"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -- Romeo to Juliet, in reply to her complaint that his name is all that keeps him from her (a play by William Shakespeare)
WHILE BROWSING IN THE LIBRARY two weeks ago, i happened to pick up a book published in 2002 by Diana Laurillard entitled, "Rethinking University Teaching -- a framework for the effective use of learning technologies". Was quite excited when i learnt about Laurillard's five media forms for supporting active learning. They overlap almost neatly with Nichani's four Interactive Visual Explainers (2003).
'Narrative' is the same in both, 'Interactive' is equivalent to 'Explorative' and 'Adaptive' to 'Simulative'. Laurillard's 'Communicative' and 'Productive' are not in Nichani's classification, but they coincide with the 'Collaborative' and 'Constructive' in my extrapolation last year (see 'Industry' vs. 'Academia' III).
Just now, during a lunchtime talk, when the manager of the eLearning Competency Centre mentioned Dr Ruth Clark's Four Learning Architectures, my curiosity was piqued. Other than the different names, 'Receptive', 'Directive', 'Explorative' and 'Guided Discovery' seem to be identical to Nichani's 'Narrative', 'Instructive', 'Explorative' and 'Simulative'!
JUST WHOSE CLASSIFICATION came first? Did one know about the other's work? Or is this a case of great minds think alike?
i began to search for information on Clark and her work. Found a number of interesting things, among them: Clark's learning architectures have been adopted by Cisco in its learning objects model. Clark also has a book entitled E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. Must borrow this book soon.
These days, as i continued working on the InfoGraphics Design projects for my part-time studies, different theories are beginning to fall into place as in a jigsaw puzzle. Gagne's Nine Instructional Events (1985), Keller's ARCS model (1987), Lave & Wenger's situated learning (1991), Clark's architectures (2000), Nichani's explainers (2003), Laurillard's media forms (2002), Miller's Cognitve Load theory (1956), Merrill's Component Display Theory (1983), Reigeluth's Elaboration Theory (1983), Horton's layering tactics (2000) and Wurman's chunking tactics (2001).
After so many wild goose chases, the trail is finally getting hot!
Borrowed Clark's book on 5th May. As i read, my eyes widened with wonder. Here's a treasure trove!
Did more search on Clark's work. Found a paper that defines and illustrates six principles for media elements and another paper that identifies seven types of communicative purposes for graphics. Spent some time mapping the related theories. The trail just got hotter and hotter!
On May 20, attended an introductory seminar on Information Mapping. Was struck by two things: First, their information types coincide with Merrill's components, namely, Fact, Concept, Process, Procedure and Principle. They have one more type, that is, Structure, for structural information such as graphics, tables, labels, and so on. Second, the president and CEO of Information Mapping Inc. Mr Douglas Gorman affirmed that they work closely with Dr Ruth Clark.
Bingo! The new challenge is: How to make so many theories and principles seem common sense and natural for daily application by teaching staff?
Had a very interesting discussion with a colleague H. towards the end of last month. He teaches the design of promotional materials in the polytechnic. As i explained the overall concept of my training programme, he zoomed in and out with ease, pointing out the flaws in my presentation, the graphics, and so on. The bottom line was: i need to walk my talk!
More work! Almost a 'tear my hair out' moment. Outwardly, still had to remain calm and thank this colleague for his invaluable insights. Now, awaiting his return from a one-month holiday in NZ. Hopefully, we'll have a synergistic partnership in this programme.