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”

Mix, stir then blend gently: co-creating a remote community of practice

If you read our last blog post, you’ll know that like most people, we’ve made some changes to the way we work here in the learning design team thanks to COVID19. One of these has been a change to our community of practice. Before lockdown, this was informal – members of the learning design team would learn by observing one another, discussing challenges and sharing useful tips and resources. Much of this took place in the office kitchen. Continue reading “Mix, stir then blend gently: co-creating a remote community of practice”

A virtual biscuit tin: creating a community of practice for learning designers in lockdown

It wasn’t just students who faced a sudden change in how they were learning in March when the UK locked down. Learners in the workplace were affected too – including our learning design team here at the Open University. We were dispersed to our homes by lockdown and overnight, lost our ability to learn from one another.

Learning is central to our jobs. We need to know about new research so we can give the best advice to module teams. From a practical point of view, much of our work relies on practice sharing – discussing what works, finding new ways to make an impact, and checking in on how others handle tricky situations. Plus, our four colleagues who joined just before or during lockdown needed to learn the day-to-day essentials of their jobs.

Lockdown posed us a problem: how could we share our practice at a distance? The answer emerged over a socially distanced cuppa. Continue reading “A virtual biscuit tin: creating a community of practice for learning designers in lockdown”

Student journeys: embedding skills into the curriculum

The Open University approach to designing for learning puts a strong focus on knowing who the learners are, catering for their needs and supporting them to succeed. One of the strengths of the OU is that its students are very diverse – the OU’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas – but it does also mean that our curriculum teams can’t assume a common baseline when they start creating new learning materials. OU courses therefore build in opportunities into the learning journey for students to develop their skills alongside their subject knowledge. Continue reading “Student journeys: embedding skills into the curriculum”