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Learning Design: Why does it matter?. James Dalziel Professor of Learning Technology & Director, Macquarie University E-learning Centre of Excellence (MELCOE) [email protected] www.melcoe.mq.edu.au Presentation for Standards Australia IT-19 Conference, Sydney, Nov 25 th 2004.

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Learning design why does it matter l.jpg
Learning Design: Why does it matter?

James Dalziel

Professor of Learning Technology &

Director, Macquarie University E-learning Centre of Excellence (MELCOE)

[email protected]

www.melcoe.mq.edu.au

Presentation for Standards Australia IT-19 Conference, Sydney, Nov 25th 2004


Overview l.jpg
Overview

  • Pedagogy and standards at the crossroads

  • The problems of e-learning content

  • Introducing Learning Design

  • Learning Design example: LAMS

  • The recipe analogy

  • Learning Design and librarians

  • Whither e-learning standards?


Pedag o gy and st a ndards a t the crossroads l.jpg
Pedagogy and Standards: At the crossroads

  • After almost 3 years intensive work in the e-learning standards worldas an advocate of teachers, learners and pedagogy, I have reached a crossroad

  • Fundamentally, my concern is that e-learning standards have lost contact with the heart of education:

    • The role of the teacher

    • The purpose of the classroom

    • The importance of student collaboration

      • Multi-learner, not just single learner, activities

  • Could Learning Design provide a way forward?


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The Role of Teachers

  • Teachers and lecturers play several key roles in education:

    • Structure learning activities and content (“lesson planning”)

    • Transmit content

    • Facilitate learning activities (especially collaborative tasks like debate, discussion, brainstorming, etc)

    • Guide, mentor, advise students

    • Provide feedback and assessment

  • How does the role of teachers map to current standards work?


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The Purpose of the Classroom

  • Educational theory and research tells us that to encourage deep approaches to learning, we need:

    • Active engagement by students (not just passive absorption)

    • Collaborative activities

    • Construction of understanding and meaning

    • Structured “flows” of tasks that build towards educational objectives

    • Timelyfeedback and authentic assessment

  • This is why education is not just access to a library – we need the classroom

  • How does the purpose of the classroom map to current standards work?


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The Importance of Student Collaboration

  • Transmission models of education are rarely the best approach to student learning

  • “Single learner” content absoption is not enough

  • Students need to collaborate with their teachers and peers to actively debate ideas and construct meaning

  • Sequences of collaborative (and individual) tasks make up the heart of education

    • “Lesson plans” in K-12 schools

    • No equivalent term in HE/VET, but think of tutorials and similar

  • How does collaboration map to current standards work?


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The Problem: E-learning Content Today

  • Most assumes single learner, self-paced learning

  • Often little more than textbooks online?

  • Content-centric, transmission model of education

    • What is the implied pedagogy?



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Pedagogical Models and Standards

  • With the exception of Learning Design, current e-learning standards/specifications tend to assume:

    • Single, isolated learner

    • Primary focus on content delivery

    • Interactivity provided by self-test questions, exercises

    • Course length generally 30 minutes to a few hours

  • Pedagogical theory?

    • Transmission model of education

    • Computer as authority by proxy

    • Learning as short, bite-sized “chunks”

  • Focus mainly on technical details, not learner experience


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Pedagogical Models and Standards

  • Learning Design assumptions:

    • Single or multi-learner environments, flexible groupings

    • Primary focus on sequencing of learning activities

    • Interactivity provided by discussion groups, chat rooms, etc (as well as by self-test & simulations)

    • Includes content delivery as one type of learning activity

    • Able to describe long-term learning

  • Pedagogical theory?

    • Supports different models, including constructivist & transmission

    • Computer as gateway to other learners and resources

    • Learning is still broken down into “chunks”, but can be part of a broader whole


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Introducing Learning Design

  • Learning Design = Sequence of Collaborative Learning Activities

  • Learning Designs can incorporate single learner content, but also collaborative tasks such as discussion, voting, small group debate, etc

  • Learning Designs can be stored, re-used, customised


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Introducing Learning Design

  • Learning Design has various other names:

    • Pedagogic Design

    • Pedagogic Frameworks

    • Learning Trails

    • Learning Activity Sequences

    • “Powerpoint for educational activities”

    • Educational Modelling Language,

    • “Process VLE”, etc

  • Learning Design as Lesson Plans

    • But not just a description of the activities - Learning Design software can help facilitate the activities


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COLIS Global Use Case: Final Version

Authority

Creator

Cataloguer

Arranger

Infoseeker

Learner

Facilitator

Monitor

Prescribe

Author

Add Metadata & Submit to

Learning Object Repository (LOR)

Outcomes/

Competencies

Design Learning

Activity

Search LORs via Gateway

for LOs & Learning Designs

Review Metadata & Resources

(& Licenses if DRM)

Quality

Assurance

Obtain Links or Download

LOs & Learning Designs

Package New/

Modified LO/LD

Structure LOs &

Activities

Structure

Assessment

Certify

Organise Student

Roles/Groups

Student Login

Student Searches

Do Learning

Facilitate

Learning

Monitor

Learning

Do Assessment

Facilitate

Assessment

Monitor

Assessment

Record


Colis global use case final version learning activites l.jpg
COLIS Global Use Case: Final Version - Learning Activites =

Authority

Creator

Cataloguer

Arranger

Infoseeker

Learner

Facilitator

Monitor

Prescribe

Author

Add Metadata & Submit to

Learning Object Repository (LOR)

Outcomes/

Competencies

Design Learning

Activity

Search LORs via Gateway

for LOs & Learning Designs

Review Metadata & Resources

(& Licenses if DRM)

Quality

Assurance

Obtain Links or Download

LOs & Learning Designs

Package New/

Modified LO/LD

Structure LOs &

Activities

Structure

Assessment

Certify

Organise Student

Roles/Groups

Student Login

Student Searches

Do Learning

Facilitate

Learning

Monitor

Learning

Do Assessment

Facilitate

Assessment

Monitor

Assessment

Record


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Learning Objects versus Learning Activities

Run-time tool

description XML

Learning Object

Meta-data XML

Data interchange XML

“Rendering” XML


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Learning Objects versus Learning Activities

Run-time tool

description XML

LAMS

Learning Object

Meta-data XML

Data interchange XML

“Rendering” XML


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Demonstration Example: LAMS

  • LAMS illustrates the Learning Design approach

    • Inspired by the IMS Learning Design specification

  • In trials for over a year in Australia and UK

    • Strong positive response from both teachers and learners

  • Applicable to all education sectors (schools, VET, HE, corporate training, adult and community learning, etc)

    • Eg, UK DfES/SST & JISC trials; Oxford, Cambridge, ANU, etc

  • LAMS to be released as freely available open source software in February 2005 by the LAMS Foundation


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LAMS Live Demonstration(For a screenshot walkthrough of a demonstration similar to the one shown live, see the “What is Greatness?” example at the end of the slides at http://www.melcoe.mq.edu.au/documents/LAMS_Walkthrough.ppt)


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Why content is not enough: The recipe analogy (1)

  • Any recipe is made up to two fundamental components

    • A list of ingredients (ie, content)

    • A set of activities to create the meal (ie, process)

  • A list of ingredients (no matter how amazing the individual ingredients) does not a meal make

    • Imagine a cookbook full of only lists of ingredients….

    • Expensive ingredients are no guarantee of an edible meal


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Why content is not enough: The recipe analogy (2)

  • Most cooks like to change recipes and ingredients easily – they avoid rigid, complex lists of ingredients

  • Substituting different ingredients leads to a new meal

  • Pre-packaged whole mealsare rarely considered high quality food, and involve little joy in creation for cooks


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The Future of Content and Activities

  • The concept of a “dual repository” for e-learning

    • One area contains various content objects

    • Another area contains various activity/process objects

  • Educators could search for a contentobject, and then view pointers to good activity sequences as “wrappers”

  • Equally, educators could search for activity sequences, and then view pointer to good content objects to incorporate into the sequence

  • Librarians can help educators manage both sides of the repository – content and activity sequences


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Learning Design and Librarians

  • How can librarians contribute to Learning Designs?

  • Project with the National Library of New Zealand to define “exemplars” or “templates” of good sequences of learning activities

    • Generic templates exhibit good pedagogical practice

    • Applicable to many subject areas

  • Librarians adapt general templates to specific topics, and find appropriate resources to include in templates


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Learning Design and Librarians

  • Template Example: What is Greatness?

    • Week 1: Discussion environment - initial thoughts

    • Week 2: Review of content and search for websites

    • Week 3: Small group debates with scribe reporting back to whole class

    • Week 4: Submit report for marking and comments

  • Alternatives – What is jazz? What are ethics? What is a volcano? What is a poem? What is a rectangle?

  • Librarian task – adapt questions and debate topics, and find appropriate resources according to topic, insert into generic template to create specific sequence


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Librarian starts with existing template,then double clicks oneach activity to adaptto new topic:What isjazz/ethics/volcano/etc


Slide26 l.jpg

Librarian edits text to

adapt topic: What isjazz/ethics/volcano/etc


Slide27 l.jpg

Librarian searches for and enters appropriateweb content and files: Content aboutjazz/ethics/volcano/etc


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Librarian edits topicsfor debate: Questions aboutjazz/ethics/volcano/etc

Once complete, saveadapted version


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Learning Design and Librarians

  • Step 1: Start with generic activity template designed by pedagogical experts

  • Step 2: Adapt template to specific topic area

    • Adapt task description text

    • Find and insert relevant resources

    • Student search tasks of relevant repositories/web

  • Step 3: Save new “specific” topic version of generic template for use by teachers/lecturers

  • The next generation of guides by subject librarians?


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Whither E-learning Standards?

  • Personally at a crossroad– don’t know what to do next

    • The gulf between standards experts and teachers seems too great to bridge– my 3 years of concerted effort have failed

  • E-learning standards (apart from Learning Design) seem too content centric & single learner focussed

    • Simplistic transmission model of pedagogy

  • Additional concerns about politics, process, intellectual property and whether we are ready for standards yet


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Questions and DiscussionFor further information about LAMS see:www.lamsinternational.comwww.lamsfoundation.org


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