Week 7: ‘Human Kindness’

Human Kindness Recording from Nic Askew’s Soul Biographies

This is a story for the Soul Biographies at: http://nicaskew.com/collection/human-kindness/ by Carrie Tree. some would say it is a song, other – music video. I say it is the most beautiful digital narrative! The choice I made for this week’s digital story critique is a bit unusual but my favorite so far.

I started this DS course with a mindset of particular focal theme of Impact. It was inspired from my desire to contribute somehow and to initiate a positive change starting with my corner, here at the MSU Denver. I have been seeing the reality of creating impact as a change in policies, or practices in online education. Because it is relevant to my work here. I want to work we do to matter and to have meaning. So I started with the intend of pursuing certain angle in the context of making education better, increasing online courses quality, etc. This story changed it.

I think we have been too focused on data, on frameworks, on theories; discussing how outcomes are achieved, how to we retain students, how to make eduction profitable but accessible, of quality but with fewer resources, to follow trends, implement tools and technologies. My job as an Instructional Designer has been focused on implementing adult learning theories, ID frameworks into course development to ensure courses are meeting national benchmark for standards and that the course design supports students learning process and outcomes. It sounds unexciting. But this is how I’d like to see not just my job but what instructional design is: I’d like to see our role as choreographers. There are all these skilled and knowledgable, talented dancers. But in order to create a beautiful dance, you need a story, a sequence of movements, the choice of the perfect piece of music, the lights, the props. We have all these elements so what we have to do as instructional designers is to choreograph.

Here is the relevance to the story. Sometimes we are too focused on the theories and the frameworks and we forget that in the heart of it all is people. We talk too much about curriculum learning outcomes and forget that simple human kindness needs to be part of it. It is common sense to some. And it should be. I have my own moral code and I tend to think it is universal. But it is not. Not everybody is seeing the world the way I do. There is nothing that is just black or just white. Not according to my code. But that’s not universal either. People aren’t cruel. Just not educated, without support and without anybody showing them the difference. That is where suffering comes from I think. This story is so relevant today, yesterday and will be tomorrow.  It is a political nightmare solving the refugee and migrants crisis. And we forget to look at the humans again. My dearest friend told me one: all we need is just a little bit of compassion. And I’d add: some ‘human kindness’. Only then we can create any impact in the world.