LDI President Jan Visser was the Online
Guest for one week (November 1-8, 2001) to guide students of
Dr. John V. Dempsey's graduate course on "Trends and Issues
in Instructional Design and Development" at the University
of Southern Alabama through a unit on "Instructional Design
in an International Setting."
Two introductory questions were set
to spark off the dialogue:
Hawkridge (1) makes frequent use of the term "distance
learning." I may have used the term myself occasionally
as well in past writings. I often avoid the term now because
I find it a troublesome term. Do you recognize why the term "distance
learning" could be troublesome? If so, what makes it troublesome?
that Foster..." I deliberately
use a definition of learning that is broader than the ones that
most people employ when they design instruction. I do so because
I argue that it is important to look at "learning by being
instructed" as just one among multiple dimensions of the
enormously complex phenomenon of human learning. Part of the
reason why I think that "learning by being instructed"
is an insufficient contribution to the kind of human development
we require has to do with the immensely complicated problems
we have to deal with at a global level. (BTW, you find a similar
view expressed in a contribution by Gavriel Salomon - received
today, Oct 31 - to the discussion on "Learning
after September 11, 2001: A collaborative reflection"
available on this site.) So, here's a question:
What are some of the most pressing problems the world is facing?
A related question is: If instruction alone is not sufficient
to prepare people to deal with such problems, what is it in the
instructional process we can attend to that will help to at least
make a contribution to better prepare human beings for the world
in which they live?
Following the week of fruitful and enjoyable
online interactions, Visser was asked to write a guest article
in a melting pot" for the December
2001 issue of The Link, the newsletter of the Online Learning
Laboratory of the University of South Alabama.
Hawkridge, D. (2002). Distance learning and instructional design
in international settings. In R. A. Reiser and J. V. Dempsey
(Eds.), Trends and issues in instructional design and technology.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.