Quinnsights: State of This Acronyms – by Clark N. Quinn


My editor had proposed topics, when I started this column. One thing in common was that they were evaluating things with acronyms. I wasn’t too keen because they each were sort of waning. However, I decided I could do them all in 1 swell foop (as the expression goes).
What she wanted was an update on three acronyms: ADDIE (Analysis – Design – Development – Implementation – Assessment ), SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses). Their standing has changed, but not significantly. Here’s an update on these subjects, and I will close with a few off-the-cuff ideas about trends.

ADDIE was developed in 1975 from Florida State University for the US Army. Since then, it has turned into a mainstream design strategy being used across educational design. It has not, of course, remained static, having changed in accordance with understandings and outside pressures. Is it still relevant?
One issue has to be made clear: ADDIE is not an instructional concept. ADDIE makes no promises about what are good methods. It’s not Elaboration Theory, Cognitive Load Theory, Four Component Instructional Design, or any other approach to determining instructional requirements. On the contrary, it’s a process version. It’s about the measures to be taken to go to an solution from a need. And you can slot any concept into the design stage that you would like!
When you look across design domains (interface, industrial, graphics, and much more ), you will see three-step versions and four-step models predominantly. Some assume that the analysis from the plan, or the execution is lumped in with all the evolution. ADDIE divides out every step, and with motive. Design Thinking, the new umbrella term for layout approaches, asks you to diverge and converge on the problem (analysis) before you similarly do so for design alternatives. And the issues can be separated from the evolution issues.
As interface layout an strategy will discover adjusts and assumptions to greater user awareness through testing. Obviously, among those adaptations of ADDIE is to turn into iterative. Still, a strategy like Michael Allen’s Successive Approximation Model (SAM), or Torrance Learning’s LLAMA (Lot Like Agile Management Approach) both naturally emphasize iteration.
What does this mean to answer the question? ADDIE on principle is simply fine. Then it is a burden, not a blessing if, nevertheless, it’s made it easy for the organization to create 1 pass rather than refining and testing. My tendency is to abandon ADDIE for its baggage and take up a new strategy simply to maintain the focus on iteration. As the expression goes:”your mileage will vary”.

These started as open-enrollment asynchronous courses for learning that they could be taken by many people. There might be synchronous lectures, but at the scale that they were being taken up (10 K students at a time), the marking was auto-marked and self-evaluation. And they changed over time.
There were two relatively immediate happenings. The completion rate tended to hover around 10 percent, although one was that people started. This wasn’t viewed positively. Another was that they were free, however if you wanted certification for completion there generally was a fee to cover.
Another development has been the development of MOOC platforms. The scale tended to demand re-engineering, and committed platforms emerged while any LMS might be utilized. Some were collaborations; others emerged from jobs within particular labs. And these platforms quickly combined capacities with specific business models. Firms emerged around the different offerings, such as selling the lists of pupils to potential employers (e.g., software class finishers to tech companies).
In fact, this’ variations were designed for learning. Others argued that a rate supposed that there were significant issues. And among these problems became evident.
The shortage of outside evaluation, owing to the scale of these classes, was problematic. Pupils made their own groups to at least share their understandings. Afterward, many MOOC platforms added social capabilities, including peer review. This emerged as a means to manage scale, and instructors might supervise the peer review to keep it.
Responding to queries is not always a fantastic way to learn. Ordinarily, a domain name that represents a complex topic demands complex responses, which are as yet still difficult to automatically assess. Critics noted that such classes may teach you something like AI (a popular subject ), but wouldn’t make you a AI engineer.
Ultimately, I think MOOCs have ventured into more classes. The version of’free’ didn’t last, and the lack of interaction with instructors was too crucial. Instead, we’re seeing a move to more astute pedagogy along with different types of approaches to satisfy skilling requirements that are urgent. They can work for simple subjects, but these are infrequently of interest that is meaningful.
Can SCORM is replaced by xAPI?
Another acronym, xAPI (the Expertise API) is a new benchmark in the very same people that gave us SCORM, the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative of the Department of Defense. This raises the question of whether there is still a role for SCORM. And that question necessitates examining background and the motivations of the two criteria.

And it worked; although there were first hiccups, eventually SCORM became a reasonable bet that content developed would be migratable. There was a gap; the responses were at the’course’ level. If you wanted finer granularity–for example to learn what people were getting, how independent components were performing, etc.–you were out of luck. Or you had to produce your own mechanisms.
Inspired by the data available through internet activity tracking, there was a push for a finer granularity. The ultimate result was that the xAPI, a simple benchmark for reporting data at a <who<did arrangement. These required a new mechanism to aggregate the data, and the LRS (Learning Record Store) has been born. The data isn’t always helpful, but correlating data like’who does what’ with outcomes from other enterprise intelligence systems begins giving a richer picture of performance. XAPI is not the only such–IMS for example has a comparable standard called Caliper with a Sensor API–but xAPI is much more workplace-focused while Sensor API is much more targeted at higher ed.
What’s the fact that ADL has published. The cmi5 specification is, in mind, a pair of xAPI statements plus rules that actually are a simplified, better SCORM. Ultimately, xAPI is a richer format for types of data, and cmi5 is to supersede SCORM. Yes, SCORM is dead, but xAPI was an enabler.
From acryonym to buzzword
As a little aside, it appears that there is a movement away from acronyms. (Perhaps we’ve hit acronym fatigue!) Regardless, we’re not missing out on buzzwords, but they’re becoming. Although microlearning is not dead right now, the hot topic is workflow learning. And the above Design Thinking (even I am sorry ) is in fashion.
The fast point is that there’ll remain shiny new objects with the associated hype. Do the due diligence it pays to track the trends, understand the chances, and participate when it is logical. Make sense to you?


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