How UX Approaches Could Improve Higher Ed

Ideas

A user-experience team shadowing college students might seek to understand details such as: How do students approach registering for classes? Do the class times offered meet their needs? Do they have the data necessary to make informed decisions? How much are they paying for textbooks? What do students understand about the financial-aid system? Is it intuitive or confusing?

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You can call it “Inter­nal Adver­ti­sing” if you want; I find that a bit old-school, frankly. I pre­fer the term “CULTURAL HACKING”- chan­ging your company’s for­tu­nes NOT by trying to directly change what the gene­ral public thinks of you, but by trying to change what YOU think of you.

Impro­ving the com­pany by impro­ving the cul­ture, by sub­ver­ting the cul­ture via coun­te­rin­tui­tive means. Exactly.

“Cultural Hacking”

Ideas

Learning is emergent, a lifelong pursuit, not relegated to the brick walls of an institution or to a narrow window of time during life; it has no specific end point. The artificial divisions of work, play and education cease to be relevant in the 21st century. Learning begins on a playground and continues perpetually in other playgrounds, individual and shared workspaces, communities and more. Learning can be assessed but doesn’t aim itself exclusively toward assessment.

A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age

Lifelong Learning

Ideas

We see school as one node in a broader network of learning available to young people, and believe we can call on the untapped capacity in more informal and interest-driven arenas to build more learning supports and opportunities. In an era when our existing educational pathways serve fewer young people, it is critical that we build capacity, opportunity, and new models of success, rather than orient our efforts solely on optimizing the playing field of existing opportunities.

Connected Learning: A research synthesis report of the Connected Learning Research Network

Connected Learning

Ideas

In the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs.

Clay Shirky, “Napter, Udacity, and the Academy”

Unbundling Education

Ideas

No Such Thing as Boring Knowledge

Ideas

Seth Godin’s new free e-book What Matters Now is a collection of big ideas from thinkers across disciplines and professions. There was one thought in particular that stood out for me:

There is no such thing as boring knowledge.
There is only boring presentation.

An adage instructional designers could live by. And should. Especially in an academic setting, where knowledge is paramount, and old ways of delivering that knowledge are relied on time and again.