Top tools for learning: a learning design team’s perspective

We spend a lot of time talking about tools for learning, so it’s not surprising that several members of the learning design team follow Jane Hart’s annual survey of top learning tools [link opens in new tab].

However, many of the tools we talk about are part of the OU’s VLE. It’s been a while since we reflected on the learning tools we use for our own learning, whether that’s in our jobs or as part of study. In the last year, while we’ve been working from home, we’ve all needed to find new ways of working and learning online.

Jane’s survey prompted us to spend some time doing that as a team. Thanks Jane – it’s always good to have the chance to reflect. Here’s our list and our observations – plus some thoughts on how we can use the interactive qualities of these tools to enhance students’ learning.

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Feedback loops: reflecting on five years of feedback from the curriculum design student panel 

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by a product that doesn’t seem to work for you, you’ll understand the importance of building opportunities for feedback into a design process. It’s certainly an essential part of our learning design process: alongside various organisation-wide evaluation initiatives whose insights we access as part of our work, the learning design team runs the curriculum design student panel, which provides opportunities for students to comment on a range of aspects of learning design. These comments feed directly back to our module teams. Panel members have provided invaluable insights into their study preferences, motivations, environments and habits since the panel was set up in 2016.

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Learning design without borders: a recap of this year’s learning design bootcamp 

Not many of us have the energy for a bootcamp after all the challenges of COVID19 – unless it’s a learning design-related one, it seems. The Open University Learning Design team is hosting this year’s learning design bootcamp and we’ve been delighted to find that 47 participants representing 11 teams from four countries are taking part.

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Building aspirations: embedding employability into learning design

Many students choose to study with the OU to build new job-related skills or take a step up in their career. But plenty more benefit from the employability focus of our modules even if they’re not studying for career reasons. That’s because we see employability as more than just about building skills – we see it a set of capabilities and achievements that support students in developing their careers, raising their aspirations and enhancing their contribution to society. Continue reading “Building aspirations: embedding employability into learning design”