On Changing Roles

On Changing Roles

As the First Annual Learning Design Summer Camp approaches I am struck by how different the list of participants looks than a more “traditional” ID meeting has in the past. I am amazed by how many people there are attending that a more conservative view of ID would deem too far outside the path … that there are people attending that are librarians, marketing people, programers, developers, faculty, students and others who impact learning design in a team environment, but who have traditionally been left on the outside looking in when it comes to these kinds of events. Let me say one thing about it all — I love it.

I have always looked at the design process as one that is so much more powerful when we are inclusive of people with many perspectives. I think we are all being asked to rethink our roles as we find new ground to populate in the academy. We are no longer being asked questions about what tool to use, how to write an objective, test items, or add resources to a CMS powered course space. I see something else happening — we are being asked to help extend the reach of classrooms to connect communities. Even if the ask isn’t overt, the notion of openness and connectedness is living just under the surface of nearly all the questions I am asked. I like this on a lot of levels, but I especially like that it is forcing us all to rethink where we add value to the bigger picture.

I really like the idea that everyone coming to the LD Summer Camp can have an impact on the design of learning — they can impact small pieces or entire learning opportunities. This is not meant to be a call to arms for more traditional instructional designers (I may actually be one), but it is a call for the entire Learning Design community to see this change coming and to embrace it — to level the playing field and to participate openly with colleagues as we explore this new territory. It is a truly exciting time to be in the Learning Design field — unprecedented access to content, knowledge, peers, teachers, learners, and all the others in our space has made our jobs that much more interesting and critical. We need to understand that our value will be finding new ways to connect learners to teachers, classrooms to larger communities, and education to 21st century skills that can take students into the next three decades in a holistic fashion. I am working on changing my thinking and I am inviting those around me to do the same.

Did I mention I am excited? Thoughts?

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