Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

A is for Authentic (hacking ADDIE for #moocmooc)

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So as part of #moocmooc Instructional Design (MMID) one of week 1’s activities is to hack ADDIE. I put some ideas in the Google doc but after I used A for Attentive Adaptive Audience… I started thinking that A for Authentic might be even better.

So authenticity can mean so many different things in a learning context – all of them good from my point of view

Authentic as in Learning Situations
Can instructional designers/faculty developers support faculty in making their learning environment and activities more authentic? This is easier in theory than practice because
A. We are not experts in all disciplines. It is the professor who needs to discover what is authentic in their field
B. Not all authenticity is feasible. In some disciplines it will need to be a simulation or case study. I think faculty supporters can help brainstorm alternatives
C. Authenticity can fall short. A field trip without reflection. A community-based learning project that fails to engage the community. That’s not bad. It just is. And we need to recognize the risks ww take when we recommend these things and the effort the faculty member (NOT his or her supporters will have to make throughout the semester).

Authentic as in Selves
This can refer to teachers and learners (and faculty developers!)
The additional burden of focusing on individual authenticity is to support faculty in becoming themselves. Not that I think we are ONE self, but several dimensions of identity constantly evolving…but introspection on thar, and how it affects our relationships with others is transformative (big claim, huh?). We are all whole people not just one role or another. I once fell asleep in the middle of a consultation with a faculty member. We are still friends. She understood because she knew I hadn’t slept well for a while, she knows I am a mom, and we were sitting in this cozy sunny place. We still joke about that day.

I have strong views on how education should NOT be and constantly evolving views on how it SHOULD be, but how do I support faculty in bringing out their own beliefs, questioning them, and putting them into their teaching in more reflective ways?

How do we encourage students to be authentic in classes? To bring their whole selves with them and possibly make themselves vulnerable. When students are undergrads they’re still learning to discover themselves. When students are older, they don’t always feel all dimensions of themselves matter or can be part of their learning. Is our teaching encouraging that?

I started this post thinking I had something to say. Midway I thought I had questions to ask. I ended up asking myself a lot of questions about my own teaching.

Rather than aligning my teaching to pre-determined outcomes, can I align it to my values? Student interests/needs?

One Comment

  1. very often the best design elements are sparked by students and then evolve over time and course iterations

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