It wasn’t just students who faced a sudden change in how they were learning in March when the UK locked down. Learners in the workplace were affected too – including our learning design team here at the Open University. We were dispersed to our homes by lockdown and overnight, lost our ability to learn from one another. Learning … [Read more…]
The Open University approach to designing for learning puts a strong focus on knowing who the learners are, catering for their needs and supporting them to succeed. One of the strengths of the OU is that its students are very diverse – the OU’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas … [Read more…]
If you’ve ever witnessed an awkward role play exercise in a training session, you may dread the idea of collaborative learning activities. The good news is that when it comes to online learning, you can plan and manage collaborative activities to ensure that nobody’s embarrassed and everyone benefits – possibly in ways they hadn’t anticipated. You may have already designed some online collaborative activities. If you found it tricky, you’re not alone. They … [Read more…]
You may be familiar with click-and-reveal discussion activities. These are simple learning activities, which ask students to consider a question and then click to reveal an answer, some further discussion or feedback. This type of question—feedback device can be seen in face-to-face classroom environments when a lecturer poses a question to the class and then … [Read more…]
Over the last decade, The Open University has developed its approach to designing and evaluating student-centred learning through a wealth of research and scholarship. The basis for much of what we do derives from the tools developed through the OU Learning Design Initiative. Since this project ended we have not stood still, but have continued … [Read more…]
As learning designers, it’s essential that we explore students’ needs and goals. That way, we can make sure that learning activities address these needs and support students to reach their goals. For example, each time we design a new module, we take time to explore student data and course teams’ experience to build up student profiles or personas that can be referred … [Read more…]
Over the past few months of lockdown we’ve received a number of calls for advice from the sector and we’ve participated in a number of webinars as well as delivering workshops for various external clients. As time has progressed we’ve aimed to make sure that as many of these resources as possible are shared and … [Read more…]
We’ve probably all sat through enough ‘death by PowerPoint’ slide decks to know what happens when we’re presented with information but don’t have the chance to engage with it. In the best-case scenario, we simply don’t learn anything. But often we leave the meeting or class worse off – with unanswered questions, frustration and reduced … [Read more…]
Students are at the heart of our approach to learning design. We focus on helping our module authoring teams make evidence-based decisions, and insights from students form an important part of that evidence. This is the reasoning behind our curriculum design student panel (CDSP), which was highly commended in the ALT Learning Technologist of the … [Read more…]
In this series of posts, we’ve been looking at student workload mapping. This final post looks at the other neat things we can do once we’ve mapped out a module.
Our example student, Alex, has had their workload smoothed out in the previous posts. Now that we’re sure the volume of learning and teaching for this module is manageable we can start checking that it fits in with the wider context of their studies, and that the studies themselves are suitably varied and engaging. We’re able to do this with our existing mapping data through Concurrency and Activity mapping.