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Needs for Learning Design Systems
The 2020 rush to emergency online teaching…
- We got thru it.
- but showed issues - even the nature of the Swinburne add showing student complainign “all we do is watch videos”
Universities do a lot to improve the quality of learnign and teaching - emplying instructional designers, providing professional development, sourcing technologies, adopting institutional policies and procedures (Bennet et al 2017; ??Ellis and Goodyear 2019??).
But limited attention is paid to how teachers design learning and more importantly if and how institutions encourage and enable the quality of that design work.
I’ve been following with interest the work of Joyce and Tim toward the adoption of activity-based design systems and processes. But my interest is slightly different. Both Joyce and Tim lead design teams. i.e. the “instructional designers” that Bennett et al explain above as one of the strategies adopted by organisations. Engagement with those teams can produce good quality learning and teaching, but engagement with those teams doesn’t scale to every course. A lot of teachers are still left to their own devices to engage in design.
My question here is
What are the systems and processes provided by an institutional L&T environment to help teachers (not working with design teams) engage in design for learning?
Bennett et al (2017) suggest that
A first step in building teacher design capacity, though, is to understand teachers’ current design practice.
My question takes an ecological perspective on understanding teacher’s design practice and how to build design capacity. The environment in which this work takes place can enable or hinder this work. My fear is that the current environment is more likely to hinder than enable. Does it? If it does, what might be done to improve it? In particular, how might it be changed to encourage a more activity based and forward-oriented approach to design?
By design for learning I mean
- forward-oriented design, linked to bennet’s over time stuff
- developing a new course, designing an offering of a course
- informed by my current institution but also including experiences at other institutions
But there are different possible concerns driving this interest. This post is an attempt to think about the concerns I’ve seen mentioned and those that I’ve observed.
Aim is to surface and test my reservation. Help think more. Identify different approaches
Feel free to add
Other takes on understanding or dividing this up
Wasson and Kirschner (2020) refer to
- their 10 steps to complex learning as another model for the “needs” (really the tasks) for learning design.
- also mentioning Wasson’s (2007) Design and use of TEL environments
My focus is more on mapping out for me what’s required to engage in this task productively as a MLP within higher education.
- Institutional need/purpose
- Education OR yet another product to sell to make money (or just continue to exist)
- Curriculum design
- A practice that is currently somewhat disconnected temporarly and be who does it. Hence pointing to a need to bring it together with the following.
- This diconnection may in fact illustrate the rather arbritary division of this and the next level. Suggesting that the explicit focus on “producing the course profile” much earlier is problematic and/or the course profile not being used elsewhere.
- Also the question about whether or not a course profile needs the level of difference that the ABC approach might provide
- Learning design
- My take on Goodyear’s forward oriented design is that when engaged here we should be explicitly thinking about the next level down
- Wasson and Kirschner (2020) cite the “Scandinavian tradition also recognises a tight relationship between design and use, where one is always designing for a future use situation”
- This is perhaps where some of the more detail learning design methods (e.g mentioned in Wasson and Kirschner 2020) might fit. They are also illusrative of the difficulty and creative nature of this task.
- NGDLE/VLE is making this harder and harder
- Reeves & Lin (2020) argue for design research that sits closer to the teacher, students etc. This perhaps connects with some of the Ellis and Goodyear (2019) points. The refinement of CASA (specific activity systems) could provide an area in which this type of research is conducted.
- What enterprise action is paid to implementation tends to be implementation of technologies and generic training in use of those technologies, rather than activity systems. Ellis and Goodyear point to this. key argument the institutional stuff only happens at the abstract and generic. Never the specific. Which is also picked up by Wasson and Kirschner (2020) discussion of link with teacher inquiry (TISL).
- Strategic design (long arc)
- Bricolage (short arc)
Better quality, faster
It doesn’t scale
Some people don’t design
Support services are talking at crossed purposes
The IT/Facilities/Education divide from Ellis and Goodyear