Back in 2004 I was pursuing a Master’s Degree in instructional design. I was trying to come up with concept to center my project around. An educational need to fill. It was an organic process as I explored the things I try to get information about…the things I need to learn. I took a week to consider it. I remember it clearly. It was my first semester in the program and I was taking The Cognitive Science of Learning. It was a bit intimidating– very academically rigorous.
The first assignment was the design document – this concept for learning. Of course I need to learn about MS. I can come up with a way to learn about MS on the internet. I know that there are other sites that tell about the disease…but I wanted to create one that was different. So…I followed the guidelines and came up with something that I thought was pretty clever. A place for information about MS that allowed the user to make certain decisions about what the site looked like and what type of information they received.
Imagine my surprise when I got it back with and “F” on it. You have got to be kidding me. An F! Maybe I was in the wrong program. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this rigor. It quickly became clear that an F is what you are given if you don’t quite understand the assignment.
It was my first lesson in the difference between giving and getting information vs. teaching and learning. I’m told that and “F” is often given to inspire improvement. I guess if that is the case I should be thankful. This “f” inspired me to find a most meaningful project. One that I will dedicate my life to seeing produced.