Designing E-Learning for Secondary Schools
In which I argue that using exisiting models of lesson planning which are familar to teachers, would be better for schools than using existing models such as ADDIE.
When you learn about Instructional Design, sooner or later, you’ll learn about models such as ADDIE or ICARE. These are traditional models used in the design and creation of e-learning resources but you have to question whether they are appropriate or relevant when designing e-learning material for a school.
Traditionally, most e-learning has been aimed at corporate or industrial training. In such sectors, there is not the same overall ethos of education as you would expect in a school. That is to say that each employee is not expected to spend all day everyday learning, quite unlike a school! In addition, the trainer is unlikely to have regular daily or weekly contact with each trainee, again quite unlike a teacher and a pupil.
In schools, teachers already have their methods of planning, evaluating and assessing learning; it would seem foolish, therefore, to require new methods just for e-learning. It would seem better to use the same methods for the e-learning content within schools.
Most teachers would be familiar with Learning Outcomes and Objectives, it would seem sensible to plan and design e-learning content around these. There are, though, some variations in the use and understanding of these two terms but basically outcomes are what the learner is to have achieved by the end of their learning and objectives are what the learner is to do in order to achieve these outcomes. In essence, though, the principle is that e-learning design for schools should match the planning process already familiar to teachers.
By making the e-learning design fit the processes already familiar to teachers would make it easier for teachers to become involved in e-learning. This I feel is very important; without teacher involvement the e-learning could become little more than an ‘add-on’ to a pupil’s learning. With teacher involvement, it becomes a more integral part of the learner’s learning and can be incorporated, assessed and evaluated alongside all other learning.
In conclusion, let me say that I am not criticising Instructional Design models such as ADDIE but I am saying that they may not be appropriate models for schools. The involvement of teachers in the design of e-learning resources is important and it is important that the design follows processes familiar to teachers. Such processes are already in use in schools and are used in the much wider arena of learning that occurs within schools. By utilising these same processes, we may benefit from e-learning being brought within the wide context of learning within school rather than being regarded as merely an ‘add-on’.