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Posts Tagged ‘logical

I am going to unload on an example of poor instructional design.

One of the first things I learnt while getting qualifications on instructional design was information design. In the design of job aids, for example, the sequence of instructions was critical in getting people to perform tasks correctly and optimally.

Consider this job aid that is emerging in HDB void decks all over the island. It is for the new dual bike rack system. The job aid has a section, Loading Your Bicycle.

Poorly designed job aid on the loading of a bike on the new racks at HDB void decks.

If you compare the images and the instructions under each image, you might notice that they are not congruent. The text tells you how to load a bike. The images show you how to unload one.

I might sound like I am splitting hairs because the sequence of unloading and unloading are essentially the same. However, in the former the bike is already in the upper rack, while in the latter it is not. The illustrations do not make sense and the job aid would have failed at face value.

There are other aspects of the job aid that one could critique, e.g., the poor positioning and inconsistent use of the arrows. For me, this is a clear indication that agencies need properly credentialed and rigorously prepared instructional designers. It does not just matter that something as simple as a job aid looks good. It has to make sense, too.

About a week ago, I watched a news interview where a politician countered a question by saying that there was no evidence for a nefarious deed and therefore it did not happen.

That was not unusual because that is what a backpedalling might politician say. What might be unusual is how easily we might accept that argument.

The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

An often stated axiom is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. A lack of evidence of a crime does not mean that the crime did not take place. It could mean that proof has not yet been gathered.

The politician’s argument is a logical fallacy that is based on ignorance. If you do not know that something exists or that some process happens, you might insist that it does not. The remedy is to learn so that you are no longer ignorant.

And then there is wilful ignorance. This is when you (should) know better, but decide to ignore the facts or advice. An example of this in schooling and training is atheoretical practice. This is perpetuating information and processes (the what and how) without knowing the reasons for them (the why).

Atheoretical practice is frighteningly common. I know of people who claim to be “learning designers” who have little to no theoretical foundation. They choose not to learn from edtech history or stay current with research.

Ignorance is difficult enough to overcome. But wilful ignorance is a beast ridden particularly by adults who think they know better. They do not.


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