Mapping the design process

As part of our OU Learning Design project we are gathering views on how people currently design their courses, cheap what approaches, order strategies and help they use. In addition we want to gather views on the types of support they would find helpful - in terms of support material, workshops or interactive design tools. As part of this we are following a number of course in-depth, to try and gain a more detailed understanding of the process of design, how teams reach consensus, what forms of representation they use for design, how do they generate ideas and what support (case studies or learning design tools) do they use. I am part of a new course team that is in the creative stage of working up the initial focus of the course. We had a really great two-hour team meeting last week. I wrote up the dialogue from the meeting, then used this as a basis for identifying themes from the discussion and associated issues in terms of learning design. A wide range of issues were discussed, the process was creative, dynamic and messy. The individual expertise of those involved and what they could contribute in terms of knowledge of the field and ideas for the course was crucial. Here’s a summary of some of the themes we discussed: Compendium map of a course design
• Context
• Student characteristics (prior experience, skills, interest)
• Overall big idea/theme/philosophy for the course
• Course structure
• Activities, tools, resources/content
• Pedagogical approaches and characteristics for the course
• Assessment
• Constraints

I then mapped this in Compendium and found it useful as a means of representing the process and discussion. For more on Compendium and a link to download the software from the OpenLearn site, click here. Here’s a snapshot – in the Compendium map I was able to add details under each of the icons and link in other files such as the word file of my notes from the meeting. Will be interesting to see what others in the team think and whether they think this approach adds value.

One Response to “Mapping the design process”

  1. David McQuillan Says:

    Hi Grainne,

    I see that you’re involved in assessing the types of support that your lecturing staff need to support the design of their courses.

    I’m involved in a project that you might find useful for the Course resources leg of your project.

    We’re still in the early stages of development, but please feel free to use any resources that exist here, and if you know anyone who might be interested in contributing, we would really appreciate if it you could direct them to the wiki page.

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