Learning Design Bootcamp

Last month saw the culmination of the Learning Design Bootcamp I have been involved with and it has been an interesting experience to see how the teams have progressed through the bootcamp.

The bootcamp was the idea of Dr Maria Toro-Troconis from CEG Digital and co-ordinated by a committee involving representatives from a number of UK universities. The aim of the bootcamp was to bring together teams of academics and learning technologists who would work together on the design and development of a blended or fully online module. The bootcamp was run over three months with two face-to-face days at the start and end and support from mentors in between. The call for participation went out in March 2019 and resulted in five teams being selected, although one subsequently withdrew. The bootcamp kicked off in May 2019 with a meeting here at City, University of London where participants were introduced to the CoDesigns framework and had the opportunity to start planning their module design in their teams.

The teams then had three months to use the knowledge they had gained about the CoDesignS framework to design and develop their proposed module. The final day of the bootcamp was held in July 2019 at City. The day kicked off with a fascinating talk from Tim Neumann (UCL Institute of Education) taking us on a tour of the work of the Institution of Education on capturing learning designs and culminated in an introduction to the Learning Designer tool.

Then the bootcamp teams from Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Warwick, University of East London and Southampton Solent University presented their work. I was invited to be on the judging panel alongside Tim Neumann (UCL Institute of Education), Laura Coutts (CEG Digital) and Professor Manuel Frutos-Perez (CEG Digital). We were asked to look at how the teams had engaged with the CoDesigns Framework, how they had worked together and what they had developed in their virtual learning environment.

The day ended by crowning the team from Manchester Metropolitan University as the bootcamp winners. One of the defining moments of their presentation for me was seeing the level of collaboration between the academics and learning technologists, which was emphasised by a co-presentation between the Learning Technologists in the room and video clips of the academics.

Following on from the bootcamp, I am undertaking some research with Maria using the behaviour change wheel to investigate the capabilities, opportunities and motivations of academic and learning technologists taking part in the bootcamp. We will be presenting our findings at the Association for Learning Technology conference (ALT-C) in Edinburgh in September. We are also planning the 2020 bootcamp and the call for proposals will be launched at ALT-C.

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