“You gotta make’em excited”

Jeff Bliss put his finger on it, and thanks to youtube, we can all hear the voice of the fed-up learner loud and clear:

Jeff’s frustration is rooted in the teacher’s reliance on educational “packets” that provide information and then quiz the student on how well they memorized the facts. It almost seems like a failed version of the flipped classroom (where the heavy lifting of content-delivery is managed by self-paced media so that face to face time can be used for discussion, activities and engagement with the lesson content). In Jeff’s dystopic classroom, the packet replaces the teaching, but the teacher doesn’t take the extra step of facilitating discussion and activities that could make the subject come alive.

As designers of “packets”, we need to make sure that they get delivered along with a suggestions for how to integrate the self-paced media into a larger discussion and experience that engages students. This way, nobody should have any excuses for failing to even try to bring the content to life. As Jeff put it, “you gotta touch his frickin heart”. I couldn’t have said it better.