Examples of Agile Instructional Design
I am always looking for opportunities to learn. These become learning projects both big and small. My focus is in three main areas; (though I wont turn away from an opportunity that emerges).
- Folk music and dance
- Adult learning approaches and practices
- Learning Systems Architecture / Software Architecture
All of this activity can been seen across my blogs, wikis, social media, discussion engagements, etc. The best way to follow along or review what I have done is by reading my blog or drilling down on the links found within many of my projects.
WikiEducator is an exemplar for using AID when building a community of practice. There was no official ID methodology when WikiEducator was founded or as the learning content continues to be built. The people who learn most from working within WikiEducator are the learner participants who are using, reusing and building content (this supports the AID idea that learners are the Instructional Designers). When considering the AID steps they have been applied very well within WIkiEducator. This was not by design, but by what worked best for this dynamic learning community working toward building free learning content for the commonwealth countries. WikiEducator was envisioned and continues to be evangelized by Wayne Macintosh who, working with the Commonwealth of Learning, founded WikiEducator. The building of WikiEducator has been very iterative and has, not by design, followed the Agile Instructional Design (AID) approach. This is how I see WikiEducator has followed AID;
- Its approach to envisioning curriculum (or learner) development has been twofold; first it had a handful of knowledgable educators and technologists, lead by Wayne Macintosh, to create learning content and modules within the collaborative environment of a wiki. As soon as the domain names were registered and the on-line resources (mediawiki platform) were available, content began to be developed. Essentially this small goup of founders became the stewards of the WikiEducator community of practice. Second, it allowed small groups of learners / instructional designers to create their own micro-wikis hosted within the WikiEducator platform. The success of the envisioning is due to being aware of the activities within the wiki to adjust and support the areas of greatest growth and success. WikiEducator envisioning supported the strength of self-organization.
- The planning of wikiEducator oscillates between the exemplary benevolent dictatorship of Wayne Macintosh and the self-organization of its board members and micro-wiki groups. The planning process was very good at adjusting to areas of need and forming partnerships with domain experts. The planning process did amazing work in supporting all the micro-wiki curriculum / content developers. WikiEducator allows the planning process to influence its envisioning.
- The build of content, curriculum and programs was most often put into the hands of self-organizing groups who worked together to create what they felt would best meet the needs of the learner. In some situations, existing content was utilized and improved upon. The content licensing scheme was. and is, seen as an important attribute of build success. The build process of learning modules also was allowed to influence the technical platform decisions of WikiEducator as a whole, this allowed the overall platform to improve and assisted greatly in setting technical direction. Learners were also engaged early in the build process to become creators, user and re-users of content.
- Given the wiki environment the stabilization and deployment becomes a part of the build process. All content is immediately available to the learner community as soon as it is saved to the wiki. This creates amazing opportunities for learner engagement and self-organization. And allows the learner content to be improved and adjusted to suit a changing knowledge domain.
Murder, Madness and Mayhem
Wikipedia and the UBC course curriculum. The course set out to create content (wiki pages) focused on Latin American Literature, with the goal of getting a page promoted to be a wikipedia featured article. The course far exceeded this goal. More than three wiki pages were featured (which is a huge accomplishment) and over eight pages were identified as good articles.
I consider this project as a good example of Agile Instructional Design for it exemplifies success when a vision is created and quickly engaging the learners to become the content creators / instructional designers. The plan was loose with well articulated success criteria and assessment approach. The learners were left responsible to build the content. To stabilize the materials and deploy them to the live environment. Similar to WikiEducator using the wiki to publish blurs the process of build, stabilization and deployment.
Continuing Legal Education of British Columbia
There were two particular projects build during my time with CLEBC that took an Agile approach and both had considerable success. There two projects were; CLETV and Search.
The CLETV project was tasked with creating an on-line live streamed episodic legal education "talk show". Each episode would include discussion with legal experts on a particular legal issue. The process of creating and deploying this video learning environment included a number of technical and pedagogical iterations. The technical iterations were to resolve issues around the capture and broadcast of video in a format well suited for the internet. The pedagogical iterations were to find a format and screen layout to encourage learner engagement and to ensure the time spent engaging with the video learning could be used toward required professional development credits. The elements of AID that were present within this project were;
- quickly getting a product to the learner so we could assess success, and improve the technologies chosen
- choose the minimum screen elements (software widgets) to allow quick deployment and begin to get live learner feedback regarding engagement
- test early and often within the development process to reduce stabilization time
- build upon successes and use open formats to enable re-use of saved video elements
- continually improve the product through learner and stakeholder engagement
- seeking the minimum solution which would provide success
- engaging end-users and stakeholders when making user experience design decisions.
- problem solving around the design of facets and in reconciling the taxonomy within search results