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Leonor's Journal

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Leonor Barroca
11 January 2013

I am a senior lecturer in the Computing Department at the Open University, so I have been doing Learnign Design for distance education for a long time, sometimes without realising it. I have joined this MOOC for several reasons; first, to experience a MOOC from within; second,  to have a more structured perspective of LD that would allow me to capture more formally the expertise developed and more easily share it with others; and thirdly, because I am deeply involved in the production of a level 3 module in software engineering where i would like to put some concepts into practice.

Extra content

Week 1 reflection

I decided to write my reflections as a set of user stories (loosely adapted from agile software development). I hope to work, in this MOOC,  on a project on how to develop agile activities in the teaching of software engineering.

My initial user stories

  • As an educator I want to experiment a MOOC from the inside

Note: so far so reasonable, not sure how long I will last but hopefully until the end even if with some hiatuses

  • As a distance education author I want to formalize what I already do within the theoretical context of Learning Design

Note: cannot really be tested until the end or far future

  • As an experienced distance educator I would like to understand better ways to capture and share my expertise with others. Will LD help me with that?


New user stories

  • As a MOOC participant I would like to find out the parallels between how the team running it is working and software development agile methods (like Scrum, XP, etc)

Note: I can see now how a MOOC has to be run in an agile way to design/redesign/adapt on a very regular (daily) basis with very regular re-planning of the next, in agile terms, sprint. As needed, just-in-time, accepting change will occur, etc, etc

Leonor Barroca
14:37 on 15 January 2013

Week 2 reflections

I am keeping at it although, I have no time, I am overwhelmed. I keep on jumping from a place to another, I have hundreds of tabs open in my browser which is really sloing down my machine.

Someone said that a good strategy was to come into the MOOC knowing someone; fortunately I have a colleague with whom I have been working on learning design for software engineering courses and we are therefore collaborating in this MOOC and using that work to fit into the MOOC.

We have discussed context, we have written scenarios, and now I am attempting a narrative. But all this seems so artificial to me. I know what I want, where I want to get to, and this is a bit of a diversion that I cannot see how it is going to help me, nor help me design the solution to my problem.

I feel like software developers who want to build  a product but have to go through the whole ceremony of documenting it all in precise templates with lots of detail, all that probably very few people will read or even use, and that will be very difficult to maintain.

I am quite tempted to be agile, and follow my instincts and expertise and get on with producing what I need to do; just document (personas, scenarios, narratives) as far as it is of any use for anyone, model (forces diagrams just as far as it helps our sharing of an understanding and just get on with developing the product without the ceremony.

However, I need to validate it through regular feedback from the team; and since the team is only 2 of us, that is not a problem.

Leonor Barroca
16:20 on 22 January 2013 (Edited 16:21 on 22 January 2013)

Discussion of week 2

Documents of week 2

Leonor Barroca
20:25 on 23 January 2013

Reflections on weeks 3

I made a decision to carry on ith this MOOC but am not really going to do much in time of application of concepts to a coherent project, maybe just bits here and there. I have worked with OULDI in the past and am at the moment heavily involved in writing  module for distance education that although it does not follow explicitly OULDI it follwos a well-defined structure that I have to adhere to  if I want it to be out in  time. So creating another project is artificial and does not help me. Initially I thought I was going to be able to use this MOOC to get some help with some practical activities I am trying to develop for  the module  I am writing. I still hope that this is possible and will be experimenting with these if the occasion arises; if not I will benefit any way from being able to get a wider overview of this area.

Also the more I see of the area (tools for example) the more similarities I see with tools, models, methods borrowed from software development. And I wonder if the parallel will go as far as moving learnign design from very cerimonious, prescriptive, and BDUF (big development up front) approaches to more agile, quick implementation, model only as far as it is needed methods.


The more I see of Learning Design, the more similarities I see with tools, models, methods borrowed from software development.
And I wonder if the parallel will go as far as reaching a point in learning design when designers will start reacting to very cerimonious, prescriptive, and BDUF (big development up front) approaches to more agile, quick implementation, model only as far as it is needed, methods.
There was an argument  raised about agile software development, that it wouldn't scale up; this has, to a certain extent, been proved wrong. In a way, I am guessing that organisers of this MOOC are being agile, and they are probably doing quite a bit of adaptation, as it goes along; but how much of the planning done upfront has been thrown away and how much of it was really not necessary.
Or maybe learning design is at a stage where more and more methods, cerimonious and prescriptive ones, are still needed, ...and agility will only come later.


Leonor Barroca
08:52 on 28 January 2013 (Edited 09:06 on 28 January 2013)

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