Learning Designer Tool

Post by Dr. Patricia Charlton


Image Credit: Bryan Mathers   CC BY ND

The learning designer tool is used internationally to create, share and modify learning designs. The emphasis on vocabulary and query centred around the teaching and learning perspective is pivotal to enable large scale take up of education resources that will make a sustained impact on resilience and retention in online learning experiences.

The tool addresses partly the two enduring problems of education characterised as [Morris11]:  Unacceptably large variation in learning opportunities for students across classrooms – the lack of consistency in the details of classroom instruction, and therefore little continuing improvement in the quality of instruction – because there is no consistent basis for building the evidence of what works and what does not.

MOOCs  The Conversational Framework represents combined theories of learning to propose that any teaching and learning activities, whether conducted face to face, through tutored online courses, or as a MOOC, will promote learning most effectively when they combine these three cycles of teaching-learning activities to promote the six learning types: acquisition (or Read/Watch/Listen), inquiry, practice, production, discussion, and collaboration [Charlton12], [Ljubojevie11].  These are supported by the learning designer tool http://learningdesigner.org/

The framework can be used as a quantitative basis for modelling the quality of the learning experience in a planned course in terms of the proportion of the types of learning it affords, and thereby demonstrate the likely learning benefits that accrue from the teaching and learning activities proposed, to compare with the costs of putting them in place.

The CRAM tool http://web.lkldev.ioe.ac.uk/cram/index.html provides a ‘learning environment’ for teachers, to elicit their actions and provide feedback for use either alone or with colleagues. When used in the context of planning a teaching intervention, such as a course or module, we found that the tool enables the ‘evolution of a design principle’, through the user’s reflection on what its output means for their specific context, and what change in practice this implies. The tool has been used to help design and deliver scaling up in particular MOOCs [Laurillard14a] at UCL/LKL and UNESCO [Laurillard14], and led courses such as Primary school ICT for teachers. These experiences and the CRAM tool can be used to help design and support the broad reach from a teaching and learning experience and foster sustainability.

[Charlton12] Charlton P., Magoulas G., Laurillard, D. Enabling Creative Learning Design through Semantic Web Technologies, Journal of Technology, Pedagogy and Education, July 2012.

[Laurillard11] Laurillard, D., Charlton, P., Craft, B. Dimakopoulos, D., Ljubojevic, D., Magoulas, G., Masterman, E., Pujadas, R., Whitley, E.A., & Whittlestone, K.  A constructionist learning environment for teachers to model learning designs.  JCAL 2011.

[Laurillard02] Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.

[Laurillard12] Laurillard, D. Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

[Laurillard14] Laurillard, D. Anatomy of a MOOC for Teacher CPD (Vol. http://bit.ly/1xJ77jg). London: UCL Institute of Education, 2014.

[Laurillard14a]Laurillard, D. (2014a). Five myths about Moocs | Opinion | Times Higher Education. Times Higher Education. London. Retrieved from  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/opinion/five-myths-about-moocs/2010480.article.

[Ljubojevic11] Ljubojevic, D., & Laurillard, D. (2011). Theoretical Approach to Distillation of Pedagogical Patterns from Practice to Enable Transfer and Reuse of Good Teaching. Teaching English with Technology – Special Issue on LAMS and Learning Design, 11(1), 48–61.

[Morris11] Morris, A., & Hiebert, J. (2011). Creating Shared Instructional Products : An Alternative Approach to Improving Teaching. Educational Researcher, 40(1), 5-14, 2011.

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