Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Agile Learner Design and Social Artistry

Agile techniques are increasingly finding there way into instructional design, business, management, etc. I have believed for a while that this is a good trend and that instructional design, communities of practice and social artistry can benefit greatly from agile techniques. I believe many people already use agile techniques within their practices. Within this topic of the café I would us like to explore how we use agility, nimbleness and leanness within our social artisty practices. And if these practices could be applied within the groups we work with to create deeper learning experiences.

Agile was born out of the challenges within software development. A group of seasoned software developer were seeking a better way, and they collectively created the agile manifesto; http://agilemanifesto.org/. It has been over 10 years since the agile manifesto was written and many other similar approaches have come from this... and now not only has agile become entrenched within software development practices it is also finding its way into many other practices. Some other techniques originating from agile are as follows;
Current Works:
There is a growing amount of writing with the application of agile to learning and instructional design. I believe the first reference to "Agile Instructional Design" came from a 2005 paper I wrote during my graduate studies. I consider this a poorly written paper, but the message is in the right place; http://www.rawsthorne.org/bit/docs/RawsthorneAIDFinal.pdf

What is Agile? (Day 1 - 4):
What I would like people to think, reflect and share is how agility, nimbleness and leanness apply to their social artistry practice. How do agile practices apply to Learners, CoP and Social Artistry? I'd like this done not from the agile manifesto perspective, rather the definition of words perspective. Please consider the following words and how they can be applied within Learning, Communities of Practice and Social Artistry?
  • Agile - Characterized by quickness, lightness, and ease of movement; nimble.
  • Nimble - Quick, clever, and acute in devising or understanding
  • Lean - The core idea is to maximize value while minimizing waste.
Designing our learning (Day 4 - 7):
A main theme of Social Artistry is learning, both personal and group learning. I particularly like the discussion found in this post from Michele Martin; http://www.michelemmartin.com/thebambooprojectblog/2011/11/learning-careers-and-social-artistry.html. How do we design this learning? Do Agile practices and Agile Learner Design provide a nimble way of designing learning experiences that would focus and fit well within social complexity? Could we design learning experiences to quickly build human capacity?

An Agile Instructional Design Sprint (Day 7 - 12):
Could a small group of subject matter experts, instructional designers, rich media experts and coders build a complete learning experience in five days? Could Agile Instructional Design Sprint be a great way for the social artist to bring alignment and shared understanding to a group while also producing a learning experience that would assist other to understand the work completed by the group?

Summary (Day 12 - 14):
What are the take aways for this topic? What are the strengths and weeknesses of applying agile techniques to instructional design within social artistry? Should we try a AID Sprint to build a course for the Social Artistry patterns?