Soil your are involved in education and haven’t been living under a rock for the last couple years you have heard of something called the flipped classroom. The basis of which is the idea that the information dump, I.e. direct instruction, should take place outside the classroom as homework and then students can work to master the knowledge with the instructor present. This approach has some benefits, but it starts with a flawed concept. It concedes that direct instruction is an important part of the process. Even then, the concept is far from new. I the past it was just read this passage or chapter before coming to class. How is presenting the same information as a lecture considered pedagogically more advanced?
So a while back I saw a nice little video from everyone’s favorite design firm: IDEO.
This makes me think about how I would design a textbook for a student. Most of the time when we think about books we think about the pressures of how a school or teacher would frame the information. But often we forget that our students enter with their own view and ways of interacting with information. Now this doesn’t mean that we must cater everything to the students previous experience. But with as with any user experience (UX) design we must take it into consideration. How do your students get information? Do they sit down and read a book cover to cover? Or do they open a browser and Google a subject? Why do we expect students to read cover to cover in a narrative structure?
When Kraft introduced the Oreo in China, they almost pulled it from the shelves. They asked people why they didn’t like it. Many said that the cookie was too bitter and the cream too sweet. But most of all they realized that the experience of eating the Oreo was the key to its success in America. So they created a series of commercials where children showed their parents the correct way to eat an Oreo and sales doubled.