Thursday, July 14, 2005

Elliot Masie Promotes 'Velocity of Learning'

Elliot Masie (a pioneer in the field of instructional technology) has begun webcasting and podcasting in the runup to his Learning2005 conference, and in his first programme he talks about the 'Velocity of Learning'.

I agree with his premise that success in learning is based on the velocity of performance improvement. His first webcast focuses on improving eLearning production & design velocity. This is good (and certainly relevant to my organization). But in a blended environment, speed to competency depends critically on the classroom experience. In my view, the missing element is meaningful metrics from the classroom experience - how can you measure velocity without metrics?

Too much of today's instructional technology budget is devoted to putting PCs on desktops in multimedia labs, serving learners. Too little is spent on technology which facilitates instruction and which aids instructors. The solution?

Classroom handsets - the folks at eInstruction are exactly right in providing classroom handsets to close the loop between the instuctor and the learner. But 1st generation classroom handset solutions like eInstruction fall short in 3 critical respects:

  • they are too primitive to do a good enough job so that consistent and accurate metrics can be accumulated
  • they do not support standards and do not interoperate with other systems
  • they offer no backend database to aggregate performance metrics across programmes, classrooms, instructors and learners

Better systems are no doubt coming to classrooms. If you have some thoughts on this, I would welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas on this topic. Send me an email.

[edited 20050716]