Category: Design Thinking

Even If It Feels Alright, It Might Not Be

In Learning Theories Gone Wild – Urban Myths that Hurt Your Learning Designs, Sharon Boller describes five common beliefs and practices that persist among instructional designers despite the fact that the research evidence contradicts it.  She also explains how to avert these practices.

Check them out at


Should Educators Place All of Their Learning Eggs in the Discovery Learning Basket?

The question is raised in the context of a major shift in the school curriculum in the context of Alberta in a recent article in the National Post. 

Among the concerns raised are two meta-analyses (studies of research studies) have shown that “unassisted discovery [learning] does not benefit learners.”

Unassisted discovery refers to learning that occurs without the intervention of teachers. This also plays a significant role in the informal learning that some people advocate for the workplace.

Unassisted discovery learning contrasts with assisted discovery learning, which includes scaffolding (providing various types of support so that learners can successfully achieve the learning objectives) and feedback, which provides learners with outside insights on their discovery processes.  Some assisted discovery learning also establishes a foundation of knowledge before sending students to discover.

Read more about the studies and the situation in Alberta at

A “Periodic Table of Instructional Design”

An enterprising instructional designer developed a visual representation of specific activities during the instructional design process that is inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements used in chemistry.

The table assumes that ADDIE is the basis of instructional design.  Within each of the activities of ADDIE, the author of the table identifies a significant number of activities that instructional designers perform.

A great example of both an infographic and ingenuity.

View the table at