Make it Meaningful

Book cover: "Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational, Clark N. Quinn"

I bought Clark Quinn’s new book “Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational”, and I like this knowledgeable and credible work very much.

The author knows what is most powerful in Ed Tech because he has observed it all from the start:

“I’ve been around learning and technology for a long time. […] I was running around with decks of punch cards, just to give you an idea of how long ago it was!” (Kindle Locations 104-106).

For example, he knows how “extremely compelling” “the first consumer-facing version of the ‘drag and drop’ experience” was, and he names the Direct Manipulation principle as one of the elements of engaging experiences.

The book has activities (reflections and actions) at the end of each chapter, and for me it was a good sign that I did bother to respond to the prompts. It worked.

When it comes to motivation, the author shows that “We need to go beyond extrinsic motivation to truly learn” (Location 511),

What I liked the most is the honest attitude to relevance:

“They [the learners] recognize when you’re doing something relevant and when you’re just spreading content. There’s a difference, and they know it. Thus, you have to ensure that you’re truly aligning what you do with what they need” (Location 393).

“What they need”. This leads to a related question. If we don’t know — if we all duck out of asking what is really necessary to know when so much can be looked up — that’s the big problem, IMHO. See my own response here (5 pages PDF).

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