Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Learning Designs

The concept of learning designs deals with the way a teacher constructs a sequence of student learning experiences, activities, and interactions to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge. The design is the framework.

This idea is particularly useful for the teacher who is beginning to move away from a totally face-to-face learning environment to one that blends face-to-face teaching with online learning, or to a one that is entirely online – but it is a useful planning tool for teachers designing curriculum to be delivered in any mode, including face-to-face. For example, the framework would be equally useful to someone trying to decide which of the many tools available in a Learning Management System are most appropriate for a certain learning task as it would for someone looking for new ways of engaging students in a typical face-to-face tutorial environment.

Authors of the technique use the following terms:
  • tasks: activities that students are required to complete
  • resources: artefacts used by students to complete the tasks
  • supports: mechanisms, including technologies, processes, and roles
Figure 1 (Oliver, 1999), gives an overview of the way a designer using this theory thinks about the three aspects of curriculum design.
Figure 1: The interaction between tasks, resources, and supports in learning design (Oliver, 1999)

To give you a clearer idea of the tool, here is an example of a documented learning design.
Figure 2: Example learning design and learning outcomes

For more information:
The Learning Designs website provides much more information.
You can read about the technique in Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.


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