Monday, January 30, 2012

Authentic eLearning and 4MAT

Now that I'm feeling a little more well-informed about authentic eLearning, opportunities to throw it into the conversation seem to be popping up all over the place in my workplace. The first time this happened (about a week ago) I found I was struggling to succinctly articulate what authentic learning is, and yet today a fellow eDesign course participant and I very confidently advised a colleague of ours that authentic learning was an approach better suited to her online delivery plans than experiential learning. We were able to clearly articulate how it might work in the context she was describing, and she liked the sound of it. So for me this was a signal moment in my (authentic) learning journey and it reminded me that often we don't realise how much we have learned until the knowledge springs forth unsolicited!

That joyous realisation is somewhat tempered by the news that the university I work in is giving strong consideration to the adoption of the 4MAT model of curriculum design, to be promoted across the board to all staff, and that as a learning designer I must become knowledgeable and competent in its promotion and application. As I await confirmation of this development, and subsequent 4MAT training, I am already wondering at how the various learning approaches I currently espouse, use or am learning about, will fit (if at all) into this one-size fits all model?

I don't know enough about 4MAT yet to reassure myself on this, and my early self-guided efforts in  finding out more have been resoundingly discouraged before I have done the training(!). Nevertheless I cannot tie down my own spirit of inquiry and I can already see it is going to be a huge challenge to my professional wherewithal to reach a place where I can comfortably and confidently integrate this model into my current advisory role.

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