One of the more interesting outcomes of the Three-Phase Design (3PD) model has been that, while in and of itself, it describes a strategic context from which to build and maintain online teaching and e-learning environments, it does not focus on more granular aspects of the design process proper.
According to Rod Sims (2008) there are six factors are essential to achieving engaging, interactive and memorable learning experiences (see Figure 1). The 3PD Model supports these factors by establishing the build-enhance-maintain process as core to successful project implementation.
Figure 1. Six factors influencing e-learning design (after Sims, 2008)
[Click to enlarge]
Sims called this model Proactive Design for Learning (PD4L): the six factors that enable the design of effective online teaching and learning are:
- Theory-based, ensuring that decisions are based on contemporary approaches to teaching and learning.
- Innovative and relevant (incorporating elements of proactive evaluation documented by Sims, Dobbs & Hand, 2002).
- Team-based, with team members having the relevant and appropriate competencies to engage with and complete the design tasks (Sims & Koszlaka, 2008).
- Emergent, allowing (where appropriate) the interactions between course participants to establish and introduce course content (Irlbeck, Kays, Sims & Jones, 2006).
- Interactive, enabling participants to actively explore the relevance and application of the course content (Allen, 2003; Sims, 2006).
- Personalized, such that participants are able to apply their own context and situation to the learning outcomes (Sims & Stork, 2007).
People (and organizations) do not adopt new ideas at the same time. Some adopt ideas when they are first introduced; others wait for varying periods of time; some never adopt an idea. In The Diffusion Process (1957), Bohlen and Beal maintain that
…the time span over which people adopt ideas will vary from practice to practice.
The authors’ research indicated that complexity of practice is a significant factor in determining the value of a diffused idea or technology in organizations. They defined the following categories of complexity:
- Change in material and equipment
- Improved practice
- Change in enterprise
Three-Phase Design and it’s subsequent iterations are representative of educators’ responses to the challenges and opportunities afforded by the introduction, diffusion, and adoption of Web-based technologies in education: traditional approaches to instructional design do not necessarily fit the requirements of online learning. Of particular note in this context is the emergence of Constructivism as a theoretical framework for the development of online learning programs. In the PD4L Model, for example, Sims cites
theories including the social formation of the mind (Vygotsky, 1978), meaningful learning (Ausubel, 1968), situated cognition (Clancey, 1997), constructivism (Driscoll, 2005) and connectivism (Siemens, 2004).
Together with a pragmatic, interpretivist epistemology, the PD4L model focuses on creating teaching and learning environments where relevant, meaningful knowledge is constructed by the individual.
When compared to the purely Functionalist (in the anthropological sense of the term) methodology of ISD, we can see that models like Sims and Jones’ are attempting to accommodate the power and flexibility afforded by digitally mediated technologies in the context of acquisition of skills, knowledge construction, and a more experiential view of learning, that the traditional systems-based approach.
Next Time: The ASSURE Model
Bohlen, J. M., Beal, G. M. (1957). The Diffusion Process, Special Report No. 18 (Agriculture Extension Service, Iowa State College) 1: 56-77. [Internet] Available from: http://www.soc.iastate.edu/extension/presentations/publications/comm/Diffusion%20Process.pdf [Accessed 3rd November 2008]
Malinowski, B. 1990. A Scientific Theory of Culture. Reissue edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Rogers, E. M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations, (5th ed.). Simon & Schuster International.
Sims, R. (2008). From three-phase to proactive learning design: Creating effective online teaching and learning environments, In: J. Willis (Ed), Constructivist Instructional Design (C-ID): Foundations, Models, and Practical Examples.
Sims, R., Dobbs, G., & Hand, T. (2002). Enhancing quality in online learning: Scaffolding planning and design through proactive evaluation. Distance Education, 23(2), 135-147.
Sims, R. & Jones, D. (2003). Where practice informs theory: Reshaping instructional design for academic communities of practice in online teaching and learning. Information Technology, Education and Society, 4(1), 3-20.
June 23 2009 04:45 pm | e-learning