Innovative Learning Formats

I am looking at the history of web based training. Found an interesting timeline here and here. Google’s timeline search throws up some more interesting links. In particular, I liked reading this 1998 thesis by Mattias Moser. I am sure I could be pointed to more (and it would be great if you could point me to more).

The present state of WBTs is complex whether you use Bloom’s Taxonomy to classify different levels or think of extending each level with learning implements such as games and simulations. Instructor Led Training (ILTs) have also grown in sophistication in terms of tools and features for virtual interaction. Both have also been packaged with heuristics around what each level looks like making them commoditized and easier to comprehend for decision makers.

Although, the history of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) seems to start parallel to the development in computing, I believe that the last 10-12 years have seen a proliferation of variants in these two learning formats.

New features that take advantage of newer developments in technology and the Web in general are being accommodated within the same framework by both LMS and Authoring tool vendors. Take, for example, Composica, that allows templates to be embedded for inclusion of social media like blogs (“Social Learning with course blogs, comments, RSS feeds, rating and more, right within the content”).

The underlying developments in technology have been one important component behind this evolution from CBTs to WBTs. The other, as Moser points out, has been in responding to changes in learning theory and pedagogy – from programming instruction to creating carefully crafted non-linear sequences of instruction. Mobile based training (never coined as MBTs but as mLearning) is another example.

The NBT concept (Network Based Training) that I have been proposing also seems to be a logical extension of the WBT taking into account the various new development in social media, networking, Web 2.0, PLNs (Personal Learning Environments/Networks) and Learning 2.0. And I think one of the strongest early similarities of the NBT approach are through innovative learning formats such as Alternate Reality Games and Open Courses such as the CCK08 experience (the “training” word is of course, recast to imply less of programmed instruction and more of open, self-directed, facilitated learning).

Wondering if there are other alternative and innovative online learning formats that I have missed or that are in the making?

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