ISD can be very effective for learning that has both a clear end outcome and
process. Often, today's learning has neither. We have a rough end target (solve
this problem, innovate, adapt, etc.)...and we really don't have a clear process
(other than teams, meetings, and emerging collaborative spaces).
Wow, I have a really rough time signing up to be in charge of something that doesn't have a defined end target and no process. In fact, this is the antithesis of what I would suggest is the cornerstone of my professional life (see: ADDIE Not Relevant?). I can understand the desire to allow for end-user contribution and an evolving system, but my software development background gives me great pause.
I've written about exactly this issue several times:
- Elves, Measuring Results and Informal Learning
- Informal Learning is Too Important to Leave to Chance
- Guidance Needed - Are we Misguided in Informal Learning and Collaborative Learning Techniques
- Know that it will work
- Know why it works
- Know that its repeatable
For kicks, go look up the definition of informal learning on Wikipedia. Whoops, there isn't one. Why not? Well I tried to figure out what I'd say and it's hopelessly vague.
Heck, I'm not even all that convinced that we, as learners ourselves, are particularly adept at learning (Do Learning Professionals Make the Worst Learners?). I've been trying to write (Personal Learning for Learning Professionals - Using Web 2.0 Tools to Make Reading & Research More Effective) about some ideas on how we can participate in improving our personal learning skills.
But, are we collectively making progress in this? Where are the resources for learning professionals that help us learn? Where's our great examples of informal learning support? Please don't tell me it's TrDev and ASTD. Is that all we've got?Let's get real... If supporting informal learning is the wave of the future and a critical capability for learning professionals of tomorrow, we had better come up with something more than "unclear process" and based on a "rough end target."