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Vicky Hindle's comparison of two representations

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Vicky Hindle
11 April 2016

Comparison of two representations of learning


The e-Design template

The Design Principles Database

Readability - the ease with which you understood the content.

As a psychology tutor, I found this design easy to understand as it is based on constructivist principles – it uses the principles of scaffolding, which aims to initially support the students via lots of scaffolding, and then gradually withdrawing that scaffolding in order to make the learner more independent.



As with the e-Design template, I found this representation very easy to understand. Whereas the e-Design template is based on constructivist principles, the Design Principles Database is based on social constructivist techniques as it places more emphases on helping students learn from each other.

Expressiveness – in terms of helping the designer to communicate why the activities have been chosen.

I don’t feel that it explicitly helps the tutor to communicate why activities have been chosen. However, I think it does so implicitly as the tutor is encouraged to choose activities that help the learner to become more skilled and independent. So, there is a rational behind this e-learning design in terms of the activities that should be chosen to help the learner to become more independent.


Compared to the e-Design template, this representation is more expressive as it focuses on why the curriculum is designed in the way that it is, rather than what is done in the lesson and how the tutor has used technology (Persico, 2013).



Utility – their usefulness in communicating important aspects of the design



I think it is useful in terms of communicating important aspects of the design. For example, as Persico et al (2013) points out, it can help tutors to see if they have missed out any of the e-learning principles as proposed by the E-learning Design template.



As mentioned above, unlike the e-design template, it explicitly communicates why a design has been used. However, this might be a drawback for new teachers or e-Designers, who may find it more helpful to communicate what and how is done in the lesson.

Are these representations adequate for expressing my design?

I feel that e-design is adequate for expressing my design. It emphasizes the importance of gradually withdrawing scaffolding in order to make the learners more independent.  This fits in well with Access to HE; I will give lots of support to Access students at the beginning of the course, and then gradually withdraw this support, so that they become independent learners, ready for undergraduate level study at university.

This design is useful as it would help me to communicate to other tutors and students the rational why a lesson or course has been designed in the way that it is. However, I feel it would be more useful if used in conjunction with the e-Design template; other tutors, who are delivering the same course, and students will also need to know what is done in the lesson and how technology is used in and outside of the lesson.

What would be the benefits of using these representations for my design?

I think the e-learning design template would benefit my design, especially when evaluating design, especially in relation to using google classrooms to facilitate learning in and outside of the classroom. Having read about this representation, I now realise what is missing from my own design – perhaps more open projects in order to make the learner more ‘self-organised’.

This representation would also help me to reflect on and evaluate lessons already designed. However, as Persico et al (2013) point out, DPD has been designed to be used during the design process, so it would also be useful to help me to evaluate my own learning design during the design process.

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