We learnt things about model development from guest lecture this week. They are really helpful for our own model design work. A model enables you to explain what goes on in the situation and the components in the system. An instructional system model is not static. As a visual way to represent the dynamic process, it predicts what might happen as the revelation of variables that have mutual influences. Assumptions are made during model development. Three aspects should be taken into account: assumption of context, assumption of role of instructional design, and assumption of role of learner. You need to consider what would happen if assumptions are changed because in real world, things might be total different. Romi’s story is impressive. They just assumed those workers could read and then decided to teach them chemistry as the solution to close the gap while in fact they lacked adequate literacy skills.
The discussion on system approach versus non system ones in instructional design is interesting. It seems that at first people treated them in a dichotomous way, a “either/or problem” with clear line drawn between two ends. When ideas of “hard system” and “soft system” were posed, it turned out that it would be better to regard them as two separate points that are located in a continuum. There is no way to quantify them. Hard systems are those with everything well-defined (e.g. components, relationships between components, means). Soft systems rely more on intuition and experience. Unlike hard system that has everything predetermined, when using a soft model to solve problems, you need to make decisions by yourself according to the specific context. So it involves decision-making. None system approaches are something related to art and reflection and they are on the other side of the continuum.