Instructional design versus cognitive design

Hi All

I'm at a crossroad as I'm very much experienced with VARK learning styles and applying it to Articulate which gives the learner the space to interact with the platform. My current role has a cognitive or reflective approach, it is content rich and prefers not to contain interactive or media rich content.  In fact there is no visuals what so ever.  Having said that they are growing exponentially and have a market.  

I was told research states that interaction in courses does not have an impact on a learner, therefore Articulate storyline is not necessary.  It's important to focus on the self coaching reflective approach to learning.

What are your thoughts on the matter?  

6 Replies
Bob S

So meaning no disrespect whatsoever, my experience is that some folks in Academia assume  all learners are motivated by the pure "love of learning", as they themselves are.  And their instructional approaches often reflect this bias.

Do you perhaps have an opening with your stakeholders by stroking their ego a bit and explaining that their genuine thirst for knowledge and the pursuit of learning for learning's sake is amazing, and what got them to where they are today.  But not everyone can do what they do, or is motivated by the same things they are.... or everyone would have their jobs!  So your instruction has to meet the learner where they are...... and often that means a more interactive and tangible-impact approach.

In any case, hope this helps and good luck!

Cary Glenn

I would ask what is the research that backs up the statement that interaction in courses does not have an impact on the learner. Depending on the subject the self-coaching/reflective may work but for many courses practice/feedback/coaching are critically important.
I would also suggest that VARK (and all learning styles) are a myth. You need to design the course based on the needs of the topic.

Rachel Barnum

I think it entirely depends on the interaction. If interactions are just click and reveals, then no, they likely have little to no impact on the learning experience - they're just a way to organize information.

However, if your interactions require critical thinking and decision making, then they will have more impact on learning. Adults "learn by doing," which interactions in e-learning allows.

"Because adults learn by doing, effective instruction focuses on tasks that adults can perform, rather than on memorization of content. Because adults are problem-solvers and learn best when the subject is of immediate use, effective instruction involves the learner in solving real-life problems." - Via American Institute for Research

When adults go through decision making/critical thinking scenarios, it allows them to problem solve and learn by doing. It also provides an opportunity for the learner to receive immediate feedback which is critical to the learning process. Just reading/listening doesn't provide that.

Also, I highly recommend E-Learning and the Science of Instruction when it comes to choosing whether or not to use media and images.

Finally, VARK is interesting, but it's important to note that using a variety of methods in general is recommended.