The problem with learning design…

Learning ActivityMy colleague Stewart Nixon who works as part of the VLE programme is currently collating a review of developments in Learning Design. This includes the obvious links to things like IMS LD, LAMS and projects that are creating online ‘toolkits’ or planners. This made me think that it was also important to try and articulate some of the fundemental issues/key challenges in research into learning design. It’s something that I am constantly worried about in the context of our OU Learning Design project. In a nutshell I think the problem stems from the fact that Learning Design seems deceptively and beguilingly simple. Say to anyone ‘would you like an online toolkit that can provide links to resources, tips and hints, and case studies of exemplar learning activiites and that can also guide teachers through the process of creating their own learning activities that makes effective use of technologies’ …. of course they will say ‘yes please’ and ‘can we have it tomorrow?’ Learning ActivityBUT Doing this is very difficult, for a number of reasons. 1. Case studies are great - but will people read through them, how do you provide a consistent interface? 2. How can we provide tailored and adaptive help and guidance about evolving tools and technologies and how they can be used? 3. What kinds of guidance and support is most useful as a teacher works through the design process? 4. What kind of dynamic and creative interface is needed which lets the user switch between working at a micro-level on a particular learning activity to a macro-level to consider the course context? I could go on, there are lots and lots of other questons around this - something we have been struggling with as a group. Below is a link to a draft of a chapter which provides a bit more background to some of the issues and an outline of the approach we are adopting. I would love to hear from others who are interested in this area, becauses it would be great to share war stories!!! ;-)
Using Compendium as a tool for creating learning activities

3 Responses to “The problem with learning design…”

  1. Karyn Romeis Says:

    “Say to anyone ‘would you like an online toolkit that can provide links to resources, tips and hints, and case studies of exemplar learning activiites and that can also guide teachers through the process of creating their own learning activities that makes effective use of technologies’ …. of course they will say ‘yes please’ and ‘can we have it tomorrow?’”

    I wish! My experience is that they (a) look at you suspiciously and ask how much it will cost or (b) dismiss the idea because the user audience isn’t ready for it, or it doesn’t fit with the culture, or it’s a fad. Sadly the market is less mature than we learning geeks would like!

    I have designed a few such solutions and never had the chance to see one through to completion. There is one that is not entirely dead and buried, but hope is waning…

  2. Random Syntax » LessonMapper and Compendium for Learning Design Says:

    […] Compendium OU mind-mapping tool […]

  3. e4innovation.com » Blog Archive » Targetted help with design Says:

    […] exploring how this contextualised help might be embedded in our adapted version of Compendium (see‘The problem with learning design’ for a little more on this) - so that when a user chooses an icon (say ‘blog’) they are […]

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