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Teaching and learning tricky topics
Teaching and learning tricky topics

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Week 4 Introduction to learning design


Welcome to Week 4 of the course.

In common with an increasing number of universities both in the UK and worldwide, The Open University has adopted a process of learning design to structure the writing of student materials and learning activities for its modules and qualifications at a macro level. This provides a consistent, structured design, specification and review process using a simple set of tools and resources that enable a student-activity based approach that puts student experience at the heart of what teachers do.

Weeks 4 and 5 of this course will draw from this approach and apply it to the tricky topic process. We will take you through these activities and help you consider how you might use them in your own practice in order to overcome the tricky topics you find.

A key feature of this learning design approach is the strong focus on students and how they learn so it links well to the learner-centred approach of the tricky topics process.

During this week (Week 4) you will cover activities relating to the student-focussed aspect of learning design and consider how these can help you to design an effective intervention for your chosen tricky topic.

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • use the ‘student voice’ to inform your approach of a tricky topics intervention
  • develop a range of student profiles to inform the design of the activities in the intervention.
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Figure 1 Teachers and students collaborating