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Hweeshan's OLDS MOOC Learning Journal: Week 2 - Revisions & Reflections

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Tay Hwee Shan
24 January 2013

This week was about context, about putting learners at the centre of design, literally, as seen by the EoR model. Due to time constraint, I won't be attempting to adapt the frameworks that were presented, but rather, I have scanned through the utilitisation and examples of those frameworks and identified these important factors to consider when designing for a learner:

  • External factors (physical environment, other people, social conventions, etc)
  • Internal factors (learner's intra-personal intelligence, intrinsic motivations, personal backgrounds)
  • and the RELATIONSHIPS between these factors, and the learners themselves.

I now refer to the initial scenario I wrote:

The main actors were:

  • Amy (course owner who wishes to push her foundation level course into a mobile app)
  • Other learning centre owners (who will potentially benefit from the publicity generated by the app)
  • Joe (father of 2 schooling children who is potentially interested in Amy's course)
  • Jack & Jill (the children of Joe, and who are digital natives)

While I have considered the general relationship between the actors, much more can definitely be done to analyse these relationships in depth, in order to find a SOLUTION to potentially detrimental relationships, and enhance potentially positive relationships.

Off-hand, the relationships I can think of include:

  • Joe and his children - whether or not their father's opinions would affect their perspectives of learning (extrinsic motivation from their father may or may not work)
  • Joe / Jack & Jill and their smartphones - whether or not they view their smartphones as a tool for learning, based on past experience or influences
  • Amy and the designers - whether or not she can accept the potential modifications that would be made to her course as a result of reducing it to bite-sized nuggets of information or instruction. Whether or not there is any convention or tradition that may potentially be broken due to change in instructional tools / methodology.

Finally, I reflect upon the initial objectives & plans I had set for myself this week:

1. Compare and contrast Contextual Approaches in Learning Design (as described in this weeks' activities) with HCI design processes - particularly User Centered Design (UCD).
After scanning through the various presentations, I conclude that there is a lot of similarity between UCD and Learning Design, especially with the contextual approaches. In fact, some of the tools and frameworks refer back to Interaction Design processes traditionally taught in HCI courses. This has definitely sped up my understanding of the concepts presented this week, and I truly appreciate these processes being put in place by designers to ensure that the final product is indeed designed for the correct audience in mind, and not just designing "for the sake of it". After all, during Week 1, my main takeaway was to look at design as "making stuff better", not just "making good stuff".

2. Develop scenario for a project (either the project I have decided upon joining, or another personal project on hand).
I have developed a scenario for a personal project I am intending to work on in the near future. This is indeed a great platform to review my ideas and learn more about how I can improve my design.

3. Go through at least one of new frameworks / tools being presented in the Week 2 outline (persona, force maps, EoR analysis & representation, document use of alternative approach) and pick a suitable one.
Both force maps and EoR analysis are great tools that provide perspectives into looking at relationships between the stakeholders. I personally found force maps easier to understand, and will attempt to utilitise it in some ways during my design process.

4. Review scenario and revise as necessary.
Initial reviews of the relationships between the actors of my scenario have been done, and I look forward to more in-depth revisions as I progress along this MOOC. =)

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