Learning Designs - Products of the AUTC project on ICT-based learning designs
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  Writing in the Virtual Records Office Context Reflections
Designers Voice - Context



The learning design comprises three tasks in which the web site serves as the main resources and the teacher/supervisor servies as the main support. View the Learning Design Sequence for a graphical representation of the learning design.




The student works through completing three tasks by accessing resources available from the Virtual Records office. Assuming the role of a new graduate hired as a writer in the Communication Department...




The “Virtual Office” web site provides the scripted scenario structured on a daily basis...




Supports include: the chronological structure of the information in the web site; the ability for students to email their manager at any time; the website Virtual Library; the lecturer in the manager role;...



Setting Notes


The delivery of the learning design assumes that interaction between students is not required. It is implemented totally online, students have access to a web site (or CD-ROM if preferred) and are expected to complete three activities at a self-paced, individual manner...




To sensitise students regarding the contextual nature of professional communication...




The reports and memos produced by the student within the environment (i.e., as an organisational intern) are the assessable items for this module of the subject...


ICT Contribution


Industry experience offers authentic engagement in the workplace but it is difficult to monitor, especially for students enrolled at a University located 70 km from the central business district. Students find it hard to apply writing theories as they struggle with a new environment with which they will have only brief contact...



Pedagogy Notes


The learning design is based on situated learning concepts (Lave and Wenger, Brown, Collins and Duguid, Herrington and Oliver)...




Marsha Durham perceived the need through her teaching at the University of Western Sydney in 1995...




A three-week trial was conducted. Comment/feedback sheets were completed and submitted daily by each student. These were used to inform daily debriefing discussions between students and the researcher...

Comment from the Project Team...
The evaluators (from the project’s evaluation of this exemplar) concluded that this learning design implementation facilitates learner engagement and provision of practice well. In terms of challenging learners and acknowledging the learning context, whilst the current design caters reasonably well for this, the evaluators offered the following suggestions/comments:

  • Phrase learning outcomes more specifically and provide a closer alignment between outcomes to tasks.
  • Formal feedback is exclusively provided by mentors. Thus the quality of the feedback is dependent on the “quality” of the mentor. Nature of feedback should be explicit in relation to tasks requirements and criteria assessment.
  • Facilitation of small group work, peer interaction could potentially enhance the design.

Designer Debrief


Comment from the Project Team...

In response to the evaluation findings, the designers clarified that formal feedback was provided by the lecturer and an unexpected outcome was that students engaged in peer collaboration to experience "Virtual Records" together.

Select "more reflection" for further Designer Debrief comments.


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