Q1) Shepherd says “As none of these [learning methods, learning media, the science of learning] is intuitive and obvious, the client cannot be expected to have this expertise. And for this reason, it is neither sufficient nor excusable for the learning architect to act as order taker.” What are some ways you avoid being an order taker
Our first defense against order-taking is knowledge and ongoing learning. It has been my experience (personally and from observation) that if you get to a plateau with skills or execution, you can only respond by "filling orders" based on previous, apparently similar requirements. So if you don't bother staying abreast of new developments or alternate approaches, you will be stuck in a world of "thats the way we've always done it.
I also believe that order-filling is a result of a failure to fully understand the nature of the needs of the client and/or the learner. In these situations, our desire to give the client "what they asked for" in the chase for billable services outstrips our responsibility to give them "what they really need".
On a more aggressive stance, at what point do we decline these "McCourses" when the client cannot be swayed from their stance? Do we simply bite our tongues and do it, or realize that the relationship is not going to be a win-win and walk away? I realize this gets into a whole other topic of client influence and business development, but do we keep perpetuating bad practice for the sake of revenue?