This post is connected with IPT 690, a graduate seminar course in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University.
For seminar this week, we heard from Doug Christensen, who was a manager for many years in facilities maintenance at BYU. Doug started out by giving us a lesson on silos. How they function, what they are used for, and why they are still economical today. This of course transitioned into a discussion of silos in our design and management processes. Doug was a proponent of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) which is a holistic approach to construction and facilities maintenance. In this model, silos are eliminated to make the cost of ownership transparent to the stakeholders. In a traditional model, costs are often short-sighted. In budgeting a construction project, the stakeholders often only think about construction costs (one of the silos). What TCO aims to do is to get the stake holders to consider the total cost of owning something over the lifetime of the object.
Now I will have to say that much of the terminology of Doug’s seminar was much different from the world in which I inhabit, but I do think it is applicable to the world of instructional design. While I am not experienced in being an instructional designer, what I think Doug is advocating is taking a holistic approach to the design process. We shouldn’t only think about how our individual silo of design is to be implemented, but we should think about the sustainability of the system as a whole. How will the implementation of this design impact the construction of future designs.
Overall, I loved that Doug really didn’t understand his audience — I think that he really didn’t have a lot of understanding regarding what instructional designers do. Because his talk wasn’t specifically directed to our context, it forced us as audience members to create those transpositions, and I think I learned some great lessons from that experience.