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Rationale for Online Learning Design in FE and Skills-"Learning Design Without Walls"

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Dan McCaffrey
17 January 2013


Your situation (context)


Presently I work as an eLearning Adviser for the JISC Regional Support Centre South West, with particular responsibility for supporting staff in the development and evelery of learning using technology in HE in FE contexts.  We are supposed to model "Good Practice" to customers, but presently I have little or no experience of utilising a MOOC, hence my involvement in this programme. 

The majority of my collegeues (and to an increasing degree, me) support FE and Skills, and whilst conversations and researches about Learning Design are  commonplace within HE, they are apparently not as common within Further Education. And within the "Skills" domain (e.g. Adult and Community Learning, Work Based Learning), these sort of theoretical considerations, and access to a reserach derived evidence base on which to premise changes in practice, are virtually non-existent.  I would like to therefore develop a platform (perhaps a MOOC in itself) which outlines the basic concepts in and some approaches to Learning Design for sectors not historically conversant with these consideratons.




The change you would like to see (challenge)



I would like to think that I could involve a number of participants within the programme to develop protocols and highlight resoures for Good Practice in Learning Design, and thus devise  a "toolkit" for teaching staff within the FE and Skills domains who are not cognisant with some this sort of practice, including perhaps a glossary of terms and adapted language to customise the resource and ensure maximum understanding within each sector.  there are plenty of HE immered LD advocates on the course, so undoubtedly the core knowledge is there, but the challenge will be in communicating these considerations to teachers outside of the HE domain. My sense is that presently practitioners in these environments do not have the time to familiarise themselves with some of the more theoretic considerations that HE level researches address in relation to learning design.  It would be great therefore to produce a toolkit which contextualised various theories of learning design, particularly those pertaining to online learning, for use in these sectors.





How you might go about bringing that change


If we subscribe to Knowles Theory of Andragogy, it follows that most adult learners (i.e. tutors engaged in teaching within the FE and Skills sectors in this instance) need to be convinced that learning is of value to them, so if we are to engage these professionals with  some of the more scholastic considerations inherent within online learning design, we need to advance pedagogies on the basis that we can demonstrate value. In an increasingly commodified environment, this may mean part of the resource focuses on making a case for the qualitative and quantitative benefits of more formal consideration of learning design within FE and Skills based online programmes.  

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