Hands-on and The learning designer

At the end of April we introduced the learning designer to the Hands-on ICT EU project. As you know the ICT in primary and secondary schools in the UK are going through changes with the idea to bring further innovation to problem solving and computational thinking to our young students.  There is so much ICT around how do we know the good tools from the bad? How do we know how or even why to bring technology into the classroom? What kind of learning experience can make best use of technology and bring about creative and innovative experiences? The Hands-on project is trying to make sense of this space working with teachers and designers and thinking creatively about the types of teaching and learning activities so that the best use of technology and the great practice of teachers and the emerging new pedagogies are made available.

Hands-on has a number of synergies with our building community knowledge project and the learning designer community so joining forces makes sense. The learning designer tool and the resources that have been developed by the community, especially from our International Learning Design Challenges have been presented (see mirandanet-group.pptx) with the project providing a forum for the project to build on the learning designs and resources that exist and a place for them to share their learning designs.

We are at the beginning of our collaboration with the project and its members (some have already joined us in using the tool and exploring the resources).  Maybe you have a great ICT resource you would like to share? Or an innovative way of delivering creative problem solving in the classroom, online … Why not tell us about it or even better share it online by creating a learning design!



Preparing for the challenge

The First online international challenge starts on Monday.  Not long to go

Don’t forget to signup to coursesites: http://www.coursesites.com/s/_LDC

Many of the resources will be available on coursesites (it is free to join) and we will be using a number of the tools to help us collaborate during the week.

More on MOOCs

Scaling-up and taking courses online to  “massive audiences”  are currently being debated.

See Times Higher Ed report on Diana Laurillard’s input to “The battle about MOOCs“.

What is the role of the tutor and the creation and sharing of learning designs when taking education and learning to the global market place? These are uncertain times that are in need of innovation to deliver new ways of engaging with our students. Learning designs and new pedagogies and creative ways of thinking are needed (see Professor Diana Laurillard’s recent presentation for more about this).

Coming soon is the event at the London Knowledge Lab and related materials will be available. See to MOOC or not to MOOC for more details brining some success stories, lesson learnt and some context to the potential of MOOCs.

First Webinar about Learning Designer Tools

Next webinar is planned for November 6th from 1:00 -2:00. If you have some learning designs or experience in creating and sharing designs or you just want to find out more why not join us. More to follow about the next webinar event. However, if you would like to sign up for our monthly digest then click here and complete the form so  we can keep you up-to-date.

Launching our pilot webinar about learning designs and building community knowledge

On 2nd October we launched our first Webinar for creating and sharing learning designs and the building community knowledge project. We had a few challenges with using our online tools to present to the community. Mainly, the usual slowness in resource sharing and some online delays but in the main our pilot webinar went well

There was a short summary about the building community knowledge project and the aims of the project followed by an overview about the learning designer tool (PPC version).

There was an excellent presentation by Sue Wallace about her experience of using the learning designer tool and why she had decided to take this approach. Sue presented her  Project: ‘Leading change in initial teacher training‘. Sue wanted to provide  teachers with deep insight into and experience of inquiry based learning is so that teachers could use this experience to guide their teaching methods.

–       When seeing LDer Sue realised that:

  • When it comes to planning their lessons a lot of teachers are still using very conservative, paper-based tools to design
  • LDer is valuable to training teachers – especially the analysis function (pie chart); that would help them to reassess their plans (ongoing)
  • Lesson plans are time consuming, especially for teachers in training and then they are put away somewhere… it’s good to save them, so that they can see change, evaluate their learning designs etc.
  • Sue used the LDer to plan the delivery of one of the e-learning (enquiry based module)

It helped Sue with a problem: “when you plan, you do not always see the whole picture/learners can’t either”. Being able to see the module as a whole is helpful both for her and she thinks for students

Sue also suggested that an approach for those coming to the Learning Designer tool for the first time “study a few of the existing learning designs before starting and you will see that many of them relate to your teaching and you could adapt them – especially for training teachers it is useful to see learning design and being able to shift/change/add things

To see more about Sue’s presentation: Leading change in initial teacher training

After Sue’s presentation we had some time dedicated for discussion. Also, throughout the session the participant made use of the chat functionality provided by the Collaborate tool. Below we summarise major points and comments made:

  • Participants appreciated the fact that the Learning Designer is flexible enough to support both planning of a single session and an entire module.
  • Participants raised a possibility to include students, especially those studying to become teachers themselves, in the process of lesson planning. The tool is often used with student teachers. (See University of Macerata).
  • Participants saw value in asking for students’ feedback on a particular learning design after the session has been delivered in order to compare the estimated learning experience (as shown in the pie chart) with students’ real experience of the session. It would then lead to improvements of the learning design for the next cohorts based on previous cohorts’ feedback. It would also illustrate the “potential impact” on learning.
  • However, in relation to the above a problem has been highlighted. As one of the participants noted, when asked for improvements, students usually find it hard to suggest any changes. Perhaps showing students what constitutes panning for learning and learning experience could raise their awareness about their own learning process and help them reflect on that. Also, in working with students the questions need to be asked in context and using their vocabulary about learning experience.


Presentation at Future Technology in Education

Professor Diana Laurillard will be talking about the learning designer community and sharing and re-using designs at the Future Technology in Education at Senate House on Friday 11th October 2013 (FOTE13).

About Diana Laurillard’s presentation

The presentation will be made available shortly and if you would like to know more then email learndingdesignercommunity@gmail.com

or complete the form on News and Events to sign up for the short monthly digest.

Final version presented @ FOTiE2013 by Diana Laurillard

The pedagogies for large-scale student guidance

Diana Laurillard

Abstract for FOTE conference

The field of Learning Design now has an interesting challenge. With the prominence of MOOCs and the related field of Learning Analytics, there is an expectation that learning technology will now be able to solve the problem of the worldwide demand for higher education (currently estimated as ~ 100m per year). This is one of the most important problems to be solved in the field of education. But we must be clear about the nature of the challenge.

To meet the demand for education we have to provide the level of nurturing and guidance every student needs if they are to attain their learning potential. Given the scale of the demand, this means moving from the current norm of a 1:25 staff student ratio to a much higher ratio, without loss to the student’s attainment. Technology is good at solving large-scale challenges. The presentation will outline ways of improving and sharing the pedagogies that achieve high quality student support and attainment on the large scale.

Using the Learning Designer at The University of Macerata

Dr. Lorella  Giannandrea  and Pier Giuseppe both teach at the University of Macerata.

They used some of the early versions of the Learning Designer tools with their students.  Here is their view of the tool and about the work we are doing.

An interview with Lorella and Pier Giuseppe Rossi

1. Why did you decide to use the Learning Designer?

We have been using the model and the Learning Designer software for two years in a university course called “didattica della formazione”, in the second year of the master class in the Faculty of Education in  Macerata University.

The course is  focused  in Learning design, and students studied different instructional design models. During the course, Professor Diana Laurillard’s model has been presented, along with other  Instructional design models.

In the  final part of the course the model and the software are used to develop a specific project made by students working in pairs.

We decided to use this model for two reasons:

1) it allows to operationalize the design process;

2) it is is consistent with our approach on the teaching professionalism, as it does not require a deterministic design mode.

It allows, also, to differentiate the level of aims, purposes, from the objectives and strategies. The students found the list of strategies very useful and the structure, which provide more operating modes than taxonomy-based theoretical models.

2. Did it help with your teaching and if so in what way? What kind of impact did it have?

The main use of the tool was for formative purposes. The benefit was to provide students with a scaffolding procedure  that helped them in their reflection on the design model, without imposing a prescriptive model to be used in a mechanical way.

Previously the students were used to adopt a prescriptive model with a list of objectives and strategies. The request to articulate the learning path in modules and activities has allowed them to rethink the design according to the sustainability of the process  and its practical organization.

3. What was the impression from the students of using such an approach?

The students, as future trainers, have found the model,  quite usable. They could access the model both in a traditional book format (help and guidance that is on offer) and in the software. In addition, they found the list of strategies and pedagogical patterns very useful.

There have been  some difficulties in the use of software, especially in the download of the software and in saving individual works.

4. How could we improve the learning designer to work better for you?

 We suggest two direction of improvement:

1) try to make the loading of pedagogical pattern easier;

2) developing the possibility of interaction between the Learning Designer tools and a Learning Management System

(as  Moodle, for example).

5. Would you/have you recommended using the tool?

 We believe that the tool is very useful to train students in design of pedagogical patterns and we recommend the use, both with student teachers during their training and with teachers in general. The Learning Designer tools allows the students to move away from deterministic models and of predefined schemes widely used in schools, which do not encourage the improvement of skills in planning and reflection.