Project aim: “ Specifically, we need to shift from the traditional craft-based teacher-design (where design draws on belief-based practice and is essentially implicit) to a more systematic, explicit design approach, drawing on empirically derived and validated tools and methods for design”. Conole (2010)
What is learning design?
“ Learning design is viewed as both a process – the planning, structuring and sequencing of learning activities; and as a product – the representation/s, plan, or structure produced during the process or created later”
Learn about... Learning Design guide (Cross and Conole, 2008)
How, when and who with The OULDI project sees ‘learning design’ as an all encompassing term to cover the process, representation, sharing and evaluation of designs from lower level activities, right up to whole curriculum level designs. We are interested in providing support for the entire design process; from gathering and sketching out initial ideas, through consolidating, producing and using designs, to sharing, reuse and community engagement.
Flexibility of software assists, maps and records creative design process
“ And again, like I said to you, it forces you...you know...it makes you think about the different components of the learning process in a way that is structured and it makes people address those issues and discuss them. On that day, you know, we had quite a lot of discussion about...you know...details about how we were going to run these projects: the things we could use; the technologies we could bring in.”
“ It’s a mode of thinking. CompendiumLD, and course design is a mode of thinking”
Discussion is a key part of informal process
Developing ideas and concepts
Sharing best practice
Ideas, support and advice
Enhancing professional knowledge
Connecting to a professional and creative network
Cloudworks Cloud works
“ The appeal of Cloudworks is that the focus shifts away from sharing course resources (repositories) to representing teaching designs, practices, and resources in a way that is context rich and reusable by others. Moreover, members' contributions are open and available for others to build on in a number of interesting ways”.
Cloudworks user blog post
“ As the Multiliteracies moderator I am looking with interest on the changing shapes of clouds and wondering which will gain traction and carry us forward into the future. In [institution] we were thinking our Big Innovation this year would be Wave (last year it was Ning). But Wave is a bit complicated with the invitation hassle (at the moment). This one is quite simple. Unlike either of the other two, you don't have to be a member of the group to converse. You simply have to have a Cloudworks ID and you can say what you like anywhere.”
Student Activity Guidance and support Course structure and timetable e.g. Course calendar, study guide, tutorials Content and experience Course materials, prior experience, learner generated content e.g. readings, DVDs, podcasts, labs Reflection and demonstration Internalization and reflection, e.g. In text questions, blogs, ePortfolios, diagnostic, formative, summative assessment Collaboration and communication Dialogic aspects of the course. Interaction between learners and tutor, course forum, email, etc
Types of activity (from a Learning Activity Taxonomy, Conole, 2007 & 2008)
Assimilative (attending and understanding content),
Information handling (e.g. gathering and classifying resources or manipulating data),
Adaptive (use of modelling or simulation software),
Communicative (dialogic activities, e.g. pair dialogues or group-based discussions),
Productive (construction of an artefact such as a written essay, new chemical compound or a sculpture) and
Experiential (practising skills in a particular context or undertaking an investigation).
In addition the tool looks at the spread of assessment across the course or sequence of learning activities.
OULDI-Library services pilot
Learning and teaching librarian role
Using learning design approaches in our own work when writing activities
Triggering conversations with module teams by engaging with the views
Supporting faculties who wish to change their current business models
Series of staff development opportunities
Mapping of library services against the learning design ‘views’
Summary: A Design approach
Uses a shared design language to both generate designs and as a mechanism for interpreting and discussing them (Winograd, 1996:64)
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 (Gibbons and Brewer, 2005:121)
Recognises that different representations of a design are needed to articulate certain elements of the design, while ignoring others
Designs should never be seen as static artefacts and are always dynamic and co-constructed in context . (Gibbons and Brewer, 2005:115)
Some challenges and tensions
Complexity: designs can only be partial representation of much more complex, and multifaceted ideas in our minds.
Precision: there is a tension between the natural, fuzzy nature of real practice and tightly defined specification.
Formality and standardisation: terms and concepts, even well used ones, do not necessarily mean the same thing to us all.
Personal vs shared: designs can be created for personal use or can be designed to share with others – can those designs be the same? Designs only become public or sharable through negotiation and interaction with others.
Implicit vs explicit: there is a tension with designs in terms of how much they focus on precise presentation, specification and how much on the more aesthetic, visionary aspects of the design, between implicit, individual designs to those that are completely explicit with clearly defined terms and rules.
Adapted from Gibbons and Brewer
(Gibbons & Brewer, 2005, p. 115)
Examples of uptake and use
Course Map representation (Video diaries and supporting documents) http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/3813
CompendiumLD tool (presentation to peers) http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/4612
What’s good about eLearning in a health and social care setting?
Why has the mainstream adoption of eLearning pedagogies and technologies been so slow?
What might a learning design approach offer in relation to the above?
What are the challenges of embedding such an approach in teams and institutions?
Cross, S. and Conole, G. (2008), Learn about learning design, Learn about guides series, The Open University: Milton Keynes, available http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/OULDI/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Learn-about-learning-design_v7.doc
Conole, G. (2008) ‘Capturing practice: the role of mediating artefacts in learning design’, in Handbook of Research on Learning Design and Learning Objects: Issues, Applications and Technologies, in L. Lockyer, S. Bennett, S. Agostinho, and B Harper (Eds), 187-207, Hersey PA: IGI Global.
Conole, G. (2007), ‘Describing learning activities: tools and resources to guide practice’ in H. Beetham and R. Sharpe (Eds), Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age, pp. 81-91.