Carpe Diem Comes of Age: Learning Design for Programmes
CARPE DIEM COMES OF AGE!
Professor Gilly Salmon
Learning Design for Programmes
Friday 12.00 to 13.15
Plan for this session
1. What’s new- Carpe Diem for programmes – the research and development
2. Try it!:
• Talking about ‘Threshhold Knowledge’ on your storyboard.
• Try and ‘rich picture’ for the future
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: the ‘right of passage’
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core concepts that
perception of a
• Threshold concepts are fundamental understandings that sit at the heart of a
body of knowledge. Students need to 'get' them in order for core disciplinary
knowledge to make sense.
• They are like a portal, opening up a new and previously inaccessible way of
• They can be challenging, troubling and finally transformative.
• They matter for planning learning to avoid students getting stuck
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Rite of passage…release the jewel! Scaffolding knowledge:
…counterintuitive to what
the learner already
once learned. That is,
they are difficult to
aspects of the topic
that were previously
seen to be unrelated.
acquires a meaning in
one subject that would
clash with the
…a transformed way
which the learner
…will incorporate an
extended view of the
…entails a shift in
…difficulty in grasping
results in the learner
in a state of partial
…mimicry or lack of
Characteristics of Threshold Concepts
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Examples of threshold concepts
• Anthropology- every moment defined by context
• Electrical engineering -theory of conductivity:
• Teacher educator – instruction vs construction
• Economics - opportunity costs
• Physics and Engineering - gravity
• English literature - deconstruction of text analysis
• Law- principles of justice and of ethical practice in
lawyers' roles or perhaps the differences between
‘common law’ and ‘civil law’
• Health: safety & effectiveness through integration
of professionals in patient care
• Tourism: the social, economic, political and
biophysical dimensions of sustainability
• Statistics: expected & probability value
• Organisational Behaviour: systems analysis
• Computer Science: computational logic; data
structures & types
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Discuss with your neighbours
• Can you think of a ‘threshold concept or moment that resulting in your
pursuing your current profession or disciplines?
• How could it have been built (better) into your programme of study
List your threshold concepts
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Add your modules
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Exercise 2. Your future programme graduate in their environment
: Diagramming ‘richly’
• Pod exercise designed to
• Enable futures thinking
• Focus on students outcome
• Support your strategic thinking
• Enable the pod to share key ideas and issues around the programme
• Introduce a strong concept of ‘start with the end in mind’
• Provide a big ‘poster’ that will support ‘backward thinking’ to the next exercises
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• are a compilation of drawings, pictures, symbols and text that represent a
particular situation or issue from the viewpoint(s) of the person or people who
• show relationships, connections, influences, cause and effect. subjective
elements such as characteristics as well as points of view, prejudices, spirit
and human nature.
• can both record and evoke insight into a situation.
• are pictorial 'summaries' of the physical, conceptual and emotional aspects of
the situation at a given time.
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Activity 2 …on your table.
• Start with a vision of a programme graduate in his/her work environment 5
years after graduation
• Choose one of these:
5. Computer scientist
• Draw all the components in that might he/she achieved during study of your
programme that are now in use at work
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Creating your rich diagram: your Future Programme Graduate
• Visual Representations:
Choose symbols, scenes or
images that best represent
the situation for you.
• Connections: what
connections do you see
between your pictorial
symbols; note what’s
• Words: be concise...
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• Factual & subjective information.
• People & roles
• Significant values, beliefs and norms
• Structures; parts of the situation that
change relatively slowly over time e.g.
the people, the set-ups, the hierarchies.
• Process within the situation - these are
• Consider how the structure and the
processes may be changing for the future
• Include ‘climate’ and ‘environmental’
features (impact on your graduate) .
Programmes should be designed to:
• Be organized around threshold concepts that are tailored to student activities.
• Have effective scaffolding and pacing
• Offer structure, outcomes, and sequence of their learning activities leading to
frequent feedback opportunities
• Assess less, feedback more & higher quality
• Make good choice of ‘blend’
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CARPE DIEM LEARNING DESIGN FOR PROGRAMMES:
START WITH THE END IN MIND.
“Never doubt the power of a small group of
people to change the world. Nothing else ever
Thanks for Taking Part
“Every society honours its live conformists and
its dead troublemakers“.
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“If you don't like change, you're going to like
irrelevance even less”. Eric Shinseki
No budgets or human or harmed in the making of the presentation
References and follow up – with thanks
• Valuable recent article :Timmermans & Meyer, A framework for working with university
teachers to create and embed ‘Integrated Threshold Concept Knowledge’ (ITCK) in
their practice. International Journal for Academic Development. Published online: 17
• Currie, G. (2017). Conscious connections: Phenomenology and decoding the
disciplines. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 150, 37–48
Rich pictures & soft systems
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