Learning designers empathize and seek to understand, define challenges and decisions to be made, share and value all ideas, create protoypes for iterations of their work, test their iterations to determine what works and how to move the design forward, and value the learner as the center of design.
Traditional curriculum and pedagogical approaches demanded that learners be experts in curricular material, but as we move into the Exponential Age, learners must be experts in learning itself. The only way to do that is to design meaningful choices and to explicitly teach learners how to make good choices for their own learning.
In this path, you will learn about bounded autonomy and to design meaningful choices through bounded autonomy; the Exponential Age and why expert learning is so necessary; and practical ways to engage learners through choice and to coach them in making good learning choices.
As instructional designers, the idea of sharing power and relinquishing some control might feel daunting. More important than simply providing choice is providing the RIGHT choices — those that move learners toward agency and autonomy and promote expert learning. Choice is all about the pathways learners can take to achieve a goal; autonomy is about how the choices within the learning are managed.
In the Exponential Age, we are likely to see hundreds and even thousands of years of innovation within just a short time. With the rate of change in learning environments and work environments, learners must be agile, problem-solving expert learners.
One of the most common pitfalls in giving learners choice is giving learners too many choices. While choice gives rise to autonomy, relevance, and expert learning, too much choice affects our psychological safety. Learners benefit the most when their instructional goal is clear and the choices are designed through bounded autonomy.
One of the critical steps of Design Thinking is ideating. All learners benefit when instructional designers collaborate and share ideas. Below Joni Degner of DTour Professional Learning as well as a video from noted educational Author John Spencer share their practical ideas on engaging learners through choice. As you read the article and watch the video, connect this work back to the skills for the Exponential Age, the qualities of the expert learner, and transversal skills. How does designing for learning through choice and bounded autonomy work toward these outcomes?