Wednesday, July 27, 2011

User Experience meets Learning Theory

UX of Learning, T. Tate on A List Apart, 7262011.
another IA's take on learning theory and designing the learner's user experience for maximal effect. Stimulating article but there's a pretty hefty reliance on Bloom's Taxonomy treated in a linear fashion. It seems clear that human learning happens in more of a network of interlinked experiences that maybe mirrors the form our nervous systems take (curly, bushy, differentiated). So Bloom's Rose has more appeal to me.

Setting up learning sequences may benefit the instructional designer more than the learner, at least this is a question. Is the specific sequential organization of material helpful to the learner -bottom up - or is it a top down convenience.
[the steps were all presented so why didn't the student learn it?]
Presenting wholeness and providing access...thinking out loud here...might lead to student or learner taking initiative to grapple with and generate knowledge on their own terms.
After reading Ron Eglash' "African Fractals" I am cautious about taking a recursive approach that leads to demanding that students know how to study something before the skills are available to them. So what would H. Gardner ("Five Minds for the Future") have to say on this: some level of a 'disciplined ' mind must be available to make self-driven learning meaningful. How is this to be decided? school board? class room teacher? act of congress?

"A further element that establishes a climate for self-initiated experiential learning is emphatic understanding. When the teacher has the ability to understand the student’s reactions from the inside and has a sensitive awareness of the way the process of education and learning seems to the student, then again the likelihood of significant learning is increased." I think the word that's meant is "empathic".

Begs the question if self-initiated or self-directed learning is the goal then isn't the primacy of the teacher's empathy for the student's process displaced to the responsiveness of the system? But ... in practice the relationship btw student and teacher turns out to be key - so a system of technology alone can't do it.
Bard College prison initiative appears to be so successful precisely because of emphasizing teacher-student relationships.

From teaching (in a facilitative manner, I aspire) is how I came back around to trying to build learning systems that support relationships whether in "real" time/space or virtual, sometimes called "hybrid". [SFSU Instructional Technologies program uses this, ref B. Beatty ]
Looking for a better way of expressing the idea of close linking btw virtual and "real" I've seen other IA's talking about transchannel or crosschannel UX. Not sure if finding the right words will help with the fundamental problems of generating it.