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Cook: Two Cases of Design Research that Explore How Mobile Devices and Social Media Mediate ‘Informal Learning’ to Drive the Debate: Can Learning Design Hack it?

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Yishay Mor
5 October 2011

The Learning Design Grid Theme Team vision (http://www.ld-grid.org/home) makes it clear that “Social and mobile technologies offer learners unprecedented opportunities ... yet these are constantly shifting with escalating complexity”. If we add to this the increasing overlap between formal, „informal‟ and work-based learning then we truly have a world in flux. Consequently, this paper describes two small to medium sized projects that have taken a participatory, educational design research approach to investigate how mobile devices and social media can mediate “informal learning” in a variety of contexts. The aim is to uncover design principles based on the complex case studies and raise issues about possible approaches to scaling up these techno-pedagogical designs.The paper is structured as follows. Firstly, I briefly delineate what I mean by “informal learning”, opting for the term „task-conscious learning‟, and outline the characteristics of educational design research. This is followed by a succinct distillation of some key participatory perspectives and design based oriented outcomes from two European projects that I have worked on as a partner: CONTSENS (using devices for context sensitive and location-based vocational education and training) and MATURE (social learning in work-based knowledge networks). The descriptions are by no means exhaustive and instead aim to provide the workshop with a resource for design discourse. I will conclude by exploring the design implications for sustainable approaches to developing technology enhanced approaches for mediating informal task-conscious learning.

Extra content

Exemplars on LD

Contsens project:

On mobile learning using design-based research (participatory approach involving teachers, students, and researchers)

Mature project

LD of workplace learning

Marcelo Fabián Maina
13:21 on 13 October 2011

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Two Cases of Design Research that Explore How Mobile Devices and Social Media Mediate ‘Informal Learning’ to Drive the Debate: Can Learning Design Hack it?

Two Cases of Design Research that Explore How Mobile Devices and Social Media Mediate ‘Informal Learning’ to Drive the Debate: Can Learning Design Hack it?

added by John Cook

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Luis P. Prieto
1:21pm 13 October 2011 (Edited 1:22pm 13 October 2011)


Maybe food for private conversation: I'm not sure what do you want from LD, i.e. what are your NEEDS from the LD point of view?

John Cook
1:25pm 13 October 2011


Good point. I use the UK-ish phrase 'designing for learning' which may be at a higher level of granularity than LD scenarios (my cases certainly are).

Gemma Corbalan
2:00pm 13 October 2011


Interested in large scaling up, good! Usually this tends to be neglected (because of the lack on interest? Or because of its complexity?...)

Gemma Corbalan
2:00pm 13 October 2011


Interested in large scaling up, good! Usually this tends to be neglected (because of the lack on interest? Or because of its complexity?...)

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