Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Humanistic consideration of instruction

When we talk about the value/effectiveness of a certain instructional strategy/method/approach, usually we measure the measurable outcomes, for example, the knowledge students have acquired, or the degree to which instructional objectives are achieved. But, think about students' personal development, the change/inspiration they get in their process of mental maturity. Won't instruction provide an underlying influence which will show its "outcome" in the long run?

Today the 3rd candidate Dr. Glazewski talked about her research in PBL. Let's take PBL as an example, won't it lead to some change in students' attitude toward many other things (the world, other people, ...)/the way of thinking/or something else? Such kind of influence is never taken into account in effectiveness study, also seldom considered in ISD evaluation phase.

Yes, I'd like to admit that this humanistic domain is hard to be measured, and no one can clearly predict what the actual, exact effect instruction has made on human development, even the learner him/herself. Here I want to mention my own experience in R685. I'm really highly motivated in this class. I learn with great enthusiam. The learning outcome is satisfactory. But maybe without the teaching methods of Dr. Bonk, I can still achieve that level of outcome. (No one can assert. Traditional instructional methods sometimes is quite efficient.) Let's assume that apart from the high motivation, nothing is different from traditional class, including what I have learned. But I can tell that the experience of having a class with creativity, explosure to numerous information, frequent interaction, etc., does bring me a new, surprising, inspiring view toward my understanding of instruction and my own learningm, and especially in my way of thinking. And that's something outside of the course objectives.

This may sound somewhat idealistic and romanistic. But learning and education is never limited to the specific knowledge, right?
BTW, I feel this blog is a good place for me to reflect on my professional learning and progress. Blogging motives me to contemplate a bit. It will be a pity if I quit this place right after the end of R685.