Skip to main content

#learning #design musings

When designing learning experiences (whether they be a traditional face to face experience, situated, distance/online,  MOOCs, SOOCs or a combination of these) there are a number of factors to consider in the design process.

Some factors include:
  • Context (economic, geographic, logistical, virtual, blended, etc)
  • Student characteristics
  • Epistemological perspectives, beliefs/perspectives on how knowledge is acquired
  • Purpose (why create the experience) can help determine your...
  • Outcomes
  • Content (to support the learning experience)
  • Theoretical perspective you will take (links with the third point)
  • How your teaching philosophy influences and is influenced by aspects of the above.
While teaching into an Assessment and Evaluation unit (Grad Cert) last year I asked students to nominate where they start when designing a unit, and recorded the following responses:


The poll was run early on in the unit to see where people sat before going through our learning experience. Unfortunately I did not run the poll again to see how if their positions changed. However it was encouraging to see most people started with learning outcomes when designing their unit. It's useful to note I think that  a persons chosen theoretical perspective is in part a response to their epistemological perspectives.  Those who begin with content may be considering what they want students to know, does this negate an active learning approach to achieving these goals? I don't think so. Similarly do those who begin with outcomes necessarily lean toward an active learning/constructivist/inquiry based/etc learning experience? No, that isn't a given, although it does help as a way of defining the "scope" of the content and determining the kinds of activities and assessment needed. What this poll doesn't show is that, regardless of where one starts, supporting the student on the journey can take many directions. What directions and approaches were these people intending to use and did the starting point have an effect on those decisions? What would be the impact on assessment design, does starting with content infer a tendency to assess knowledge of more than knowledge how? I don't know but I should have asked!

When following the Constructive Alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2007) approach we begin with Intended Learning Outcomes. The main thing is that the core elements of Constructive Alignment are on the table, and aligned. Outcomes (Intended), Content, Activities, Assessment, all aligned to support each other and based on a constructivist pedagogy that takes the view that people construct knowledge in such a way that everyone has their own understanding. Every played a game of Telephone (some know of as "Chinese Whispers")? How often is the original concept/knowledge a carbon copy at the other end? 

At the end of the day it is how we believe knowledge and concepts are developed (learned) and these beliefs will determine our teaching strategy, determining or – perhaps regardless, of where we start the process of design.


Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university what the student does. (3rd ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What does 2021 hold for student #learningexperience at my university

"Handwriting Text E-Learning Loading. Concept meaning Forecasting the future event"   by  focusonmore.com  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0 This year we have a unique opportunity to capitalise on what was 2020 and all the impacts it had on learning and teaching.  Staff ICT literacy levels and confidence increased because they had to use digital tools for teaching, there was no choice. This situation was complicated, academics of all levels of ICT literacy had to adapt. Some staff had zero experience with digital tools and were using online tools for the first time, while others are always pushing boundaries and looking for alternative tools available from central support areas. As with staff, some students have very low ICT literacy, while others blaze ahead of the curve, using the tools like pros and needing much instruction. They just work it out. Shifting this cohort of students and staff to fully online was a massive undertaking and a huge shock for everyone.  Going into 2020

University of Canberra Library adds #VR Headsets to the catalogue - on the road to immersive learning resources in #Education

In September 2018 the UC Library added VR headsets to the catalogue, available in the short loan section. Students can loan the headsets for up to 3 hours. Support for using the headsets will be limited to basic guidance, and beyond this it will be up to students to have their apps and content ready, just needing the headset to get going. Supporting this technology is difficult given the number of different phones, OS versions and apps out there giving rise to any app recommendations working on one phone and not another. For this reason support will be limited, however as our in-house knowledge grows more advice will be able to be given. A small number of headsets to start with represents a low risk investment that also allows staff to up skill in VR technology. Demo sessions and training given to Library staff has been fun and a valuable sharing activity as everyone is at different stages of familiarity. Now that a number of staff in the library have been up skilled we can begin t

Make your #onlinelearning experience more personal with a #lightboard

In August 2019 the DVCA at UC wanted to invest in some light boards as he had seen the educational benefits at the previous university he worked for. I was tasked with putting in a comprehensive bid to an annual equipment fund and, if successful, follow the process through to implementation working with AV Services, and Library Services. As of March 2020 the Library houses UC's first ever Lighboard, and academic staff are putting it to good use. The Lightboard is a glass panel filled with light which stands between the teacher and the audience/camera. The teacher faces the camera (viewers) and writes on the glass using liquid chalk (for best results), the results glow on the glass, and a camera is used to record the session. The camera we use flips the image horizontally so the writing appears in the correct orientation without having to flip it in a post production process. The videos capture the face and hand movements/gestures of the teacher, as well as the hand written conten