FAQs around the Learning Designer and the Challenge

Below we provide answers to some questions you might have about the Challenge and the Learning Designer. We are expanding the list as new questions come along during the Challenge. New FAQs will always be added on top of the old ones.


Why do I get a message: “Invalid assertion structure” when I try to upload my Challenge badge into My Mozilla Backpack?

We are investigating this problem. It seems to be caused by a bug on the CourseSites website and we have informed them about it. We will inform everyone as soon as the problem is solved and the badges will be awarded to you, even if a bit later than we were hoping to… apologies.

My design is not complete. It’s a prototype and I can’t provide any more details at the stage. Where do I submit my design?

Getting feedback and ideas from your peers could be very beneficial for your work-in-progress. We suggest that you still submit your design for the Challenge but you add ‘work-in-progress’ into the title of your design. In this way you will let others know that your work is not complete but you would welcome some formative feedback or ideas.

What is the best browser to use?

Google Chrome versions 31 and 32 and Mozilla Firefox versions 26 and 27.

The latest version of Safari is similar to Google Chrome 31 so it might work, but exporting designs can be problematic due to MacOSX adding an extension to the file (.json) when it shouldn’t. If your system does this, delete the .json and make sure there is just .ldj at the end of the filename.

When the designs need to be submitted: rolling submission and review.

1. We encourage you to submit your design by Wednesday, 12 February, 23:00 UTC/GMT. This will give enough time for others to pick up and review your design. We welcome all designs, so if you submit your design later than that, we will still do our best to get your design reviewed.

2. The ideal time by which we encourage you to submit your review is Thursday, 13 February, 17:00 UTC/GMT – this will give the author of the reviewed design enough time to modify it in response to your comments.

3. When you receive a review of your design, you will have until Friday, 14 February, 12am to make changes to your design in response to feedback you have received. Then please submit the final version of your design. Of course, again, these ‘times’  are rather for orientation than strict deadlines.

For technical details on how/where from to choose a learning design for review and where to submit a reviewed learning design watch this short tutorials on ‘Submitting your design for the Challenge‘ and ‘How to review a design for the Challenge’.

How do I choose a learning design for review?

To choose a design for review go to category: ‘designs not reviewed yet’ in the main directory of the ‘Browser’ and select one design. Watch this short tutorial for details on ‘How to review a design for the Challenge

Why share and review learning designs?

The process of sharing and reviewing designs provides an opportunity to co-construct knowledge across designs. The process of providing feedback on the designs provides a learning experience for the reviewer as well as for the designer:

  • Reviewing another’s design gives you a perspective about your own design to relate to
  • An opportunity to share your pedagogical knowledge and experience with others in the context of their design.
  • An opportunity to build and re-use the pedagogical knowledge and experience of others in the context of your design


Why doesn’t the tool let me add file resources?

Currently we only permit links to public resources. There are various considerations about adding actual ‘content’ to a design, including 3rd party materials and copyright. One of our planned developments, however, is to be able to export to moodle and blackboard VLEs.

Why did I lose my design and what should I do? Is there a way to recover it?

The system automatically saves the design on the user’s profile in the browser every 1 minute and on the server about every 5 minutes.

It is a good idea that you immediately save the design before you start working with it, so that the design’s URL is extended with a unique identifier.

It’s also a good idea to Export your design to your local machine either as .ldj, which can later be imported, or to Word, or both.

If you haven’t saved first, the autosave goes to a temporary file that will be lost if the browser crashes at any point. If by mistake you leave the browser, after at least one minute of working with the designer, or you are logged off because of inactivity, then you should go back to the designer page (or if you are already there, just refresh the page) and the system will ask you to load the autosaved design.

This behaviour works in Google Chrome versions 31 and 32 and Mozilla Firefox versions 26 and 27. It might be working with IE, but it is not tested.

In case you believe you have completely lost your design,  send us an email with your username and a couple of keywords to see if I we can find it in the temporary space of the server.

Why didn’t importing my design work?

If the import doesn’t work then you have probably used one of the characters that are not permitted in HTML, such as <, > or  &.

We are working on a bug fix that should solve this problem in the future.

Another reason might be that the design was saved on a Mac using Safari, so the operating system added .json as the file extension, when it should be .ldj. In this case, just delete the wrong extension.

When I look at my design in ‘view’ mode, I don’t see my notes. Are they still there? Will other be able to see them?

Yes, your notes are attached to your design and others will be able to see them after they have turned on ‘editing’ mode

I’m having difficulty submitting my design

Check this video: Submitting your design for the Challenge  – if you still have difficulties with submitting, please email: learningdesignercommunity@gmail.com

Under what licence are the designs in the Learning Designer library?

All learning designs that are submitted into the Learning Designer Library are under Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY). It means that you are allowed to share (copy and redistribute the material in any format) and adapt (modify, transform and build upon) learning designs for any purpose, even commercially. The only thing you have to remember do is to attribute the author of the original design, i.e. you must give appropriate credit to the author and indicate if changes were made.

How do I acknowledge the author or the learning design I have modified? 

If you find a design you like, you can start editing this design to adapt it to your context, your student cohort etc. When you have finished editing this design, change its name before submitting it (otherwise the Learning Designer will retain the original name of the design but will add ‘copy’ to its title). When you have saved the modified design, it will automatically appear in your ‘Personal Space’ with the following  annotation: edited by [your name], derived from [author’s name]

Which browser should I use with the tool?

The tool works best using Chrome or Firefox because of their HTML5 standards compliance.

What level of design can I make with the tool?

The level of design is open to the designer and the tool places no restrictions. We have received learning designs that focus on a specific activity in detail as well as those that create course or program overviews. Each “Teaching and Learning Activity (TLA)” can contain one or many learning types. The time that you allocate to a TLA via the expression of learning types is left to the designer. So for example one TLA for one designer may represent 2 hours of learning, whereas for another it may represent just 15 minutes of learning time.

What is a Learning Type?

We use learning type to represent the ‘planned/expected’ learning experience for the students. The tools supports six learning types: Acquisition, Discussion, Investigation, Collaboration, Practice and Production. Definitions and details can be found: Definitions of learning types

How can I get started on my design?

The best way is to browse some existing designs and take a design you like and try modifying it. There are a number of resources that can help you get started.

There is a brief-introduction-to-learning-design10-02-2014.pdf that may help to provide you some context. We are producing a wiki that will be available soon.

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