Insight or Distraction?
The preceding chapters have not only focused on the practice of alchemy as a metaphor for the role of the designer of learning and teaching environments but also the alignment of Design Alchemy with different theories of learning and the fields of instructional design and learning design. The conclusion determined in the previous chapter is that Design Alchemy manifests and aligns with the ethos of learning design. However, before providing a detailed elaboration of the Design Alchemy framework (Part II), it is important to consider a range of factors such as learning styles, generations and open resources to assess the extent to which they represent key insights for the designer or whether they act as a distraction to the design practice. As an observer of the field over four decades, I have seen these and other factors presented as a solution to educational needs or problems, and clusters of advocates develop as a result. However, as a designer, how these factors are interpreted can result in design being either confused or compromised, which causes a paradox for the designer: do they embrace these factors or are they a distraction to the real purpose of design? In this chapter a series of paradoxes are posed, extending selected issues identified in earlier chapters, to focus attention on whether these factors represent innovation or distraction. In discussing these paradoxes, it is important to emphasise that the various factors themselves remain important to better understanding learning and teaching, but they are not necessarily an imperative for design.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Learning Activity Instructional Design Online Learning Educational Environment
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