Week 10 Journal

Before doing this week’s reading, I could only see the similarities among diverse ISD models. And I felt that a lot of them merely seemed to be another version of ADDIE model because they all contained Analysis, Design, Development and Evaluation sections. As for the differences, I knew those models varied in some dimensions such as the contexts and formats, but it was hard to clarify them and establish schemata to categorize them. Now I learn that you can analyze a particular model in terms of orientation, knowledge structure, expertise, structure, context and level. It helps you to learn more about the model itself and in what situation it fits in. Models designed for educational purposes tend to teach “declarative knowledge” more while models for training purposes are more suitable for “procedural knowledge”. Also, compared to hard systems in which everything is well defined, soft systems are more complex and might not be a good option for novices instructional designers. Sometimes your decision is based on your previous experience, which I would rather call “implicit knowledge”. I don’t believe there are any “unteachable things”. The only problem is externalization and of course, it is hard.

Another issue mentioned in guest lecture is transfer paradox. He said the reason why some PhD students chose to stay in academia was that they had problems in transferring what they learnt at school to real world problems at work. Honestly, I doubted it. I tried to search it online and could not find any supporting materials. However I accidentally found an article about several transfer paradoxes learners confront and some suggestions to solve them.

A list of paradoxes discussed in that article are:

Paradox of finding prior knowledge;

Paradox of tacit knowledge;

Paradox of using relevant prior knowledge;

Paradox of recognizing relevant situations and conditions;

Paradox of near and far transfer;

The paradoxical “what “to transfer.

I think though the list might not be comprehensive but it provides a way to think of possible reasons when learning transfer fails to occur.


Simons, P. R. J. (1999). Transfer of learning: Paradoxes for learners.International Journal of Educational Research31(7), 577-589. 


4 thoughts on “Week 10 Journal

  1. ha! I am not sure he was saying is the reason PhD students tend to stay in academia. But that those who do well academically don;t necessarily do well at transfer. (Usually someone gets a PhD because they intend to go into academia.) But that reminds me of the time, when I was taking one of Nick Smith’s classes… I made some comment about jobs ‘in the real world’ when referring to jobs outside academia. Dr. Smith said “some of us think of this as the real world.”

    So it is interesting to see how models that can look so similar are quite different when you start looking deeper. While initially it can seem to be just about complexity, there are other deep differences. And they can be based on different ID theories. For example, Merrill’s Component Display Theory was designed to used with Charlie Reigeluth’s Elaboration Theory.

  2. Hi Mengying.

    Impressive blog. I think that the transfer paradox does not only happen in the realm of education, but all the other realms, especially social science. I did not believe that some Phd students would directly say, “I went to get a PhD, because I failed to apply the knowledge in practice.” On the contrary I heard that some PhD students told me that they chose to get the PhD degree, because they faced some practical problems in their career. They hoped that they could get guides in the process of pursuing the PhD degree. And I also think the question of “whether there exists an unteachable thing” is very interesting. For me, it is accessible to solve performance problems with behavioral objectives through “teaching someone”. Well, for some attitude problems I am hard to imagine how to teach. For example, how to make a person who hates math become a master of math. I always felt that persons were so different. Every one has own advantages, while every one has own disadvantages. How can we teach a bird to run, or teach a horse to fly?


    1. Yang, thank you for your comment. Attitude is hard to teach, but I don’t think it means that there is no approach to teach. Do you remember in IDE 632, we learnt three dimensions of attitude issues: knowledge, belief and intention. That is only a quite general way to deal with this issue. For the person who hates math, reasons for his negative attitude might be the fear of failing in test. If we take an in-depth look at this issue, we may find that the real problem is class instruction is inadequate that needs to be resigned, or the teacher just proceed too fast in a class. Or, he just doesn’t like math. If so, more interesting elements need to be added to the instruction. I admit it is really hard in some situations, but I believe there is always a way( sometimes is blocked by constraints in real world).


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