Elements of Effective e-Learning Design | Brown | The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning

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Elements of Effective e-Learning Design


Diane Goodman‘s insight:

This article by Andrew R. Brown from Queensland University of Technology and Bradley D. Voltz from St Joseph’s Nudgee College Brisbane proposes that six dimensions should be addressed in the design and delivery of any online course: creating rich learning activities:

– situating activities within an interesting story line

– providing meaningful opportunities for student reflection and third party criticism

– considering appropriate technologies for delivery

– ensuring that the design is suitable for the context in which it will be used

– taking into account the personal, social, and environmental impact of the designed activities.

See on www.irrodl.org

Hybrid Learning Model, University of Ulster

Rob Ridge-Stearn, Head of e-Learning at Newman University College in Birmingham,  brought this model and yet another set of useful facilitation of cards to my attention via his blog post, Old MOOCS W3 Conceptualising with Cards, in response to the Week 3 activities in the OLDS MOOC, which draw participants into the next stage of designing their dream course.

As we move from the more theoretical process of conceptualisation into the more practical realm of ideation, we are asked to contemplate/preview/share/explore and experiment with a range of tools in the week 3 cloudworks learning design toolbox, several which I have been using to redevlop modules in ULT – the OULDI Course Features Cards and the Course Map.

Rob suggests using the CETL Utilising Institutional E-Learning Services To Enhance The Learning Experience, University of Ulster’s ‘Hybrid Learning Model Event Cards, once the Course Map is completed, to articulate and define the specific learning activities.

The model proposes eight interactional learning events: receives, debates, experiments, creates, explores, practices, imitates and meta-learns. These events are explored in terms of the teacher and learner, using associated verbs. The model is supported by flash cards that depict the eight learning events (8LEM). For further information about the HLM, click here.

It is then suggested that the events are mapped to a mapping grid – the CETL Utilising Institutional E-Learning Services To Enhance The Learning Experience, University of Ulster’s Hybrid Learning Model – Mapping Grid.

See an online slideshow about the process of using the Flashcards here

I must say, I am really enjoying using all of these cards! They help me visualise the learning design and structure the process in a manner that is freeform, flexible and dynamic. I am thus able to perceive elements of the course framework as a work-in-progress –  the cards can be rearranged during subsequent stages of collaboration and reflection,  up until the point we wish to create version 1. And it remains endlessly malleable.

I intend to add these cards to my toolkit and try them with the design and development of the Learners and Learning model.

OLDS MOOC: research links for week 2

The Ecology of Resources (EoR) Design Framework

Luckin, R. (2010), Re-designing learning contexts: technology-rich, learner-centred ecologies, Routledge http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415554428/

The EoR Design Framework Wiki at http://eorframework.pbworks.com

Luckin, R. (2008), ‘The learner centric ecology of resources: A framework for using technology to scaffold learning’, Computers & Education 50 (2) , 449-462 http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/2167/1/Luckin2008The449.pdf

Luckin, R. (2006), ‘Understanding learning contexts as ecologies of resources: from the zone of proximal development to learner generated contexts’, http://www.editlib.org/INDEX.CFM?fuseaction=Reader.ViewFullText&paper_id=24037


Force Maps

Force maps are graphical representations of the positive (+ = supportive factors) and negative (- = tensions) relationships between the key elements in a design challenge. The map helps to identify and hopefully resolve some of the tensions.

Yishay Mor, yishay.mor (at) open.ac.uk provides several good examples on the Learning Design Grid Force Map page (a collaborative Google site)

Example 1

force map 4

Example 2

force map 2

OLDS MOOC week 2 ‘Inquire’: plans for learner context and scenario-based learning design

During week 2, we are going to investigate learning design, and the context of our own learning design, or design challenge (our dream project description from week 1).

This contextualisation activity feeds forward from the final activity in week 1 – where we collaboratively created a huge mindmap (brainstorm) of all of the things learning design might encompass

My Plans for Week 2

I am choosing to work individually, not by choice, but by the demands of my busy works schedule. I have invited others to join me in my project (however I did post my dream project and forum request 2 weeks late!), and have located some related projects, however, after reading many discussion posts, it occurred to me how time-consuming working and collaborating from scratch would be.

My goals are quite clear in undertaking this MOOC – to develop a model/framework for the (rapid) redevelopment of modules for our university learning and teaching course (I have deadlines looming!), encompassing curriculum, and a range of pedagogy, learning theories, learning designs, in a new online learning environment. I intend to develop the framework and apply it to the design of one module in this MOOC.

So the plan is to go solo with the development of my project (unless I get some offers real soon!), plough through the activities, participate in the discussion forums and collaborate with my  university team once I have a draft framework  for discussion. This is not the way I would prefer to work, but am now being ruthless, given the increasing time I am devoting to this MOOC (I am about to start a second – a Coursera: The Fundamentals in Online Education, and the contrast and comparison will be fascinating).

So, here goes… starting week 2

Theory underpinning the activities:

The following summary comes from The Learning Design Grid (a collaborative Google site -see project partner list at end of post)

The Ecology of Resources (EoR) Design Framework

The EoR Design Framework aims to optimise opportunities for learners to interact with resources and social resources/activities in meaningful ways to maximise learner performanceand achievement of outcomes. Helps learners make connections between people, objects, locations and events as they learn.

3 phases involved: see these on the eorframework wiki

Learning Design Grid

Contact: Professor Rose Luckin http://www.lkl.ac.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=128

Project partners:

Force maps: see my blog post

OLDS MOOC week 2: learner context & scenario-based learning

Week 2 in the OLDS MOOC requires us to design a scenario-based learning activity. View the Cloudscape activity schedule.

This slideshare presentation by Joshua Underwood provides a useful summary of what is involved:

Alan Clarke provides a useful example in his cloud Alan Clarke Scenario
Apostolod Koutropoulos provides a detailed and informative scenario: [OLDS MOOC] [AK] [Scenario] [mLearning MOOC – who are the learners?]
This is the course example of a scenario plan: Scenario Template Completed Example

MOOCS month!

January will be a busy month as I commence two MOOCS:

OLDS MOOC  Learning Design for a 21st Century Curriculum is a project based course

  • Running from Jan 10th – 13th March, for 9 weeks with a workload of 3-10 hours
  • Described on the website as “a semi-structured, highly interactive, constructive and collaborative learning experience. This means that we set the scene – but you determine the plot”
  • The plan is to redevelop ULT throughout the 9 week project

Coursera Fundamentals of Online Education- Planning & Application MOOC:  a real-world application of theory and practice

  • Commencing Jan 28th, for 6 weeks with a workload of 5-7 hours
  • An emphasis on planning and development of an online course
  • Website explains that I will investigate ” online learning pedagogy, online course design, privacy and copyright issues, online assessments, managing an online class, web tools and Learning Management Systems.”
  • I will apply this learning to the development of the ULT online learning environment

Exciting stuff, just loads of work in front of me!

Stay posted!

Professor Direct: an alternative to MOOCS

Professor Direct is run by a company called Straighterline, a host of self-paced online courses.

Professor Direct allows instructors to establish the value of the course they offer, by establishing the size of the cohort, the services they will provide and the price point for these services. The company charges a base fee and instructors add their price to this. StraighterLine also offers instructors commissions for attracting students.

Read more about it in this post from the Chronicle of Higher Education