Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Learning is Messy

As adults, when we engage in self-directed projects, we learn by doing and by gathering first-hand experience. When things don't go as planned, we take the time to reflect critically and try to figure things out. We try and connect with others and seek inputs and guidance. We try to make connections between what we know and what we need to know. There are many such learning loops involved in the route between where we are and where we want to be

"Natural learning is not a straight line. It is a path full of twists and turns and each of these intersections presents us an opportunity to reflect on the experience thus far." - Tweet This 

However, as learning designers, when we design formal and structured learning experiences, we tend to generally design them in a linear fashion. Linear design may work for some content and audience but it is certainly not for everything or everyone. 

A learning experience that is designed to be followed along a straight line is essentially devoid of these learning angles and intersections. By overemphasizing the importance of doing it one way or doing it right the first time, we end up giving little value to making mistakes and learning from failure. We also underestimate the range of knowledge and experience of the participants and don't allow them to create their own individual paths to learning. As we attempt to remove or take away the chaos from learning, we also take away the essence of what learning truly is. 

"Learning is a long winding road that tends to get messy. And as learning designers, we must say YES to this mess." - Tweet This