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Design patterns and principles for MOOCs?

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Yishay Mor
26 June 2012

Next week we will have our kick-off conference call, and in the last week of July we're planning a design workshop for our MOOC. As we gather momentum, we need to consider examples of past MOOCs, and try to understand what lessons can be learnt from them.

Design Patterns and Design Principles are two common forms for capturing design knowledge. Since I'm not aware of any existing collections of "MOOC design patterns and principles" (and neither is google), I suggest we start one here and now. 

The Task


  • Choose an example MOOC (if it's not listed - add it)
  • Identify a design pattern or principle, and document it (in a google doc). For patterns, you can use this template.
  • Find other examples which support your pattern / principle, and note the theoretical justification for it.
  • Post a link to your pattern / principle here.


Extra content

Embedded Content


Yishay Mor
2:28am 21 July 2012

Corsera declare four pedagogical design principles:

  • Frequent retrival and testing
  • Mastery learning
  • Peer assessment
  • Active learning


David White
3:18pm 24 July 2012

I like the preparation > 'field trip' > reflection design 

Not unlike this but with an online meeting room rather than Second Life in stage 2.

Gill Windall
5:15pm 11 January 2013

I know a bit about Design Patterns from a Software Engineering perspective and am interested in how they might compare with Learning Design Patterns.  In Software Engineering the underlying aim of many of the "classic" patterns is to separate things that change from things that stay the same so as to reduce the effort required to change and adapt software systems.  I guess there may be an element of that with learning design thought perhaps that is too narrow and techno-focussed view.

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