P2: Learning design of OER

P2: Learning design of OER – lead OU: Champion Grainne Conole.

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Patrick McAndrew
5 March 2009

Brief: Learning design is an approach that considers learning materials as having both a final product, the educational resource, and a design that captures the intent of the product. This design is often implicit and has not been valued as a product in itself. OER challenge that position as it becomes important to communicate why material has been developed so that users can make best use of the material and also see the designs as shareable in themselves. Designs matter both to educators, to understand potential reuse, and to users to help them select material relevant to their context. The design is a key part of the effectiveness cycle. In this project we will establish collections of designs linked to available OER. Current work in the OU has established use of Compendium (a free knowledge mapping tool from OpenLearn) as a representation tool, and a workshop-based approach to involving the educator and producer community. A community site Cloudworks (http://cloudworks.open.ac.uk) is now in use within the OU to share designs at differing levels of sophistication. This platform is being opened to a wider community.
There is a wider interest in the approach and related methods, such as pedagogic patterns. We will collaborate with that community through an Open Professorship to enhance the understanding of how OER work and connect from design to models of use.
Outcome on the specific OER level:
1.    Design-based description in a shareable representation.
2.    Data on the interpretation of design and how it can support reuse.
3.    Materials to capture the approach and enhance participation.
4.    Use data on designs in relation to OER
On the network level:
1.    A collection of social objects that enable research discussions .
2.    Community building through sharing of representations and interlinking with the OER community.
3.    Integration of tools (e.g. from Cloudworks) within the OLnet framework.

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Cindy Underhill
4:18pm 16 October 2009


I agree that learning design should be transparent and simple enough to accomodate a wide range of content.  A basic design that I have been working with lately (on a project about digital identity awareness) involves 3 components:

  • questions for reflection (to set context)
  • example or case study
  • information to support action

The design supports the principle that we have varying levels of comfort with exposure online and there is no "right" way for all. Project: http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/

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