All good educational planning is agile educational planning
Having returned from the CBI Grants Forum in Philadelphia last week, I have had some time to reflect on one of the primary issues raised over the course of the two day meeting. In several sessions speakers referenced best practices in educational design – while the presentations themselves covered a myriad of case studies (especially in the Innovative Educational Programming Showcase on day two) the topic I believe garnered the most discussion was the critical importance of agile educational design introduced in collaboration with one of our Educational Partners, Dr. Timothy Hayes.
For those unfamiliar with the idea, agile educational design is a framework for content refinement and optimization anchored in formative assessment. That is to say that regardless of how thorough ones educational planning process is, not until you have definitive metrics of how learners are engaging with your content will you ultimately understand what is working and what might need to be refined.
What I find most interesting about this move towards agile educational planning, is that it is in many ways a double-edged sword. Without a well-designed model for measuring the impact of a planned intervention, educational planners will not have the data they need to understand if the intervention worked and why. But without a flexible educational development and delivery model, educational planners will not have the ability to refine and optimize the planned intervention. Said another way, if you don’t use your data early and often AND if you can’t easily modify and update content, you cannot practice agile educational planning – instead your educational interventions are static, unchanging, and often, far less effective than they could be.
As you reflect on the planning process you use, are you ensuring that there are defined periods of interim reporting and analysis? Likewise, are you leveraging technology or content creation tools that allow content to evolve, or breath, over time?
From the discussions that occurred within the CBI conference it seemed that while most in the room almost immediately acknowledged the value of agile educational planning, few had experience with the concept, and fewer still had the ability or opportunity to leverage it – they simply are not prepared to measure, analyze, and course correct content as needed.
In many respects this is why we have developed the Learning Actions Model – it provides our partners with the tool set to become far more agile in their planning process. By making our innovative suite of learning analytics available in real-time, and by providing a robust set of lesson creation tools that are flexible and easy to use; the Learning Actions Model and the ArcheViewer eLearning platform have proven themselves to be an invaluable resource for the CE community.
While there were several other great pearls to be learned at this Fall’s meeting, it is hard to think of one as practical or critical as this, “All good educational planning is agile educational planning!!”