Research Questions & Methodology

Research Questions

The questions that were addressed by this project were:

  • What learning designs can be readily adopted by particular disciplines as templates for best practice?

  • What pedagogical issues emerge from the implementation of learning designs in particular contexts?

  • How can identified barriers to academics’ adoption, adaptation and reuse of learning designs be overcome?

  • How can the adoption of effective learning designs be facilitated by the use of supports and scaffolds, such as, a learning activity planning tool?


The project employed a design-based research methodology (Reeves, Herrington & Oliver, 2005) which involves a flexible, iterative process as follows:

Phase 1:
  • Analysed the learning design research literature determining needs and opportunities for application of learning designs in the participating universities, by researchers, educational developers and teaching staff.

  • Developed the Phase 1 design solution that identified the needs for learning design development with a planner and guides to using existing learning designs.

  • Implemented Phase 1 planning tool and guides in participating universities.

  • Evaluated outcomes for staff and students from the Phase 1 implementation.

  • Reviewed Phase 1 project outcomes. Research aims and further design and development for Phase 2 were developed.

Phase 2:
  • The theoretical framework was revised and more fully developed.

  • Outcomes were disseminated through workshops at other universities.

  • The planning tool and guides were refined for Phase 2 based on critical needs from Phase 1 evaluation.

  • Phase 2 was implemented in the participating universities and information was and online support was provided for the wider group of interested adopters (some international).

  • Outcomes were evaluated for staff and students from Phase 2 implementation.

  • Project outcomes were reviewed. Further dissemination workshops offered at a range of universities, conference papers, journal articles and promotion of software tools and guides.