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Denise's Review of the e-Learning Design Template and the Design Principles Database learning representations

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Denise Germaine Taylor
5 April 2014

I have considered the e-Learning Design Template and the Design Principles Database

 

 

 "Healthy Eating" in an e-Design Template 

"Healthy Eating" using the Design Principles Database 

Readability

Reasonable readability – few concise words conveyed the idea very clearly.

However, I was not too sure what the ‘1-3’=15 mins really meant. I could understand that this section would last 15 minutes but not the ‘1-3’ part. The ‘SS’ and ‘TS’ acronyms were not explained – I had to figure that out for myself.

Excellent readability – explicitly stated notes on the lesson features linked to a clearly labeled ‘Design Principle’ from the Design Principle Database and with an explanation of its intention/aim/learning objective.

 

The hyper-linking of each heading, i.e. principle takes one into the database where all the relevant information. Even to the extent of information regarding the changed name of the this principle from ‘Make Contents Accessible’ to ‘Connect to Personally Relevant Contexts’.

 

There are connections to features such as,

 

http://www.edu-design-principles.org/dp/viewPrincipleDetail.php?prKey=171 (accessed on 5 April 2014)

This hyper-linking feature where the heading of the design principle is used in this way makes many more options available for designers to choose from.

Expressiveness

This was a poor attempt because if I were to use it to try to deliver this lesson, I would not be able to do it because the design lacked detail. This design was purely aimed at giving the teacher a conceptual sequence of what the lesson aimed to achieve cognitively.

There was enough detail for any teaching practitioner to use without having to struggle to find anything.

 

Students in this would have achieved much more compared to students in the lesson using the e-Learning Design Template on the same topic because elements of relevancy, collaboration and re-use of the wealth of existing materials available on the web are part of this lesson whereas in the e-Learning lesson, although these elements were also available, they were used in a more superficial way, such as, for relevancy, students could view a video and perhaps interpret how it applied to their own lives very briefly, whilst in the DPD lesson, relevancy was modeled in the video right at the start and again relevancy was added as a homework task to consolidate this relevancy by asking students to investigate more personal links to their learning in the classroom, outside the classroom. Collaboration in the e-Learning lesson was limited to SS interaction whereas in the DPD lesson this was extended beyond students discussing in groups to a whole class exposition of students work up for whole class discussion. Reuse of existing materials, students did not have to waste time coming up with their own ideas initially, they could build on existing ideas available on the web in the DFD lesson, whereas in the e-Learning lesson, students had to come up with their own ideas and those would have been enriched by the teacher’s input (depends on the teacher’s experiences and expertise and other things also) making this slightly limited in its scope compared to the method used in the DPD lesson.

Utility

I think it could be partly useful only because as the second lesson in this series of lessons on ‘Healthy Eating’, it ought to have included a few more open activities. This is probably not the failing of the designer of this set of ‘Healthy Eating’ lessons but the failing of the model perhaps. The scaffolding of the steps in this model can sometimes be stifling or too rigid if the designers couldn’t re-shuffle the 4 principles around to make it more flexible in the ‘real’ situation and to cater for differentiation to a greater extent.

 

The chunking of the activities into bite-sized sections lasting a few minutes is both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ because some learners would complete their tasks quicker than others and get bored and there could behaviour problems as a result of such designs. On the other hand, some students cannot cope with a massive ‘big’ project without teacher ‘interventions’ (chunking).

I think it is extremely useful having such a wealth of features available through the database and hyperlinks to it. The host of connected features makes it extremely useful also.

The graphical representation in the hierarchical format makes the meta-principles, pragmatic principles and the specific principles even clearer.

 

The website where this DPD is located has many more links to other resources available to learning designers, not only giving access to this DPD webpage/s.

The design of this particular DPD learning event is extremely useful in that it models just how one could put different elements together to achieve such cognitively-enriching learning experiences for students.

 

It also looks so much easier than I envisaged. Designing learning activities has always been an extremely creative and sometimes time-consuming activity for me personally; this makes the learning design process a ‘SMARTER’ way, rather than a ‘HARDER’ way of working.

Consider these representations from the perspective of the learning design you documented in Activity 1b.

  1. Are they adequate for expressing your design?

These are extremely beneficial for expressing my design. My design occurred without adhering to the tenets of any of these representations; hence my designs were painstakingly created from scratch. Had I ‘re-used’ some of the many learning designs available on the web, I might have created much more cognitively-enriching activities for my learners and saved myself a lot of time and effort in the process.

  1. What would be the benefits of using these representations for your design? Please explain your views?

I would re-mix, re-sequence, and adapt some of these representations for use in designing my own learning events.

I would also probably use some of the existing representations as they are, but that would probably take too much time to find exact match/fit for my particular learning events.

Accessing the work of other learning designers furthers one’s capability as a learning designer because being able to view and re-use others’ efforts serves as a learning experience for one.

One also has access to an unlimited resource bank that is constantly being updated with some of the very latest input, although has to be discerning at times and know how to select reliable information.

 

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