Ramble of the day, 2/7/16

Can I come in with the broad question (such as “what does the data tell us?”), and a grounded theory approach, and continue on with my research?

AK highlights the iterative nature of real world research in his post. As students, we are encouraged, or required, to have defined research questions or thesis statements early on in course projects. There is an efficiency to that, especially since all the projects have artificial deadlines imposed by course structure. But what gets lost in that way of doing things? I think curiosity and creativity get sacrificed, or curtailed at least. Curiosity in particular is not efficient. Yet curiosity and creativity are important things in education, arguably THE important things.

I thought about AK’s post as I read Autumn Caine’s take on ADDIE. I have mixed feelings about ADDIE. It makes sense for designing training, like in the military, but it seems limited, or limiting, for education. Autumn envisions an improvement, a Subjective ADDIE, adding “subjective and unmeasurable questions aimed at getting to the most important reasons for having the course in the first place.” Efficiency, assessment and analytics do not value the unmeasurable. When crafting objectives and outcomes we’re not supposed to use terms like understand and appreciate because they’re not easily measured. But understanding and appreciation are important things as well.

I was thinking of a tale from my previous career. One of our salesmen made a record-breaking sale, not incrementally better than the previous best, but an out of the park and into the next county home run kind of a sale. And the business office came back to him and told him to cancel the sale and give the check back. Their database couldn’t handle that many zeros. Senior management in the company didn’t see a problem with this. The systems we were using were limiting what we could do. Even though they helped us be efficient in many ways, they got in the way of what was really important.

I should be paying more attention to the ID MOOC-MOOC. That’s part of what inspired Autumn’s post. So many competing priorities though…

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