Andrew Windram's Representations Review

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Andrew Windram
6 April 2016

4 Ts Model

Readability

The 4 Ts model is easy to read and understand; the model diagram is intuitive and flows chronologically making the elements of the lesson easy to understand. 

Expressiveness

I found that the 4 Ts Model lacked an element of expressiveness; however, its simplicity could be lost if it were to be overly expressive.  One of the key elements that the 4 Ts Model does not address is the amplification of key learning points (KLPs) or the attitudinal element which is important when developing knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA); within the 4 Ts Model this would be lost.

However, there is sufficient flexibility within the descriptor for designers to understand how they could customise the columns to meet local needs, for example, teams being sub divided into teacher and student and students into groups. 

Utility

The 4 Ts does exactly what it says and is a good tool for lesson planning; it is not that dissimilar to the instructional specifications that I have previously written for distributed training.  It does require the teacher/trainer to know their subject matter as there are very little in the way of handrails to support the lesson content.

Are they adequate for expressing your design? 

For the VLE New User’s Course, and provided that the KLPs had been pre-defined (which they were) then this form of representation with some minor customisation in the technology column to account for the technology being Moodle, would have been adequate enough to design the 1 hour e-learning package.

What would be the benefits of using these representations for your design? Please explain your views.

Given that the course consisted of 4 Training Objectives (TOs), each TO consisting of a number of KLPs that logically followed on from one another, the benefit would be in using the 4 column format to provide a communication tool between the SMEs who provided the learning content and the Media and Graphics Team would created the SCORM package.  The format can also be used within internal audit to ensure that the TOs have been met and provides an easily understood method for identifying and communicating changes to the learning design.

 

e-Design Template

Readability

Although easy to read, the e-Design Template narrative relied on the correct interpretation of the 4 phases of scaffolding diagram.  Given the case study, the e-Design Template was not demonstrated to its fullest extent thus leaving opportunity for misinterpretation to occur. 

Expressiveness

I found it difficult to identify how and where I would, as a course designer, develop the detail of the course.  The template left me with the impression that this was a checklist to ensure that the training moved from tutor managed, closed activities to student managed, open activities. 

Utility

The e-Design Template has limited utility in my opinion.  It may be useful when developing a high-level plan for a course (medium to long duration), but not for a lesson; the detail would need to be developed elsewhere. The scaffolding approach is rigid and does not take account of the target audience and their stage of training/education, but does provide a conceptual think piece.

Are they adequate for expressing your design? 

I would not choose the e-Design Template for the VLE New User’s Course as the template approach is developmental from transactional to transformational learning whereas the VLE New User’s Course is predominantly transactional (tutor managed, closed activity).

What would be the benefits of using these representations for your design? Please explain your views.

The e-Design Template would make me consider the inclusion of open activities and student managed activities within the VLE New User’s Course as these were not considered in this context during the design phase; however, given the TOs and target audience, I am not sure that applying this approach would have has much of an impact on the final design.

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