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Design problem, design solution

Presentation by Simon Cross, 12th November 2009

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
12 November 2009


  • Survey looking at staff perceptions around learning design in the OU
  • It is becoming harder to understand how all the parts of planned learning and teaching fit together. Ca. 60% agree this is true
  • The advent of e-learning is making the process of creating courses more complex. Over 70% agree
  • Technologies available today offer great potential for enhancing student learning experience. Ca 80%
  • Technologies will deliver great enhancements in student learning experience. Less than the above, i.e. confidence in it making a different is less
  • Do you believe that more use of visual representation could help students better understand and plan their study. Over 70% agree

Process/product… design solution

  • It’s about the process of problem solving, with the product being more about analysis, evaluation and sharing. A lot of the representations are of the design solution. Would like to explore more how we represent the problem
  • Lee and Nelson, 2005 Many studies have been conducted to investigate influential factors on problem-solving performance and relevant approaches that support successful problem solving. … importance of knowledge representation that is a solvers knowledge and the structure.
  • There have been a number of attempts to represent at the task level – such as the AUTC swimlines of resources, tasks and support. The CompendiumLD task swimline representations as well.
  • Have been working with a course team T100 at the draft stage of course development. Once the course has been drafted then often it goes out for developmental testing. And finally looking at a course in production.
  • Using Cmap as a means of mapping this. Interested in using this to map at the block level. At the top have prior knowledge and skills and at the bottom is where you want the students to end up in terms of learning outcome. Mapping learning and understanding to what students actually do.
  • Enables you to see the dependencies between different components.
  • Moving away from the sequential temporal task sequences.
  • Have an activity that enables people to see the value of representing things visual. Takes a week of learning from our H808 course.
  • An interesting activity is to look at a visual representation of this and then consider whether or not the learning outcmes had been met and how long will the activity take.

Extra content

Visualisation useful to represent key points of a course, different value to actual text of a course. A means of seeing connections and checking if learning outcomes have been met.

Gráinne Conole
10:35 on 12 November 2009

  • Also now exploring what representations might be appropriate for eliciting student feedback. 
  • Currently get very detailed survey responses which is very complex for the course team to interpret.
  • Started looking at whether these visualisations can be used more to provide feedback in a meaningful way, summarise student responses across differnt activities.
  • Can also link the students qualitative responses for indiviudal learning activities.

Gráinne Conole
10:40 on 12 November 2009

  • Recently been looking at how some of these visual representations might be reversioned to provide student views.

Gráinne Conole
10:41 on 12 November 2009

Finally thoughts, other ways we can use visualisation...

  • Can we use visualisation to help course authors conceptualise the problem?
  • How can we use it to share the design decisions?
  • Also what are the limits to representation/objectification?
  • The hidden curriculum (Oliver 2003) its about the people, politics and cultural aspects of design
  • Representing conflict – designing is a process of concerned with resolving conflict, there is rarely one solution.

Gráinne Conole
10:46 on 12 November 2009

Embedded Content


Gráinne Conole
10:32am 12 November 2009

I have added a link to a more detailed cloud which includes the H808 representation.

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