Learning Design – revisited, reinvigorated, resurrected?

CETIS ran a Learning Design event in Manchester on 20 May.
The idea behind this event was to provide an update on recent work in the area, but also to elicit feedback and suggestions about where this work could potentially go. The event intentionally focused on IMS Learning Design work (as opposed to the more general “learning design”) which included projects from the JISC Design for Learning Programme and other initiatives taking place in the UK and Europe. To give the whole theme adequate time for participants to really get their teeth into the concepts and rationale behind the latest developments plus invaluable hands-on experience with any relevant tools would probably easily fill a week. Nonetheless, this snapshot of where we are at currently seemed to be received positively, and ideas for future events are already underway (and further suggestions welcome.) Indeed, one “twitter-er” has commented œI have returned from Manchester with my enthusiasm for Learning Design rekindled.

Presentations at this event included:

  • Professor Oleg Liber, CETIS/ University of Bolton: Origins of IMS Learning Design & the conceptual framework
  • Helen Beetham, JISC Consultant: Overview of the JISC Design for Learning programme, developments & future directions
  • Professor Martin Weller , Open University: Role of LD in “bridging the gap”; overview of Compendium work at OU plus thoughts on a “flickr for learning designs”
  • Mark Barrett-Baxendale, Liverpool Hope University: Using LD with practitioners
  • Dai Griffiths, University of Bolton: TenCompetence background & overview.
  • Phil Beauvoir, University of Bolton: Demonstration of latest developments: Recourse
  • Paul Sharples, University of Bolton: Demonstration of latest developments: widget server

The day wrapped up with an panel discussion, comments and questions. What was clear was that there is still scope for a lot more discussion and debate of the issues. Interesting questions were posed, such as “what is the role of the teacher?”, “what is the role of the user?”, and comments such as LD seems to be a process, likened to a mortgage application (?! How very dull that would be!)
The scope of the Learning Design work was questioned – does it need to broaden to encompass other information etc, or should the focus be narrowed to a specific toolset etc? Are we as a community focussing on practice, process or tools? (or all?) The debate is sure to continue…

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