Learning Designs - Products of the AUTC project on ICT-based learning designs
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Designers Voice - Context



The learning design is based on a single sustained task (divided into three phases) with online resources and a range of support mechanisms. View the Learning Design Sequence for a graphical representation of this learning design.




The unit is based upon a task where the student takes on a role in a scenario set in a fictitious university. The context is one where the student is required to evaluate a website that has been set up as an exemplar for a consortium of universities planning to develop a joint online course...




Online readings, online journals and databases can be accessed from the journals bookcase; URLs from the computer in the carrel, including annotated URLs that students add; a list of useful books;...




The unit is offered entirely online, so support is provided through a discussion board, email and through collaborative activities with other students in small groups (3-4 students). Also there is administrative support...



Setting Notes


The unit has been designed to be delivered totally online. It can also be delivered in mixed-mode with some face-to-face interaction...




On completion, students would be able to: Employ contemporary learning theories in the design of flexible and open online courses; Choose appropriate learning media for open and flexible online delivery; Plan engaging online learning activities;...




Assessment is integrated with the task (the task comprises the entire unit of study – there are no other requirements). Students are assessed on the three component parts of the task...


ICT Contribution


The learning problem, apart from typical distance education ones like geographic isolation, was that many teachers who are faced with the prospect of designing and teaching online have never learned anything in this mode...



Pedagogy Notes


The general approach and underlying philosophy of the unit is a constructivist one. There is a huge range of literature, research and theory, particularly from the perspective of situated learning that suggests that such an approach should enhance meaningful learning...




The Graduate Certificate in Online Learning was instigated by Professor Ron Oliver and Dr Sue Stoney and funded by a special Strategic Initiative Fund at Edith Cowan University...




In all the semesters that the unit has run to date, nearly all students have completed the unit, and many reported that they have learned a great deal from the task and the strategies they employed as they completed it...

Comment from Project Team...

The evaluators (from the evaluation of this exemplar in this project) offered the following suggestions for consideration in the reuse of this learning design:

  • Include clear guidelines about how to set up and run courses using it (re: the learning design).
  • Add cross-linking of pages to enhance useability and improve navigation (re: the online learning environment) .
  • Planned learning outcomes should be placed in a more accessible location (re: the online learning environment).
  • Possible addition of introductory and self-assessed activities which support and enable the development of the overall tasks.
  • Resources need to be updated/reconsidered regularly, given the context and constant change in the field.
  • The support mechanisms have the greatest need for improvement. Possible consideration of making use of diary and contributions to the discussion board assessable.

Designer Debrief


The learning setting is challenging because students cannot apply standard processes and procedures in order to complete it...


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