Current thinking on the 7Cs of Learning Design

7 cs update from Grainne Conole

I had a great brainstorming session on Friday with the team. Gabi Witthaus has already blogged about this. In this post I want to describe our current thinking on the 7Cs of Learning Design. We have now regrouped the 7Cs into four categories:

  • Vision
    • Conceptualise (i.e what are you designing and why, who are you designing for?)
  • Activities 
    • Capture (in terms of capturing resources to be used and activities around Learner Generated Content)
    • Communicate (mechanisms to foster communication)
    • Collaborate (mechanisms to foster collaboration)
    • Consider (activities to promote reflection and enable assessment)
  • Synthesis 
    • Combine (combining the activities to give a holistic overview of the design and associated learning pathways)
  • Implementation 
    • Consolidate (in terms of running the design in a real learning context, evaluating, refining and sharing the design).

Each C has a set of Conceptual Learning Designs (CLDs) associated with it.

For example the Course Features and the Persona CLDs are associated with Conceptualise. Course Features enables the designer to consider what the key principles of the course are, as well as the pedagogical approaches. Persona (developed by Yishay Mor from the Open University UK) enables the designer to consider the types of learners involved.

CLDs associated with Capture include the Resource Audit which enables the designer to articulate what Open Educational Resources (OER) and multimedia will be included. The Learner Generated Content (LGC) CLD enables the designer to create an activity in which learners generate their own learning content.

Communicate includes mechanisms for fostering communication, such as methods for effective e-moderating and looking at the affordances of different tools.

Collaborate also includes looking at the affordances of different tools, but from the perspective of how they can be used to foster collaboration. There is also a CLD around the CSCL Pedagogical Patterns for collaborative learning, including the JIGSAW and PYRAMID Pedagogical Patterns.

Consider includes a CLD to ensure that Learning Outcomes are mapped to assessment activities and also a CLD around fostering reflection. There is also a CLD around a set of assessment Pedagogical Patterns.

Combine focuses on combining the learning activities into the following: 

  • Course View which provides a holistic overview of the nature of the course
  • Activity profile showing the amount of time learners are spending on different types of activities
  • Storyboard which is a temporal sequence of activities mapped to resources and tools
  • Learning pathway which is a temporal sequence of the learning designs.

Finally, Consolidate is about putting the design into practice. This includes implementation, which might be in a face-to-face context, in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or through a specialised Learning Design tool, such as LAMS, CADMOS or WebCollage. Once the design is implemented a CLD around evaluation metrics can be used to assess the effectiveness of the design. Then a CLD on refinement can be used to improve the design and finally there is a CLD to enable the refined design to be shared with peers.

We feel this is a much clearer framework and we are looking forward to getting feedback on this in the coming months. I will be using this as a basis for Week 3 of the OLDS MOOC in a couple of weeks’ time. 

6 Responses to “Current thinking on the 7Cs of Learning Design”

  1. Louise Says:

    Hi Grainne, I have very much enjoyed your presentation - very interesting! I am going to put it to practice with a course I am designing here at Inverness College UHI. As Educational Technologist, I am interested in offering workshops to other course teams who want to (re)design their course. Is there any training available in this? Best wishes,

  2. Gráinne Says:

    Hi fab Louise sounds great! All our resources are freely available from our website. We do offer workshops on this too… we find a two day workshop works best.

  3. Sipho Says:

    Hi Grainne, This is really great and well thought out. I wish to share this with my colleagues! We are still learning the basics of designing courses and your model could make it possible for us.

  4. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks Sipho! Glad it is of use feel free to use all the resources associated with the 7Cs are free :-)

  5. Bonnie Mullinix Says:

    Enjoyed these 7Cs and the clustering for their concise (another C) way of presenting the key elements to be considered.

    Wanted to note that your short presentation had a small graphic issue in slides 7 & 9 where Consider & Consolidate were not represented in the dark blue slide (small point, but seemed worthy of note for future reference).

    Thanks for sharing your framework with all of us.

  6. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks! :-)

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