4.3.4 The missing melody

An S-R event in which the primary goal is `to instruct’ has a sharp, business-like sound to it. It has to deliver some pre-defined knowledge or skill. In contrast, an S-B, event which is an ‘encounter’ gives the learner plenty of room to respond in her or his own way. An encounter has no end-performance goal. It has an evocative sound to it. Events which have to ‘explain’ or to ‘tell’ have goals and sounds somewhere in between. In the Think Tank workshop we nickname these four types of event thang’, thung’ and thong’ events (see Table 7).

The primary goal in an event decides which type it is. From a didactical point of view, the best S-Et event is a melody of ‘chang’, ‘chung’ and thong’. A good lecture, for ex-ample, is a ‘chung’ event with lots of thong’. Its primary goal is to tell something of importance. But it must also explain, and to some degree instruct. More than anything, if what is told is to be remembered long after the lecture is over, the lecture must be a vivid encounter. The melody of a good lecture is ‘chung, chong, chang, ching’. The sound of the primary goal (chung) blends with the sound of an encounter (chong); the sound of explanation (chang) and the sound of a bit of instruction (ching) join them to make an inspiring lecture.

Listening for the missing melody (the missing ching, or the missing chang, etc.) can tell you a lot about less than maximum results in a developmental test of a design. Hearing the melody and at the same time recognizing its source can tell you about a course’s or lesson’s bright success.

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