Content ReUse – Requires an Architecture of Objects at Many Levels

Learning Objects Levels

I dislike the “Learning Object” being at the Lesson level in most Object Oriented Design methods for Instruction. I always have. I had been “doing differently” for years by the time this popular notion came about. I had been doing Content Reuse for over a decade when intact Lessons as “the object” in object oriented design came to the forefront in Training/Learning and Knowledge Management.

But that’s exactly where most of the “adaptations for authenticity’s-sake” need to happen in an Enterprise Learning Context. That’s why most Object Oriented ISD methodologies have not been all that successful. In an Educational Learning Context – or perhaps even in a Personal Learning Context – that generic nature of the Content is the way it is for them and always has been. They cannot, in those Contexts, describe the specific application of these new awareness, knowledge or skill. They cannot describe the job tasks and outputs because that is too big a variable. So they generalize. It’s better than nothing – although some disagree with that too.

So generic Content is as close as they can get. It may even have face validity in title. But still general and not specific.

In an Enterprise Learning Context it – performance – can be described at the point of application on-the-job – in the moment of need. But often it is not. Too often L&D organizations default to generic educational pieces that don’t transfer (it’s too costly to measure so we cannot – and do not want to either as we know what that result will be). No transfer = a very poor investment, with probably a negative ROI.

No analysis of the performance – no translation of Topic to Task with the Client before Rapid Development of Content sans Context was launched. It happens all too often.

If your system isn’t set up to encourage and enableContent Derivatives” at the Lesson level – then you’ll get generic reuse and that’s a waste of effort and money. That’s not good stewardship.

If your system isn’t set up to encourage and enable “Content Derivatives” at the Event, Lesson and Instructional Activity” levels – then you’ll never begin the Mastery of Content Reuse – which is what Curriculum Architecture is really “all about.”

It – Curriculum Architecture – is about producing those T&D Paths, those Learning Paths, based on performance – but also addressing that in a modular design (not a collection of modules) that intends to “engineer performance” in a cost effective manner – through a Reuse strategy with Plug-n-Play tactics enabled across the entire L&D function. That’s good stewardship.

It happens at these levels – reuse of the earlier outputs as templates for reuse by the next project:

  • Path Map
  • Event Spec and Map
  • Module Spec/Lesson Map
  • Instructional Activity Spec – and actual Content used in a Plug-n-Play approach
  • Items in The WELL (stock photos, graphics, video, audio, architected text, etc.) – components of Content
In the PACT Processes most design outputs are Specs and/or Maps at the various levels of design. Maps are more visual with less words; Specs are less visual with more words. Not everything that is a Spec needs a Map – depending on how you wish to employ and practice a Reuse strategy with what tactics.
Here is a Lesson Map marked up in the beginning of the process to conduct an ISD effort at the MCD – Modular Curriculum Development level of the PACT Processes…

The first Lesson Map was built based on Analysis data that can be searched backwards to locate – and use as the template for analysis for the next group of target audiences – so that their Performance Contexts can be factored in – to get their Content to be “authentic enough” for transfer to occur.

One shouldn’t change Content in derivatives just because one can – the goal is to create Content Derivatives with minimal changes one to the next. If there was a prize, it’d be for that: the Smallest Tweaks Award!

Authentic Content starts with the data from both a Performance Model and a K/S Matrices set of systematically derived awareness, knowledge and skills needed to perform the tasks to produce the outputs to Stakeholder Requirements – in an Analysis effort/phase. The Design effort processes that data into design templates that give the right amount at the right time the infos, demos and appos (application exercises) needed to crate awareness, knowledge and skills in Performance Competence.

The MCD effort follows this process framework – the phases can be combined as needed – and the number of Project Steering Team gate Review Meetings can be re-configured as well.

This is my version of ADDIE – and is truly a Process Framework that can be used to frame Process Maps and Models, Performance Models, all enabling human asset requirements and environmental support requirements, ABC’s Activity-based Costing (and all time and cost tracking against this framework by Project), all milestones named after this framework.

Following this framework for planning also does not guarantee good results – just as following ADDIE cannot.

Good Practices exist inside Good Processes (those that are sane-enough, lean-enough, effective-enough and  efficient-enough) and are what makes good ISD/ID/SAT/Learning, Social or not. You’ve gotta have Good ISD Practices inside your Good ISD Processes – or it just doesn’t work well – and impact the Learner’s Performance Competence on the job.

Practices are the Nuances of Processes

They are the secret sauce so to speak.

Do you have Standard Practices within your Standard Processes – or do you first have to check and see what day of the week it is?

These Processes and Practices are topics covered in several of my new in 2011 books:

  • The Curriculum Manager’s Handbook
  • Performance-based Curriculum Architecture Design (CAD)
  • Performance-based Modular Curriculum Development (MCD) (soon to be available – very soon)
Please go here to see more about that.

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One comment on “Content ReUse – Requires an Architecture of Objects at Many Levels

  1. Pingback: ReUse of Learning Objects Above, Below and at the Lesson Level | EPPIC – Pursuing Performance

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