Using ims learning design tools in uk higher education
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Using IMS Learning Design Tools in UK Higher Education. Mark Barrett-Baxendale Liverpool Hope University, UK. Background. Using IMS Learning Design (IMS LD) tools in a real Higher Education context Tutors drawing up and using IMS LD with support. Reload Editor. Learner. Tutor. Runs

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Using IMS Learning Design Tools in UK Higher Education

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Using IMS Learning Design Tools in UK Higher Education

Mark Barrett-Baxendale

Liverpool Hope University, UK


  • Using IMS Learning Design (IMS LD) tools in a real Higher Education context

  • Tutors drawing up and using IMS LD with support

Reload Editor









SLeD Interface

A Learning Design System

Creates/modifies designs

Learning Design server


Learning Design repository


The Learning Designs

  • Level B

  • Used properties to control progress e.g.

    • Tutor monitors activities and allows to progress

    • File upload triggers progression

  • Group work

  • QTI

  • Granularity of UoLs was an issue

    • Flexibility

    • Global properties used to link UoLs

      • (e.g. can’t start week 3 until completed week 2)

The authoring process

  • Tutors attend an authoring workshop

  • Subsequently author designs to IMS LD level A using Reload

    • Some support

  • Designs authored to level B (properties & conditions) using Reload

Case: Mythologies of Loss

  • English tutor at Liverpool Hope University (LHU)

  • Supported in drawing up an IMS LD unit of learning (UoL)

  • Using the Reload IMS LD editor

  • UoL supports a six-week topic: “Mythologies of Loss” within a second year HE module “Twentieth-Century Readings”

    • Run using SLeD/Coppercore

Demonstration: authoring

Authoring to level B

  • Reload well suited to tasks

  • Collaborative authoring was a problem

    • Reference clashes - used XML editor - time consuming

  • Viewing/setting properties- producing form in XML

    • “form builder” within editor would have been useful

  • Scripting (conditions) was easier in XML editor

Tutor experience

  • “The advantage [of LD] is that both the tutor and the student can see an overview of the route through the course” Sebastian Groes, English Tutor

  • “… the most pedagogical sound method I have used …” - Amanda Oddie, Computer Science tutor

  • “I like the way we can structure the learning so that students have to respond to feedback before progressing” – Chris Beaumont, Computer Science tutor

Running with students

  • UoL published to the SLeD/Coppercore IMS LD player

  • Running on a server at LHU

  • Made available to learners attending the tutor’s module.

Demonstration: running

Learner experience

  • Generally positive about:

    • Guidance offered

    • Ease of navigation

    • Ease of use

    • Usefulness

Learner experience

  • “SLeD much better than [the institutional VLE], but would be even better if there was a forum”

  • “I have contributed to discussions set by the lecturer and was able to downloadreadings for class, after some difficulty at first”

Developing the tools

  • JISC LD4P (Liverpool Hope University, University of Bolton)

    • New user interface for the Reload IMS LD editor.


    • Improving IMS LD runtime for institutional use

  • JISC DesignShare (Liverpool Hope University, University of Bolton)

    • Sharing, discovery & re-use of IMS LD

DesignShare project (discovery and sharing)

LD4P project (authoring)

D4LD project (run-time)

The Valkenburg architecture



Setting up properties and


Specifyingenvironments (e.g. learning objects, services)

Reload interface

Improved administration

  • Users

  • Runs

  • Roles

  • Groups

DesignShare plug-in



  • Need more usable authoring tools for experts

  • Non-experts need to use these tools with less support.

    • Maybe through simpler tools such as LAMS

    • Need to be able to make use of more sophisticated tools when they need them

  • Need (more) services

    • Widget server

  • Need more flexible tools- especially when running courses

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