The decline of the compliant learner

I’m reading an interesting paper by Peter Goodyear titled “Environments for lifelong learning: ergonomics, architecture and the practice of educational technology“. It talks about the changing face of instructional design in the Web 2.0 era. I’ve cherry picked some quotes that I found relevant.

  • it is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine that we can design learning technology systems around an assumption that they will be used by learners in the ways we prescribe.”
  • ” a shift from the creation of ‘tasks-in-objects’ to ‘environments-for-activities’.”
  • “Evaluative data seems to be indicating that, however good the learning software, students will rarely use it unless they are obliged to do so.”
  • “It is now part of the folklore of information systems design and software engineering that technology needs to be built around a well founded understanding of what people actually do. Just listening to the managers’ account of how work should be done is a recipe for disaster and leads to unused and unusable software systems. Why should higher education be any different?”

Another point he makes and one that I’ve thought about with regard to PLEs relates to learning communities and has been proven by the present day LMSs. A learning community grows of it’s own accord and any attempt to force the growth will lead to a situation that we see with our own LMS which is poor student participation.