The project is a direct descendant of the Learning Design Tools project and other predecessor projects in the E-learning and Pedagogy programme. It will create a flexible online planning tool that will enable teaching staff and learning technologists to develop their confidence and skills in designing effective technology-mediated learning experiences.

Phoebe

A Practitioner-Focused Environment to Support Design for Learning

Final report 
(PDF)
As well as forming part of the JISC Design for Learning programme, the project is a direct descendant of the Learning Design Tools project and other predecessor projects in the E-learning and Pedagogy programme. It will build on the field-based research carried out by LD Tools, together with materials created by other projects and content from the Effective Practice workshops, in order to create a flexible online planning tool that will enable teaching staff and learning technologists to develop their confidence and skills in designing effective technology-mediated learning experiences. Within the current programme, the project will complement the parallel User-Oriented Planner for Learning Analysis and Design project and draw further input from the models of practice produced by the Mod4L project. It will additionally collaborate with the Support project to facilitate users’ access to the exemplars and learning designs hosted by that project.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the project is to guide practitioners working in post-compulsory learning (FE, HE and ACL) in designing effective and pedagogically sound learning activities. To realise this aim, the project team proposes to:

  • Develop a prototype online planning tool that will offer users both flexible and guided paths through the planning process and enable them to access a wide range of models, research findings and examples of innovative learning designs, intended to encourage them to explore new approaches and tools in their pedagogy
  • User-test the planning tool for functionality and usability
  • Investigate the feasibility of further development and the integration of the planning tool into pedagogic practice by embedding use of the planning tool into a specific context for piloting and evaluation: namely, initial practitioner training and/or continuing professional development

Project Methodology

The pedagogic planner tool will be designed, developed and implemented in the following broad stages:

  • Project set-up Establish contacts with related projects; identify and recruit “practitioner-informants,” strategic partners etc.
  • Requirements gathering and analysis Research and re-purpose content from previous projects; design structure of tool; analyse user requirements.
  • Development environment and functional analysis Investigate open source tools; re-scope tool structure in relation to chosen environment(s).
  • Development and testing of initial prototype Develop additional functionality; add existing content; perform functional and system tests.
  • Initial evaluation with practitioner-informants Conduct evaluation, analyse data; discuss with strategic partners; recommend revisions to development team.
  • Integration Integrate outputs from Models of Practice project and relevant Implementation and Evaluation projects; integrate additional content in conjunction with Support project.
  • Evaluation Conduct evaluation workshops with representative users.
  • Embedding Conduct workshop in staff development and/or practitioner training context.
  • Sustainability Discuss findings with strategic partners and make recommendations for future piloting.

Deliverables

The project will produce, inter alia:

  • User-tested prototype pedagogic planning tool, including information and guidance on the key elements of effective learning design
  • Usability evaluation report and evaluation instruments for use by future projects
  • User documentation
  • Source code and technical documentation

Stakeholders

The principal stakeholders will be:

  • Practitioners (HE, FE, ACL), e-learning specialists and learning design experts, to be recruited as “practitioner-informants” in the early stages, evaluators and partners in the embedding stage.
  • Strategic partners from, for example, the Higher Education Academy and Becta to advise on sustainability issues.

Project Staff

Project Manager

Marion Manton: Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL), University of Oxford
Email: marion.manton@conted.ox.ac.uk

Project Team

  • Liz Masterman (Oxford University Computing Services)
    Email: liz.masterman@oucs.ox.ac.uk Research, content, development methodology and evaluation
  • David Balch (TALL, University of Oxford)
  • David White (TALL, University of Oxford)
    Email: david.white@conted.ox.ac.uk
    Technical issues
  • Gerard Barker (TALL, University of Oxford)

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