Discovery Method of Instructional Design:

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The Discovery Method carve out your own learning journeyWe know how you feel. When that dreaded email arrives from HR that says you have been signed up to do an eLearning on Data Protection Law or Anti-Bribery Act. You have one month to complete it, which means you can dip in and dip out anytime. But given a chance, you’d not dip in at all.

‘I’d rather stick a pin in my eyes than doing this eLearning,’ was what a learner commented in the feedback form for one of his company-sponsored eLearning modules.  Don’t ask which company. That’s not important. The question is how often you yourself have felt that way?

You know when you click that dreaded link in the email that familiar screen would open. It would look good, no doubt. But what about that 100-word introduction? And that ‘Click Next to continue?’

Then, bracing yourself, you click the Next button. There are three paragraphs under which there are five buttons and, of course, ‘Click each button to learn more.’  You click one button it opens a pop-up with five paragraphs. Oh good Lord, does it mean each button has ‘hidden’ content? Well, you thought it’s only one screen and you’ll quickly finish it off, didn’t you? Gotcha!

The only thing you ‘discovered’ in these eLearning courses was how many such ‘hidden’ screens were there. Something that looks harmlessly like a single screen takes you into a maze of multiple pop-ups and by the time you are through, you’re exhausted.

Switch it off!

ISMM eLearning Branching_ScenarioThink for a minute. How do you normally learn? No, no, we’re not talking about your school or university, but in the web. Let’s take an example. Let’s say you are listening to music. You like the song. Then you copy the band name, and just so you don’t lose the name, you open a Notepad and paste it there. You then Google it, which helpfully informs you that it’s a Gothic rock band. You have never heard of that genre. You then paste the term in your Notepad.  Then you Wiki it, which tells you all about Gothic Rock, especially that it’s a sub-genre of post-punk. You then go search of all post-punk artistes. And paste them in Notepad. By now you spent about one hour learning.

Hang on, ‘learning’, did we say? Yes, what you did was to ‘discover’ the learning. You started with an example from your life, the music you were listening to, and then proceeded to ‘explore’ the subject and by the end of it, you have gained something valuable. Your Notepad has become your own study guide, not created by any institution but by yourself. Most importantly, you never felt tired, exhausted, or uttered ‘Oh, no!’

That’s exactly what Discovery Method aims to achieve. It doesn’t believe in dumping reams and reams of text on your desk. It encourages you to take examples from your work / personal life, and then takes you through a tour which resembles the journey of your discovery of music. Of course, you also get to ‘create’ your own study guide, similar to that Notepad! And what’s more, there aren’t any ‘hidden’ content that tricks you by showing you one page but making you read five!

Discover the pleasures of Discovery Method, so that the next time you receive that email from HR, you don’t have to say ‘Oh, no!’ but can say ‘Yippee!’

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