Green Light Design

Green Light Design is born out of my frustration with the state of instructional design.  What we are doing isn’t working.

We are instructional designers. The message of our field, that effective educational experiences begin with good design, is being lost or misinterpreted by our stakeholders. At best, they distrust us. Faculty see us as interlopers or “techies” who don’t know anything about teaching. At worst, they see us as shills for strawman bean counters eager to cut costs.

Even among ourselves, our message is weak.  Conferences are echo chambers; we trot out the same ideas and never get anywhere.  We’ve run out relevance, and it’s our fault.

We’ve been letting the tail wag the dog.

I’ve been designing college courses for a long time. First my own face-to-face classes, and then hybrid and online classes for myself and others.  I matured in a world that already contained the ADDIE model, so let me state this now for the record: ADDIE is fine. Whatever your model is, if it isn’t ADDIE, is fine.

But those models aren’t the end of the conversation. Not even its beginning. They represent the part that we can all agree on at the outset, before we move on to much more interesting things.

It’s well past time to move on.

Green Light Design is the start of a conversation about more powerful models. An antidote to the technical whiz bang of the week.

I want to talk about learning and teaching

I want to talk about how to preserve the joys of both while designing wonderful classes that can be delivered anywhere.

I want us to do this together.

I don’t have all the answers, but I believe that I have a place for us to start. In this space, I hope we can all agree to the following:

  1. All lights are now green.  We can make decisions later, but for now, nothing is off the table.
  2. “Learning” and “teaching” are our foundational concepts, even though both are difficult to define and measure.
  3. There is no single “right way” to proceed.
  4. All of us work for the students and ultimately no one else.

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