Learning Design – What’s in there for me?
You may wonder. You may have used technology in the classroom and done so to good effect. You may already be part of vibrant personal learning networks and you can count on being inspired by your colleagues from all over the world. You keep to date with developments in educational technology and you may be willing to experiment. Yet some of these experiments may fall flat. Why is that?
This may be because there is little time to think critically about using technology in informed ways – the tool looks cool and it seems like it should work wonders. Or maybe there was little time to put yourself into your learners’ shoes and analyse the use of the tool from their perspective, anticipate the ways in which they would use it. This may be because of some other factors and constraints resulting from the resources and facilities available or unavailable in your teaching/training context, barriers that you have not anticipated and suddenly you need to come up with a contingency plan. Have you been in such a situation? I have …
Learning design is an approach to integrating technology that accounts for the user, that is the learner and you (the teacher/trainer), and for the context and the various opportunities and challenges that the context brings with it. It draws on design processes commonly used in professional areas such as product design or architecture. The fact that Mr Architect loves a particular house design does not mean that a Mr Smith would feel at home in it. And before the house is built for Mr Smith, hours are spent on creating, revising and refining blueprints so that it fits the needs of the Smiths. Mistakes are welcome but most of them are made on paper before the bricks of the house are put together. There is a lot to learn from such approaches, particularly when it comes to using technology in the classroom.
At this time last year I finished a MOOC which introduced me to the idea of learning design and I thought I’d like to share it with others who care about meaningful and informed implementation of tech tools in the language teaching context. This video outlines my adventure in a little bit more detail.
The Teachers as Designers Session is based on that MOOC so … is there anything in there for you? You decide!
The course will start on 5th June and run for 8 weeks. It consists of 6 modules:
- Orientation – this is when we are going to get to know each other, and talk about our expectations of the course but also how we use technology in our classrooms; during the week you will also get a chance to get familiar with the course technologies: Canvas, Google Docs or Blogs to build your portfolio as well as Adobe Connect to hold our first live session
- Introduction to learning design
- Further investigation of our contexts, learners and objectives
- Research and building scenarios (2 weeks)
- Prototyping and testing and more prototyping (2 weeks)
- Evaluating and reflecting
The course will be moderated by three experienced tutors who will make sure everything goes smoothly, give advice, guidance and inspiration. But the course will have a strong peer review component too as we believe we can learn from and with each other more successfully. Looking at somebody else’s work can help us refine our own ideas. In each module, there will be live sessions too, which will allow you to showcase your work, ask questions and give feedback on each other’s work. During some of the sessions we will have a guest speaker, usually somebody who uses learning design on a regular basis.
The course is a closed course and there are 20 spaces so book your place quickly! Places will be given own a first come first served basis with LTSIG Members getting priority.