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OLDS-MOOC Week 4: Connect

31 January 2013 - 6 February 2013

Image by This image is from a slideshow demonstrating how teachers might share pedagogical patterns

Cloudscape created by:

Rebecca Galley
31 January 2013

(Or go straight to the list of Clouds in this Cloudscape)


This week we assume that the 'teacher-designer' - Peter Goodyear's term (see his webpage - knows roughly what the conceptual focus is. The 'Connect' concept is similar to what in one recent project became known as 'BOTWOO' - Building On The Work Of Others. Not an elegant acronym, but strangely memorable. This is what we all do as researchers, but do much less as teachers. Teachers don't find it that easy. Even the OER (Open Educational Resources) movement is still struggling to make this idea catch on widely among teachers, although it's been around for a while. But this week the idea is to start not with the content as the object of reusable design knowledge, but the teaching pattern (or pedagogical pattern, or learning pattern, or lesson plan, or teaching plan). We'll be looking at ways of tackling that issue, with practical activities to illustrate how it might be done. The week is led by Professor Diana Laurillard of the London Knowledge Lab with Dr. Niall Winters also of the London Knowledge Lab and Steve Warburton from the University of London co-facilitating.

There have been some interesting issues coming up in previous weeks, that relate to this Week's activities, so we've made reference to some of these in a Cloud devoted to general discussion for the week

Learning outcome
  • To develop insights into the principles of pedagogic design

Activity 1 Introduction to pedagogical patterns (Thursday, 45 mins)

In Week 3 we looked at learning design at the course level, and the open-ended collection of ideas, concepts, activities, student information, types of assessment, technologies, and resources that will coalesce eventually to make the course. You will have assembled some ideas of what and how you want your students to learn. This week we try to mould those ideas into quite explicit descriptions of what you and the learners will be doing, hour by hour, minute by minute, on some part of the course.  This means you will create a 'pedagogical pattern' that (a) addresses a learning outcome (b) provides a way of achieving that outcome, in the form of a set of teaching-learning activities or TLAs, and (c) includes in those activities a way of enabling the teacher and learners to judge how well they have achieved the learning outcome.
But you might not simply create your own from your 'Ideate' activities. You might also, through 'BOTWOO' (building on the work of others), be able to reach a better design than starting from scratch yourself. The Pedagogical Patterns Collector is an online tool that enables you to see some patterns developed by others, adopt and adapt one of them to your own context, and then improve on the original. If you publish your improved pattern, then we gradually create a library of user-design patterns, or families of patterns, that have specific pedagogical properties, formally defined as computational objects with computationally manipulable properties.
We can only skim the surface of the potential range of activities this week, but by the end of the week perhaps you will have shaped some of your pedagogic ideas into a quite precise representation that can be analysed and shared with others.

Activity 1.1 Watch the video introduction to the week’s activities (at (Download a transcript of the video)

Activity 1.2 Read through the Guide to the Pedagogical Patterns Collector (PPC).

The types of learning used here to distinguish between different types of learning activity are different from the list used by Grainne Conole in Week 3.
Here is a mapping between the two:
             Type of learning activity       Learning through
             Assimilative                             Acquisition
             Information Handling               Inquiry (in the sense of using and manipulating sources of information, e.g. library work)
             Communication                       Discussion
             Production                               Production
             Experiential                             Practice  
             Adaptive                                  [Could be an aspect of Practice]
            Assessment                            Production

Activity 1.3 Link to the PPC ( - it's a good idea to open it in a new window for easy reference. Then:

  • Familiarise yourself with the Browser and Designer screens. On the Home page there is a link to a video (18 minutes) that demos the Adopt and Adapt screens (watching the video is optional).
  • In the Browser find the ‘Understanding authentic practice’ pattern in the Collection, and click on the ‘Classroom teaching’ instance. In Week 3 terms, this is where a learning design has been 'Captured' and 'Communicated'.
  • Click on ‘Adapt this pattern’ and it takes you to the Designer screen. Notice that it is a rather unbalanced pattern in terms of the pie-chart reading. The pie-chart simply adds up the total time learners spend on the different types of learning listed above (through aqcuisition, inquiry, discussion, practice and production). This is where you might 'Consider' your design again.
  • Try editing the pattern in different ways, appropriate for the learning outcome, and see if you can make a more well-balanced learning design. It need not be equally-balanced, because some learning outcomes might be best achieved through lots of reading, and others through lots of discussion and practice. But do you think, given the kind of learning experience you are trying to design, that this balance of types of learning is appropriate?
  • Use the Save as... button at the top to save whatever you create to your own folder. You can upload it again using the Open... button. You can send it to collaborators, or upload it to a shared folder. best of all, follow the instructions in the 'Abstract' screen to submit the pattern, and it will appear in the 'User generated patterns' on the website. Publishing it in this way enables others to 'Collaborate' in your design by adopting and adapting it themselves.
This tool is a research prototype, so the patterns collected so far are dependent on who happens to use the tool. We welcome your patterns to improve the collection!

Activity 1.4  At the bottom of this 'Week 4' page in the 'file list' you will find an html file called 'OLDSMOOC Week 4 pattern'. Click on the arrow to the right of the file to download it to your own folder. In the Designer screen Open that file and you will see the pattern we created when we designed this week. Look through this to see how it describes what you've just done (Introduction). Does it fit with your experience? You'll also get a preview of what is to come!


Activity 2 Pair tutoring on a design principle (Friday, 60 mins)

Activity 2.1 Begin by negotiating with other participants or your local learning circle to find a partner for this activity.

You are responsible for explaining the potential of one of the pragmatic design principle features in the Design Principles Database to the other participants. With your partner, browse through the list of design principle features ( until you find one that looks useful for your own teaching.

Activity 2.2 Work together to plan how you will introduce the design principle feature in the online discussion, explaining why it's interesting for your context. Decide on the introductory question you will pose to other participants in your group's Cloud. Set the deadline after which you will post a summary.

Decide which of you will be responsible for setting up the Introduction and discussion question, and who will take responsibility for the Summary.

Activity 2.3 Each group of participants in this Activity is asked to create their own Cloud in the Pair Tutoring Cloudscape (, and name it '[your names] Principle'.

Participant 1: Set up the link to the principle feature and post your introduction and question in the Cloud and set the deadline for responses. Add your Cloud to the 'Pair Tutoring' Cloudscape.
Participant 2: Once the deadline is passed, summarise in your Cloud the points made in the discussion.
All participants: please comment on at least two other Clouds before the deadline set.

Activity 3 Commenting on other pairs' presentations (Saturday, 45 mins)

Activity 3.1 Browse through the design principles introduced by other pairs of participants in the Pair tutoring Cloudscape and select two to comment on.

Activity 3.2 Contribute a comment to two Clouds, critiquing the proposed use and value of the principle, adding your own reflections on the potential use and value of that principle, and commenting on other participants' comments.

Activity 3.3 Add your Cloud to your Portfolio Cloudscape as part of your OLDS-MOOC collection of learning designs, patterns and resources.

Activity 4 Develop your own pattern (Sat-Sunday, 40 mins)

Activity 4.1 Select one of your own learning outcomes (or agree on one with your group), and browse the patterns in the PPC (open it in a new window).
Select one of the Design Principles to work to from the Database.

Activity 4.2  EITHER
Select a pattern from the Browser screen and Adapt it in the Designer
Go straight to the Designer screen to create your own design.
                    EITHER WAY
   Insert your own learning outcome.
   Add Blank TLAs (Teaching-Learning Activities).
   Add Learning Types to the TLA.
   Adjust the Group size, Duration, Teacher presence and Resource attachments for each TLA.
   Check the pie chart and total time as you go.
   Check your design against your chosen design principle.
   Check that the learning outcome and designed activities match.
   Click Save  as... to save your pattern in its xml form.
   Click the 'Abstract this pattern' tab at the top.
   In the Abstractor screen:
Click the 'Share your pattern online' tab, then fill in all the title, description, learning outcome type and goal sections of the form.
Click the 'Share my pattern online' button (you have to put something into each section for it to do this).
Now if you go back to the Browser screen, and click 'User generated patterns' you should find your pattern at the bottom of the list.

  Other members of your group can now look at your pattern by going to the 'User generated patterns' button in the Browser screen.

Activity 5 Discuss and revise your pattern (Mon-Tuesday, 15 mins)

Activity 5.1 In the 'User generated patterns' screen of the PPC you can now open the patterns the other members of your group designed. The pattern will appear in the Designer screen, where you can adapt it, or comment on it using the Add Notes section at the bottom of each part. Discuss the patterns with the rest of your group. Is there something from this exercise that you can take forward together?

Activity 6 Reflection and forward plans (Wednesday, 15 mins)

Activity 6.1 Write a short blog post identifying progress and next steps and upload your most useful patterns to your portfolio.

We have run a lot of workshops with teachers in different sectors, during the development of the PPC. it's clearly an unfamiliar exercise for most people, but not completely alien. It's not very different from doing a detailed lesson plan, and in some ways it's less detailed (there is no provision for differentiation between groups of students, for example). But the focus on deciding what kind of learning experience you're designing, and its duration, is rather unfamiliar. Teachers have commented that the process does make them reflect more carefully on what they are expecting their students to do. is this your experience? Which aspects of your teaching did you feel you were unable to represent?
if you would like to be notified of further events (e.g. webinars) on the PPC, please email

Optional: Feedback on the activities and design of this week can be given using the MOOC Feedback Form. You may also want to provide feedback using the PPC tool itself: download the pattern Week 4 pattern v4 from the 'file list' below (click on the arrow to the right of the file), upload it to the PPC, and offer evaluation comments in the 'Add Notes' section of any of the teaching-learning activities you would like to comment on, especially noting any activities that were useful, pointless, too easy, or too time-consuming. Then Abstract it and share it, as before, with your initials in the title, so that we can look at your comments on our design for the week. Thank you for any comments offered.

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