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Nathan Casey's representation comparison

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Nathan Casey
4 April 2016

For this activity, i chose to look at the Design Principles Database and the e-Learning Template.

For both representations, the content was easily understood as both presented the information in a structured, sequential way with clear labels.  

For the Design Principles Database, the focus clearly seemed to be on presenting a pedagogically sound argument and rationale for each feature of the 'Healthy Eating' lesson chosen.  This was presented in a table: the features of the lesson in one column of a table, with the rationale (via comparison with a feature in the Database) alongside it.  This approach helped clearly demonstrate the links between the activities chosen and the underlying rationale, as well as explicitly relating this to wider non-domain specific learning experiences / approaches.  However, although the rationale was clear, the overall structure and flow of the lesson, and important features of this (such as interaction type, timings, support and additional resources needed) was not.  Even though the aim of this representation was to show how a lesson may be evaluated post-planning, these features, presented in a systematic way detailing the relationships between these, would seem to be an essential part of this.  In terms of utility, from a pre-planning perspective, it would seem that a designer would need a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve, and an awareness of appropriate ways of scaffolding and structuring learner activity before utilizing this (when is specific type of activity most appropriate).  From a post-planning perspective, this is a very useful evaluative tool, although, again, this would necessitate that the designer was aware of, and had structured, relevant and appropriate activity types at various stages throughout the wider learning activity.

The e-Design Template took a similar approach (and resembled a more traditional type lesson plan) with descriptions of activity type, interaction patterns, timings and assessment types collated together under the main principle headings.  This afforded a clear, linear, progressive view of the activities throughout the lesson, as well as the level of difficulty / support and expected level of learner autonomy required at each stage.  In comparison to the Design Principles Database, this representation clearly helps provide a framework for the wider design of a lesson / learning event, but on a more granular, activity level, would benefit being used in conjunction with another type of tool / representation (such as the Design Principles Database mentioned).   Additionally, although the general scaffolding principles as defined in the headings gave a good impression of the general types of activity / interaction that would be happening at each stage of the lesson, locating specific detail (such as specific interaction type or timing) was more difficult to locate at a glance due to the way that activities were described/ grouped and the table headings chosen.

For both representations, it was unclear what references were / are made to technology within the learning process, apart from the tools that were used to create / evaluate them.

Undoubtedly either of these representations would have helped the design process as described here.  Their key value for myself in both cases, albeit slightly differently, is that they afford a common framework of reference and vocabulary that can be used in the design process – something that was sorely needed as miscommunication caused a lot of frustration (and additional work) in the learning design process I described!

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Susan Williams
3:07pm 7 April 2016 (Edited 3:11pm 7 April 2016)

Hi Nathan

I have posted my comments in the forum. 

1:57am 7 February 2017

Hi Nathan, I´ll be taking a look at your design layouts, thank you, Alan

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