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Teaching and learning tricky topics
Teaching and learning tricky topics

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1 OU learning design

The ‘learning design’ approach adopted by the OU is similar to, but not exactly the same as, approaches from other universities. You may well have experienced a different style of learning design, or you might want to look into approaches you may have encountered in more detail. If you are especially interested, there is an active Learning Design Cross Institutional Network (LD-CIN) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in which practitioners from many universities and other institutions share good practice at regular meetings around the UK.

The learning design approach established by Grainne Conole defined it as:

‘A methodology for enabling teachers/designers to make more informed decisions in how they go about designing learning activities and interventions, which is pedagogically informed and makes effective use of appropriate resources and technologies. This includes the design of resources and individual learning activities right up to curriculum-level design. A key principle is to help make the design process more explicit and shareable. Learning design as an area of research and development includes both gathering evidence to understand the design process, as well as the development of a range of resources, tools and activities.’

(Conole, 2013, emphasis added.)

As a result of using this learning design approach, it has been found that teachers/designers were able to be more creative, and think more critically about teaching and learning and the student experience and they felt more confident about the design decisions they had made.

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Figure 2 Step into my shoes