The Future of Teaching and Learning - Designing Learning Experiences
In past posts, I discussed the future of teaching and learning and whether grading and information presentation (lecture) would be a part of it. Both of these activities will decline in the future, but there is one activity that is sure to be a part of the future of teaching and learning. In the future, teachers will likely spend much time designing learning experiences. Designing learning experiences is what teachers do when they begin to think about instructional strategies within the larger picture of the full days and weeks of the classroom. A teacher who designs learning experiences sees herself not only as a presenter of information, but as one who can make use of all possible learning resources and methods including one-on-one instruction from the teacher, information presentation from the teacher, information resources from the Internet, computer applications, and more. Most of this article is an excerpt from my book, Educational Technology for Teachers.
As a designer of learning experiences, the teacher takes advantage of all aspects of the Information Age. The teacher acts as a seeker and evaluator of resources, finding accurate information and resources in formats that are developmentally appropriate and that match student needs (Aslan & Reigeluth, 2013; Reigeluth, 2011). In cases where appropriate resources are not available, the teacher might also act as a creator of resources from which students can learn. The teacher works with individual students to choose appropriate learning resources for each student, or she may design a project for the student to complete using the resources. Then the student takes personal responsibility to learn from the resources and make any necessary adjustments in consultation with the teacher. In this approach, the teacher spends more time working individually with each student and less time presenting information to the whole class. This process is also student centered because the student plays an active role in the learning experience.
This model, in which teachers become designers of learning experiences, allows for differentiation of instruction. In this approach, all students can reach mastery of the learning material, but not all students reach mastery at the same time (Reigeluth, 2011; Reigeluth & Garfinkle, 1994). Students learn a variety of skills critical for the Information Age when teachers design learning experiences, including information, media and technology skills; initiative and self-direction; and productivity and accountability.
Seeing yourself as a designer of learning experiences makes your job as a teacher more enjoyable, more important and more effective. This approach to teaching and learning represents the way that we should teach because of the characteristics of the Information Age society in which we live. As access to and the amount of information continues to grow, teachers will increasingly see themselves as designers of learning experiences (Aslan & Reigeluth, 2013; Duffy, 2009).
Aslan, S., & Reigeluth, C. M. (2013). Educational technologists: Leading change for a new paradigm of education. TechTrends, 57(5), 18–24. doi:10.1007/s11528-013-0687-4
Duffy, F. (2009). The need for systemic transformation change in school districts (part 1). Rice Connexions. Retrieved November 26, 2013, from http://cnx.org/content/m19579/1.4/
Reigeluth, C. M. (2011). FutureMinds committee meeting. Presented at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology International Convention, Jacksonville, FL.
Reigeluth, Charles M., & Garfinkle, R. J. (1994). Systemic Change in Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.