Thursday, September 21, 2006

Critics of Gagne's

Brent Schlenker points to this post  from Donald Clark about how Gagne's 9 Events of Instruction need to be rethought.  My initial reaction after reading that was "right on"... especially considering the current project I'm working on.  We're basically doing everything that Clark is criticizing.
However, after re-reading it, it seems like his criticisms aren't of Gagne's Events -- he's really criticizing how "typical" e-learning has applied those events.  Even Kruse's explanation seems to fall into that same pattern, though after hearing him speak at the ELearn DevCon, I'm sure he's NOT in favor of the "standard" ways of e-learning.
In a perfect world, of course, every student would have learning interactions tailored specifically to his/her style of learning.  And the whole eLearning 2.0 thing seems to move in that direction.  However, there are quite a few people who learn most effectively by having pages and pages of text put in front of them, and then taking a test at the end.  When we've done some more interactive stuff in our training, I've actually heard criticisms because they found it to be too distracting and they just wanted to read.  Admittedly, that was only a few people... but we shouldn't totally ignore them in the effort to be more interactive.
Anyway... I think Gagne's is great tool/ guide.  It's by no means the way to teach, and neither is Bloom's or Mager's or Glaser's or anyone's.  But they are great "roadmaps" and help me, at least, to develop an understanding of the theories behind a successful e-Learning program.  Sadly, they're completely irrelevant in my current situation... but I'm making small (VERY small) steps towards that goal.


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