Monday, August 21, 2017

You Too Can Be a Da Vinci of eLearning Design - Tip #146

My Arts Center Story

I once attended a conference at the Arts Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA where Ford and GM have their auto cars designed. A professor was seated beside me, and we started to talk. I asked him, “What has happened to the old craft of drawing and painting?” He responded that the craft we used to know has been commoditized and made accessible. Everyone can use Photoshop or CAD, then he said;
So I asked him, “What would Leonardo da Vinci do today?” He answered, “He would design machines that can create things.”
Transportation Design alumna Michelle Christensen for Acura.
David Lee integrated connectivity technology and cross-disciplinary strategic design solutions by imagining vehicle design in the context of an ecosystem.
Skills and Craft

The arts center story reminded me of how software, like Photoshop, CAD, Renderman (Pixar’s rendering software) have redefined the craft of drawing car models, movies and products - skills that were mostly done by hand and manual work. It was not even possible then to imagine these products today, simply when considering the very nature of craft just 10, 20 or even 50 years ago.
Rendered image of a car of the future.

Leonardo da Vinci would have a ball or a lot of fun working with George Lucas (Star Wars), Jonathan Ive (Apple), Kurosawa (Japanese artist), or DC and Marvel Comics.

Creativity, Innovation and Problem-Solving

My interest has been peaked by my understanding of skills, craft and expertise. I wanted to know more about how each is similar, how each is different, and how we would design learning for each associated role and task.
The properties of each are:
  • Craft requires passion
  • Expertise demands depth
  • Skill suggests specific capability
  • Craft and expertise mean creativity
  • Skill is transactional 
  • Skill is a narrow performance of a task
However, they can all blur when it comes to their differences and at times may correlate and become hard to differentiate in real situations.

With tools like CAD and Photoshop, and in very small tools like Google Spreadsheet, tasks are automated. The tools automate tasks that we usually need specific skills to execute such as adding excel formulas, searching locations, or answering our emails. There are many skills that may be automated. What is often left is the thinking, design, and creation.
At, Design thinking, thinking that “encourages organizations to focus on the people they're creating for and leads to human-centered products, services, and internal processes,” is a philosophy and principle designers live by. Although design products and solutions are mostly aided by tools like CAD and AI in design making and research, design creation is still a human process. It requires a deeper understanding of the customer needs, the environments, and the ecosystems we live in.

Real-life example:

Raymond, my son, is almost finished with his flying lessons and should get his license soon. He and I agreed that I would be his first passenger. This will be fun. To digress, for his 7th birthday gift I rented a small plane to give him the experience of flying. The pilot was so nice that he gave Raymond time to “hold the wheel.”
During our conversation, Raymond said that a person can technically take off and land in concept, that the skills could be developed. But it is helpful for the pilot to learn Bernoulli's Principle because Bernoulli helps the pilot to understand lift, the role of wind and temperature involved when taking off and landing. With this knowledge, the pilot understands the "why" behind landing a plane. I see these as reasons for some skills to be learned as the learner gets to know the principles involved. Also, when the pilot is presented with situations not experienced, the reflection on Bernoulli’s principles may aid the pilot in quick decision-making.

Tools such as the ones we explored here are so powerful that they make many of the tasks much easier to accomplish. This allows you to focus less on using the tools and more on the design and the principles that enables you to use them. Imagine what Da Vinci could have created if he didn’t have to contend with all of the problems associated with painting and sculpting with difficult to use materials. I bet he would have loved to release his creativity in the digital realm.

You Might Also Be Interested In

Do It Yourself eLearning- Introduction
Tip #4: Creating Engaging Technical eLearning - Move: Learners to Tears
Tip #17: Converting Obscure eLearning Content into Usefulness
Tip #93: Expertise: Why The Odds are Stacked Against Novices


Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome! Sharing your comments is very valuable learning experience for me and others. Thanks!