I am gearing up to start teaching again and thinking that the how of my approach is going to be just as important as what I have to say to my students. So, I am looking around to some scholars that I really admire and just keeping a note here. Kennon M. Smith has a knack for taking complex ideas and complex situations and making it all seem so simple. I just love the way she presents these complex ideas that I have to grapple with to digest. I had the opportunity to present with Kennon a few years back and noticed that even in responding to questions she could slow down, pick the right words, and delivery them slowly so people could digest what she is saying. In the clip I am linking here, Dr Smith puts instructional design in a larger perspective, situating it among fields of design. This lays the groundwork for thinking about instructional design a little differently than we normally do. I’m saving it here because it’s a great introduction to dealing with these complex ideas of what we call research in instructional design, a course I will be teaching in the fall for Masters Students at Texas A & M.
Another person who says it well, but in a totally different way, is Patrick Lowenthal, an instructional designer at Boise State. He uses media remarkably well, and in this video, he and Joni Dunlap offer eight insights they learned about teaching online through their own experiences. I have taught in face to face settings for over ten years, but only a handful of times online. As part of my preparation to teach online, I am looking for some guides—something to fall back on when I am not getting the results I want. I’ve always been a little skeptical that we can teach with a real connection to students in the online setting. (I talked about this in an Elearn article) and Dr’s Dunlap and Lowenthal seem to recognize this in their prescriptions. What I really like about these prescriptions is that they are not phrased as prescriptions. They are not coming saying “do it this way” as much as they are saying, “we’ve been doing this a while and here’s what we have learned; these ideas guide us, take them or leave them.” I interpret the central message is BE THERE; HERE’S HOW. Do you get the same message?