Design-Practice Activity 4 - 'The Course Map - one example of a design representation'
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5 April 2011
This activity will take about one hour.
As part of our learning design work we have been developing a number of conceptual tools to build representations, or views, of a learning activity. One representation is a Course Map (see embedded content for a Course Map template) which defines the learning activity, or set of activities, at a course level. It defines the course in terms of four categories, on a single page as an 'at a glance view' . The Course Map can be iteratively worked. Our OU view is built using an Excel work-sheet but it could be built using just pen and paper. The view enables a designer to describe the requirements - or 'Gathering' of the learning activity in terms of:
- Content and Activities – includes the media by which the learning activity will be delivered ,and the activities the student will be involved in to complete the course
- Communication and Collaboration – includes the learning interactions between the tutor and students (tutorials etc.), and the ways in which the students will work together (forums, blogs, tutorials etc.)
- Guidance and Support - essentially the guidance and support acts as the ‘learning pathway’ and might include details on the learning activity structure and timetable or links to a calendar or study guide
- Reflection and Demonstration – includes the ways in which the students will reflect on their practice and progress. Demonstration may take the form of diagnostic, formative or summative assessment
This representation provides a summary textual overview of the learning activity. In addition the view includes keywords, which give an indication of the nature of the learning activity. Keywords might include a description of the type of learning activity it is, in terms of mapping to some theory/model.
- Try to represent an existing learning activity using the Course Map (it doesn't need to be a whole course) or,
- Try to design a new learning activity using the Course Map (it doesn't need to be a whole course)
- Post your comments about your experience of using the Course Map for either of these two activities
- Upload your Course Map
- Post your comments about your Course Map likes/dislikes
- Spend some time reading the postings of other participants
- Reply to postings to your own comments
Why use a visual representation?
A number of benefits in using these types of visualisation in learning design have been identified. These include:
- Making the structure of the design and relationships between the design elements explicit
- Supporting reflection on the learning design and in particular the student experience
- Testing how realisable and practical the design is
- Providing a diagnostic tool for the evaluation and annotation of a design
- Collaborating with others and the communication of ideas
- Organising thoughts, including mind‐mapping and brainstorming
- Sharing the visual design or ‘learning plan’ with students
- Supporting the teaching of the course
- Capturing the process of design in addition to the final output (forming a record of discussion and development)
- Supporting the delivery of change in practice
- Expressing information, concepts or relationships in the form that is most easily absorbed and retained
What's next - The face to face workshop in Milton Keynes - date to be confirmed