Designing Technology Enhanced Learning: A Learning Design Studio Approach

We want to share with you the information about this upcoming online course: Designing Technology Enhanced Learning: A Learning Design Studio Approach. If you enjoyed the HANDSON MOOC, you will for sure enjoy this module as well!

This online module aims to:

  • Sensitise participants to key issues in the domain of technology enhanced learning from differing but linked perspectives.
  • Engage participants with a set of design tools and practices to support a design-based approach to develop and test technology enhanced learning / techno-pedagogical solutions to real world teaching challenges.

By the end of the module participants will be able to:

  • Examine the critical challenges in the domain of TEL from social, technical, disciplinary and pedagogical perspectives;
  • Analyse and assess the critical forces within a particular learning scenario;
  • Critically evaluate the suitability of a range technologies for deployment in learning and teaching settings;
  • Apply a design-based approach to solve novel problems within their discipline and beyond.

Start Date – 5th October 2015

Duration: 15 weeks/150 hours (12 teaching weeks)

More on their website:

Posted in Collaboration

We’ve reached the end! We keep on working

Today we have submitted the final report of the HANDSON project. We are thrilled with the project outcomes and have enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate, learn and grow together.

Here’s a brief overview of what we have done. Enjoy!


Posted in Collaboration, dissemination, Exploitation, Sustainability

The HANDSON Ambassadors!

We are proud to announce that the HANDSON project counts on an amazing and experienced panel of ambassadors!

These researchers and practitioners have been involved in the execution of the project and their contributions have been extremely enriching.

Thank you!

HANDSON ambassadors

From top to bottom and left to right: Tony Mays (SAIDE), Maria Melessanaki ­(Greece), Uroš Godnov (Slovenia), Diana Laurillard (LKL, UK), Xanthie Chouliara (Greece),  Jean-François Colas (France/Spain), Patricia Charlton (Creative Digital Solutions, UK), Lyubka Aleksieva ­(University of Sofia, Bulgaria), Yishay Mor (P.A.U Education, Spain/UK), Ania Rolinska ­(University of Glasgow, UK), Nataliya Bukhanova ­(University of Alberta, Canada), Krassen Stefanov ­(University of Sofia, Bulgaria) and Davinia Hernández­-Leo ­(Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain).

For their details: HANDSON Ambassadors


Posted in Collaboration, dissemination, Sustainability

Reading the palm of the HANDSON project

The HANDSON team is currently working on the final report for the EC. This task is a nice opportunity to look back and forward at the same time and see all the work we have done together during 28 months. It is uplifting to get a global view of the project and the great learning experience it has been. We’re very pleased!

This is why – similar to the report authored by Diana Laurillard: The Anatomy of a MOOC for Teacher CPD – we want to summarise and make this experience available with the “Palm Reading of the HANDSON MOOC”.

Click here to download the report: Palm reading HANDSON.

Posted in dissemination, Environment, Evaluation, Exploitation, ICT, Outcomes, Sustainability, Target users / mentoring



Katerina Riviou (EA), Jean-François Colas (HANDSON MOOC Facilitator and Ambassador), Israel Conejero (UOC) and Muriel Garreta (UOC) are attending the EDEN annual conference this week in Barcelona.

HANDSON is also present with two presentations:

– “Hands-On ICT – Learn, Practice, Teach Creativity and ICT” – During which Katerina Riviou (EA) explains the project approach and main milestones.

– “A Peer-Mentoring Approach for the Continuous Professional Development of Educators in a MOOC Setting” – During which Muriel Garreta (UOC) presents some results of pilot 2 related to the peer-feedback element of the HANDSON MOOC.

See you there!

Posted in dissemination

A report for educators: How to choose a MOOC for learning about ICT in education

The HANDSON project is about facilitating the inclusion of ICT in education. Since the beginning of the project – January 2013 – there has been a growing trend on designing and offering MOOCs for the continuous professional development of educators.

Also, as part of the project, we have designed a project-based MOOC for educators during which participants learn to design ICT-based learning activities. The course contents will be available for download within the following weeks and anyone interested will be able to run the MOOC.

Meanwhile, we have compiled in a report some of the work we have done for the design of the HANDSON MOOC: a benchmarking analysis on existing MOOCs for educators.

Download (PDF, 535KB)

We also want to share with you the results from one question of the survey that followed pilot 3. The graph below shows the themes/subjects that educators found the most interesting to learn via a MOOC.

Graph themes for a new MOOC

If you’re designing a MOOC or thinking on offering one for educators, this is some useful information!


Posted in dissemination, Sustainability

Some tips for running a HANDSON Toolkit workshop

If you are a teacher trainer, a learning and teaching expert or a learning technologist – or, more generally, someone close to the usage of technology in education – and you want to help educators or others like you to facilitate the inclusion of ICT tools in education, the HANDSON toolkit is for you!

The HANDSON toolkit is an immersive activity aimed at walking the participants through the design process of an ICT-based learning activity. This rapid and iterative activity follows the approach of the Learning Design Studio and it is aimed at empowering educators as designers.

Like design thinking, the toolkit makes participants work on elements such as empathy, rapid prototyping, evaluation and reflection.

Some tips to prepare the session

  • Check the place and time of the training. Try to find out about the profile of the participants: average age, types of courses, ICT expertise, motivations, etc.). You can you the pre-survey we designed to send it out online before the workshop.
  • Prepare the list(s) of ICT tools that you will hand with the toolkit. We suggest you to group these tools using the competencies and actions given for step 7. This will make it easier for participants with less knowledge of technology in education. There are already many available lists and classifications on the Internet.
  • Print the toolkits – one per participant. If you want to use the pre-survey and post-survey in the paper format and want to record and publish some multimedia of the session, ask participants to sign and accept these materials to be published. You will need to print these 3 documents as well.
  • Bring pens, post-its and name tags.
  • Be there 30 minutes before the start of the session to prepare the room and place tables and chair so that participants can work in pairs.
  • Select the playlist you will use according to your participants preferences (if you have asked for them previously) or their age. To create the list, you can you use services such as Goear, Grooveshark and YouTube.
  • Check the internet connection so that you can play the music and show any tools. There are many resources you can use on the HANDSON website.
  • Be sure to have a good way to control the time and inform the participants when time is over. The toolkit is a very rapid and agile activity and time needs to be kept
  • carefully.
  • Decide whether you will use social media tools to disseminate the workshop while it is taking place.
  • Create or adapt a presentation to help you and the participants follow the different steps. This is not a requirement, use it just if it makes you feel more comfortable. Remember that you can also use the toolkit for facilitators as your guide.
  • Think of ways to get the participants feedback during the session. Do you want to ask them to share the ICT tools they are already using? Or maybe to say aloud the names and taglines of the persona they have created?
  • How will you do the group change? Think of a fun and relaxing activity so that it is like a mini break during the session.

During the workshop

  • Have fun and engage participants! This is a different type of session and it is very important to let participants know and make them feel comfortable and ready to take part in it.
  • Introduce the workshop, the facilitators (we recommend at least 2) and the methodology using during the activity. Remind them that the goal of the HANDSON toolkit is that participants design an ICT-based learning activity.
  • Introduce briefly each step, announce the amount of available time for it, play music and keep the time (you can use online services such as Stopwatch).
  • Walk through the tables and listen carefully what the participants are doing in case they need any help or feedback. Share for the whole group any clarification that might be of interest to them.
  • Use social media if you want to share the activity with a broader audience. We invite you to use @Handson_ICT on Twitter and #HANDSON.
  • Take pictures and videos if you need them.
  • Take notes of any improvement you would like to incorporate to the toolkit or in a further session.
  • Ask participants to share with one word what they thought about the workshop. It is better if you have post-its notes to do so as it allows for a more honest feedback.

After the workshop

  • Debrief with the other facilitators. How did it go? What was the reaction of participants? Were they engaged? Write down any tips, ideas or improvements for further training sessions.
  • Analyse the surveys, if you used them.
  • Check the impact of the social media actions.
  • Share a short summary of the workshop and the HANDSON toolkit materials with participants and any other colleagues that might be interested in them.
  • Send us an email and let us know how it went and any improvement you would like to see in the toolkit!

Try the HANDSON toolkit! It is an enriching experience both for participants and facilitators!



Posted in dissemination, Sustainability


On 27 April the HANDSON Toolkit was presented in Scotland, at the University of Glasgow. Sharp at 2 pm teachers and trainers from English for Academic Study Unit, School of Modern Languages and Cultures as well as Glasgow International College plus a few more colleagues from the University Learning and Teaching Unit gathered for the two-hour introduction to the learning design framework and how it can be used to help integrate technology into teaching and training practices.

How did it go?

The workshop was led by me, Ania Rolinska – a facilitator of the HO MOOC 3 and the workshop organiser – as well as Muriel Garreta (HO Project coordinator), and the support of Israel Conejero (HO Project Manager). After brief introductions and explaining the purpose of the gathering, we plunged into the fast-paced series of activities. Despite the cold weather outside, it soon became very hot in the room due to the frenetic collaboration and discussions so we had to open the door to let some air in to cool us down. The participants seemed very engaged with the activities and found it easy to exchange information with each other.

They soon created their personas and some of the taglines visualising the prototypical learner resonated with my own experience of teaching overseas students wanting to study at a British university, for example their interest in scores and grades, getting the degree, finding a job and a general focus on the end result rather than engagement with the learning processes. Working with such students comes with its own unique challenges and was well articulated in the constraints the participants have to work within on a daily basis, lack of time, immense pressure, intensive nature of courses, increased paperwork in form of reports, high marking load, to name the few.

It is really difficult to cater to students’ individual learning needs in such a context. But this makes the learning design framework with its focus on the learner and environmental factors a potentially useful model to follow when trying to embrace technology. As mentioned before, the participants did not experience many problems framing and reframing their educational challenge, identifying learners’ needs and objectives of their activities. Equally, sharing ideas with peers was easy, probably because language teachers are well versed in using communicative and collaborative teaching/training approaches.

Nevertheless, when it came to pulling all the information together during the final activity of demonstrating the prototypes to peers with the view to receiving feedback, it turned out the output of the previous discussions was often too general and the educational challenge was not sufficiently specific. Therefore selecting appropriate technological tools proved problematic and on occasion even impossible. It was clear that the participants who’d previously used technology in their practices found the process less daunting while the teachers who for various reasons were less familiar with technology encountered more problems.

 The feedback was positive as shown in the post-it notes left by the participants:


Once the workshop finished, I was left with an impression that perhaps some of the energy and enthusiasm during the workshop had not been fully harnessed. While reflecting on the workshop, I thought of it from the learning design perspective. Reconceptualising it as a prototype being put to test helped me decide what could be done differently next time.

What could be done differently

  • It is important to know your participants so perhaps it would be useful to send out the pre-workshop survey prior to the workshop. We could learn more about who they are and what particular needs they have when it comes to learning about ICT integration. This would also help us create a more effective list of tools that the participants are likely to apply in their contexts. Getting in touch with the participants in advance could also be the right time to ask them to think of the challenge and prompt them to consider the application of technology, even if only in very loose terms.

  • It is important to know about the participants’ motivations and how they align with the workshop aims. I think that the name of the toolkit – Hands on ICT – may inadvertently lead prospective participants to believe that familiarization with tools is the aim of the workshop. While it is one of the subsidiary aims, the main purpose is to see the learning design framework in action. Technology tools come into this at a later stage as a response to the problems and challenges rather than agents driving the change.

  • Having said that, with participants with various levels of expertise in technology integration, there must be time to consider a set of potential tools and perhaps let them exchange the experiences. This could be time to informally learn from each other of different applications and tools. Only after this exchange, would the participants be able to make more informed decisions as to the selection of tools. This would lead to a better designed prototype and more constructive peer feedback. While preparing the list of tools, it may be useful to link their common uses with the particular types of objectives to give a better overview of what is useful for what activities. There are various models available online mapping out Web 2.0 tools within Bloom’s taxonomy for example. The models refer to education in general so not all of them are applicable to academic contexts, specifically academic study skills, which makes me want to design a collection of tools that caters for needs of international students studying at a British university.

  • Lastly, I thought of ways to ensure the participants were on track. I think models are not enough and there needs to be time for showcasing the subsequent versions of prototypes to the whole group. This would make the workshop slightly longer (unless timings of individual activities are slightly shortened) but would provide the participants and facilitators with reassurance that things were progressing according to the plan. The question also arises how technology could be integrated into the workshop to help the participants to see some tools in action. After all, adult learners often learn by experience. Could the personas for example be shared via a Padlet space? Could a Google Doc be used to draw up a list of tools used by the participants? Could online polls be used for checking out the participants motivations and expectations prior to the workshop?

Follow-up – Resources for the Participants

Since the discussion of the tools was minimal during the workshop, here are some extra resources to help the participants from Glasgow (and maybe elsewhere).

  • Since both institutions, University of Glasgow and Glasgow International College use Moodle, this colour-coded guide to Moodle activities is particularly useful.

  • It can also be accessed as an interactive tutorial which helps to make an informed decision which Moodle tool lends itself best to what you want your learners to do.

  • As to the Web 2.0 tools we shared a worksheet with a number of them bundled into categories like ‘searching’, ‘storing’ or ‘creating’. To help the participants to evaluate the usefulness of the tools and applicability to their own context, I turned the worksheet into an interactive one which provides more info about each tool.

Hope this provides a useful and welcome follow-up on the workshop. The participants are welcome to contact me for further information and we are also waiting for their activities – more information here.

Ania Rolińska


Posted in dissemination, Sustainability

Claim your H.O.T Mentor badge!

The Hands-On Toolkit badge (H.O.T badge) is awarded to facilitators that have run the HANDSON toolkit workshop with educators, teacher trainers, learning and teaching experts, or – in general – with anyone related to the use of ICT in education.


What is the HANDSON toolkit?

  • It is a different type of training activity.
  • It is immersive, agile and hands-on.
  • It is about empathy, rapid prototyping, evaluation and reflection.
  • It is refreshing and its aim is to empower educators as designers.

Why would you run a HANDSON toolkit workshop?

  • Do you believe that technology is a resource that needs to be integrated based on the teaching and learning goals?
  • Do you believe that educators need design skills to better create learning activities?
  • Do you believe that iteration is a good way to improve often the learning activities or any design task you do?
  • Do you believe that technology can have a bigger role in education?

The HANDSON toolkit is for you. Run a H.O.T workshop and claim your badge!

Here is some feedback from HANDSON toolkit facilitators:

  • Ana Rodera – UOC, The Project: “A fresh and agile methodology, to connect with people offering personalization”
  • Israel Conejero – UOC, HANDSON Project Manager: “A two hours of real adventure for educators interested in designing ICT-based learning activities. Keywords: engaging, useful, fruitful, customization”
  • Mireia Leg – UOC: “a method that provides the necessary tools to reflect, build and design, from sharing experiences”.
  • Gema Santos – UOC: “The HANDSON toolkit creates an useful and practical learning design framework, which lets educators to think about their teaching and how improve skills-based learning of their students”
  • Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou – EA : “An educatιonal tool that enhances collaboration and shared knowledge”
  • Xanthie Chouliara – A revolutionary reflecting new tool of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing content online or/and offline for participants and trainers
  • Ania Rolinska – University of Glasgow  ‘a really hands-on approach introducing educators to the learning design framework and encouraging them to apply it to their own context and challenges right from the first minute of the workshop’

You’re the next one in the list?

Send us an email with evidences of your workshop to

Posted in dissemination, Sustainability

A presentation example for the HANDSON Toolkit workshop

If you want to run a HANDSON toolkit workshop and you feel more comfortable projecting a presentation with the different steps of the session, here is an example of presentation we used at the University of Glasgow workshop.

Use it as it is or as an inspiration model to create your own.

Download (PDF, 940KB)

Very important!

  • Explain, repeat and insist that the goal of the toolkit is to design an ICT-based learning activity. This is what they will be working on during the workshop.
  • Select the list(s) of tools you will provide. In this presentation we used a Moodle one and a general 2.0 tools one. If you’re running the workshop within an institution/company, ask which environments/LMS/tools they use and select the list(s) accordingly.
  • Create your own story to provide examples during the workshop and think of some engagement tricks to engage participants.

Have fun and learn!

The HANDSON team

Posted in dissemination, Sustainability