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Thursday, January 22, 2009

My 2008 E-Learning Predictions...Not too bad.

Every year Lisa Neal Gualtieri of eLearn Magazine asks for e-learning predictions about the upcoming year. You can read the predictions in Predictions for 2009 and for the past few years Stephen Downes over at his Half an Hour blog grades the predictions. It really raises the stakes of the predictions but is a great exercise in reflection and revisiting ideas to determine validity and accuracy of scope. I enjoy his grading of the predictions...it keeps everyone on their toes.

You can see his entire list of grades at Last Year's Predictions For 2008, Reviewed.

Here is my prediction and grade from Stephen.

Predicted: Content within corporations and universities is going to become more and more disaggregated and learner created. Truly valuable content will be found as short videos on YouTube, entries on blogs, or a favorite page on a wiki, none will be housed in a Learning Management System. In fact, I predict a corporate version of YouTube will emerge just as the academic version, TeacherTube previously emerged. Formalized "instructional design" will begin to look more like "instructional assembly," in that what is traditionally thought of as a course will really be the efforts of an instructional designer to assemble disaggregated pieces of related content into a coherent flow for novice learners or learners who are not comfortable with assembling the content themselves for whatever reason.

Grade: B-

Content did become more disaggregated and learner created, continuing a trend that has been evident for several years. Penalty for non-falsifiability: if valuable content were housed on a learning management system, this would not be evident to the wider internet. No corporate version of YouTube emerged. 'Instructional assembly' did not emerge as a wide practice. Maybe in a few years.
So as any good student would do...I am going to take this chance to argue for a higher grade.

I do admit to the non-falsifiability of the disaggregation of content...although I see it happening in several organizations... also not as much instructional assembly is happening as I thought it would.

However, the point I want to hang a potentially higher grade on is the emergence of a corporate YouTube.

Recently, we have seen the emergence of sites providing video instruction focused on a corporate/professional audience. Here is a list of a few of the sites.

Wistia--This site allows you to share your videos inside and outside of company walls. This allows you to control who can view your content and to regulate the content. The videos can be used for training and sales and marketing. The videos even track who is watching them and what parts they've watched and what parts were not watched.

WordPress TV--This site contains many videos all some how related to WordPress but not just about the software. There is information about blogging and social media as well as other related topics. Sure it is focused in one area but it is professionally focused.

Adobe TV--This site is similar to WordPress but is all about Adobe products. Here the $100 laptop is discussed as well as every Adobe product from PhotoShop to Acrobat. There is an education channel, a How-To channel and many other topics. Again, corporate focused videos.

So, given the "evidence" (somewhat shaky but I think it makes the case) I'd like to know what you think. Is the grade appropriate or should it be raised a bit?

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4 comments:

Downes said...

Nice try - but the only plausible candidate is Wistia. But Wistia isn't like TeacherTube in terms of content, only in that it uses security to restrict access, and therefore might be of more use for companies.

As for the others, well all I can say is that you are trading on an ambiguity inherent in your prediction in order to argue for more credit. But the ambiguity is a weakness, not a strength, and you shouldn't be rewarded for it.

Chris Savage said...

I think you and Steven are both right about whether or not a "corporate YouTube" has emerged. There are new tools allowing companies to better share video inside and outside of company walls, but they haven't been clones of YouTube. A corporate YouTube can allow for better company-wide messaging, which is important but not a core driver of business.

What I think we're seeing here is that companies are adopting web video technologies that incorporate commenting, tracking and access control so that they can enhance informal and formal training.

Janet Clarey said...

Congrats. I think you get one of those silver stars for a B.

Karl Kapp said...

Stephen--Can't blame a guy for trying. Thanks for at least reconsidering the grade:)

Chris--I agree, I think video instruction, especially user created, is going to play a much larger role in organizations in the near future for both informal and formal instruction.

Janet--I always love to get silver stars.:)