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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Michael Allen's E-Learning Annual

The other day I received my copy of Michael Allen's E-Learning Annual for 2009. It is a great collection of very interesting articles/essays about the future of e-learning.

I have just started to read it and have found the "dueling articles" by Mark Prensky and Ruth Colvin Clark especially interesting. Good old fashion academic disagreement carried out in the page of the annual. Good reading. And for me, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle of the two arguments.

Additionally, the article by Clark Quinn does a great job of bringing together different concepts related to organizational learning, performance and community under a concept he calls performance ecosystem (I like the term.)

Jay Cross reminds us that e-learning is not a kid any more but is also not an adult. He claims it is in its adolescence and we need to focus on performance and teaching people to deal with complexities instead of breaking them into small pieces called courses. He quotes Verna Allee as saying "Cut a cow in half and you don't have two cows. You have a mess." Great image and message.

Saul Carliner and Margaret Driscoll write an interesting piece titled Who's Creating the E-Learning: Paradigms for content creation that exclude the instructional designer. They describe how more learning is designed, developed and made available without the instructional designer and how instructional designers should effectively market what we do best and promote our unique value proposition within organizations.

The other authors rounding out this group are of impressive authors are Dennis Brown, Ed Cohen, Lance Dublin, Larry Israelite, Jef Moonen, Betty Collis, Bob Mosher and Chris Frederick Willis. Plus I was able to sneak in with an essay about virtual worlds.

My piece is titled Real-World Instructional Design for Virtual World Learning . The article discusses methods for creating instruction within virtual worlds and techniques for encouraging collaboration and transfer of learning gained from my experience teaching graduate programs in virtual worlds.

All in all a really great collection of articles and insights and I recommend it as good reading for anyone interested in what is happening in e-learning. Here is a link to the publisher's description of the 2009 Annual.

Also, if you missed last year's annual, you still might want to pick up last year's annual. Here is the publisher's description of the 2008 Annual with a PDF excerpt from the Annual.


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