Learning Design

  • good online,  Learning Design

    Good online learning – learning design

    Following my (kinda) series on tips for good online learning… Learning design is one of those terms that you instinctively have a feel for what it means, but for which there can be a wide variety of definitions. For some it is synonymous with instructional design (which I think is more of a North American term). Obviously, as academics we like to debate the definition endlessly, but let’s keep it simple for now. From a lot of the work that JISC led in the 00s, a common definition is: “the practice of planning, sequencing and managing learning activities, usually using ICT-based tools to support both design and delivery.” I wrote…

  • 25YearsOU,  Learning Design

    25 Years of OU: 2009 – Learning Design

    via GIPHY Before Jisc went all neo-liberal and started selling corporate services, they used to fund interesting schemes in UK further and higher ed. One of these was a round of Learning Design projects. With Patrick McAndrew I had some small funding via this route. Grainne Conole was the recipient of a larger grant, the OULDI project, which really helped kick off Learning Design at the OU. Now we have a Learning Design approach that is embedded in all module production. It requires designers to consider student activities using six categories which arose from Grainne’s work in her time at the OU. There are also a set of other tools,…

  • Learning Design

    Attack of the Learning Engineers

    A term I’ve seen on the increase is that of “Learning Engineer”. Job descriptions using it seem to be pretty similar to a learning technologist, so maybe it’s just this year’s label. Saxberg asks “where are the learning engineers? The sad truth is, we don’t have an equivalent corps of professionals who are applying learning science at our colleges, schools, and other institutions of learning.” I get his point, what is the point of doing all this research into education if we just shrug our shoulders and go “it’s complicated.” However, like others I have discomfort about the term. I was part of the ‘learning design’ field in the 00s,…

  • Learning Design,  OUEdTech

    Learning design – the long haul of institutional change

    The latest in the seminars that I’m coordinating at the Open University was held recently. I was delighted that this one was presented by my colleague Rebecca Galley, talking about 10 Years of Learning Design at the OU. I was part of this project, building on the excellent work of Grainne Conole. Learning Design is a good example of how you implement institutional change in higher education. The project developed tools, worked with ‘friendly’ course teams, became integrated into the formal course approval process, developed standard workshop and support, refined practice, and then adapted to particular needs, eg using LD to focus on retention. It is not easy, but we…

  • Learning Design,  OU

    Designing for retention – the ICEBERG model

    Last year I worked with some colleagues from the Learning Design team here at the OU on a project focusing on designing for student retention. We of course, have many different aspects in mind when designing a course, but my pitch for this project was that it was worth devoting some time to specifically focusing on how design can influence whether students stay on a course or drop out. When thinking about retention there are, I would suggest, four categories of factors that can impact upon whether a student stays with a course: 1) Design – are there elements in the way that the course is constructed that make it…

  • #mri13,  Learning Design,  MOOC

    The Learning Design of MOOCs

    I got some Gates funding for the MOOC Research Initiative to look at two things: completion data, and learning design MOOCs. The first part allowed Katy Jordan to finish the work she had started in mapping various factors from over 200 MOOCs that influence completion. You can see more of her work here, and I’ll blog on that later. My part has been using the tools we’ve developed at the OU for learning design, building on Grainne Conole’s work. We use two main tools: the Activity Planner and the Module Map. The first maps student activity across 6 categories, eg assimilative, productive, etc. This is a good way to think…

  • Learning Design,  OU

    Curriculum Business Models

    I rarely blog about the day job anymore, so I thought I'd do a series of posts around 'what I'm up to at the moment', as I'm involved in a lot of projects that are interesting and probably relevant to other places as well. And also, just in case you thought I just sat around all day. First up is the Curriculum Business Models project. I'm the academic lead on this, having taken over from Grainne. The project grew out of a lot of the learning design work at the OU, particularly the JISC funded OULDI project. The name is a bit of a misnomer I feel, it isn't really…

  • conference,  higher ed,  Learning Design,  web 2.0

    Social media learning principles

    At the LAMS European conference I gave a talk in which I explored what we know about learning, and what I've deduced about social media. My conclusion was that we develop tools to represent the complexity of learning (such as LAMS), but that the social media/web 2.0 approach takes a different angle and instead of trying to represent complexity in the tool, creates simple tools and lets the network create the complexity.The presentation is below: Learning and social media View more presentations from mweller. I had 6 principles of social media which are:  <embed> is the universal acid of the web – we should build around it. Simple with reach…

  • conference,  Learning Design

    The question around learning design

    Intellectual powerhouses (and me) – Stephen Downes, James Dalziel, me, Grainne Conole I’m at the LAMS European Conference in Cadiz, where we’re presenting some of the work from the OU Learning Design project. Grainne gave a keynote on Thursday morning, along with Stephen Downes. Simon and Andrew presented their work in the afternoon, and I got co-opted (read press-ganged) onto the panel at the close. Stephen was talking about he made an Audacity recording of his presentation, and that constituted a learning object in his view, although it wouldn’t meet many of the strict definitions of one. Grainne was talking about our Cloudworks project (loosely based on the Flickr for…

  • e-learning,  Learning Design,  web 2.0

    LAMS presentation as slidecast

    The world’s least engaging voice returns with another slidecast. This is the presentation I gave to the LAMS conference (via Skype). It looks at the differences between web 2.0 and higher ed and how learning design can help bridge the gap. I’ve covered this in previous posts, but just in case you want the semi-live version. | View | Upload your own