What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes
New technologies offer learners unprecedented opportunities to create, organise, share and access knowledge. Such technologies effect potent learning environments, yet these are constantly shifting with escalating complexity. In order for educators to effectively orchestrate learning within this landscape they need to perceive themselves, and indeed to be perceived by society, as techno-pedagogical designers.
The aim of this theme team is to produce a concise, comprehensive and accessible set of resources which will empower educators and learners to participate in design discourse and practices in technology enhanced learning (TEL).
How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)
The Theme Team has been impressively active and productive: we had conducted a highly successful two-day investigative workshop in London in Oct. 2011 ("the art and science of learning design" - ASLD), followed by a second dissemination workshop at Online EDUCA Berlin (OEB). We have also conducted a dissemination workshop at AalborgUniversity and the Designs for Learning conference in Copenhagen, and a workshop at the JTEL summer school. We have collated an extensive collection of resources on learning design, including theoretical frameworks, representations, methodological instruments, and authoring tools. We have conducted a research exercise, exploring and comparing the manifestation of a single activity through a range of learning design tools and representations.
Findings and outputs
The contributions of workshop participants, as well as outputs of the discussions and videos of selected presentations, where made available as open resources on the project site, on cloudworks and on the teleurope.eu network:
A full conference paper reviewing the outputs from these workshops has been accepted to the ALT-C conference, and will be published in the journal Research in Learning Technology.
We have agreed with the Journal of Research in Learning Technology on a supplement based on top papers from the ASLD workshop, and derived materials and we are in advanced stages of presenting a proposal for an edited book in the Sense publishers TEL series. We have set up a site for collaborative editing of the proposed book: http://asld-book.ld-grid.org/
One of the main deliverables we have committed to is a practitioner guide in learning design. We have done significant work towards this objective, by collating a rich set of learning design resources (http://www.ld-grid.org/resources) and in the preparatory materials for the workshops. A first draft of the guide is available at http://www.ld-grid.org/guide.
The specific topic of this theme team regard the consolidation and systematic articulation of existing frameworks for eliciting and representing design knowledge in TEL in a manner which will make them accessible both to researches and to practitioners.
The research questions emerging from this topic are:
- What are the existing representations of design knowledge in TEL, and how do they relate to each other?
- What are the existing methodologies of capturing design knowledge in TEL, and how are they applied to resolving educational challenges?
- What are the existing tools for learning design, and how do they support the methodologies and representations above?
- What are the underlying theoretical frameworks, and how are they reflected in the tools, representations and methodologies above?
Given the interlinked nature of these questions, we have addressed them simultaneously through a range of activities:
- The call for papers for the ASLD workshop elicited expert contributions referring to these questions.
- The discussions at ASLD synergised these contributions within and across these themes.
- The outputs of the workshop - including revised papers, discussion notes and videos, have been made available as open educational resources (see links above).
- These outputs are now being refined and distilled for a journal supplement and an edited book.
- The resources section of the project website offers a rich set of representations, practices, tools, readings and guidance materials.
- These resources, and the outputs of the workshops, will be collated into a practitioner guide.
We have proposed an FP7 Lifelong Learning KA3 multi-party project.
We are planning a MOOC on learning design in the autumn - http://olds.ld-grid.org
We have proposed a Grand Challenge Problem, which we hope will be adopted by the STELLAR network of excellence.
The ASLD and OEB workshops were evaluated through post-event questionnaires, and received very positive feedback from their participants. In particular, the analysis of the ASLD workshop shows engagement with a diverse range of audiences, and many participants who had not had previous contact with the theme team.
The theme team produced a large number of high quality outputs. Several of these are still work in progress, and we expect to complete them within the next few months. We are involved in several new initiatives, including the FP7 proposal and the MOOC, and expect to initiate new projects in the coming year.
Accepted to ALT-C and Rearch in Learning Technology Journal
Learning design; curriculum design; teaching; practices of learning and teaching;
Yishay Mor, Patrick McAndrew, Mike Sharples, Simon Cross, Rebecca Galley
Project partners and links
- Yishay Mor , formerly University of Haifa, Israel (team leader), now Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK
- Michael Derntl , RWTH Aachen University, Germany
- Davinia Hernández-Leo , Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
- Brock Craft , Institute of Education, London Knowledge Lab, United Kingdom
- Francesca Pozzi , Institute for Educational Technology (ITD) - CNR, Italy
- Donatella Persico , Institute for Educational Technology (ITD) - CNR, Italy
- Gráinne Conole, formerly Institute for Educational Technology, The Open University, UK, now University of Leicester, UK
- Yannis Dimitriadis , GSIC/EMIC research group, University of Valladolid, Spain
- Yael Kali , University of Haifa, Israel
- Symeon Retalis , Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Greece
STELLAR network of excellence
Start Date and duration
1 April 2011 - 30 April 2012