Forgive me for starting yet a new fresh campfire forum as I would not really know where in the structured Moodle environment to share my pleasant story about meeting at unexpected guest in a webcast with students. As I told you in my introduction I was invited earlier this week to be a virtual guest with a grade 8 classroom and their teacher. When I called on the Skypecast I was happily greeted by two different classes in two locations, one in New Hampshire and another class not far from Washington DC. I could sense their excitement when some of them were stepping forward to ask me some questions for introduction. Then, I told them one of my long boring stories about a very special old rabbit who had been sailing on the seven seas in an old three mast schonner, and this rabbit came to live with us in the countryside where he showed us his independent way of living as he had never been in a cage, and did not tolerate being a prisoner but smashed his cage and ran out in the free, still living nearby and often playing with our dog - but too wise to get caught.
Well, this is a conversation piece, a narrative that I've refined over the years as it happened some 30 year ago, but suuudenly I felt unsure if this teenage audience would find this very exciting at all, or just want ro run away screaming. As I could not see them, I started to feel a little wobbly about next step, hoping for an opportunity to change track.
Suddenly there was a surprise guest interruption: a newcomer in the webcast academy community had been invited by the session leader: mr. Morteza from Iran, an English teacher studying for a masters doing resesarch in oral listening skills in language learning, and using computers and internet for these purposes. I was kindly asked if I minded his presence - and we all welcomed him heartily. Now the students who had probably prepared pretty trivial questions about domestic animals in Denmark, had a live representative of the Iranian nation which is under pressure from the US government, and their improvised questions were pretty much the same as I would have wanted to ask him! Mr. Morteza was very polite and diplomatic, yet more than happy to share with us how he honestly felt about nucelar energy plants and the disgust against nicelar weapons and warfare, and he was also happy to tell us how schools work, girls and boys are separed in primary and secondary schools, but studying together at the university - where 65 % of students are women! We also discussed the problem with the minority of extremist muslims versus more open and liberal interpretations of Islam as a religion. Then, some students started to ask both of us about our countries' favorite sport and about which languages we speak. It was both lively and natural, and at the end, there was almost this campfire feeling of trust and instant presence. Two girls age 14 wanted to continue having a onversation with me after the schoolday was over and they wanted to hear more animal stories! And then again some more informal and improvised talking about serious matters. We runed over the the 9/11 day when they were just 9 years old and recalled the situation very lively - one of then had been visiting the WTC two weeks before, and the other had family members in the fire brigade. They told me they were happy to speak with an Iranian as htey would probably never have had this occasion, and it strikes me how these informal, intercultural encounters may really change the stereotypic views on one another. These Worldbridges webcasts surely are bridging the world
This was an amazing and intense situation with a very clear online precence feeling. This made me feel so priviledged to be part of this community of Webheads in Action - English language teachers with a strong urge to experiment with computerized interaction,some of us more multimedia or social science oriented but with commonly shared references, helping each other as peer learners. Oh, and also often using terms like informal learning environments in our everyday collaboration. Actually I googled this combination: webheads + informal + learning when this Scope seminar started, and a lot of relevant and memorable hits popped up.
Well - that was part of some crossing everyday learning trajectories (an expression from Vygotsky's activity theory coined by Yrjö Engeström (University of California, San Diego and University of Helsinki) I htink this trail may lead to yet another metareflective story!
Real design is more like this, where one step informs another, backward as well as forward:
These things draw me to informal learning as a moth to the flame. ADDIE and most ISD is reductionist; informal learning is open-ended. My model for informal learning, which I sometimes call natural learning, looks more like this:
I was not sure what ADDIE was short for, so just in case someone else needed to refresh memory or find out more, this useful google hit gave me some easy definitions (from U of Texas multimedia dept.)
My reason for sharing with you my webcast expereicne with US students and a teacher from Iran was, I think because going right over to Scope forum from this event, made me think in terms of informal learning, and consider all those many different learning moments such improvised intercultural conversations may provoke and support in teh individual as well as from a community view. This was about social studies, about online learning and communication technologies and strategies, language skills and collaboration, and as some of these students will also be involved in editing the event and posting as podcast, there will also be a distribution of potentially all of the above in new constellations.
And then, this grandmother is taking care of three preschool grandchildren age 4 to 6 this weekend, incredible golden learning moments happening all the time!!! Our best toys are my video cell phone - and doing the dishes and new but dirty dresses in soapy water by hand! Video taping such trivial but powerful actions together and reviewing what happened make them relflect and chare with me things I was not aware of myself.
I don't know anyone who treats ADDIE as a series of discrete steps in a unidirectional flow. We left "throw-it-over-the-wall" behind a long time ago. Even when I was developing multimedia on contract for IBM, 3M, and AT&T, even when I was a PLATO, we treated the phases of analysis, design, and development as iterative. What you learn in a later phase might feed backward and influence the work done in a prior phase.
ADDIE is a bogeyman. It's not real, not at least the way you tell the story.
It's been my experience that trainers who have other influences, such as multimedia or database design or marketing or web design, "get" iterative prototyping as a development tool.
But, go to any ASTD meeting and talk about an iterative, prototype development process and you'll see that ADDIE is alive and well.
I have argued with profs and bosses that the ADDIE format needs to be revisited and given the definition you give it in your wecond illistration. In all reality it probably is more like the fourth illistration.
Depends on the situation. In informal learning, it's all mixed together most of the time.
But When you're developing training materials for someone else to use, especially materials that are so complex and rich that a team is needed to create them, you have to have some sort of structure. ADDIE is a useful structure, especially when it's made flexible enough to reflect the reality that you learn things in development that influence design, and in production that influence development.
Too much rigidity is not a good thing, though.
Jay & everyone:
Isn't it sad how "stuck" some are on this/similar models. I do see one use for it: if you've never developed "formal" learning experiences for adults, it's a place to start. But only that-it leaves out too many important things which many of you have already listed.
I remember back in the early 80's when I was in elementary education and came in to the government developing adult training for the military. The ISD process did give me a big picture on how to develop training for adults. However, since then, I've learned so much more about enriching those experiences, sharing knowledge, building in reflection time, and action planning for how to use the learning in the workplace, your life, or in other words-application.
This is such fun-talking around a campfire with others who have similar goals-keep talking, keep sharing, we're all expanding and growing!
BTW, anyone want some of my s'mores? Nancy isn't the only chocoholic around :) Ann
Here's really scary one: the Forgetting Curve.
I don't care to debate the scale on the curve. Context rules. However, there's little question that most of what we learn is forgotten before we have an opportunity to apply it.
In the corporate sphere, knowledge gained in workshops conducted a month or two before application has almost all vanished by the time it's called for.
College? Ha, ha, ha. I've forgotten enormous amounts of European history, the calculus, French, physics, literature, and on and on and on. Half of what I'd learned probably dropped out of consciousness two weeks after the final exam. After several decades, most of what I learned has dissipated.
Informal learning is often followed by immediate application. (You learned something because you needed to do it now.) Formal learning, way in advance of application, is a viciously wasteful process.
That bogeyman lurks in nearly all learning situations, Jay. How much of what you learn informally do you retain **if you don't use it**?
Here's an example that combines the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains: I mentioned that I play guitar, and a little mandolin. I was jamming a couple of years ago with a fiddler who taught me a tune, "Whiskey Before Breakfast." (No, we weren't having any.) I learned the tune by ear, lick by lick, as we played together for maybe a half-hour. Today, I couldn't play that tune to save my life. I don't know if I would even recognize it if I heard it.
Another example: I had a problem to solve in Flash about a year ago. I went to the developer forums, got some suggestions about using UpdateAfterEvent and SetInterval, and after some thrashing around, got it to work. Now, I've got a similar problem. I'll have to reverse-engineer my previous code to figure out how I solved it, because **I don't remember** the solution. All I remember is that it used those functions.
And yet, there are things I remember from college, presented in a formal setting, that I recall clearly decades later even though I have not used them. The formula for the molecular weight of a gas: MW=dRt/p (The professor said his cat was named "Molecular Weight," and cats have a habit of scratching dirt over pee...) Rod O'Connor's Freshman Chem "colloid lecture" was infamous - you did not want to sit in the front few rows unless you wanted to get sprayed with shaving cream and pelted with Jell-O cubes. The reflexive properties of the conic sections, thanks to Dr. Witt's Calc II lecture on "The Stand-up Conic."
This is information I have neither needed nor used since Reagan was President, but I can't forget it. Why? I think it's because it was presented with humor. Laughter makes connections in the brain. Actually, any strong emotion does that. Primitive societies use terrifying initiation rituals to teach critical cultural and survival lessons to their youth. What you learn when you're scared you're not likely to forget.
So keep the ghost stories coming.
So as I get older, I have to use informal means to re-remember. :-)
Since informal learning is primarily discretionary, I wouldn't try to learn about Mahayana Buddhism unless I had a need for it. That need would drive me to apply what I'd learned.
The Forgetting Curve is but a generalization. Exceptions are everywhere. But by and large, learning way in advance of application is wasteful.
Anyone remember the Guido Sarducci skit about the Five-Minute University. In five minutes, you learn what the average college graduate remembers from school. In concluding, Guido says he's thinking of opening a law school. "Got a minute?"
It's like heaven and hell all rolled into one. Will our online lives be essential to informal learning? For some?