Donald Clark, ex-CEO of the Epic Group in the UK, has got a great blog, where he cheerfully skewers misconceptions about learning. In a rant I was pointed to, he takes aim at Gagne’s Nine Dull Commandments. As the subsequent comments point out, the problem isn’t necessarily with Gagne’s elements as it is with their interpretation and a belief in their rigid order.
It’s not a case of “if you follow it (without insight), they will learn”. The typical interpretation of many of the elements is so rote that they counter what they’re supposed to do. I’ve tried to suggest an improved approach in my white paper about the Seven Step Program to eLearning Improvement (NB: PDF), and it’s nice to see others picking up that a mechanistic implementation of Gagne’ (or anyone else) won’t hit the mark.