Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Neil Lasher's 4 A's of learning design

I can't for the life of me remember how I came across this paper from Neil Lasher on the 4A's of Learning Design, so apologies for not giving credit to the person behid the heads-up. There's nothing very new here, but the paper is well laid out and the arguments well developed. Perhaps it resonates with me, because it reflects a fair amount of my own current thinking. ADDIE adherents might find it challenging. Lasher starts with Bloom and Gagne and then moves on to his 4A's which are:

  • Attraction - drawing the user in
  • Attention - retaining the user's focus
  • Availability - which could perhaps equally be called Access
  • Application - enticing the user to apply the new knowledge
My attention was particularly caught by the third of these A's: Availability. Lasher quotes Einstein as having said, "It's not what you know, it's knowing where to find it." I'm going to have to take his word for that, because I hadn't come across that before, and can't find the evidence for or against this being an Einstein quote. (Ironically, what I did find was this:
I believe that the horrifying deterioration in the ethical conduct of people today stems from the mechanization and dehumanization of our lives - the disastrous by-product of the scientific and technical mentality. Nostra culpa. Man grows cold faster than the planet he inhabits.
I wonder what he would have made of our currently connected, technology driven world! But I digress...)

Whether or not it was Einstein, this is very much what I am driving towards. Lasher calls it "Learn, use and forget." I want to create a resource that delivers the goods so that learners will come back to it again and again, trusting that it will provide them with usable, workable solutions.

I stuck a bit on the last A: Application. Lasher talks about the need to show the learner the benefit of applying the learning. Is the current trend not making this obsolete? If the learning is designed to meet the need of the learner in the workplace, presumably the motivation to apply the learning is already there. Did the learner not access the material in the first place to acquire learning for the precise purpose of applying it then and there? This is what I'm aiming for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take Albert Einstein, for example, who once had to consult a phone book in order to find his number. "Smart people," he said, "don't always know the answer to a question, they know where to find it." another version here and here and here

The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it. ~Samuel Johnson

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. ~Samuel Johnson

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. ~Samuel Johnson

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. ~Charles Babbage

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? ~ Albert Einstein

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. ~ Albert Einstein

from Brainyquotes...

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Information is not knowledge.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.

The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

The only source of knowledge is experience.

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.

Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.

Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.