Home > Classroom vs. Online, Instructional Design - General > Focus on the OUTPUT – not the DELIVERY MECHANISM

Focus on the OUTPUT – not the DELIVERY MECHANISM

A few days ago I listened to the annual Top 300 countdown on UK radio station Classic FM.
At numbers 5 and 3 were compilations of music that seem to have excited and repulsed Classic FM listeners in equal measure.What was the source of this ire?

These two compilations were music from Video Games.

For some, (and you can find all the discussions here) the concept that video games can be used as the medium to disseminate beautiful haunting vocal and orchestral pieces is just a step too far. For others, it is a breath of fresh air and exposure for a world too often previously hidden from view on “classical music” programmes.

It seems to me that this is another example of people failing to change, and being scared of change. If, for example, the pieces had been introduced to the mainstream listener audience as recently discovered scores by the relatively unknown 19th Century German composer Otto van Spottlebottle….then you can almost see the cooing and fawning from those to whom “classical music” means a (snobbish?) world of expensive seats and suits.

Change is the way that, in commerce, you keep ahead. Many Classic FM voters, it seems, were completely unprepared for the fact that their neat apple-cart of old favourites would be upset by a massive population of games-players; games players that actually shared their passion for the music which forms the envelope around their gaming passion.

Presumably the people who cannot accept this form of music as “real” are the same as those wanting more “…young people” to get interested in classical music, and for classical music to develop? Surely we are not going to carry on just listening to Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven for ever?

Of course this music is “classical music”, and it has a right to sit at the table alongside Beethoven and Rachmaninov, (although I do still fail to understand the enduring popularity of Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending”).

For 15+ years I’ve heard the same debates in the world of “eLearning” – after all…it’s not “real” training, is it?

People fail to focus on the deliverable – the end result, and become almost solely focused on the delivery mechanism. I got started in the “online training business” because someone categorically told me that presentation skills could not be learned online – they HAD to be done is a classroom.

Learning has the same issues to consider. Define the measurable outcomes you need and then focus on the correct design in the correct delivery mechanism – which may be classroom or online, there are a multitude of options, growing daily.

The Tin Can API will very soon enter mainstream learning technology, and (I believe) revolutionise the way that we aggregate learning experiences. The recent Rustici webinar I have attended have left me energised about how we may soon actually lose the term “online learning”, because classroom, online, social, books, experiential etc. will all come under the SAME umbrella – LEARNING. What someone learns will be more important than HOW they attain that knowledge – they may (for example) take online learning but never touch the corporate LMS.

It will be great to focus again on the output, rather than the mechanism taken to get there, and the role of an instructional designer can once again focus on the thing that is important rather than just focusing on the tool used to get there.

Right – I’m off to play “Final Fantasy” accompanied by some WONDERFUL classical music soundtacks.

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