Saturday, January 05, 2002

Searches for "detailed design documents" brought me back to Knowledge Objects (KO). Along the way, I encountered a whitepaper by M. David Merrill Suggested Self-Study Program for Instructional Systems Development (ISD). Merrill's paper is a fine example of the "self-serve" educational resources available on the Internet.

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) seems to lend itself to an object-based approach to learning. Bits of data -- concepts, principles and procedures -- are indentified, detailed and addressed at the granular, modular or "object" level.

Learning interventions can then be brought to bear on defined "training needs" and "performance gaps" in the organization. Object-based online education addresses training needs and gaps at their root. Small chunks of information are delivered via several modalities to accomodate different learning styles.

Online training offerings might include:
  • PDF-based "page-turners"
  • Synchronous ("live") chat
  • Instructor-led group discussions and presentations
  • Videos
  • Web-based, self-administered quizzes and exercises
    NOTE: Hot Potatoes offers a suite of seven--and counting--applications for making Web-based learning activities. Some REALLY good stuff!

This entry marks the beginning of a diary of learning. Over the course of the Spring term of 2002, I intend to use this blog to record my learning experiences as a graduate student at OISE/UT.

I hope to learn more about Knowledge Objects (KO) and their application in Instructional Design and delivery environments.

My research on the Internet has produced resources on the subject. Chief among these is the Reusable Learning Object (RLO) used by Cisco Systems, Inc.. RLO are based on the work of Ruth C. Clark and M. David Merrill. I especially like the object-based (i.e., following Object-Oriented Software Engineering (OOSE)) nature of this approach and hope to use it in my work as Training Developer with SMART Technologies, Inc.

All this resulted from my work to design and produce "design documents" that we'll use at SMART to produce training materials. Materials will be produced and delivered in a number of media and will eventually lead to a "blended" approach to training delivery for customers, clients and staff.