When I first heard about Sebastian Thrun’s massive open online course, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, the first such course to draw wide attention to big data as it applies to learning, I thought I had come across a typo when I read that 160,000 had enrolled. Coursera followed, and then Udacity, then edX. And then, finally, my tag on Delicious: ed-revolution.
I worked in the music industry for 14 years and watched as one of the first democratizations of an information-based model transformed an industry. The same democratization occurred in the legal profession, in tax accounting, newspaper and magazines, stock trading.
Any industry that produces information faces this ultimate transformation. So it is with learning.
Last week Google introduced Google Course Builder, a tool that runs on the Google App engine and designed to let anyone at a webmaster level design and deliver learning. For free. Course Builder is the result of Google’s “Power Searching with Google” experiment that saw over 150,000 enrollments. This massive open online course (MOOC) was a very active environment where students asked and answered questions and provided additional ideas and content beyond what was offered by the instructor.
So how valuable will the learning be that is created with Google Course Builder by webmasters? Google offers this disclaimer: “We are not the experts [in] instructional design or in creating online courses. We offer this advice in the spirit of lessons we’ve learned that may be useful to you.”
Remaining relevant in an increasingly social learning context presents great opportunities for instructional designers. The challenges lie in adapting sound design principals to new modes of learning and acquiring the additional skills to bring value to social learning environments.
The role of the professional ID is changing, but learners’ needs are not. On October 11, my partner, Tracy Bissette, and I are speaking about this topic for the eLearning Guild in their eLearning Top Trends series, an Online Forum presentation. Our presentation is titled “Remaining Relevant in a Social Learning Environment,” and in it we’ll look at emerging distributed training models, how a shift towards social learning will impact professional IDs, how to facilitate and support social learning, and how to carve your niche in a decentralized learning function.
I hope you’ll join us!
Remaining Relevant in a Social Learning Environment
Presented by Tracy Bissette and Ian Huckabee
eLearning Top Trends
elearning Guild Online Forum | October 11 & 12, 2012