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1 EOR - Online Graphic Design (below HE level)

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Sancha de Burca
20 January 2013

Sancha de Burca

Ecology of Resources for Online Graphic Design projects (below HE level)

Design Challenge

Individuals take projects online as interactive PDFs. Action usually takes place in their own homes where they use computers, laptops, phones to work through project and upload evidence in blogs. There is also a large element of practical design-making. There may also be some fieldtrips.

Participants will be beginners in graphic design (14+) and could be students, homeschoolers or adults wishing to build a portfolio for return to college/employment. So a very varied and international set of learners with a range of equipment and skills.


Potential resources


  • Course guide booklets (PDFs)
  • Wordpress help
  • Internet sites
  • Course Blog and Twitter for updating design info
  • Individual blogs – extended use (ie as portfolios, records) beyond suggested course use

Videos/podcasts etc

  • YouTube tutorials
  • Museum/gallery podcasts
  • TV, DVDs


  • Tutor
  • Participants’ own knowledge
  • Participants’ contacts (family, past/current tutors in other situation)
  • Local libraries or colleges
  • Guest practitioners etc arranged via Course blog
  • Visitors to participants’ blogs; comments; building networks
  • Other participants

Places (both to work in and to use for investigation/fieldwork) – local/further afield

  • Libraries,
  • Galleries
  • Museums
  • Vacation sites
  • Parks
  • Gardens
  • Colleges, universities


  • Challenges in understanding guide PDFs
  • Anxiety in setting up blogs or searching internet
  • Not knowing where to look for help tutorials or information (or feeling that outside resources are “off limits”)
  • Broken links – reluctance to seek out or substitute new ones
  • Reluctance to see tutor help (might look “stupid”)
  • Lack of or broken broadband; slow broadband; no wifi; used up payment allowance
  • Other equipment unavailable or broken (cameras, scanners, paper, inks etc)
  • Illness, bereavement , caring, babysitting, chores, work
  • Lack of funds to begin course; maintain or get equipment; do fieldtrips; pay for broadband
  • Parental/social restrictions (used up time allowance; course not suitable; need different credits; ideological issues)
  • Lack of space for practical work (working from home – others may need space)
  • Asynchronous delivery of projects make it difficult for “live” guests


  • Learners’ knowledge, inc of technology and specific information websites
  • Learners’ networks
  • Parental support
  • Writer/tutor networks
  • Guest contributors



  • Course guides need to be clearly written in simple English with step by step instructions; carefully scaffolded learning with opportunities to branch out independently
  • Guides written to allow for all kinds of equipment, inc making designs by hand
  • Guides need to maintain ethical levels and to flag up activities where some learners might feel offended – these (few) activities should be optional and contain warnings before learners engage
  • Guides need to reinforce tutor help is always available
  • Tutors need to seek out and support “silent” learners who are not posting in blogs
  • Tutors/writers need to maintain links or send substitutes, while encouraging learners to find their own too
  • Tutors need to scaffold opportunities for independent learning
  • Extensions in extenuating circumstances – process needs to be clear and available


I would be grateful for any comments or advice. Thank you, Sancha

Extra content

Embedded Content


Joshua Underwood
6:13pm 20 January 2013

Hi Sancha, this looks like a great start for an EoR model of context. I'm not familiar with the setting of your desing challenge so I can't really comment on its validity. So, for me the next step would be to involve people (participants) with different perspectives to help build and validate this - particulary people who are characteristic of the intended learners.

You might find that you can do this in workshops by getting people to brainstorm, in a similar way to the way you have done above and feeding in your ideas and seeing how they react and what else they come up with. Sometimes though they will find it hard to understand what your are talking about so asking them to tell 'stories' and telling them your 'stories' (scenarios) incorporating some of these elements may make it easier to uncover the resources and filters they see from their perspective and share your perspective.

hope that helps.

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