11/04/07  (susheyer)  [0 Comments]

Being spontaneous in a planned learning scenario

A few days back, I was watching an audio commentary by the director of a movie. He mentioned that even though the scenes were all carefully planned with lots of details, he would spontaneously come up with ideas about actions of the actors while on the set. He would whisper these ideas to the actors right before they filmed the scene. These ideas were usually ones, which the director was only able to "see" and act upon when they were right there on the set, right before shooting the scene.

I found that to be an interesting insight, as I feel that the same could also be said about the planning and implementation of learning scenarios: some things only turn up when you are actually IN the situation and recognize the need to deviate from your original plans. Since the IMS Learning Design specification still plays a big role in my daily work, I also related this insight to the Learning Design specification. I thus believe that the specification does in fact not provide the amount of flexibility needed to allow changes in the learning situation "on the fly". This somewhat relates to an earlier blog entry I wrote on Things IMS Learning Design can't do for you. Once more, I feel that the Learning Design specification implicitly imposes a pedagogical model on us that might not hold well in practice. I would like to back this statement with a comment from one of the attendees at an IMS Learning Design workshop, which I co-led at the Danube University Krems. The person said that he never sticks to his original plan when he is with his students in the actual learning situation. He thus would not find the IMS Learning Design specification suitable to his needs, since everything has to specified before hand and can only be executed according to plan.