Open University Learning Design Initiative Curriculum Design Mapping Mapping learning designs at the macro- (whole course or programme), meso- (a block of learning) and micro-(individual learning activity) levels Gráinne Conole, Paul Mundin, Simon Cross, Rebecca Galley, Juliette Culver, Andrew Brasher, Nick Freear 1. Course Map. Gives an ‘at a glance’ overview of the course or module across four dimensions. 4. Course dimensions. Expands on the dimensions found in the Course Map creating a ‘footprint’ which presents the key characteristics of a course or module, making it easy to compare and contrast the key characteristics of different courses or modules 3. Pedagogy profile. Designed to help teachers (and learners) map different types of student activities across a course or sequence of learning events. 2. Learning Outcomes view. A notational view which shows how the learning activities and assessment tasks are aligned with the intended learning outcomes of the course or module.
Utilises a shared design language to both generate designs, and as a mechanism for interpreting and discussing them
Uses a notational system which helps us remember and navigate designs, enables designs to take form and be shared, and helps us sharpen and multiply abstract design categories
Recognises that different representations of a design are needed to articulate certain elements of the design, while ignoring others
The representation enables a brief textual overview of the course in terms of the types of learning activities the learner is undertaking, how they will communicate and collaborate with tutor and peers, as well as the guidance and support provided and the nature of any assessment.
The view is informed by Biggs’ work on Constructive Alignment (Biggs, 1999). The premise behind this model is twofold:
Students construct meaning from what they do to learn
The teacher aligns the planned learning activities with the learning outcomes
The categories derive from a learning activity taxonomy (Conole, 2007; Conole 2008) that characterises the types of tasks learners undertake into six types.
The labelling and selection of the key dimensions remains subjective, however we suggest seven:
Teacher Intent and Challenges
What is to be Learnt
Media and Tools
5. Design Sequence/ ‘Swimlane’. In this layout dimensions of an activity are mapped in ‘lanes’, making explicit the relationships between each dimension, and the sequencing of the activity as a whole