High quality, online and distance education materials, building on a huge legacy of groundbreaking distance education. This is what Learning Designers and editors, working alongside academic colleagues, at the Open University shape and hone during the creation of new modules.
The Open University (OU) creates around 150 new modules each year, to sit alongside over 350 represented modules offered to students. The Learning Designer and Digital Development Editor roles are pivotal to the development and production of new modules and are involved right from the start, working alongside authors and faculty colleagues, to support and advise on plans. Other specialists, such as video and audio producers, interactive developers and graphic developers, are brought in at various points in the development, as and when they are needed. If you’re not familiar with Learner and Discovery Services (LDS) at the OU, LDS teams work closely with colleagues across the University to design, produce and deliver online and printed learning materials for students. This is a collaborative arrangement which engages our dedicated Learning Design, Learning Innovation, Development and Production, and Commissioning teams.
What is the most important feature of assessment for you and your students? This is a question we put to those present at the Assessment Design workshop our team led for the OU staff community in May 2021. The word cloud below shows that people thought that assessment should first and foremost be fair. They also believed it should be innovative, useful, interesting, challenging and enjoyable. Continue reading “Designing assessment for distance learners: what matters?”
The activity types framework – a categorisation of learning material into different types based on the student activity involved – is one of our core learning design tools. It shows, simply and accessibly, the variety of ways in which module teams can actively engage students with their subject content and skills development alongside reading, watching or listening. Continue reading “Learning from practice: refreshing the OU activity types framework”
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.