Creativity in Designing for Learning

Do learning design models such as ADDIE leave room for creativity?  I think conventional models suppress and stifle creative solutions.  I have always wanted to find new and better ways to do things and the early days of writing for computer learning was very frustrating for me.  

It seemed so systematic and overly prescribed.  But it didn’t take long to overcome this as I became more involved.  

In my research I found an interesting paper by Clinton and Hokanson (2011).  

Mr Hokanson says that more learning designers are concerned about specific processes (step by step) of design.  They don’t look at how to come up with a different process or approach to get different designs.  

If you think this way you will be driven away from having the thinking time necessary for creativity.  

Think about learning design from the point of view of the learner.  Wow . . . that’s different.

A basic concept of good design is to think about the end users.  

The traditional approach to developing on-line learning is for the teacher or subject matter expert to decide what the learner should learn and then develop content that supports those goals.  This was OK for academics who needed to pass exams showing they had specific skills.  

But online learning is now fulfilling all sorts of other needs.  

It can be used to help employees learn new skills or processes.  It can be used to share knowledge across organisations.  

Another way creativity is transforming eLearning is by giving learners flexibility in where and when they learn.  Many learners want small, bite sized chunks of learning that they can do on their own time from anywhere.  We have micro-learning.  

Creative design is especially critical in micro-learning because of the length of time learners have to engage.  Clever design will grab their attention immediately and innovative tools help learners engage with the material quickly.  

Another way I think creative design is transforming eLearning is by using tools like video, scenarios and voice over to keep learners interested and engaged.  Learners want an environment that is aesthetically appealling and one that provides a seamless experience that is both easy and engaging to navigate.  

If you are interested in discussing the developing skills of creativity, please drop me an email and we can set up a discussion [email protected]

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