The 26th ICDE World Conference was held at Sun City (13 – 16 October 2015) – and I was privileged to be among the 900+ delegates, representing 67 countries from around the world. Although each of the Keynote speakers was excellent; one in particular linked most strongly with our ONL152, Topic 3 – namely that of ‘Collaborative Learning & Communities’.
Joyce Seitzinger is an educational technologist at Deakin University, Australia, where her focus is on blended learning and the student experience. She quotes Don Norman when she explains that, “The whole point of human-centered design is to tame complexity, to turn what would appear to be a complicated tool into one that ﬁts the task; that is understandable, usable, enjoyable.” She expands on these ideas when she challenges how educational technology is used and how online programmes tend to be designed; she suggests that perhaps we have “lost the human side of learning”. Instead, she talks to the need for a ‘Learner experience design’; where we refocus our technology solutions on the learner, and answer questions like “How well do we really know them? How are they using our learning environments and services? Are we creating experiences that make the most of their personal learning networks, and how do we design a learner experience that connects to a whole life filled with learning?” (Seitzinger, 2015 – ICDE Topic: Learner Experience Design: a new hope?).
Thought-provoking questions – and certainly some I would like to discuss further!