Should Learning Designers Learn to Code? [Poll]
To code or not to code, that is the question for Learning Designers in the new multi-device world we live in.
There are many people in Instructional Design, who may dismiss coding altogether with the argument that we have excellent WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) rapid eLearning tools that do a great job at developing learning with little to no coding necessary and that are mostly based on the ubiquity of PowerPoint.
I completely see this question from their perspective, but I would argue that we live in a new computing era where traditional slide-based eLearning is no longer enough.
Long gone are the days when learning designers could make fairly accurate assumptions about the computers and screen resolutions learners would use to access their learning.
Before the rise of mobile, 1024 x 768 resolution was the sweet spot for developing web content for most audiences according to this site: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_resolution_higher.asp
How times have changed since then. Whenever I teach my workshop on designing mLearning, I always point to this site as a way to illustrate the current state of mLearning resolutions: http://screensiz.es/phone and http://screensiz.es/tablet and as a way to build a case for why responsive design makes sense in mobile learning design.
My point is that while there are learning design tools out there that can help us repurpose our Desktop-based eLearning for specific devices like the iPad, at some point you realize there’s much work to be done if you want to deliver your learning across multiple devices.
The other thing to keep in mind as you explore the mLearning landscape, unlike before, today we can no longer control what devices learners will use to access our learning.
And these are all reason why I strongly believe Learning Designer should learn how to code.