pushback on pRewoRk

Here’s an article I found very insightful about the design of virtual learning spaces.

While I’m not a fan of WBT, I do like virtual learning.  I like flipped classrooms.  I like getting it said in a 2 minute video and moving on.    What I like about the article above is that it promotes the use of prework as a flipped classroom experience, and then allows the instructional designer to really do something creative in the virtual environment to make sure people learn and apply and do.

But that’s not reality sometimes.  Reality is that we get pushback on adding prework to a design, sometimes.  And I’m not stupid, I know that some people don’t do the prework, but I also feel that in an adult learning situation, the adult has to take ownership of their own learning and come to the table prepared to learn.

So how do you solve this?


As an adult and a learning professional, I’m firmly in the camp of continuing on when someone shows up unprepared, while not allowing that to cause undue work on the facilitator.  I’d prefer not to acquiesce to those showing up unprepared, or to remove prework or to lock it down through an LMS; I would rather let people fail and struggle.  Or admit that it didn’t affect them at all, in some instances.  I would go so far as to ask “Did you complete the prework?” on a Level 2 assessment to see if this question influences the knowledge transfer and behaviour we expect.

Which means, as an instructional designer – I’m designing both the flipped classroom for the learner and the experience for the facilitator.   That’s the nut worth cracking:  helping facilitators become the owners of the experience once it is designed, and not at the mercy of the learners attending.


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