Learning Systems Design

As a way to get back into the swing of things with my blog, I thought I’d write a quick post on what I’ve been thinking about most lately as I’ve taken my new position as CTO of McKinsey Social Initiative: learning systems design.

Of course, I’ve been thinking about learning systems design for many years, but our goals for where we’d like to be with the Generation Initiative by 2020 have given me a new pragmatic perspective on the topic.  I want to keep this post (and most future posts) brief, so let me quickly explain my own framework for learning systems design.

Learning Systems Design PITSApproaching the design of systems to support learning, I consider four foundations: people, information, technology, and space.  Why?

Learning Systems are more than just software tools. Learning Systems are purposed arrangements of relationships between people, information, technology, and spaces.

People: Who are the stakeholders associated with learning, teaching, assessment, content, and other processes necessary in the system we’re designing?

Information: What information needs to be delivered (and where, when, how) to efficiently and effectively support learning, teaching, and assessment in an unobtrusive, immersive manner appropriate for the current communication scenario?

Technology: What are the hardware, software, and networking solutions necessary for supporting learning, teaching, and assessment?  How do we ensure that people always come before technology in our learning systems design?

Space: Where are learning, teaching, and assessment happening?  How many different places?  What qualifies as a space/place?

I’ll stop here.  Consider this my first of what I hope will be a few teaser posts leading up to my “campfire chat” at xAPI Camp Amazon later this month.

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