Comment on The Sweet Spots by Matt Crosslin

I don’t know if this will add anything to the discussion, but we also were concerned about the dual layer concept as we designed the course. We needed to communicate that there would be something different, but how to do that without utter confusion or bias? My original (and still favorite) metaphor was that the class is a table full of cans of Play-dough. Learners can choose which ones to play with and make what they want out of it and even combine with others. Ultimately, that revealed way too much of my connectivist bias. It was also too confusing for the vast majority of learners that would be used to come kind of behaviorist/instructivist paradigm. Multiple pathways was another good descriptor, and more accurate, but unfortunately already in use for a design structure that is closer to “Chose Your Own Adventure” books; ie, “personalized” learning which is really just “choose one out of 10 or 20 or so pre-mapped pathways.”

Ultimately, I think we had hoped that most would actually do both “layers” at the same time and just focus more on the one they needed at the time. Sometimes working with others gets too confusing to understanding new material. But other times, you already know the material and need to grow and stretch by applying it with others. But at the same time, we had to give enough familiarity with everything to help scaffold learners. Ultimately, we feel our biggest area for improvement needed to be in scaffolding. It looks like DALMOOC and Dual Layer in general is pretty much dead, though, which is too bad. I would like to explore it more. After coming up with a better metaphor :)

Anyways, looking forward to your keynote in April at OLC.