Archive for January, 2013

OLDS MOOC - Week 3

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

So I am getting ready for Week 3 of the OULDS MOOC, ambulance which I am leading on. The course has been designed to have a bit more structure than some MOOCS. It is based around the use of Google Apps. The main course has been created in Google Docs. There are discussion threads in Google Forum and a weekly synchronous session using Google Hangouts. Cloudworks is being used to enable participants to share their completed activities. It’s been a lot of work trying to get the structure right and in particular ensuring the structure is scalable in terms of the large number of participants. My focus in Week 3 is on a range of Conceptual Learning Designs – such as the Course Features, buy Course Map and Activity Profile. I have included a short introductory video and a Slidecaste on the 7Cs of Learning Design. There are also links to further resources and readings. Colleagues from the University of Wollongong (Lori Lockyer, Sue Bennett and Shirley Agostinho) have also included an activity based on their work. It will be interesting to see how the week goes and I hope to get feedback from participants on their experience of being involved. The site for the course is  

Current thinking on the 7Cs of Learning Design

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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, sick 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, patient 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. 

A month in the life of…

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

I thought it would be interesting to think about what kinds of activities I typically do in a month. So here is a list of some of the activities for this month:

  • Keynotes in Athens, viagra 60mg Edge Hill and Southampton
  • Attending a kick off meeting for a new EU project METIS
  • Contributing to the LDS MOOC on Learning Design
  • Writing an article on innovative teaching and learning methods
  • Updating our 7Cs of Learning Design framework
  • Examining a PhD thesis in Porto
  • Writing bids for the forthcoming EU calls
  • Working on content and activities for our new Masters in Learning Innovation
  • PhD supervision meetings – both face-to-face and on Skype
  • An online Webinar on quality and OER
  • Attending an EDEN exec meeting in Brussels

I wonder how that compares with other peoples’ typical month?

METIS Learning Design project kick off meeting

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I am currently at an excellent kick off meeting for our new EU-funded METIS Learning Design project. You know what it’s like with European projects… Sometimes you go to the kick off meeting and you get that feeling of dread… it’s like the tower of Babel, check no one knows each other very well, discount everyone has a different view of what the project is about. It has the makings of a disastrous project, or at the very best will be darn hard work. Other kick off meetings you go to, you know everyone well and know their work and most importantly you have a shared sense of vision of what the project is about. That was my feeling at the meeting in Valladolid. We are aiming to create an Interactive Learning Design Environment (ILDE) building on our collective work to date. We have a good mix of both technical and pedagogical expertise to make this work. In the meeting we concentrated on use case scenarios and technical specifications, looking at the three sectors we are targeting: Higher Education, Adult Learning and the VET sector. We mapped out the needs of each and created personas for the kinds of people we envisaged using the tool.

This has got to be my dream project – to create an all inclusive online learning design tool, ambitious I know and maybe not achievable  - this time at least. The nice thing is that the project is timely and builds on a number of recent research projects that I have been involved with. These include the OULDI of course at the OU, and more recently, with JISC funding, the opportunity to combine OULDI work with the Carpe Diem work at Leicester to create the 7Cs of Learning Design. We have been able to trial this at a number of conferences and events and also through the JISC-funded SPEED project with 4 UK institutions (Darby, Liverpool John Moores, London South Bank and Northampton Universities). I am particularly lucky to be working with Gabi Witthaus and Ming Nie at Leicester on this and of course more broadly with the LD community – both the METIS partners and internationally such as colleagues in Australia. Again the timing is great as we have just published the Larnaca Declaration on Learning Design as part of James Dalziel’s ALTC/OLT fellowship. This provides a solid theoretical underpinning to the state of the field.  The state of METIS also coincides with the launch of our Learning Design MOOC that started this week, and we will be exploring aspects of the work both from METIS and the Larnaca Declaration in that in the MOOC over the next couple of months!

In this presentation I propose a conceptual framework to underpin the development of the ILDE based on our 7Cs of Learning Design framework.

7 cs of learning design from Grainne Conole

In the table below I provide a mapping of the 7Cs of Learning Design framework to the three different types of Learning Design tools (conceptual – orange, technical – green and sharing/discussion – red).  

7Cs element

Learning Design tool


Course features

Design Narratives


Analysing context: factors and concerns


Resource audit

Repository search strategy


Course map

Activity profile

Task swimlane



E-moderating framework

Mapping forums, blogs and wikis

Communicative affordances


Collaborative affordances

CSCL Pedagogical Patterns


Assessment Pedagogical Patterns

Learning outcomes map


The photo a day challenge

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013


A New Year so a new challenge! So I have decided to try the photo a day challenge. Rules are you must take one photo a day but you can post them in batches. I have joined a Flickr group set up by Ricardo Torres Kompen and we already have five people signed up. I think this could be great fun and will give me a chance to get to know the affordances of Flickr and in particular what it is like to be a member of a group on there. I suspect knowing me there will be lots of pictures of cats, stomach food and exotic locations! Will be interesting to see what kinds of things I choose to photograph and what the other members of the group post.