M25 Learning Design

By: Olivia Fox & Lisa Baker

The focus of the M25 was on learning design. This post looks at the presentations around learning design, tools to support the process and staff development.

Maria Toro-Troconis (Imperial College London) introduced a Blended Learning Design tool BLEnDT©. This tool provides a framework for moving learning designs from face-to-face to blended or online approaches. The tool provides an opportunity for programme teams in consultation with Educational Technologists to identify the learning outcomes best delivered online and those more suited to a face-to-face environment. City University London is collaborating with Imperial College London in the use of BLEnDT©. If you are thinking about redesigning your programme for online or blended delivery then do get in touch with staff with LEaD.

Eileen Kennedy (IOE) presented on the Learning Designer a learning design tool based on Diana Laurillard’s conversational framework. The tool facilitates the creation and sharing of learning designs. A common issue when designing for an online environment is that too much content and activities are developed for students to engage in. The Learning Designer requires you to add in learning time required. It was really interesting to hear more about the IOE online International Design Challenge which brought together a community of learning designers in creating one hundred shareable learning designs. The wordpress site has lots of great resources on using the Learning Designer.

Pete Roberts from Goldsmiths and Ben Audsley from the RVC have tapped into the excitement around MOOCs to revamp their staff development around effective use of the VLE.

Pete introduced us to their TOOC (Tiny Open Online Course) for staff on using the VLE effectively. The content of the TOOC was presented in discrete sections comprising an introduction, sample activities, how to guides, reflection activities and a wrap up post. Topics covered included:

  • forums and communications,
  • Moodle choice activity,
  • going mobile,
  • marking online assignments,
  • pages and folders,
  • statistics and reports, and
  • web conferencing.

 Ben, the VLE Manager at RVC developed a SPOC (Small Private Online Course) to provide a new flexible approach to staff training. The course ran on the institutional VLE and provided an introduction to the VLE and development on adding activities and resources and using communication tools. A summary was provided at the end of each session which participants found useful if they had fallen behind.

This got us thinking about how we support staff at City University London in using Moodle effectively. Our approach has been face-to-face with supplementary materials provided online. It would be interesting to explore if there is an appetite for an online approach to our staff development opportunities.

There were several other interesting presentations during the afternoon which considered different approaches to learning design:

Tim Neumann (IoE) encouraged designing learning with the student in mind, thinking outside the VLE and moving away from the sequenced, standardised approach encouraged by VLE.

Mark Anderson (University of Greenwich) looked at sharing approaches for distance learning.

Leonard Houx (Floream) considered how good learning design and good teaching go together. He indicated that a simplistic approach to learning design is better, providing less choice for a user to make.

Finally, Bing Choong (UAL) demonstrated Asana (https://asana.com/)  a team-working tool which allows colleagues to collaborate on projects by adding tasks and answering questions without the use of email.

This M25 meeting provided us with some new solutions to explore around learning design and staff development opportunities.

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