I recently spoke (and blogged previously) at the All ID meeting last Friday. A concept that I was unable to get to had to do with using this website as an instructional design model for delivering online courses. In the reference links you'll be able to see the progression of this idea. I've taken this website in it's entirety and I'm going to try and base it on Drupal content to "teach" the material. This will be a totally different way of thinking about course design (at least relative to what we've been building).
Right now we have a very rigid, date based content structure that sees material being built out in the outline designer. As much as I love this approach and we can bang out courses quickly and structure them well, technology is increasingly proving that free-form ways of structuring material are better for illustrating certain concepts. Example: Twitter. How do you find information on twitter? All data is based on a person and their thoughts. Those thoughts can be searched across based on keywords (seen in hash tags like #drupal). This tagging provides an organic structure, much in the same way there are streams of thought on this website that's tagged (just like this post under the title).
Will this method work in all instances? Definitely not. But it would be nice to have a structure beyond the standardized "theater" course information flow and design as there are structural limitations to both. As we see courses involve more and more media it would also be good to make the course feel more "open" and function the way the rest of the web does. It was only a year ago or so that you were able to search material in our course via the drupal search form (innovative...ya, I know..). This form would allow students more of a 'choose your own adventure' approach to learning which could prove useful.
Along these lines, we'll be trying to integrate Twitter into our courses. Not in a "this way instructors have to use twitter" manner but more so a way that's passive and doesn't require a twitter account in order to participate. Similar to the tweets button off on the left of this site except that you can post "anonymously" if you want to. This would allow for threaded conversations, specific to the course that could be followed "publicly" by people in the course that want to get updates on what people are saying in the course. Example use cases for this include both public discussion of the material as well as support for issues in the system / course. Students that have problems finding info they need could ask other students in the class or they could talk about the material (similar to comment streams).
All ideas I'll be playing around with. Also, did anyone see my Qik talk today? Droid + twitter + live DVD-ish video quality + GPS integration = amazing mobile conversation / podcasting platform. Once I find a way to integrate it the way I want to I'll do a full write up on that later...