Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning
Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning: Building Interactive, Fun, and Effective Learning Programs for Any Company, Second Edition is an essential resource if you are studying for the e-Learning Instructional Design Certificate Program.
Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning
What's new in our field? What's new in this second edition of the Guide ?
Useful world knowledge continues to advance by leaps and bounds. Along with the growth of knowledge comes the need for more effective access, communication, and aids to learning these ever-more-complex understandings.
Similarly, brain research continues to inform conversations across multiple disciplines (Blakemore and Frith, 2005) and appears on the edge of providing valuable insights for teaching, although we remain short of transferring knowledge instantly and bioelectrically as forecast in the movie The Matrix :
Can you fly that thing [helicopter]?
Not yet . Taps cell phone.
I need a pilot program for a B212 helicopter. Hurry . Seconds later: Enlightened facial expression. Let's go!
As technology transforms in amazing ways, often with unexpected consequences, I'm ready to think we will find effortless ways to transfer knowledge and skills at some point. But as appealing as that is, we need to accept the fact we're just not there yet. In the meantime, the question should be: while it's still necessary for learners to do their own learning, how can we best facilitate the process?
My observation is that we continue to look for unrealistically easy answers. We even hope simple access to information may preclude the need for any instruction or learning at all. It seems we want to avoid the work of creating meaningful, memorable, motivational learning experiences, even though there's no doubt they provide the best way for people to learn and improve performance. There's no evidence the fundamentals of human brain function have changed recently and diminished the value of effective instruction. But we seem to keep looking for signs that has occurred as an excuse for not doing the admittedly challenging work of instructional design.
Although there are frequent claims that succeeding generations learn in different ways, most are myths (Bruyckere, Kirschner, and Hulshof, 2015). I've seen no foundational changes in what we know about how people learn or in what we know about effective instruction. The critical principles remain valid and, sadly, unheeded. And yet claims abound that, with advances in technology, everything has changed.
This edition of Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning was created to respond to the assertions that everything has changed and quality instructional design is no longer critical. Responses are provided through:
New perspectives on the hyperbolical claims that everything has changed
Additional efforts to simplify and clarify foundational principles that haven't changed (and aren't likely ever to change)
A fresh, new, and expanded collection of examples of approaches that work
To get started, let's take a look at these opposing perspectives-that nothing fundamental has changed versus everything (or at least a whole lot) has changed.
Nothing Has Changed
Let's first consider the perspective that nothing has changed-at least not the most important aspects of learning and instruction. Take the process of human learning, for instance. The foundations of human learning have not changed, despite concerning attempts to excuse lack of instructional effectiveness by suggesting the human brain works differently now that we're in the digital age (Bruyckere et al., 2015, p. 142).
We're still quite certain that much of human learning is centralized in the brain and that information gets to the brain through our nervous system from our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and through k