Clark Quinn working out loud

I read the blogs of quite a few instructional design gurus. Actually I tend to binge-read them, then go off the whole idea for a while until my interest revives. But that’s another story.  One of my favourites is Clark Quinn, for the sharpness of his analytic mind but openness to new ideas.

I recently came across a series of posts in which he describes an actual project and the decisions made from initial analysis to production. It’s not a ‘real’ project for a client but very close to being one.

One of my traits as a learner is that I tend to swallow principles whole. Then if I can’t put them into practice exactly as an expert describes, I think of myself as failing. I don’t take it so seriously now, I see it as just one of my behavioural patterns. But it used to be a big deal.

In this series of posts we see Clark Quinn and his colleagues make the kinds of compromises designers make every day, while still trying to stick closely to his principles – in order to test them out. Things like agile design and scenario-based learning. It’s a great read.

The first post talks about their initial plans, and how they settled on a topic.

The second post talks about their initial design decisions, scoping the overall course.

The third post talks about their detailed design decisions.

And the fourth post talks about their development process.

In Clark’s words

I described how a team of instructional designers and developers went about settling on the objectives for what we decided to call our “Future of Work” course, working out loud and in honor of Jay Cross. My purpose in these “Deeper Design” articles is to demonstrate the process that the team went through, applying design elements that go beyond traditional instructional design (ID).

These posts recognise the pressures designers are under, and the impact tools and environments have on principled design decisions. I hope you enjoy them.

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