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Had this been the title of a post-graduate diploma in e–learning it would have been precisely what I was looking for a decade ago – the application of theory, based on research and case studies, to the design and production of interactive learning – whether DVD or online.
A few excellent, practical guides did this, but as a statement of fact, like a recipe in a cook book: do this and it’ll work, rather than suggesting actions based on research, evidence-based understanding and case studies.
Mayes and de Frietas (2004) are featured in detail in Appendix 1 of Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age (2007) Beetham and Sharpe.
Four types of learning are featured:
- 1. associative
- 2. constructive (individual)
- 3. constructive (social)
- 4. and situative.
Of these I see associative used in corporate training online – with some constructive (individual), while constructive (social) is surely the OU’s approach?
Situative learning may be the most powerful – through application in a collaborative, working environment I can see that this is perhaps describes what goes on in any case, with the wiser and experienced passing on knowledge and know how to juniors, formally as trainees or apprentices, or informally by ‘being there’ and taking part.
Each if these approaches have their champions:
Associative – Skinner, Gagné (1985).
Constructive (individual) – Piaget (1970), Papert (1993), Kolb (1984), Biggs (1999).
Constructive (social) – Vygotsky (1978).
Situative – Wenger (1998), Cole (1993), Wertsch. (Also Cox, Seely Brown). Wertsch (1981), Engestrom (), Cole and Engeström (1993)
Beetham and Sharpe (2007:L5987) – the ‘L’ refers to the location in a Kindle Edition. I can’t figure out how to translate this into a page reference.
How people learn and the implications for design
Associative – Skinner, Gagné (1985) (in Mayes and de Frietas, 2004)
Building concepts or competences step by step.
People learn by association through:
- basic stimulus–response conditioning,
- later association concepts in a chain of reasoning,
- or associating steps in a chain of activity to build a composite skill.
Associativity leads to accuracy of reproduction. (Mnemonics are associative devices).
- Routines of organized activity.
- Progression through component concepts or skills.
- Clear goals and feedback.
- Individualized pathways matched to performance.
- Analysis into component units.
- Progressive sequences of component–to–composite skills or concepts.
- Clear instructional approach for each unit.
- Highly focused objectives.
- Accurate reproduction of knowledge.
- Component performance.
- Clear criteria: rapid, reliable feedback.
- Guided instruction.
- Drill and practice.
- Instructional design.
- Socratic dialogue.
FURTHER READING (and viewing)
Brown, J.S. (2002) The Social Life of Information
Brown, J.S. (2007) October 2007 webcast: http://stadium.open.ac.uk/stadia/preview.php?whichevent=1063&s=31
+My notes on this:
+The transcript of that session:
Biggs, J (1999) Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Buckingham: The Society for Research in Higher Education and Open University Press. (Constructive alignment)
Cole, M. and Engestrom, Y. (1993) ‘A cultural-historical approach to distributed cognition’, in G. Salomon (ed.) Distributed Cognitions: Psychological and Educational Considerations, New Work: Cambridge University Press.
Conole, G. (2004) Report on the Effectiveness of Tools for e-Learning, Bristol: JISC (Research Study on the Effectiveness of Resources, Tools and Support Services used by Practitioners in Designing and Delivering E-Learning Activities)
Cox, R. (2006) Vicarious Learning and Case-based Teaching of Clinical Reasoning Skills (2004–2006) [online], http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ esrcinfocentre/ viewawardpage.aspx?awardnumber=RES-139-25-0127 [(last accessed 10 March 2011).
Engeström, Y (1999) ‘Activity theory and individual and social transformation’, in Y. Engeström, R, Miettinen and R.-L. Punamaki (eds) Perspectives on Activity Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Eraut, M (2000) ‘Non-formal learning and tacit knowledge in professional work’, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70:113-36
Gagné, R. (1985) The Conditions of Learning, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Gagné, R.M., Briggs, L.J. and Wagner, W.W. (1992) Principles of Instructional Design, New Work: Hoplt, Reihhart & Winston Inc.
Kolb, D.A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as a Source of Learning and Development, (Kolb’s Learning Cycle) Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Kolb, D.A. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Littlejohn, A. and McGill, L. (2004) Effective Resources for E-learning, Bristol: JISC (Research Study on the Effectiveness of Resources, Tools and Support Services used by Practitioners in Designing and Delivering E-learning Activities).
Mayes, T. and de Frietas, S. (2004) ‘Review of e–learning theories, frameworks and models. Stage 2 of the e–learning models disk study’, Bristol. JISC. Online.
Piaget, J. (1970) Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child (Constructivist Theory of Knowledge), New Work: Orion Press.
Papert, S. (1993) Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas, New Work: Perseus.
Piaget, J. (2001) The Language and Thought of the Child, London: Routledge Modern Classics.
Seely-Brown, J.S and Duguid, P. (1991) ‘Organizational learning and communities-of-practice: toward a unified view of working, learning and innovation’, Organizational Science, 2 (1): 40-57
Schon, D (1983) The Reflective Practioner: How Professional Think in Action, New York: Basic Books.
Sharpe, R (2004) ‘How do professionals learn and develop? In D.Baume and P.Kahn (eds) Enhancing Staff and Educational Development, London: Routledge-Flamer, pp. 132-53.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1986) Thought and Languages, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wertsch, J.V. (1981) (ed.) The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology, Armonk, N
Appendix and references largely from Beetham, H, and Sharpe, R (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy in a digital age.
See also Appendix 4: Learning activity design: a checklist
Gagnés events of instruction:
1. Gaining attention . The scene opener, even the preview or title sequence.
2. Informing the learner of the objective . Laying out your stall
3. Stimulating recall of prerequisite learning . Tapping into what has already been understood – creating empathy.
4. Presenting the stimulus material . Presenting the case, offering evidence that might impress or inspire, that could be controversial and memorable.
5. Providing learning guidance. Offering a way through the maze, the thread through the labyrinth or the helping hand.
6. Eliciting the performance . Now it’s their turn.
7. Providing feedback . Sandwiched, constructive feedback on which to build.
8. Assessing the performance . How are targets going?
9. Enhancing retention and transfer . Did it stick, could they pass it on and so become the teacher?
The design of this study will reflect much of what McLoughlin and Lee (2008) have called ‘Pedagogy 2.0, that is the integration into the learning environment of Web 2.0 tools that support socio-constructivist learning approaches and focus on knowledge creation, peer networking, community creation and a learner centered approach.
Personas are a tool for sharing our understanding of our expected users, as a starting point for design.
Nielsen (2013) notes:
The persona method has developed from being a method for IT system development to being used in many other contexts, including development of products, marketing, planning of communication, and service design. [..] Common understanding is that the persona is a description of a fictitious person, but whether this description is based on assumptions or data is not clear, and opinions also differ on what the persona description should cover.
Whenever I hear the phrase “the user,” it sounds to me like “the elastic user.” The elastic user must bend and stretch and adapt to the needs of the moment. However, our goal is to design software that will bend and stretch and adapt to the user’s needs. […] Designing for the elastic user gives the developer license to code as he pleases while paying lip service to “the user.” Real users are not elastic.[…]
In our design process, we never refer to “the user.” Instead, we refer to a very specific individual: a persona.
In the design process, we begin to imagine how the product is to work and look before any sketch is made or any features described. If the design team members have a number of persona descriptions in front of them while designing, the personas will help them maintain the perspective of the users. The moment the designers begin to imagine how a possible product is to be used by a persona, ideas will emerge. Thus, I maintain that the actual purpose of the method is not the persona descriptions, but the ability to imagine the product. In the following, I designate these product ideas as scenarios. It is in scenarios that you can imagine how the product is going to work and be used, in what context it will be used, and the specific construction of the product. And it is during the work with developing scenarios that the product ideas emerge and are described. The persona descriptions are thus a means to develop specific and precise descriptions of products.
Cooper provides some guidelines for authoring personas:
Be Specific: The more specific we make our personas, the more effective they are as design tools. That’s because personas lose elasticity as they become specific. For example, we […] don’t just let Emilee drive to work. We give her a dark-blue 1991 Toyota Camry, with a gray plastic kid’s seat strapped into the back and an ugly scrape on the rear bumper. This distinctive specificity is very powerful as a design and communications tool. Consequently, all of our personas are articulated with singular detail and precision. As we isolate Emilee with specific, idiosyncratic detail, a remarkable thing happens: She becomes a real person in the minds of the designers and programmers. […]
Giving the persona a name is one of the most important parts of successfully defining one. A persona without a name is simply not useful. Without a name, a persona will never be a concrete individual in anyone’s mind. […]
To make each persona more real to everyone involved in the product creation, I like to put faces to the names and give each persona an image. […]
Precision, Not Accuracy As a design tool, it is more important that a persona be precise than accurate. That is, it is more important to define the persona in great and specific detail than that the persona be the precisely correct one. This truth is surprising because it is the antithesis of the goal of interaction design, in which accuracy is always more important than precision. […]
Personas are the single most powerful design tool that we use. They are the foundation for all subsequent Goal-Directed design. Personas allow us to see the scope and nature of the design problem. They make it clear exactly what the user’s goals are, so we can see what the product must do – and can get away with not doing.
Cooper, A. (1999), The Inmates are Running the Asylum – Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity, SAMS publishing
Nielsen, L. (2013), Personas , The Interaction Design Foundation , Aarhus, Denmark. http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/personas.html
Between formal and informal learning design styles
Highly prescriptive vs call up the information you need as you go along. So defined instructions vs figuring it out for themselves. Perhaps using tools to guide and inform. We were given the simplest of tasks, teaching students how to cross a busy road in safety.
I made a point about any group requiring leadership or a champion.
I made a point on Randy Pausch whose 3D lecture series included mixing up student groups who then had to vote on each other’s levels of collaboration in the group.
There was a discussion on informal peer assessment that I didn’t entirely follow, certainly my notes are somewhat cryptic. Hopefully the session was recorded so I can listen back.
It is the unexpected insights in a synchronous session that prove valuable, especially the asides in the break-out room.
Assemble the books and papers you plan to refer to ahead of writing.
This is a new one to me. I prefer to write what I want and deal with the referencing after rather than fitting the assignment to the books and papers.
Perhaps a combination of the two is required.
The learning plan you produce may not be followed closely given the myriad of ways people respond. Many are drawn in by the assessment but not all.
Can such divergent styles be accommodated?
As the Elluminate discussion progressed, four students, one tutor moderator, I did a doodle.
Having shared the idea I then corrected it.
From Wenger (1998:233)
‘There is an inherent uncertainty between design and its realization in practice, since practice is not the result of design but rather a response to it’.
Phenomenology explains why people may still be adrift of the desired response.
The notes reads ‘design as well as we can … ‘the students share the outcome. We set the learning, that is then displaced to or set in the context of each learner. We might have a learning objective, but students can and diverge from this’. (A good thing if you want diversity and originality)
As a learning designer you have to anticipate a variety of behaviours and plan for not too many being wildly divergent. This can be achieved by understanding the students.
McAndrew, Goodyear, Dalziel
- Learning patterns
- Learning design
- Learning activities
‘The use of online and electronic systems to support learning – e-learning – is emerging as a field with new opportunities and problems.’
In advertising, marketing and corporate communications, the standard ‘Creative Brief’ used to inform and direct the creative team poses two initial questions, the answers to which focus the creative effort:
What is the problem?
What is the opportunity?
It is therefore refreshing and reassuring to find the same terms being used in relation to the ’emerging field’ of e-learning. i.e. it is a tool, a way of doing things that may be used to address a clearly defined problem … and in addressing this issues opportunities are created. The first enables the second, the second motivates ambition beyond the original problem.
Patterns, designs and activities are transferable, and therefore reproducible as digital objects (learning objects, etc
- Large scale digital repositories
- Flexible reuse
- Knowledge economy
Learning Object ‘any entity, digital or non-digital, that can be sed, re-used, or referenced during technology-supported learning.’
(Unsure how to differentiate the two. Learning at a uni, training at a poly? Learning in school , FE, HE & Uni … training at work?)
‘In practice, works in implementing Learning Objects in education (as distinct from training) tends to specialise the definition to refer to items that have education meaning, for example units that can result in a few hours of student activity.’
i.e. Learning objects …
‘Any digital or non-digital, with education meaning, that an be used, re-used, or referenced during technology-supported learning.’
The concept of patterns applied to learning seeks to identify what can be provided as useful background, guidance and illustration in describing a set of inter-related descriptions for ways to assist learning online. Patterns are not viewed as something that can be reused directly but rather as something that can provide the informed teacher with ‘rules of thumb’ as they build up their range of tasks, tools, or materials that draw on a collected body of experience.
IMS Learning Design
a formal language?
Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) – a software system that encourages the design of sequences of collaborative activities that use individual activity tools configured using a visual ‘drag and drop’ interface.
Ref Christopher Alexander on architecture and town-planning – to democratise architecture and town-planning by offering a set of conceptual resources that ordinary people could use in shaping or reshaping their environment.
Alexander, C. (1979). The Timeless Way of Building. New York. OUP.
‘His work provides a principled, structured but flexible resource for vernacular design that balances rigour and prescriptiveness by offering useful design guidance without constraining creativity.’
CF Long Compton Plan 1999 // Lewes Town Plan 2011
- diagrammatic representation
- linking paragraph
‘A pattern is a solution to a recurrent problem in a context.’
From Town Planning
A pattern ‘describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice.’
- to help constraint and communicate the nature of both problem and solution.
- to help the reader understand enough about a problem and solution that they can adapt the problem description and solution to meet their own needs.
- its name crystallising a valued element of the design experience.
‘The use of patterns, can be seen as a way of bridging between theory, empirical evidence and experience (on the one hand) and the practical problem of design.’
(When I start writing out the entire report I know it’s of value!)
‘In communities that have adopted the pattern approach, design patterns are usually drafted, shared, critiqued and refined through an extended process of collaboration.’
‘Educational design needs to be seen as a process in which a designer makes a number of more or less tentative design commitments, reflecting on the emerging design/artefact and retracting, weakening or strengthening commitment from time to time.’
‘Understanding the dynamic interplay between patterns in the mind and patterns in the world is key to seeing how and why design patterns work as aid to design. It is their ‘fit’ with the mind and the world that gives them power.’
‘The focus for our work is in task design, as this has the strongest analogy with the built environment where patterns are used to build concrete objects that activity then flows around in a way that cannot be entirely predicted.’
IMS Learning Design Specification
Educational Modelling Language (EML)
- to enable flexible representation of the elements within online courses.
- materials and the order in which activities takes place.
- the roles that people undertake
- services needed for presentation to learners.
‘How to package up the overall information into a structure that is modelled on a play, with acts, roles (actors) and resources.’
Of particular interest to someone who has written three screenplays, sold none, though had two short films produced … with one sold to Channel 4! Someone who is also a graduate of EAVE, taking a cross-platform interactive TV drama through the script development process. But of greater relevance a producer of some 135 training and information films, many drama reconstructions using professional actors, directors and writers.
– digital objects are gathered together with a manifest describing their location, but enhances the approach to give an ordered presentation of the different entities within the unit of learning.
Level A: roles, acts and the environment
Level B: adds properties and conditions
Level C: adds notification and messaging
http://www.unfold-project.net/ (UNFOLD PROJECT)
ref: Learning Activity Management System (LAMS)
e.g. ‘What is greatness?’
A’ Level history project.
N.B. One of the striking features of LAMS is the speed which new sequences can be created from an initial structure.
N.B. ‘Changes to the sequence structure are achieved via a simple drag and drop interface in which existing activities can be dragged into new locations, and new activities dragged into the sequence at an appropriate point.’
LAMS offers a complete system in three parts where first a design is produced in the author environment, using a visual sequence editor, then designs are instantiated with a particular class group (and subsequently tracked) through the monitor environment, and then designs are accessed by students from the learner environment. The modularity of the system allows each environment to be considered in its own right (not just as a unified whole), and particular focus has been placed on the author environment as a way to engage teachers in designing activities for their courses.’
An overall pattern language for learning.
‘In the ideal of patterns, flexibility and advice is valued over complete description and instantly usable output.’
McAndrew, P., Goodyear, P. and Dalziel, J. (2006) ‘Patterns, designs and activities: unifying descriptions of learning structures’, International Journal of Learning Technology, vol.2, no.2/3, pp.216-242; also available online at http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=10632&prevQuery=&ps=10&m=or (Accessed 17 June 2010). (Revisited 26 Jan 2013)
Biographical notes: Patrick McAndrew is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University where he teaches and researches in the use of technology in support of learning. His work examines ways to design for active engagement by learners working together. This has involved studies in task based approaches to learning and their representation as learning designs within knowledge sharing environments. In 2001 he cofounded the UserLab research team which works within the Computers and Learning research group to undertake projects in e-learning.