journal beyond the minimum two weeks asked, even so I learned to "think positive" and to study my reactions. I should begin again, written or not.

Second, listen really what the other needs, not only what says. Suddenly, the Active Listening of Level 2 which I took almost like a joke, begun to make more sense to me. 

So much went to creating our new Pathways Education System. Day by day I realize how much and why it took so much time. How much more I can learn from it.

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