I’ve been a Learning Designer for three years now, and ALT-C (The Association for Learning Technology Conference – September 2021) was my first conference within the role. While I’d never expected my first experience with this to be online, I must say I thought it was fabulous. Continue reading “Conference to practice: reflecting on a week at ALT-C”
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.
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.
We’ve probably all sat through enough ‘death by PowerPoint’ slide decks to know what happens when we’re presented with information but don’t have the chance to engage with it. In the best-case scenario, we simply don’t learn anything. But often we leave the meeting or class worse off – with unanswered questions, frustration and reduced confidence in the tutor or meeting organiser. Continue reading “Active learning: making learning engaging”