Project outcomes

The project achieved the following:

  • Conducted a series of 8 hands-on workshops to promote the adoption of best practice and an introduction to the Learning design approach - this included sharing of experiences among 94 practitioners.

  • Fostered the use of an online community (including promotion of discussion forums and repositories of learning designs) to support the project which are available to the wider community.

  • Developed a theoretical framework which identifies the environments most conducive to the adoption of pedagogically sound learning designs.

  • Implemented and refined 30 scaffolded learning design templates that guide practitioners through the learning design planning process.

  • Shared the learning designs produced through repositories (eg. LAMS Community, ALTC Exchange) and other communities.

  • Produced 18 research articles and 27 conference presentations at a national and international level.

  • Fostered an international Learning Design community which was able to share learning design concepts through meetings, conferences and liaison with international experts (UK & other Europe).

A range of courses and units across several disciplines that have adopted pedagogically sound learning designs from participation in the project.
We have completed the implementation of learning design templates and accompanying advice with a range of academics and students in a diverse range of disciplines. Their feedback was instrumental in how the templates and advice were configured in the planner tool. This included iterative development of the best formats/structures for providing pedagogical advice to teachers on the adoption and adaptation of novel learning designs (both within the templates themselves, and in the accompanying Planner advice sections).

Improved student learning outcomes by introducing a range of learning designs that promote best practice.
While most of the implementation in the project was with lecturers (in assisting them to consider novel learning designs for future use), some examples of implementation with students were conducted, such as the iterative use of designs with two cohorts of Education Masters students (see Evaluation for details). Student feedback indicated that the wide range of teaching techniques supported by the templates, particularly those that involve collaborative learning, were seen as a strength of the project.

A community of educational developers and academic staff who are participants in the project and are able to engage with additional staff in their own and other universities to disseminate the project outcomes.
A summary of meetings, conference presentations and workshops is provided in Figure 1 & 2 (see below). Throughout the life of the project, team members made 42 presentations to approximately 2,445 people. Additionally 8 hands-on workshops were conducted which were attended by 94 delegates.

An initial successful presentation and workshop at a conference in Cadiz, Spain in July 2008 was followed up by an International Learning Design conference at Macquarie University in December 2008, followed by a 3 day meeting in December at Sydney University which involved discussions about a variety of related approaches to the problems being addressed by this project. The learning design research community has continued to meet at academic conferences on Learning Design hosted by members of the project, such as at the Open University in July 2009, Sydney in December 2009, and most recently in July, 2010 at Oxford University in the UK, further consolidating the strong affiliations with Oxford University, London Knowledge Lab (University of London), and the UK Open University. The number of interested parties continues to grow, most recently with a delegation from Greece and Cyprus.

We also had a number of institutions from Singapore (eg, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technology University) that were interested enough to request workshops and in May 2010, one of the project team travelled to Malaysia to present to two universities there.

Locally we have had strong interest from schools in the NSW Department of Education, ACT Department of Education, and the Department of Education in Northern Territory.

The community also continues to grow by word of mouth and a video presentation was prepared so that those who could be present at a face-to-face presentation or workshop can learn about the Planner.

Any enquiries of this nature are now referred to: display/planner/Activity+Planner This page includes an 8 minute video that outlines many of the features of the current Planner. This webpage has continued to attract interest both locally and internationally and it has been a useful means of explaining the Planner.

Members of the project team continue to make presentations, run workshops and build an active community of educational developers, academic staff and interested others both within Australia and internationally – this is expected to continue beyond the life of the ALTC supported project.

A highly scaffolded but flexible learning activity planning tool that helps academic staff understand the rationale for using exemplar learning designs and guides practitioners through learning design options.
Throughout the life of the project, members of the project team have gradually refined a style guide and layout guidelines for a basic structure for the creation of scaffolded exemplar learning design templates (see Appendix 3). These have been implemented in the LAMS Activity Planner Tool to illustrate their utility at our workshops but the style guide and layout guidelines have not been designed exclusively for any particular piece of software. As can be seen in the exemplar examples, the layout of the learning design can be described adequately in text.

20 exemplar learning designs and guides.
During the lifetime of the project, the team has completed 30 designs. The style, layout and design of the scaffolded templates has evolved over the duration of the project to the standardized framework.