Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Open Source Instructional Design by N. Eckel

open source ID

Another book for the to-read list: Open Source Instructional Design by Nathaniel Eckel (with a nice forward by our old friend, Professor Karl Kapp).

I’ve just started in on this one, so can’t give you too many details on this self-published book by Eckel, a Philly-based ID type.

Eckel’s premise: that traditional methods of ISD have created an adversarial relationship between the ID and the SME. He advocates a more collaborative, even friendly relationship, in which IDs teach basic instructional design to SMEs.

“The marketplace has shifted the dynamics to empower SMEs as never before, seemingly at the expense of IDs. This presents an opportunity for IDs to adapt and proactively reevaluate their relationship with SMEs. Instead of propogating a corrective, conflicted based relationship, IDs have an opportunity to become collaborative in nature and more productive.” (p. 14)

I like that he calls it “open source”…

Disclosure: Eckel sent me an unsolicited copy of the book. He did not ask me to review it, nor did I make any promises of endorsements.

Update: Be sure to check out this review from Clive Shepherd: Clive on Learning: Open source instructional design


Unknown said...

I need to read this one! I have witnessed the "adversarial" ID/SME relationship Eckel is referring to and don't like it one bit. As an ID who designs medical/sceince-based training, I am a huge proponent for teaching medical writers "the basics" of ID. I've been doing this for years in the pharma sales training industry with a lot of success. I hope the concept of "Open Source ID" catches on. I would love to see Instructional Consulting jobs starting to pop up!

Christian said...

This is a valid topic, and hopefully Eckel covers it in a useful way. I know I spend too much time rejiggering learning content that the SME could easily have created in a cleaner fashion.

As a long-time supporter of open source, I worry that the term "Open Source" appears to have been tacked onto this book more for buzzword value. At least it's not called "Optimizing for Instructional Design Synergy"!

Is there an ebook version or a sample chapter online? It's both self-published and a niche topic, so its not likely to show up in my library or local bookstore.