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Reading design challenge 2009

Create a short course in a day - 9th July 2009

Cloudscape created by:

Gráinne Conole
8 July 2009

This Cloudscape has been set up to support the Reading Design Challenge.

The focus of the workshop is on designing a ‘course in a day. The aim is to provide you with fun and engaging ways to design an on-line course, to think innovatively and creatively and to make best use of different resources and tools to enhance the learning experience. You will work in your teams on a particular design challenge considering curriculum design resources and tools within a specific context. The overall aim is to give you a taster of how these might be useful in a real course production process, so there will be an opportunity at the end of the day to consider how these resources might be of use for your own course development and to compare the different approaches each of the teams take to addressing this design challenge. The workshop forms part of a JISC funded project on Curriculum Design led by the Open University (OU), and on which the University of Reading is one the partners.

Curriculum design has never being more challenging or potentially exciting:

  • New technologies offer a seemingly endless range of possibilities in terms of use of engaging digital media to support core course material to exciting and authentic communicative and collaborative opportunities
  • Modern students are more and more diverse with higher expectations of courses and more diverse needs from formal, work-related possibilities through to learning for informal, personal reasons
  • Employers are increasingly demanding evidence of students having developed a diverse range of social skills and competences to meet the challenges of the modern workplace
  • There is now a range of educational models that can be applied to help foster different pedagogical approaches. 

Workshop outcomes
At the end of the workshop, participants have:

  • an awareness of the range of resources, tools and methods which are available to support learning design – including case studies of good practice, learning object repositories and learning design tools/methods. For a quick introduction to learning design read the ‘Learn about Learning Design’ guide
  • experience of thinking about the design process from different perspectives.
  • an understanding that will allow them to transfer the experience gained from the design challenge to their own context and the courses they are involved with designing.
  • a grasp of the time required to incorporate different tools and resources into an online course.
  • an understanding of the issues and challenges involved in designing web 2.0-based learning. This approach encourages students to become active discoverers, evaluators and producers of a wide range of multi-media material through the web. The learning design is likely to incorporate collaborative activities or action learning. The development task is to design the learning journey within an assessment framework.

The challenge
The ‘short on-line course design challenge’ allows you to explore a range of resources, tools and ways of thinking about course design. Advisors will be on hand to help you.
Towards the end of the afternoon each team will present their ideas. The session will conclude with a reflection on the usefulness of the event and on which of the ideas, resources and tools you might wish to pursue further.
1.    The brief:

  • Working in your teams, you are to devise an outline for a short online course. You will have between 10:00 – 15:00 to plan and develop the outline for your course. During the final session of the day there will be presentations of the short course designs, reflection and discussion.

2.    The course:

  • Some of you already have clear ideas as to what sort of course you would like to design, in which case bring along ideas and content. For those who want to try something new the brief is to develop an informal 10-credit on-line taster course designed for someone going to travel/live in China for leisure/work reasons.

3.    The output:

  • Your online course should include:
    • - The outline of the course
    • - Clear learning outcomes
    • - Clear indication of how the learning will take place (learning activities and interactions that map to the learning outcomes; support needed and how learning outcomes will be assessed)
    • - Translation of a chunk of learning onto the VLE with a clear indication of the study hours involved.

4.    Support:

  • There will be a number of ‘resource stalls’ (see below) offering advice and guidance on different resources and tools you might want to consider. Advisors will be available to give you further information about use of tools, potential educational ideas or models which might be useful. Each team will have someone to help you present your course outline as a CompendiumLD diagram, which is a tool to help you visualise designs.

Useful resources

  • Cloudworks – a social networking site for design
  • CompendiumLD - a tool for visualising designs
  • E-learning case studies from the University of Reading
  • Educause – Site with useful resources on using tools in education
  • OpenLearn - Free repository of Open Educational Resources
  • Commoncraft - engaging short videos explaing different technologies like blogs, wikis, twitter, etc.


9.30 – 9.45    Introduction to the day

9.45 – 10.00  Overview of the resource stalls

Each stall owner/facilitator will give a brief overview of what they can offer, teams will then have the chance to make use of these stalls during the design challenge

10.00 – 10.45  Brainstorm

Reaching a common understanding. Initial brainstorm and discussion:
•    Objective of the course
•    Learning outcomes
•    Support that may be needed by the team.
Allocation of  roles: You can divide this up in anyway you want but you will need to appoint a course team chair who will be tasked with providing overall leadership for the design. Other roles you might consider could include one or more individuals tasked with exploring what tools to use or exploring potential resources to include. Others may want to work up ideas for particular activities the students will do. You may also decide it is useful to have someone having an overview of how the different components of the course fit together, how it links to the learning outcomes and assessment.]

10.45 – 12.15    Course design phase 1
Planning, getting the help you need to develop the course:
•    How to arrive at a coherent design
•    How web 2.0 can facilitate the learning interactions you want
•    What experience already exists that might apply to your context
•    How best to assess achievement of the learning outcomes
•    What support students will need
•    Prototyping your design

12.15 – 12.30    Plenary feedback
Touching base and feedback to teams

12:30 – 13:15    Lunch

13:15 – 15.00    Course design phase 2
Implementation of the design:
•    Putting it all together
•    Checking the design makes sense
•    Mapping the design, the mix of tools, tasks, resources etc.
•    Translating a unit of learning onto the VLE

15:00 – 15:30    Preparing a display for your course
Each team will be allocated display space. You can represent your course ideas in any way you want.

15:30 – 16.00    Reflection
Teams will have a chance to look at the approaches followed by other teams.

16.00 – 16.30   Evaluation and next steps

Outcomes of the evaluation, overall reflections on the day, feedback on the designs and steps forward

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