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Are we ready for mass adoption of Learning Design James Dalziel Professor of Learning Technology and


Keynote Presentation for the 2008 European LAMS Conference, Cadiz, Spain, ... Held in Florence, Italy. Photo by Asiir 17:00, 13 February 2007, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Are we ready for mass adoption of Learning Design James Dalziel Professor of Learning Technology and

Are we ready for mass adoption of Learning
Design?James DalzielProfessor of Learning
Technology and Director, Macquarie E-Learning
Centre Of Excellence (MELCOE)Macquarie
du.auKeynote Presentation for the 2008
European LAMS Conference, Cadiz, Spain, 26th
June, 2008
  • A Vision for Educators of the Future
  • What is Learning Design?
  • Challenges to overcome
  • Challenges that remain
  • Some personal reflections

A Vision for Educators of the Future
  • Educators agree how to describe sequences of
    educational activities (ie, lesson plans)
  • Educators create digital lesson plans that make
    it easy to run educational activities on
  • Educators share good teaching ideas (digital
    lesson plans) with their colleagues
  • Educators are free to adapt, localise and improve
    good teaching ideas from others
  • By collectively sharing and improving good
    teaching ideas, educators could revolutionise

What is Learning Design?
  • Learning Design (LD) has several different
  • A descriptive framework
  • A type of e-learning software
  • An approach to supporting effective pedagogy

What is Learning Design?
  • Learning Design as a descriptive
    framework/language/notation system
  • Technical examples (IMS LD, LAMS XML, LDL, etc)
  • General examples (structured lesson plans,
    patterns, etc)
  • Key concept able to represent many different
    pedagogical approaches (pedagogical neutrality)
  • Greatest potential, but hardest to understand

Date of manuscript unknown. Held in Florence,
Italy. Photo by Asiir 1700, 13 February 2007,
First page of the manuscript of Bach's lute suite
in G Minor.
What is Learning Design?
  • Learning Design as e-learning software
  • Arose from limitations with existing e-learning
    software, especially Course Management Systems
  • Focus on collaborative learning activities
  • The missing dimension of SCORM/courseware
  • Key concept sequencing of activities
  • Learning Design systems are radically different
    to Course Management Systems under the hood
  • Workflow engine vs groups-based website

What is Learning Design?
  • Learning Design as an approach to supporting
    effective pedagogy
  • Describing and sharing good ideas for teaching
    and learning
  • Helping educators to consider new approaches to
    improving student learning (ie, taking some
  • Giving advice to educators on appropriate course
    design, tool choice and activity structures to
    meet student learning needs
  • Key concept Not focused on pedagogical
  • Supporting educators with effective approaches to

Sharing Effective Learning Designs
Learning Design Software
Learning Design Descriptive Framework
Challenges overcome
  • Learning Design Descriptive Framework
  • Technical
  • EML, IMS LD, LAMS XML, LDL, etc give us real
    examples of a technical framework
  • New work on mapping and underlying
  • General descriptive
  • Structured lesson plans, AUTC Learning Design
    graphics, educational patterns, etc give us
    non-technical examples
  • Early work on combined face-to-face technology
    descriptions (eg, LAMS offline activities
    information field)

Challenges overcome
  • Learning Design software
  • Far more difficult than anyone imagined, but
  • Real examples in LAMS, Coppercore/ReLoad, etc
  • Eg, LAMS Community has 3200 members, 86
    countries, 280 sequences, 7300 downloads, 3600
    forum postings
  • LAMS integrations with Course Management Systems
    (eg, Moodle, Blackboard, WebCT, Sakai, .LRN,
    Microsoft Sharepoint)
  • LAMS Tools Contract provides a framework for
    LD aware tools
  • V2.1 branching, optional sequences, new grouping
    more flexible
  • Some LAMS features that matter for LD adoption
  • Preview Allows for iterative LD authoring by
    non-technical educators
  • Automatic tool instantiation Allows sequences to
    run immediately
  • Progress bar Loads next activity for students,
    so they dont get lost

LAMS 2.1 Example of Branching (Interactive
Whiteboards Role play)
Challenges overcome
  • Sharing Effective Learning Designs, eg
  • LAMS Community repository and discussion
  • AUTC Learning Designs website exemplars, etc
  • Lessons from LAMS Community experiencesDirect
    re-use vs inspiration
  • The affordances of Learning Design systems
    havefostered more activity-centric learning (vs

Challenges that remain
  • Learning Design Descriptive Framework
  • Technical
  • Still early days much more work to be done
  • Tool setup/invocation
  • Global properties vs tool properties
  • Easy interoperability across different LD systems
  • Descriptive
  • If you only have 1 or 2 pages, what is essential
    to convey to another teacher? (cf music notation)

Challenges that remain
  • Learning Design software
  • A very long list of desirable features
  • Deep integration with Course Management System
    (ie, LD authoring and sequencing engine, but CMS
  • Basic tool interoperability for sharing designs
    across systems
  • Looping and other non-linear structures
  • Including open game-like environments
  • Role-based LD-aware activity tools
  • Eg, handing moderation of a Chat to a student

Challenges that remain
  • Sharing Effective Learning Designs the big
  • What mixture of learning platforms, activity
    tools, course and activity advice, learner needs
    identification, design sharing communities,
    design templates and/or ready-to-use sequences
    will crystallise mass adoption?
  • Or, is the problem elsewhere? (lack of teacher
    rewards for sharing and re-use too focused on
    teacher control of learning no clear evidence of
    educational benefits to justify teacher extra
    effort IP concerns about sharing other?)

LAMS Activity Planner
  • New project (finally funded!) to explore
    implementation of an Activity Planner for LAMS
  • Activity Planner components
  • A library of templates
  • A decision process to help educators select a
  • Including advice
  • Easy content creation/editing for the chosen
  • (And features to allow experts to create their
    own planners)

LAMS Activity Planner Selecting a template
LAMS Activity Planner Filling out the key
content for a selected template
Some personal reflections
  • We have enough LD technology, although there is
    much more worthwhile work that could be done
  • But radical ease of use remains critical
  • Creating an activity planner for busy educators
  • Where choices are driven by timing, computer
    access and collaboration constraints of the
    teaching context
  • Focus on small sequences that instantiate good
    ideas for small group (class/tutorial) teaching
    and learning

Some personal reflections
  • Would there be value in creating topic-specific
    activity planners?
  • Eg, a suite of sequences for the main topics of
    introductory psychology including easy editing
    to tweak content
  • (And full LAMS authoring is available if desired)
  • Where are the textbook publishers?
  • They represent existing re-use of educational
    content on a huge scale, but little work on
    prepared activities (vs content)
  • We dont need all publishers just one.

Some personal reflections
  • Some approaches assume educational designers can
    talk pedagogy to busy educators up front
  • My sense is that normally designers need to earn
    trust first
  • (Unless new course, major redesign or major
  • One way to earn this trust is helping with a
    small, practical implementation of a new teaching
  • A wider pedagogy discussion comes after a small

Are we ready for mass adoptionof Learning Design?
YesNoIf only