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Brendan Clarke's Design Narrative - Diversity, Sport and Dropping the Box

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Brendan Clarke
9 April 2015

Title Diversity, Sport and Dropping the Box






  1. The client contacted Organisations A to provide training in diversity and sport.  Organisation A subcontracted the event to Organisation B.  Then Organisation B contacted me.
  2. The Chain is already now four stages long. 1-Client, 2-Org A, 3-Org B and 4-Me. 5 if we include the learners as they are the end users
  3. I received a brief to deliver four sessions- about 20 hours of learning on Diversity & Sport to a group of adult learners.  Despite several attempts to illicit information on the group and the learning aims, I didn’t receive any


  1. I was asked to provide learning on Diversity and Sport to a ‘mixed group of adult learners? I was trying to achieve a varied, interesting and challenging programme of learning for the group of 12 adults.  There was an optional assessment element and I was also aiming to ensure that the learners understood what the assessment requirements where and what they would need to evidence if they wished to submit an assessment.
  2. My measure of success initially was the development of the programme from a range of new and existing resources and linking the materials and activities to the learning outcomes of the programme and the assessment criteria where appropriate.
  3. I also wanted to introduce an electronic format to the programme to illicit feedback, response and establish student understanding.  The electronic format was optional and was in essence material available in a variety of electronic formats from a couple of sources to see how learners and me approached this aspect.




  1. Asked for a range of information on the learners – none available. 
  2. Accessed the learning outcomes for the programme
  3. Developed the resources and assessment materials
  4. Prepared the resources for distribution
  5. Met the group for the first time on a Thursday afternoon.  The second session was on the Friday all day.  The other two session were scheduled after Christmas in January
  6. On the first afternoon I discovered that the Diversity & Sport training was part of a wider programme the group where participating in on Sectarianism and Good Relations. 
  7. This wider programme would include residential trips to the Somme and Glasgow Rangers (to see a football game between Rangers and Leith)
  8. On this first day (Thursday), I met the original ‘client’ for the first time and after finding out about the Glasgow event we agreed to arrange a further session after the return from Glasgow to build in the learning from that.
  9. It also enabled me to include in the discussion further aspects of Glasgow & Celtic relationships as the learning programme proceeded
  10. The Friday went as I should have expected…. out of the 12 participants 10 where out until 2am in the morning at diverse local hostelries.  We concluded early on the Friday at about 3.30 pm with only one or two outwardly snoring!!
  11. The material was discussion based following an input on the ‘topic’ i.e. racism, sexisms, homophobia, sectarianism, disability discrimination, followed by either a YouTube video or a governing body video e.g. the Kick it Out Campaign for racism in football in the UK.
  12. All the materials where provided to the learners on the first two days of the initial residential programme.
  13. Following the first two days, some students lost materials, or left them in the hotel, also the video links whilst reproduced, as written urls couldn’t be activated.
  14. I agreed to provide the materials in an electronic format PDF/PowerPoint so that the video links could be accessed.  The assessment guidance and materials where also available. 
  15. It became clear at this stage that the learners had a variety of access to e- media.   All used phones, not all had smart phones, and 11 had email one did not.  None were familiar with either zip files or file transfer protocols like Drop box.
  16. The files were too big to send unzipped.
  17. After talking to the leaners about electronic access we agreed on Drop box, as it was the most straightforward.  I already had an account; I could create one folder and invite everyone to that folder in an email together with confirmation of the discussion and a written explanation on how to access.
  18. This worked for those learner who decided to use it- 5 of the group.  The other 7 used the paperwork.


  1. The sessions went as planned and the final plenary following the Glasgow experience was positive as it prompted some learners to include reference to it in their portfolio.
  2. The objectives related to delivering the programme where met and we had 9 students at the final session.  7 of them submitted assessment materials successfully.
  3. The pace and the presentation of some of the materials were out and needed to be altered
  4. The major additional outcome for me was a much deeper appreciation for the learning platforms used by and accessible to the students. It made me much more aware that the introduction of e-learning materials and resource use had be incorporated into the design of the programme, both the process and the product rather than presume that accessible technology was indeed accessible and that the learners knew how to use it. 


  1. It was an interesting experience, the Diversity in and Through Sport was an interesting programme to research and prepare and deliver.  The learners where friendly, supportive, helpful and keen to recollect on experiences. 
  2. Making the move from recollection to reflection and then transference was more difficult
  3. Reflecting on this, I didn’t have this as an aim either for the programme or the learners.  Essentially I was contracted to deliver a range of learning outcomes predetermined- an acquisitioned approach where the learning experience was demanding a participation approach.  Not that I knew that then… 
  4. I’ve since turned work down from this same ‘conduit’ as the process of origination was roughly the same and whilst I could ‘’deliver’ the content and the outcomes, it needed a different approach to design that I didn’t wish to be involved with. 
  5. Now I wouldn’t turn that work down, I’d renegotiate the design
  6. So now I am experiencing design in a different way.  Before it was outcome - assessment continuum and what was needed to go from A-B. 
  7. A to B is still important as that is what is the ‘brief’ and the clients want- initially, but now I feel more confident in revising an ill-defined and poorly thought out ‘idea’ into a much more properly worked through learning design.

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