Designing for Learning: The Pursuit of Well-Structured Content

Judith V. Boettcher, Syllabus, Jan 03, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This short article contains several useful distinctions and definitions. For example, the author describes "well structured" in three ways: for the purposes of instruction, for the partular student, and for a given environment. The author also draws out the distinction between taking a course and studying a discipline. And finally, she provides a nice simple hierarchy of content: core concepts and principles, well-structured problems with known solutions, and less structured, complex problems without known solutions. All this leads to the idea that online learning needs several dimensions of structure, and that, she suggests, is where XML will play a major role in instructional design. Good enough.
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