I spent yesterday afternoon at my alma mater (or one of them at least).
The School of Communication Arts, partially industry financed, develops the creative talents of would be advertising creatives.
'Precision in creative output' is the perfect definition of what is taught.
Working to the exceedingly tight parameters and demands of a creative brief to sell or promote a product or service, the creative teams (there are always at least two people assigned to a problem) must come up with an idea or concept that meets the demands of the brief ... and then craft, cling onto, nurture, protect, raise, build and sell their idea.
A creative director in this situation will try to help maintain the precision which permits the creativity.
If David Jennings worries that learning might be over designed, over engineered and over specified, then reading the above may suggest that I am just adding another layer that wants to see learning as a commercialised, branded, designed and marketed product. Is it not anyway?
My hope is for something far less complex, demanding or expensive that what may seem to be implying - it is about working collaboratively, so trying to bring academics into a new kind of working practice, those in research out of their cupboards and those in the class or lecture hall away from the crowd of students to bravely do something as a joint enterprise - and yes, build on what others have done before.
When it comes down to it all I'd like to see are ideas that are confident, and wear the thinking behind them expressed with skill.
I know from some good experiences that when you get the thinking right the outcome might be easy to deliver on a microbudget ... and if a budget is required one would hope that the quality of the thinking behind the idea will help it get financed. I know this is education, certainly not advertising, or even 'corporate training' - but aren't things like TED lectures and the Khan Academy neat expressions of a simple idea?
Another one I can think of is Qstream - a spaced educational delivery system developed by a Harvard Medical School Prof.