Future Teacher Talk: Designing for Technology Enhanced Programmes

I attended a great webinar by the Future Teacher 3.0 team last week on designing for technology enhanced learning, looking at how a number of instructional design models can be helpful for anyone involved in designing online content.

You can access the presentations, webinar recording and all resources from the webinar here.

Accessibility, accessibility, accessibility

The team started by underlining the importance of accessibility in all learning design. They described three types of accessibility – technical, pedagogical and informational. If students don’t know that more accessible options exist, they won’t use them!

How to ruin a course

Next, we voted on the best way to ruin an online course from a wide range of possible options. The team suggested that this might be a good activity to do with a course team before starting to design a programme.

The most popular votes were for lack of interaction between tutors and students as well as lack of confidence or enthusiasm from the teacher. This highlights that while the creation of excellent learning resources is important, the teacher behind those resources is even more important.

Guest Speakers

Three guest speakers then shared their experiences of designing for technology enhanced learning programmes.

Helen Whitehead from The University of Nottingham talked about using the Carpe Diem approach alongside the ABC-LD approach to develop courses.

She emphasised how important it is to think first about what you want students to remember about your module in 10 years time. After that, you can go on to storyboard, build prototypes, evaluate, review and adjust.

She emphasised how bringing a team together over 2 days of programme planning can be really valuable, especially when as many people as possible are involved, from learning technologists and librarians to students.

While the process she has used is not a short one, it replaces toing and froing and meetings which she highlighted could otherwise take many months.

Julia Brennan and Darren Gash from the University of Surrey then talked about how they have used a backwards design for degree apprenticeship programmes. They explained how designing these programmes has thrown up new challenges for programme teams and required a different approach for teaching.

While traditional programmes are knowledge-based, teacher-centred and designed for post-A level students, degree apprenticeship programmes need to be competence-based, apprentice-centred and weighted towards online provision.

They start by identifying the desired results of learning, determine acceptable evidence and only then start to plan learning experiences and instruction.

They have used the ABC-LD method to hold planning workshops and always aim to have staff leaving with some tangible outputs.

Julian Tenney from The University of Nottingham finished off by talking on the differences between the 21st approach of learning design in contrast to instructional design.

He emphasised that there is not enough conversation about pedagogy going on amongst those creating resources and promoted the use of tools such as Xerte to share resources.

The webinar finished with a look at an example of technology enhanced programme creation and a call to share our experiences of programme or module design. Lilian Soon also described how the team are developing a database of resources or online courses that can be used by teaching staff to develop skills in designing or running technology-enhanced programmes. You can also contribute to this on page 27 of the presentation on the resources website.

If you would like to develop a programme or module using one of the approaches mentioned in this post, please get in touch with the TEL team.

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