Book structure

I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough this week with my book on learning design. I wasn’t happy with the structure of it and after some really helpful comments from Martin Weller, I have no radically reorganised it and I think it is much more logical and coherent. Here is an outline of the current structure. Thoughts on this very welcome! Copies of the latest draft chapters are available on the Cloudscape I have set up on Cloudworks.Chapters overview

  • The book begins with this introductory chapter, which provides an overview of the book and a rationale for its relevance. This includes an overview of the context of modern education. I argue that we now operate in a context of rapid technological change, which is influencing the nature of education and its purpose. Boundaries between formal and informal learning are changing, as a result I argue that, within this context, the way in which we design, support and assess learning needs to change and the nature of educatioal technologies. Next the characteristics of today’s learners are discussed drawing on key research in the field. It provides a brief definition of the term ‘learning design and argues for the need for a new learning design methodology is discussed, which is the main focus of the book. Finally the audience and  structure of the book are described.
  • Design languages are the focus of chapter two, in particular the use of design notation in music, architecture and chemistry are described. The chapter discusses the challenges of designing for learning, and then focusses on learning design, along with the spectrum of learning design languages that have been developed. The origins of the OU Learning Design Initiative are described, along with a description of how OULDI adopted a Design-Based Research (DBR) approach.
  • Chapter three situates the Open Learning Design methodology discussed in this book in relation to related research fields such as learning sciences, instructional design and pedagogical patterns.
  • Chapter four provides a review of new open, social and participatory media and gives examples of how these are being used to support different pedagogical approaches. It considers the changing digital landscape of education and provides a review of new technologies, which includes: i) the characteristics of new technologies, ii) the impact of web 2.0 technologies, iii) the use of web 2.0 technologies in education and iv) the impact on practice. Highlights from a review of web 2.0 tools and practices are then discussed.
  • Chapter five describes the key theoretical perspectives and methodologies that underpin learning design research. Chapter five describes how the Open Learning Design methodology described in this book draws on Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and in particular the notion of Mediating Artefacts. It also considers the nature of theory and methodology in the field.
  • Chapter six defines Mediating Artefacts, including the different ways in which practice can be captured and represented. It describes a range of Mediating Artefacts and concludes with an illustrative example that demonstrates how an OER created for use in one contexts can be repurposed.
  • Chapter seven introduces the concept of affordances, discussing the range of definitions for the term. It goes on to discuss the affordances of technologies and argues that these can be used as a means of structuring and guiding use of particular technologies for different learning interventions.
  • Chapter eight gives an overview of different design representations and how they can be used to promote new ways of thinking about designing learning interventions.
  • Chapter nine then goes into more detail on different tools that can be used to visualise and represent designs, and in particular on the CompendiumLD tool that we have developed. It begins with a description of the ways in which practitioners currently go about designing learning interventions.
  • Chapter ten critiques the notion of ‘openness’ in terms of open design, delivery, evaluation and research. An important aspect of open delivery is the use of OER, chapter nine gives an overview of the Open Educational Resource movement
  • Chapter eleven outlines two recent OER initiatives, namely Olnet and OPAL.Chapter eleven provides a review of the Open Educational Resource movement. This includes a review of OER initiatives and a description of four illustrative examples.
  • Chapter twelve discusses the outputs and findings from the work being undertaken as part of the Olnet and OPAL initiatives.
  • Chapter thirteen returns to the ways in which open, social and participatory media are resulting in new forms of online communities and interactions.  It defines the terms and looks at different pedagogies of e-learning. It concludes with the introduction of a new Community Indicators Framework (CIF), that can be used to guide the design and evaluation of new social and participatory media.
  • Chapter fourteen describes the Cloudworks social networking site, and in particular the ways in which it is promoting new forms of online interaction, communication and collaboration.
  • Chapter fifteen reviews a number of pedagogical planners that have been developed to guide practitioners in making informed learning design decisions. These planners, the chapter argues provide more structured support for the design process than the visualisation representations and the use of social and participatory media discussed in earlier chapters.
  • Chapter sixteen is the conclusion chapter, which provides a summary and overview of the book. It also looks at the implications of this work, along with reflections on its importance and the associated challenges.

3 Responses to “Book structure”

  1. peps mccrea Says:

    Looks promising: broad range of topics covered - enough to generate lots of interest. Have you considered breaking the book up into parts - ie. 4 parts with 4 chapters in each or similar, based on ‘what connects these chapters’? People (me really) like to have a manageable framework to organise information, and 16 pieces can be a bit too bitty without some loose scaffolding. Just some thoughts.

    I am 110% confident that the idea of ‘design for learning’ is a core educational concept of the future. Have tried to articulate some of this in my blog recently but feels a bit like grappling in the dark. Will have to put aside some time to read draft on CW…

  2. Wolfram Laaser Says:

    The book structure sounds very interesting. I would like to read some already written parts and maybe to comment on them. I have been for more than 30 years in instructional design.

  3. Gráinne Says:

    Hi thanks! Will send you a link to the dropbox folder with the draft chapters - comments welcome!

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