It is hard work analyzing and defining the problems of design but it can cultivate some very important skills in the adult learner. The ability to ask the right questions, can often lead to the right answers. Thus, the ability to problem solve and think critically is an essential skill to build in adult learning.
As I spent time this week contemplating the marketing course and how students might become more engaged, I found myself referring time and again to the Community of Inquiry Model which was first introduced to us in ADLT 640. This model has everything to do with instructional design (ID), as one must consider how to design for the social, cognitive and teaching presence in order to have an effective, engaging learning environment. I revisited some of the other resource materials we were introduced to in ADLT 640, especially the COFA videos. Although, the videos focus primarily on the online experience, they might be equally beneficial to the blended learning experience. One video, focuses exclusively on engaging and motivating students. I also remembered there was a wonderful Prezi generated by Team Merlot featuring the Community of Inquiry Model. It is loaded with ideas relevant to instructional design.
Somehow I pictured the journey from ADLT 640, through ADLT 641 and ultimately to ADLT 642 to be more linear. I am discovering, however, that the journey may well be more circular in nature. Many of the concepts and theories we first encountered in ADLT 640 and then explored through the means of various digital mediums in ADLT 641 are now be applied to real design issues in ADLT 642. The challenges may be new but the concepts and theories which we may apply in addressing the challenges seem a bit more like “déjà vu”. I have the sense I’ve been here before and yet I find the trip no less invigorating. All that has been introduced before is coming back with increased meaning and relevance. As I reflect on the Community of Inquiry Model, a few key points seem important if learning is to be maximized:
1) The social presence of both the teacher and student must be carefully designed into the learning environment and every participant has the responsibility to contribute to the learning of others.
2) Learning goals inform the design of any course.
3) A cognitive presence will inevitably bring some discomfort for the adult learner.