Successful education design – whether it is creating a new curriculum plan, a sequence of teaching services, or a series of learning materials – involves three factors.
First and foremost is motivation. Any educational design must address motivation constantly: What is the inherent drive in the user (learner or teacher) to seek out this particular service? What keeps the user engaged? I ask my team of designers at every turn: What is motivating about this?
Second is substance. In the case of language education, this is the linguistic content. The content must be rich, deep, and also accessible. This involves knowing the "field" of available content intimately, and selecting — or creating — the most appropriate content.
Third is mechanics. Although addressing motivation and substance will enable us to create high-quality products and services, it is the mechanics of delivery that allows us to excel in educational design. Mechanics refers to the underlying brain science that describes engaged learning and the psycholinguistic processes that ensure successful retention. We have created our own task-engagement-sequence design system that we use to evaluate the effectiveness of our learning designs.
WHAT WE BRING TO EVERY PROJECT
I'm Michael Rost, the founder of Lateral Communications. I personally lead every project that Lateral takes on. I work with a range of top professionals: language professionals - researchers, teachers, authors, editors, publishers, media producers, designers, social media groups - around the world. I collaborate with my partners to develop and distribute cutting edge classes, learning products, curricula, and training programs. I aim to establish a unique identity for every project.
In each project I draw upon my experiences both in academics (here is a link to my academic publications on Google Scholar) and in the publishing business (here is a link to my Linked In business page).
I guarantee my personal involvement ih every project from conception through development, throughout production, into the launch the promotion. I especially enjoy working with customer support - and improving how the product or service is being used and experienced.
I like to stay involved with every project from conception through development, throughout production, into the launch the promotion. I especially enjoy working with customer support - and improving how the product or service is being used and experienced.
Depth of Understanding
As I work with education and educational publishing, I realize there is always more to learn, more to understand. This is more true today than ever – with the advance of technology, artifical intelligence, social media, and global interdependence. I have learned that it is more important to "seek to understand" than anything else. Before diving into any project, I try first to establish a deep base of understanding of the issues and the stakeholders involved.
Whenever I start on a new project - a book, a series, a course, a game, an app - I always ask, "What hasn't been done before?" If a project has a vibrant innovative energy, it's likely to bring out the best in everybody involved. I feel that my job as a project manager or series editor is to nurture and manage that innovative energy.
Life is too short to do anything without passion. This is true in education and especially language education, in which the personal stakes are so high. When I work with teachers on professional development, I start by helping them identify their passion for teaching and learning. Once we are able to kindle - or reignite - their passion, and bring a lightness and gratitude to this source of our insipiration, the development process begins to flow more easily.
Every project - textbook production, research white paper, or teacher development - starts with observation. Clear observation - in meetings, focus groups, onsite visits, report generation - is an essential element of success throughout the execution of the project. Clear observation is developed through a calm mind and "soft" understanding of the goals of the mission.
Understanding the role of listening in language development has been a major theme in my career. All of the language courses I design feature listening as the central component - out of which, speaking, interaction, reading, and writing can grow. Listening is the foundation of successful communication and learning.
Ultimately, whether a product or service is delivered successfully is a matter of efficacy. At the end of the day, what is delivered has to be elegant, efficient, and cost-effective.