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SOLE (Student-Owned Learning-Engagement) Model

This cloud was originally floated for the 2010 LAMS Learning Design Conference in Oxford

Cloud created by:

Simon Atkinson
2 June 2010

This cloud was originally being floated for the 2010 LAMS Learning Design Conference in  Oxford July 15th 2010. The SOLE model waspresented in its initial conceptual model phase, introduce the early (excel) toolkit associated withversion1, and report some early feedback on its use in paper design teams.

This toolkit is, and will remain, freely available and is intended to be a developmetal, evaluative and diagnostic tool. This cloud is intended to provide opportunities for comment and reflection on the usefullness of the model being developed.

Version 2.4 released October 24th 2011


Extra content

6th September 2010

Combined the my slides with the audio recorded by James at the European LAMS & Learning Design Conference and posted them to and to


Simon Atkinson
17:22 on 6 September 2010 (Edited 11:05 on 12 August 2011)

Version 1.2 of the SOLE toolkit posted today 24th September 2010 at

Comments within the Worksheets provide advice and guidance

The intention of the SOLE Learning Design model and its associated toolkit remains to embed academic professional development support 'inside' a learning development 'tool' and to embody good practice. The Student-Owned Learning-Engagement Model) was presented as a work in progress at the LAMS European Learning Design conference and a cloud floated here in July 2010.

Such a simple tool (Excel!) but an easy one to use and one that can easily generate a tangible product. a learning design, that the student will see, and potentially manipulate. That the student can see, and engage with the learning design is, I think, significant.

Support videos are on channel. Version 1.2 includes student feedback on time spent, the inclusion of Intended Learning Outcomes on each student view, and the development of significant guidance and advice on each element of the model.. See the SOLE Model pages for Version1.2 at Wordpress for more.

Simon Atkinson
20:40 on 24 September 2010 (Edited 20:44 on 24 September 2010)

Version 2.2 of the SOLE tollkit is available to download:

Simon Atkinson
11:11 on 12 August 2011

Version 2.4 promotes the opportunity to link intended learning outcomes to unit, or week, level objectives.

Version 2.3 of the SOLE toolkit (August 2011) introduced a ‘dashboard’ allowing the course designer to see the distribution of student workload across all the weeks, or learning units. Version 2.4 (October 2011) sees the incorporation of a ‘Weekly Objectives’ view, drawing together the weekly objectives set against the module outcomes for the first time. Each iteration is designed to provide staff and student with a greater transparency to the learning design intention.  Version 2.4 is also distributed as a fully populated exemplar, rather than a blank template.


Simon Atkinson
22:20 on 25 October 2011

Embedded Content

5 Minute Overview for Madison-Wisconsin Conference August 2011

5 Minute Overview for Madison-Wisconsin Conference August 2011

added by Simon Atkinson


Simon Atkinson
9:17pm 22 August 2010 (Edited 9:18pm 22 August 2010)

It's been a month since the LAMS conference. I had some great constructive feedback from my presentation and look forward to hearing more from some contacts. One aspect that seemed to divide people a little was my choice of Excel as a 'tool' to assist Course Design, and some discussion about the 'level' of design to which specific tools were suited. I still hold to the view that most academic staff simply will not make room for 'new' tools however intuitive. Nonetheless I've begun exploring again the Xerte and GloMaker2 tools as possible environments in which the SOLE model 'patterns' might be embedded and I'll be interested to explore others.


Rebecca Galley
1:51pm 25 August 2010 (Edited 8:21am 26 August 2010)

Hi Simon! We chatted briefly about this at LAMS and I thought you might be interested in some of the representations we have been working on as part of the OULDI project (see poster I did for JIF10). Some have already been built to fit into Excel (ie the Pedagogy Profiler and Course Dimensions) and long term we are looking at putting all of these together into one set of Excel spreadsheets. I think you make a really fundemental point about the value of using software that teachers are already familiar with. Tim Van Gelder makes a similar point (see his Mapping in Word Cloud). When we spoke I attempted to explain what I meant when I said I did not feel Excel was a great 'design' tool. I think I still stand by that (although others, including my OULDI collegues, might disagree with me and chip in!) I think Excel is well tested and flexible. It is great for mapping/ visualising a finished design, cross referencing/ comparing different aspects of design, leading people through a sequential process etc, and SOLE absolutely gets the best out of it. What I think Excel is not so good at is supporting the early stages of the design process which are often sketchy, tentative and messy. I also find it not so good at foregrounding design discussion and debate (and so language) which means design ideas can become difficult to navigate and share - although I recognise that others may find navigating an Excel spreadsheet easier than I do. My preference is definitely for visual (in the mindmap sense) or spoken/written representations.

Simon Atkinson
10:19am 27 August 2010

Hi Rebecca! thanks for the JIF190 poster link I'll follow that up. I take what you say about Excel not being a great 'early' design tool, and I think that's possibly true, although for those who need to build from textual prompts I'm hoping the Q&A spreadsheet that asks design questions and provides basic resources will stimulate. But, it isn’t a very rich visual tool for sure. I've found in the workshop context that just putting out the visual of the SOLE model itself (the 'flower'), on a sheet of A3 (have yet to try it on the interactive whiteboard but that would be interesting) , and having course teams annotate around the nine elements as a great way of getting conversation flowing. Once people have 'that' level of visualisation available to them they approach the Excel spreadsheet differently. The model is anticipated as a real discussion piece (synchronous if you like) and the toolkit possibly a building tool for the individual. I think perhaps a further ‘poster’ illustration of the SOLE model with some further visual aids could be rather useful to users. Thanks for that. Hope to talk to OULDI more about that.p>

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