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Hugues Chicoine
17 January 2013

Summary analysis of Gráinne Conole's « Week 3 - Ideate » module 

The Week 3 - Ideate module (as presented here in Cloudscape) proposes nine 9 activities, steps, as follows:

  1. Course Features (key features of a course, module or learning event). In reference to the OULDI course features page, the module mentions "design problems" or constraints that have all to do with institutional concerns: "potentially high student numbers, minimal IT support, students at risk of not completing, mixed experience of learning and technology, low learning confidence/ resilience...etc etc", that is, Admission, Enrollment ; may refer to some "inherent ‘master’ design".
  2. Course Map (conceptualize —  i.e what are you designing and why, who are you designing for?). Successive weblinks lead to OULDI - Course Map Page. References to concept mapping are afforded (cf. the 7Cs of Learning Design and the unattributed course maps #1,#2,#3 below). While some are familiar with such tools, many still need "time to understand and experiment with unfamiliar teaching approaches, such as the use of concept mapping and the various interconnected technologies which would support individual and group enquiry-based learning." (Spence et al. 2012:1) What is surprising here is that concept mapping is construed as a teaching approach.
  3. Activity Profile * (formerly pedagogy profile). Choice or selection of pedagogical methods are offered between > Assimilative (attending and understanding content - or relationship to knowledge), Information handling (e.g. gathering and classifying resources or manipulating data), Adaptive (use of modelling or simulation software), Communicative (dialogic activities, e.g. pair dialogues or group-based discussions), and Productive (construction of an artefact such as a written essay, new chemical compound or a sculpture) and Experiential (practising skills in a particular context or undertaking an investigation).
  4. Viewpoints cards: Assessment and Feedback. Please read 'Clarify Good Performance' on the left side of the image outlining a process where 'Curriculum Creativity' is last ). A number of types of creative | learning spaces were recently identified for universities, a typology which neatly applies to online environments as well: Solitary Space, Team Space, Tinker Space, Presentation Space, Transition Spaces (informal exchange); includes such notions as space as a knowledge repository, as an indicator of a specific culture, as a process manifestation, as a social dimension, as a source of stimulation. (Thoring, Luippold and Mueller 2012:196)  Nevertheless, 'Clarify Good Performance' means what it says on the front of the card (goals, criteria, standards) and develops into explicit (behaviorial) conformance on the back of the card probably intended for classroom work ('roles and responsibilities'). 
  5. Viewpoints learner engagement cards (Good teaching and learning practice should encourage learners to "Receive"). This blunt pedagogical —  no, didactic — statement, after laying out conformance requirements under the guise of Performance associated with goals, criteria, standards, places learners at the receiving end of the teaching process. In the traditional or hybrid setting, involves compulsory attendance; in online learning or a MOOC, mobility restrictions. 
  6. Storyboard (Carpe Diem Story board). The approach is basically a time sequence in weeks; content is broken down into topics to which learning activities are attached; provision is made for producing the resources, assessing events and, finally, the learning objectives. 
  7. Discussion Cloudscape (oldsmooc google groups)
  8. Reflection Cloudscape (What three words describe this week's activities? What did you like about this week? What could be improved?)
  9. Action Plan Cloudscape (Post your participant Action Plan as a Cloud).

The Learners' Activities * approach (item 3 in above list) is so deeply embedded in the current theory of online teaching-learning (design) that countless versions exist, including within this MOOC in the «Week 4 - Connect» segment  (cf. activity 1.2), but in another livery (below: Learner activities: Design left column - Field right column).

Learner activities as reiterated in week 4: Design (left column) Field (right column) — production appears twice 


Analysis of Gráinne Conole's 7Cs 

Items 8 and 9 are not included in Conole's 7Cs approach. The seven Cs of learning design are shown below in their given layout and hierarchy.

The 7Cs of learning Design

+Conole's 7Cs of learning designAlthough learner activities seem predominant here and in the following three more or less detailed course design representations | maps, the starting point is systematically the teacher's or designer's view of the course or module.

Course map #1 (unattributed)

+student activities

Course map #2 (unattributed)

+student activities 2

Course map #3 (unattributed)

+student activities 3

 At face value, there is definite convergence among the above representations with respect to student activities (learner centered) approaches. All representations intend to support and reinforce student or learner activities yet some indicate "Guidance and Support" (teacher field tasks) or "Vision | Conceptualise" (designer tasks) as the leading thrusts. It is tempting to extend the 7Cs map into a designer vector whereby "Vision | Conceptualise" (designer tasks) actually cap the basic field hierarchy (learner activitie or workplan), as follows:

Extension | deconstruction of Conole's 7Cs of Learning Design

+extension of Conole's 7Cs of learning design

This analysis isolates student | learner activities as the central element of educational design but raises a number of questions, and mainly whether the approach at hand can be well and successfully applied to academic disciplines other than education or teacher training, by professors of, say, geography, sociology, (name your own specialty from this list).

Nevertheless, the very title of the OLDS-MOOC Week 3 Module, « IDEATE » indicates that (i) the module is the work of a learning designer ("Vision | Conceptualise" aka "Ideate"), and that (ii) course maps #1, #2 and #3 share some DNA with the 7Cs model, that is, learner activities are central to educational design. The business of teaching used to be the teacher's course outline and I gather, from the string of conservative educational design representations above, that the visibility and salience of learner academic workplan (cognitive activities) is an indication that pedagogy could evolve (pedagogy to activity profile), however slowly, into educational design for the 21st century.



SPENCE, N., GROOM, D., DE MARCO, O., PARKER, R., IRELAND, M., WARDLE, M. 2012. A Brave New World: introducing the planets online. Ascilite 2012. (

THORING, K., LUIPPOLD, C., MUELLER, R.M. 2012. Creative space in design education: A typology of spatial functions. International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 6 & 7 september 2012, Artesis University College, Antwerp, Belgium. (

Related pages (in that order):

Hugues Chicoine: A Learner Workplan approach to educational design 

EDUCATIONAL DESIGN (teaching-learning) : Introduction 



SUMMARY ANALYSIS OF « Week 3 - Ideate » MODULE (this page)

Progress report [@30%,90%]

PROTOTYPE in text form [1,2,3]

Hugues Chicoine OLDS MOOC Final Reflective Post (Cloud)




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