That which is designed and that which is naturally occurring
Cloud created by:
J. Michael Spector
10 December 2008
There are things that occur without or in spite of human intervention; there are things that
people bring into being; and then there are things that occur within the context of things people
have designed. The Grand Canyon in the USA is an example of something that has developed
without or in spite of human intervention. People have created dams and irrigation policies that
have made relatively minor changes to the canyon, when then continues to evolve after
those people made those changes.
People are learning naturally and without conscious effort throughout their waking hours. Then
instructional designers and educational planners come along and create environments and
tasks intended to further learning and contribute to what people know and can do. During these
activities, people do various things, some of which might be consisten with what planners had
in mind. After engaging in these designed activities, people go on learning, sometimes building
on those activities.
Perhaps this relates to Peter Goodyear's distinction between designing learning tasks and then
observing and recording what people do in carrying out those tasks as they engage in various
learning activities. The learning task is designed. The learning activity is an internal process
that is not designed in same way that the task is designed.
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