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Gill's Learning Journal

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Gill Windall
10 January 2013

This is my OLDS-MOOC learning journal

Extra content

 I  had very little idea what this OLD MOOC was about when I signed up.  Having heard Yishay's introductory talk I feel inspired and wish just I was going to have more time to participate.   I'll think up a learning design project but I don't know how far I'll get with it.

Some of the things I'd like to follow-up anyway and find out more about are:

  • Design Patterns - I'm familiar with these froma software engineering perspective but will be interested to hear about learning design patterns
  • Notations for Learning design both for sharing designs and formalizing designs.  Again I know quite a bit about notations for documenting and designing software so will be interested in comparing approaches.

Gill Windall
18:09 on 10 January 2013 (Edited 18:10 on 10 January 2013)

My learning objectives for week 1

I will be happy if by the end of week 1 if I have

  • Found my way around Cloudworks - like how do you search for a cloud???
  • Explored at least one other of the tools used on the course that was previously unfamiliar to me
  • Articulated a learning design problem

Gill Windall
18:14 on 10 January 2013

Have discovered that the reason I can't find the "search" facility in Cloudworks is because it has been turned off by the administrators because it was causing problems (presumably performance).  Due to be turned back on soon.

Gill Windall
10:00 on 14 January 2013

I suspect that "my dream" is not going to attract any potential team members.  Nevermind, I'm happy to have joined Anne Fox's CoDe-FLITE team.

Gill Windall
10:05 on 14 January 2013 (Edited 10:05 on 14 January 2013)

Reflection on Week 1

Progress against my learning objectives for the week

I have managed to find my way around cloudworks (created clouds and cloudscapes, added clouds to cloudscapes, looked at cloudscaope permissions, contributed to discussion).  Spent ages wondering why I couldn't search for a cloud/cloudscape and eventually emailed cloudworks HQ to be told that the search facility had been disabled because it was causing problems.

Have I managed to explore any of the other tools that are new to me?  Not very much.  Did skip through a video in a Google Hangout so maybe that counts.  Tweeted a bit but then I'm already familiar with Twitter.

I did identify a learning design problem that I could work on and added to the Dreambazzar.  Nocomments and no offers of help.  Maybe I didn't articulate it well enough or it is just not something that is of interest to many other people.

Progress against the official learning outcomes for the week


Explore a variety of definitions of learning design
Initiate own learning/curriculum design project
Define learning design, as a field of research and a practice
Identify some of the grand challenges of using a learning design approach to the design of learning in the 21st Century
Identify specific topics of interest for further exploration

1. Explore a variety of definitions of learning design

Watched the Intro video and felt  excited about the idea.  Thought about learning design and read people's comments in Google Forum mainly.  Tried to explain to several colleagues my understanding of learning design but it came out pretty lame and I would struggle to distinguish it from general good practice in designing educational experiences and resources.  Maybe coming from a computing background the idea of requirements analysis, prototyping, design, testing, evaluation etc are very familiar in any case and this just feels like applying those teachniques to create educational artefacts.

2. Initiate own learning/curriculum design project

As I mentioned above I did write about a proposed project but got no interest.  Have more-or-less decided to abandon my project and work on Anne Fox's "Concurrent Design Framework for eLearning in IT Entrepreneurship" project.

3. Define learning design, as a field of research and a practice

Erg - no I wouldn't say I could do that - at least not distinguish it from other forms of education research and practice.

4. Identify some of the grand challenges of using a learning design approach to the design of learning in the 21st Century

Well as Yishay said in the introduction a big challenge is to develop notations to allow us to describe designs and communicate them both to other people and to automated tools which may be used to realise the designs.  This interests me  because there has been a huge amount of research and practical experience over the years from my field, software engineering, into notations to communicate and document design.  There must be much scope for convergence between the fields.

I would see another challenge as coping with the rate of technology-led change.  The technological environment is changing incredibly quickly (social media, mobile devices, increased band-width etc) and we don't want to always be playing catch up.  On the other hand we do want to make use of the opportunities that technology bring and to engage (especially young) people.  It's a balancing act.

5. Identify specific topics of interest for further exploration

Interested to follow-up more on design patterns and notations for describing learning designs.

Next steps

Keep going.  Time's an issue but plan to try to hand on in there.

Reconnect with my Greenwich colleagues - maybe become part of a local study circle if we can work out how/when to meet.

See if/how we can take the "Concurrent Design Framework for eLearning in IT Entrepreneurship" project forward.


Gill Windall
18:15 on 17 January 2013

Ok - here we go week 2

I've viewed the 3 min intro and gone through the material about scenarios on slideshare at

Again struck by the similarities (obviously not just coincidental) between the approaches advocated here and those used in IT and software engineering to analyse user requirements.  

Plans/Objectives for the week

  • Develop some scenarios for my dream project (i.e. the support for learners working towards industry certifications  Was thinking of abandoning this but think there is some value in taking it forward for a while at least.
  • Evaluate above - just myself unless I can lure some others into giving me feedback.
  • Give feedback to at least one other person.
  • Try to move forward on the Code-flite project ( - not sure where we are with this.  Very dependent on the proposer as she understands it and maybe she doesn't have enough time available to be able to brief the rest of us and pull it all together.  We need a session to discuss and break down into manageable chuncks.
  • Become part of study circle at Greenwich

Gill Windall
21:44 on 18 January 2013 (Edited 13:10 on 19 January 2013)

Ecology of Resources approach looks interesting - try to make time to at least skim through it. 

Gill Windall
13:11 on 19 January 2013

Have started writing scenarios.  Useful but starts to get a bit convoluted.  Lots to think about.  Danger of making assumptions about the finished "system" too early.  How to know if the scenarios are realistic (lots of implicit assumptions about people, their goals, motivations etc).  Have started reading about Personas (  Seems like a good idea to define some of these first rather than just as embedded within a scenario.  As ever though, what starts off seeming like a simple idea has lots of subtleties and ramifications.  Never mind - for now just keep going.

Gill Windall
18:23 on 20 January 2013 (Edited 18:24 on 20 January 2013)

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