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Working towards effective practice in a digital age

Helen Beetham talk at LAMS 09 conference, 7th July

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
7 July 2009

Review of the JISC design for learning programme (2004-2008)

  • Design practice is very varied
  • Design tools must allow for collaboration, contingent/responsive design and effective sharing of design processes and outcomes
  • Design processes need to be integrated with other institutional processes if design practice is to be transformed
  • Practitioners want rich expressions of curricular purpose and bite size curriculum elements that can easily be repurposed and reused

How many approaches to design are there?

  • Associative,
  • Constructive,
  • Situated
  • All approaches emphasize learning activity and constructive alignment and feedback and integration across the activities
  • What are the crucial decisions teachers make? They differ tin the role and importance of others in mediating the activity, the authenticity of the activity (situated/abstracted), balance of scaffolding with flexibility and the locus of control (learner, peer, tutor, other)

Lessons from D4L – tensions

  • Different levels of design
  • Design for learning/design for teaching
  • Representational forms
  • Structure/flexibility of designs
  • Representational dilemma – pedagogical intentions need to be represented differently to by different actors in the learning system
  • Tension between articulating designs clearly in educational terms and working powerfully with designs in educational systems

Towards a typology of designs

  • Mod4L project concluded that there is no obvious typology of decontextualised designs or patterns. 
  • May be more product to try modeling relationships between design elements

The learning/teaching dilemma

  • Good teaching (conception and enactment of a pedagogic intention) is not the same as good self directed learning (conception and enactment of a personal learning goal)
  • Different but dialogically related human activities
  • Teaching supportive and learning supportive tools/services fulfill different needs
  • Learners and teachers skills are different but need to develop in dialogue
  • What are the points of intersection but in terms of activity and in terms of the supporting tools/services

Modeling good design tension

  • There is a tension between modeling good design practice and offering tools for educators to express their own pedagogical intentions
  • Modeling concepts allows strong forms of guidance in the design process (the system supports good design but must define it. Open ended tools are often more accessible to practitioners

Web 2.0 dilemma

  • The web 2.0/power to the users dilemma
  • Web 2.0 tools allow users to determine the purposes, values and meaning of knowledge; applied to learning there are fundamental challenges for design and for educational practice as a whole

Final thoughts

  • Design a contests space
  • Need for well-designed tools to support teaching process
  • Contingency and collaboration are key
  • No one tool is the solution and tools need to interoperate
  • Need to put learners progressively more in control of their own learning

JISC Publication

Effecitve practice in a digital age, available from the JISC website


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