Originally from this video:
This video discusses progression systems in games, and this is extremely relevant to instructional design in reinforcing the autonomy of learning on a temporal scale. At 2:09 it addresses 3 different types of progression:
Direct: sequential, linear-based, depth. If you do X, you'll get to experience Y. You can ONLY experience Y if you do X. Focuses on getting "more" powerful, or accumulating a value whether it be currency or experience points.
Indirect: lateral, non-linear, breadth. A given range of stages or pieces of the information is experienced by the choice of the player. The player has more options to choose when they want to experience information and when. Focuses on variety of things to interact with, usually cosmetic in nature over technical or scalar.
Customizable: Combination of direct and indirect. The player has control on what they want to engage with, but has branching paths with the option of going deeper to which path, as well as previous nodes of choice they want to revisit. The video gives the example of skill tree, and are my opinion the best representation of how information is engaged with universally.
Instructional material is temporarily direct, in that each module has a deadline where the whole class has to complete. The class moves at the same pace, so there is no room for deviation. Politically it also reinforces meritocracy in which the ascertainment of information is measured in how much value is accumulated via a grade point average for the class. If a student falls behind, there is no way for the student to catch up or erase their past failures, only make up for them. Their performance in lingering due to a linear dimension of value assessment both academically and temporally.
This is why instructional experiences should try to move towards customizability by introducing indirect, non linear approaches of teaching. A big gripe I have is the phrase "you'll learn more about this later on in the class". Well? What if I want to learn about it now? I don't want to differentiate myself as an overachiever by doing it early either, I'm not special for attempting to satiate my curiosities, but it does make me feel like a failure if doing that runs the risk of neglecting whereever the rest of the class is in-unit. The notion of individualized instruction also creates a drain on resources. The contemporary LMS assumes linear paths of learning, so it does not make the choice on where to start, or the "filling" in of gaps of knowledge personal to the student. Personalization to how information is traversed erases the dread of "having" to do something while also makes the idea of "refinement" more available. LMS and courses should be design with a non fixed starting point so that there is a validation of individuality immediately communicated to the student, while also reinforcing the phenomena of "digging" or filling in gaps of information if the student encounters a requirement of prerequisite knowledge. Querying becomes an action designed into the before and after the engagement with each taxon of learning content rather than something that happens outside of the student, during the content.
Horton's absord-->do--->connect--absorb cycle illustrates non lateral approaches perfectly, as the simulacara of education e-learning is founded upon is an absord--> (do OR connect) chunks.