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LTS Lunch 27-01-10: Tools for Learning Design

Tools for Learning Design What is Learning Design? The focus of course designers is often first...

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Amyas Phillips
26 January 2010

What is Learning Design?

The focus of course designers is often first on covering the requisite ground in a logical structure, second on developing the best possible explications of difficult areas, and only third on lighting a fire of inquiry in their students.  This fire is nourished when students are involved and challenged, stifled when they are passive recipients of knowledge.  Planning how learning will happen needs as much consideration and care as what will be learnt.  

Design Tools

Modern technology can be integrated in teaching to give new flexibility in teaching styles, whether at the level of activities, courses or whole programmes.  It also provides tools to help us extract the benefits of that flexibility:

- by making the pedagogical structure more visible and explicit to students and planners, thereby promoting understanding and reflection

- by serving as a description or template to be collaborated on, adapted and reused

- by sharing best practices and understanding between those involved in design and teaching

Course Tools

CARET's Course Tools project is developing easy-to-use web tools for fast and flexible access to course information and planning at Cambridge.  I will briefly introduce the Lecture Explorer and Oxford's Phoebe.

Learning Design Initiative

CARET is partnering with the OU to develop “a learning design methodology and suite of practical tools and resources that bridge between good pedagogic practice and effective use of new technologies”; broadly structured around understanding the curriculum design process, supporting collaborative design, offering support such as case studies, course templates and ‘best practice’ checklists, visualising designs in various ways, and sharing the results.  I will introduce CompendiumLD and Cloudworks.


Learn about learning design - five-page document (.pdf) from the OU team presenting an introduction to learning design. It has an associated cloud in CloudWorks.

Phoebe guidance wiki - Oxford's Phoebe tool presents customisable templates for course designs alongside summaries of guidance and best practice.  Read the wiki, including sections on "Teaching approaches and techniques" and "What technology can I use for a particular activity?" independently of the tool here.

JISC 2009: Effective Practice in a Digital Age - useful report (.pdf) offering advice and 9 examples of UK universities integrating technology into their teaching.

LTS database of ideas and examples - a University-wide database of ideas and examples relating to learning and teaching

Open.Michigan SI 502 - Networked Computing - an example of the kind of course information Lecture Explorer or a CamTools course site might contain

Extra content

Embedded Content

'Toolsfor Learning Design' slides from LTS lunch 27-01-10

'Toolsfor Learning Design' slides from LTS lunch 27-01-10

added by Amyas Phillips


Amyas Phillips
8:55am 28 January 2010

I'd welcome any questions or feedback from the talk.

Would there be interest in a more in-depth workshop on curriculum design and tools?

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