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Around the World of Learning Design in 10 minutes Liz Masterman May 2006.

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1 Around the World of Learning Design in 10 minutes Liz Masterman May 2006

2 Overview Outline of projects Methodological issues Outcomes

3 The projects Evaluation of the LAMS practitioner trial July 2004-April 2005 FE, HE, ACL Acceptability to practitioners as an activity-based tool for post-compulsory learning

4 The projects JISC eLISA independent lifelong learning project + University of Greenwich, local partners, schools and colleges Jan 2005-Mar 2006 FE Deliver study skills e-learning to a set of practitioners and learners using LAMS and Moodle, evaluate their use and make recommendations on the exploitation of e-learning resources for study skills

5 The projects Reusing learning materials in English Literature and Language (ESC) + Oxford Brookes, Leicester Universities Jan-July 2005 HE Elicit the key issues associated with the sharing and reuse of e-learning resources among lecturers in English departments Explore the suitability of LAMS within those departments

6 The projects Evaluation of generic tools used in design for learning (LD Tools) May 2005-Jan 2006 FE, HE, ACL, WBL, SL Complement VLE project at Goldsmiths’ Gather research-based information on practitioners’ use of tools in designing for learning

7 Methodological issues Exploratory nature of projects: aim to uncover practices and issues, not prove a hypothesis Challenge: capture a process which is largely cognitive, which may be substantially tacit and which may take place over an extended period and at multiple sittings

8 Methodological issues: Participants Non-random selection of participants (self- selecting) But focus on “agile adopters”  uncover potential of tools, creative use (LAMS, eLISA) Agile adopters blaze trail and cascade to less adventurous colleagues Small numbers Richness of data can compensate for difficulties generalising (and NB aiming to uncover issues, not prove hypothesis) Use questionnaires to capture contextual info from large number (LAMS, LD Tools, ESC); follow up issues with smaller number through interviews (incl. interview+), think-alouds

9 Methodological issues: Setting Loss of control over data collection if researcher cannot be present Structured reflective questionnaires focus participants on issues of interest (LAMS, eLISA) Difficulties observing cognitive, tacit processes Lesson design workshops with observation, interview+ (LD Tools)

10 Methodological issues: Techniques Normal practice Questionnaires, interviews Immediate feedback on novel experience Think-aloud, questionnaires, observation with interviews (in constructed setting) Reflection (retrospective feedback) on novel activity Reflective questionnaires, interviews

11 Methodological issues: Data Status of qualitative data captured from small number Indicate themes, issues, questions Uncover the unexpected (things that you didn’t know you didn’t know) Produce case studies (  “reassuring evidence” re similarity of experiences; awareness-raising re tool use) Value to practitioners: Not “how many?” (the Whiskas response) but “under what conditions?” — esp. if findings inconclusive (LAMS)

12 Outcomes: Practical recommendations Usability and usefulness of specific tools (LAMS, ESC, LD Tools) Requirements for future design (LAMS, LD Tools) Policies/strategies e.g. maximise penetration of study skills support via e-learning (eLISA)

13 Outcomes: Broaden the landscape Sharing and reuse Individual resources and/or sequences of learning activities (ESC) Principle vs. practice (eLISA, ESC) Relevance of content Closeness of match to own pedagogical approach Modify vs. use for inspiration only Subject-specific? Sector-specific? Authorship Written in the abstract vs. specific cohort Cost-benefits of modifying online sequences vs. F2F

14 Outcomes: Broaden the landscape Change in pedagogical approach Criterion: what can do with e-tools that was difficult or impossible before? Evidence is patchy (LAMS): “I think it has made me want to be less instructivist” vs. “‘The ease of authoring probably encouraged me towards an excessively didactic/instructivist style that isn’t really consistent with the aims of LAMS or good practice generally.” Novel tools often don’t enable anything radically new, but irruption of new tool can raise awareness of other, more productive ways of doing things (LD Tools) Change as step-wise adoption of new activities, sustained over time

15 Outcomes: Broaden the landscape Planning: rediscovery of a lost practice? (eLISA) “It fundamentally made me think about what I actually do in the class … when I first started the sequence I started to really think — you know, the VLE really made me think about how am I going to project what it is that I give to a lesson when I’m face to face on this screen, yeah? … ‘cos usually I don’t have to plan my lessons, I just go in and do it … What it brought me back to was the actual lesson plan, you know, like when you first started off … it was like that all over again.”

16 Outcomes: Frameworks Rehearse existing Model of learning activity design as tool for analysis (LAMS) Activity theory (+ extensions) as framework for describing design for learning (LD Tools) Synthesise (hopefully) new Activity theory + epistemic efficacy  set of questions re design and deployment of learning design (LD Tools) Set of continua for helping teachers to determine blend of online vs. F2F (eLISA)

17 Outcomes: Caveats Some problems are not design-for- learning problems: Cultural barriers to sharing (ESC) won’t be solved by yet another repository “Ineffective” practice may be a staff development issue (although a D4L tool might help!)

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