A Learning Design describes the educational process, not just courseware but the whole teaching/learning experience. It's a more or less formal description of a pedagogical scenario (also called educational script or storyboard) and that may or may not follow an instructional design model. Basically a learning design describes learning objectives, who does what (and (when) using tools and resources, and outcomes
The process of learning design refers to the activity of designing units of learning, learning activities or learning environments in that spirit. Learning design, in that sense, is a way of doing instructional design.
Below are some more definitions from key actors:
Learning Designs are “pedagogically informed learning activities which make effective use of appropriate tools and resources” (Gráinne Conole and Karen Fill, creators of the DialogPlus Toolkit.)
“The basic idea of EML and LD [Learning Design] is in essence simple. It represents a vocabulary which users of any pedagogical approach understand, and into which existing designs can be translated. The core of LD can be summarised as the view that, when learning, people in specific groups and roles engage in activities using an environment with appropriate resources and services.” (Rob Koper and Colin Tattersall, creators of EML/IMS Learning Design).
“The field of Learning Design seeks to describe the "process" of education - the sequences of activities facilitated by an educator that are often at the heart of small group teaching.”(James Dalziel, creator of LAMS, retrieved 18:53, 4 June 2007 (MEST)).
“The field of learning design (Lockyer et al., 2008; Conole, 2012) has the ultimate goal of improving teaching quality by supporting practitioners along the process of designing innovative and more effective learning situations (that is, producing “learning designs”). [..] A “learning design” is an artifact that explicitly documents a set of learning tasks (different granularities are possible, from a single task to a course, Hernández-Leo et al., 2007) with the set of resources and tools that support the realization of the tasks. Persico et al. (2013) and Prieto et al. (2013b) provide an example of a learning design represented with different approaches and tools.” (Hernandez-Leo et al. 2018)
- IMS Learning Design which is a related educational modeling language.
- CSCL script, an other type of learning design popular in collaborative learning.
Key elements of learning design
Key elements that describe a learning design differ in various schools of thought, e.g. see also the formal IMS Learning Design specification. According to Laurillard (2013) , the properties required for an operational learning design are:
Elements of learning design can be represented in several ways, e.g. using tables like in Learning Design Support Environment, hypertexted forms like in DialogPlus or concept maps like in CompendiumLD
Benefits of the learning design approach
- (James Dalziel, ED-MEDIA 2006 Learning Design Keynote, retrieved 4 June 2007
The OU Learning Design Initiative (retrieved jan 26, 2009) identified six main benefits to adopting a learning design approach:
Learning design can be seem as an attempt to grow the troyan mouse. “E-learning is often talked about as a ‘trojan mouse,’ which teachers let into their practice without realizing that it will require them to rethink not just how they use particular hardware or software, but all of what they do.” Sharpe & Oliver, 2007: 49. Once engaged in e-learning, reflective practitioners then might become interrested in more powerful tools for planning and enacting their teaching.
Learning Design and educational technologies
So far, typical source leaders rarely use tools to design courses. For example Masterman (2006) regarding the use of tools in designing for learning in postcompulsory education, reported that out of 69 respondents most respondents either rely on Pencil and Paper or very simple e-tools such as Word processors or presentation software: “On average, respondents used 2.5 different genres of e-tool, although this figure masks a wide variation. Only 13 used four or more genres, while 22 used only one genre, suggesting either lack of experience with other genres or that the tool they used appeared to satisfy their requirements. Where only one e-tool was used, that tool was Word in just over half of cases (12 out of 22)” (Masterman, 2006:13). Only 5.8% did use specialized learning design tools.
According to the LADIE framework (LADIE, 2005), we can distinguish two basic facts of learning design:
- The design and construction of learning activities (LAA), including for example design of learning activities and learning conents.
- The learning activity realization (LAR), i.e. the construction of the environment and the execution of the learning activities themselves.
Learning design tools can provide support for either one or both.
Here is an incomplete of some specialized learning design languages, tools and systems (follow up these links to find references) and also have a look at the category educational modeling languages
- Standards, formalisms and modeling languages
- IMS Learning Design (An educational modeling language)
- coUML A UML-based design language.
- BPEL (Business Process Execution Language, used for Model-Driven Learning Design)
- Collaborative learning flow pattern (CLFP)
- Learning design editors
- Future Classroom Toolkit and its Learning designer tool (active as of 2019)
- Compendium LD (unsupported as of March 2019, according to its author it may be transferred to Gibhub...)
- MISA (An instructional design method, includes the MOTD+ editor, difficult to use)
- Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE), an active project as of 2019.
- Collage (CLFP editor, dead project, but online versions seem to exist)
- ASK Learning Designer Toolkit (ASK-LDT) (dead project as of 2019 ?)
- ABC LD (a paper tool, similar to Learning designer tool)
- On-line repositories for scenarios
- Visual modeling languages with a tool (research systems)
- paper tools for scenario creation
- Open University Learning Design downloads
- Other initiatives (some are not called "learning design")
- Open University Learning Design Initiative (ended 2012)
- CSCL scripts
- eLML (Pedagogical document markup
- Various more ambitious lesson planning tools, such as the London Pedagogy Planner or the Phoebe pedagogic planner
- Bottino R. M., Ott M., Tavella M. (2011). Scaffolding pedagogical planning and design of learning activities: an on-line dedicated tool, International Journal of Knowledge Society Research (IJKSR) 2, 1
- Cross, S., Galley, R., Brasher, A. & Weller, M., (2012) OULDI-JISC Project Evaluation Report: the impact of new curriculum design tools and approaches on institutional process and design cultures
- Cross, S., Galley, R., Brasher, A. & Weller, M., (2012) Final Project Report of the OULDI-JISC Project: Challenge and Change in Curriculum Design Process, Communities, Visualisation and Practice
- OULDI Project: Evaluation and Final Project Reports now published – the impact of new curriculum design tools and approaches on institutional process and design cultures (2012)
- Dalziel, James (2007). Learning Design and Open Source Teaching, retrieved 18:53, 4 June 2007 (MEST).
- Dalziel, James (2006). ED-MEDIA 2006 Learning Design Keynote
- Cross, S., Conole, G., Clark, P., Brasher, A., & Weller, M. (2008). Mapping a landscape of Learning Design: identifying key trends in current practice at the Open University, European LAMS Conference.
- Conole, Gráinne and Karen Fill (2005). A learning design toolkit to create pedagogically effective learning activities. Journal of Interactive Media in Education (Portable Learning. Special Issue, eds. Colin Tattersall, Rob Koper), 2005/08. ISSN 1365-893X .
- Conole, G. (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer. google books preview
- Koper, Rob and Colin Tattersall (2005). Preface to Learning Design: A Handbook on Modelling and Delivering Networked Education and Training. Journal of Interactive Media in Education (Advances in Learning Design. Special Issue, eds. Colin Tattersall, Rob Koper), 2005/18. ISSN:1365-893X HTML.
- Kraan, Wilbert (2003). Learning Design and reuseability, CETIS.
- Hernández-Leo, D., Harrer, A., Dodero, J. M., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., and Burgos, D. (2007). A framework for the conceptualization of approaches to “Create-by-Reuse” of learning design solutions. J. Univ. Comp. Sci. 13, 991–1001. doi: 10.3217/jucs-013-07-0991 PDF
- Hernández-Leo, D., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., Derntl, M., Pozzi, F., Chacon-Perez, J., Prieto, L. P., & Persico, D. (2018). An Integrated Environment for Learning Design. Frontiers in ICT, 5, 9. doi: 10.3389/fict.2018.00009, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fict.2018.00009/full (This article includes a good overview of the 2017 state of art).
- LADIE, The E-learning Framework, HTML
- Lockyer, L., Bennett, S., Agostinho, S., and Harper, B. (2008). Handbook of Research on Learning Design and Learning Objects. New York, NY: Information Science Reference.
- Masterman Liz (2006). The Learning Design Tools Project, An Evaluation Of Generic Tools Used In, Design For Learning, JISC Project Report. PDF
- Masterman, Liz and Mira Vogel (2007). Practices and process of design for learning, in Helen Beetham, Rhona Sharpe (eds.), Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-learning, Routledge, ISBN 0415408741.
- Oliver, Ron (2000). When Teaching Meets Learning: Design Principles and Strategies for Web-based Learning Environments that Support Knowledge Construction, ASCILITE 2000, keynote paper. Retrieved dec. 2007 from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/coffs00/. PDF
- Parrish, Patrick, E. (2007). Aesthetic principles for instructional design, Educational Technology Research and Development (ETRD), http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-007-9060-7. (Abstract/HTML/PDF) (Access restricted).
- Persico, D., Pozzi, F., Anastopoulou, S., Conole, G., Craft, B., Dimitriadis, Y., et al. (2013). Learning design Rashomon I – supporting the design of one lesson through different approaches. J. Res. Learn. Technol. 21:20224. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v21i0.20224 HTML/PDF/EPub
- Prieto, L. P., Dimitriadis, Y., Craft, B., Derntl, M., Émin, V., Katsamani, M., et al. (2013b). Learning design Rashomon II: exploring one lesson through multiple tools. Res. Learn. Technol. 21:20. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v21i0.20057 HTML/PDF/EPub
- Laurillard, D., Charlton, P., Craft, B., Dimakopoulos, D., Ljubojevic, D., Magoulas, G., … Whittlestone, K. (2013). A constructionist learning environment for teachers to model learning designs. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(1), 15–30. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00458.x