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OLDS-MOOC Week 3: Ideate

24 January 2013 - 30 January 2013
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Week 3 introduces the notion of visual representations and their value in enabling design thinking, discourse and sharing.

Cloudscape created by:

Rebecca Galley
2 November 2012

Go to Week 3 in the Google site

Week 3 Learning outcomes

  • Conceptualise the learning design process from different perspectives
  • Apply some learning design resources, tools and methods to your design
  • Critique a range of pedagogical approaches and the role that different technologies play
  • Review, share and discuss the theoretical underpinnings, benefits and limitations of design representations across educational contexts
  • Develop an innovative storyboard, learning activities and a structure for implementation
  • Opportunity to gain the 3 Weeks and Resource Gatherer badges


The ideate phase of designing encompasses all those activities associated with visualising what the design might look like, and forming ideas of how it will work in practice. Designers use a variety of representations: such as informal sketches, lists, tables and concept map visualisations. Each representation helps to bring out particular aspects and perspectives on the design. A combination of representations may be needed to effectively visualise the learning event. Ideate tools have now been developed to help express and understand an imagined design. These tools, in turn, have already begun to be configured as ‘toolkits’ to fit particular institutional contexts or conceptual models, or as ‘toolboxes’ compiled by crowd-sourcing or by expert review.
In this week, you will have the opportunity to use some of these tools, evaluate them and to think more broadly about what you may want to see next time you open your own ‘toolbox.’ The focus here is on those first steps in imagining your design and how this can be supported by using learning design tools and activities.


Activity 1 (15-20 minutes): Approaches to design
Activity 2 (30 minutes): So what do ideate tools look like and how have they been used? This activity uses some tools from the OULDI Toolbox as an example of how tools can be used to support initial steps in sketching out a course.  To gain an overview of these tools:
  • Watch the Course Features Cards video: these cards were developed to help individuals or teams to think about the overall character of their course (6:31). This Cloud also has a link to the JISC Design Studio for further information and PDFs.
  • Read about the Course View Map in the JISC Design Studio, and the Activity Profile: these representations are intended to broaden the design ‘view’ beyond a focus on the syllabus and to help you think about what learning activities the student is doing. The links include Excel and Word templates and a suggested design activity.
  • Select one or two from this list of nineteen Case Studies and read about how the OULDI tools have been used by practitioners.
Activity 3 (30 minutes): A Toolbox on Cloudworks. Take a look at this Toolbox. This Cloudscape presents a crowd-sourced list of design tools and activities: some you may already have encountered on this course or elsewhere, others may be new to you. Add to this list any tools and activities you have used or are aware of. Join in this actiivity to apply for the Resource Gatherer badge.


Activity 4 (15 minutes):
Assembling your Toolkit: Part 1. Leicester University has been fusing together OULDI tools with tools from the established Carpe Diem programme (such as the StoryBoard activity). Watch the Slideshare presentation about the 7Cs for an overview of how a range of tools have been selected for use in a series of activities which gradually support designers in building their conception of a design. Contribute to a discussion in the Cloud or on the OLDSMOOC Google group discussion thread The 7Cs of Learning Design as you prefer.

Activity 5 (30-60 minutes):  Assembling your Toolkit: Part 2. Decide what tools/activities you want to use for imagining or describing your learning design. Select 2 or 3 tools/activities from the Toolbox Cloudscape (see activity 3) that you would like to try. In particular, you might find the Course Features, Course Map and Activity Profile Conceptual Learning Designs useful. To help make your selections think:

  • Are you looking for tools and activities that challenge and disrupt the way you currently think about your course, or are you looking for tools that use language, terms or representations that you are already familiar with?
  • Are you looking for tools that help you to take ‘time out’ to ideate in more detail or are you primarily interested in tools to save you time (for example, in creating representations you commonly use?)
  • Which tools/activities you try and in what order is entirely up to your team, however, if you can’t decide, why not start with the Course Features Card tool/activity (see Activity 2).

If working in a team ensure you leave enough time to discuss and reach agreement - you could use the Discussion Cloudscape or other collaboration tool to discuss which you want to try. NB: it can often take a little time to fully understand the purpose, provenance and depth of supporting evidence for each tool/activity, so allow time for browsing and discussion. Share any thoughts about the challenges presented by doing the ideate phase at a distance on the Google Groups forum.


Saturday, Sunday and Monday


Activity 6 (60-120 minutes): Use the tools/activities you selected in Activity 5. Make sure you understand the purpose of the tool or activity and what is trying to support you in doing. If working in teams build in time to share ideas. You have the option of doing this at the weekend (e.g. if working remotely) or on Monday (if working with a team from your institution).

Activity 7 (15 minutes): Post what you produced during Activity 6 on the Imagining the Design Cloud in Cloudworks / your blog. If you are using Twitter or Google Groups, why not tweet the URL? If you are working in a team, you may want to nominate one person to do this on the teams’ behalf.

Don’t worry if you’ve deviated from the original representation or your use of the tool or if it looks a bit messy. If you're interested, there are two side-by-side comparisons of outputs from the Course Map and Activity Profiler on p57 and p62 of this OULDI report. If you know of others, why not add them to the OLDSMOOC BibSonomy Page.


Activity 8 (15-20 minutes): Review the designs posted by at least one or two other participants (these could be in personal spaces shared via the forum or Twitter (#oldsmooc_wk3), or in the Imagining the Design Cloud, or the Sharing and Reflection Cloud,  or in the relevant Cloudscapes (Course FeaturesCourse MapActivity Profile  etc.). Provide feedback on the design Clouds colleagues have uploaded.



Activity 9 (60 minutes): CONVERGE: 12 NOON GMT Google hangout discussion. This will be a synchronous (recorded) session, which will provide an opportunity to ask questions of this week's team and reflect with others on the activities. (Please note that this event has moved from Tuesday to Wednesday).
Activity 10 (15-30 minutes):
In the discussion forum thread Reflections on Week 3, or in the Sharing and Reflecting Cloud, view and reflect on the week's activity and identify the progress you have made in your design this week. Questions you might like to think about include:
  • What are the benefits of these visual representations?
  • Did they help you to think more creatively?
  • What representations did you find more useful?
  • Do you think it would be useful to share these views with students?
You may want to add your Action Plan to the Action Plan Cloudscape.


Click on the image to apply for the badge
To become eligible for the '3 Week' badge complete any three weeks of the MOOC. Click the badge for more information. Also, if you want to provide feedback to the course team and facilitators on your experience so far please visit the course feedback form

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