OU Supporting Design

This pilot focuses on identifying and monitoring evolving changes in design practice across the Open University, and examines the impact of changing perceptions of design roles and relationships between non-academic and academic teams. Finally, it attempts to discover whether the OULDI tools and approach have any role to play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of new practices.

The Open University Learning Design Initiative (OULDI) project started five years ago, and was aimed at building on and consolidating a tradition of learning design activity at the Open University. The Initiative was originally funded institutionally and then successfully secured four years of JISC funding which is due to finish in July 2012.

At the OU, our approach to the development of a learning design methodology has been characterised by a focus on three aspects of design:

1               The use of representational frameworks as a formal means of describing learning activity (whether that be at task, module or whole programme level).

2               Mechanisms to encourage the sharing and discussing of learning and teaching ideas.

3               The development of a body of empirical research and conceptual tools to help guide the design decision-making process.

This pilot is one of nine (four based in the OU and five in other HE institutions) which have provided us with valuable feedback about the tools, resources and approach, across a variety of contexts.

Open University (2012) Final pilot report Supporting design, pp34