Location: Tobaccoville, North Carolina

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I must admit the postmodernism article challenged me. I had to read it twice and I’m still not sure if I grasped everything I need to.

One aspect of this article that intrigued me was viewing instructional development as a social practice. This seems to be a “moral” issue addressing the questions “what kind of society do we have or are we construction” (pg. 84). The idea of instructional development as a social practice interests me. I feel other articles I’ve read in the past have encouraged the designer to separate themselves from their work. Meaning the designer should limit personal bias. I almost feel that the idea of ID as a social practice can encourage the use of bias (intentionally or unintentionally) because the designer’s choice of techniques could be based on the type of society they desire to create.

My questions seem to be addressed on page 85 in the quote stating “How is it possible for us to talk about something while, at the same, time, we are caught up in or implicated in that something?” How can we design instruction if we intentionally plan to use our design to promote change in society? I feel the design should fit the needs of the user and not the needs or desires of the designer. As I read more on page 85 one of the paragraphs gave me the idea to view the social practice idea as more of a negotiation between the designer and the user. This ties into the “process of socialization for the developer and the setting participants” (pg. 85). From this view, I can see the type of construction or societal change made by the design as a direct result of the needs/desires of the setting participants, i.e. the design user.

Another aspect of this article that stuck out to me was that the “purpose” of the postmodernist approach was to provide a different way to approach educational problems. It is a different approach because “post modern instructional developers asks different questions in an effort to help educational settings and participants ‘breathe’; to explore new outlets for looking at social environments” (pg. 88). Further discussion of the postmodern approach reminded me of previous readings dealing with qualitative research and gathering information based on the “interaction of people and social settings” (pg. 89). Qualitative research further comes to mind when Jamison is quoted on page 91, “explore how individuals’ lived experiences often differ from those defined within current educational technology systems.” It is important for designers to understand the experiences (and needs) of those they are designing for. This information provides valuable insight into how a design should fall out.


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