Marc Prensky once famously accused instructional designers of sucking the fun out of learning at an EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Conference a number of years back. As you can imagine, instructional designers were not amused.
I was reminded of Marc's quotable quote during a recent conversation regarding the value and role of structure and specifications - or the lack thereof - for designing learning experiences. This is a more nuanced conversation than differentiating between formal and informal learning, or whether one is online or on-the-ground. This also includes things that lead to immersion, augmentation, mobility, and personalization. It inevitably leads to thoughts of learning analytics. Life-long learning tracking even.
It's almost as if today's emergent designers want to dance on ADDIE's grave and declare that ID funsucking is a thing of the past. Which brings me to my point.
It is inspiring to know that there are exceedingly passionate designers out there who want to create learning experiences that engage and inspire, helping the world see new possibilities with fresh eyes. Good on ya. The world needs you.
But designers also must bring order to chaos. Most of us work in settings where we are mostly responsible for the practical, pragmatic applications of design principles to achieve tangible measurable results for individuals AND enterprises. It does not matter if we believe something to be true with total heart and soul if it cannot demonstrate tangible value of those beliefs to stakeholders. Not in the future. Now.
So here is a message for the "true believers". When someone tells you than an idea is a little early for their stakeholders....it doesn't mean he or she "don't get it", nor does it necesarily mean that she or he is a pin-headed, short-sighted idiot. It simply means that the case still needs to be made.
To be clear, if it weren't for people believing that they have a better way of doing something and being willing to social the ideas ad nauseum we probably *would* still be sniffing ditto copies in our obligatory F2F training sessions.
All *I'm* saying is that visionary awesomeness on its own probably isn't enough. Sometimes it might just take a few funsuckers to spin all that straw into gold.