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Week Two Summary Contextualisation (Sue Watling DIY Multimedia)

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Sue Watling
24 January 2013

Less about DIY Multimedia and more reflections on the contextualisation of OLD

Learning and isolation are poor partners. Focus on the learner context enhances the process of OLD through revealing motivations as well as potential barriers. Context can reveal attention hot spots e.g. ease of access to materials, availability of support, the loneliness of the long distance online learner, guidance on specific design criteria e.g. the variety of activities, collaboration with peers and tutors, interaction with content, formative and diagnostic assessment opportunities etc. Context assists the designer make appropriate choices, in particular providing mechanisms for customising learning to suit individual preference e.g. providing information in alternative formats. All this runs in parallel to theoretical approaches to LD for example constructive alignment (Biggs and Tang, 2011).

Scenarios, Personas and Force Maps are useful approaches to OLD. Context can be presented in textual formats but also displayed through mind mapping or diagrams where a visual approach can offer an effective overview of key issues. Constructing context encourages sharing practice; drawing on own experiences and incorporating those of colleagues to bring key issues together. Doing this online rather than round a table can in itself reveal areas of online learning design which need attention.

For my own practice inclusion is a key concern. Without attention to access, the application of theory to practice becomes diluted. Effective OLD takes into account the diversity of ways people access learning resources and opportunities, this is particularly important where there are no face to face clues or opportunities for discussion. Identifying potential barriers to access and participation are key to retention and success.

In the future I will be looking to building a collection of contrasting scenarios for future reference and experiment with alternative ways of presenting these e.g. diagrammatically.

Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. 4th ed. OUP

Join the Google DIY Multimedia Group at!forum/olds-mooc-diy-multimedia 

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As designers and problem solvers we should try various tools that lead to the creation of effective learning and then run with what we know and what works for us. My approach is to work from a thoroughly researched creative brief, then to develop a set of personas, then to workshop the project in order to create what some call a 'wireframe' others a 'blue print' - that can typically end up as a PowerPoint of some kind to be shared with a team and put into a collaborative module building system, such as 'CourseBuilder' or 'Xerte' or others - software with wiki like properties that allows many people to dip and and do their bit. I liken it to a building site ... loads of people with specific tasks, as well as managers and the client taking a look in too.

For me a 'Force Map' occurs at the workshop stage and is a piece of wallpaper baking paper taped to a boardroom table. You doodle, draw, link, sketch, flow chart and mindmap ... just get ideas onto a sheet of paper. I have even drawn an actual road network (simplified) to show how, in that case, a defendant, lawyers, a 'file' and officials literally moved about from prison cell, to magistrates court to crown court. Thir 'Road Map' became the treatment and from that a script was written ... and so on. In this case 'personas' were even cast from professional actors so that dramatised scenarious could be created to 'bring it to life' (It was induction for new lawyers to the Crown Prosecution Service by the way).

No budget or a good budget doesn't change the need to think it through, get it in a form that can be readily shared, and then collaborate on a common sheet and document.

Jonathan Vernon
10:21 on 24 January 2013

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