By David Wells, editor at Surviving the OU

Weeks 14-15: How to use Learning Design Studio

Things have taken a turn for the next few weeks as Block 3 moves into group-work territory. We were asked to choose a topic to cover (local history, digital storytelling and others) and are asked to create a website using Google Sites. I am in a digital storytelling group and the activities will move us through the process of creating the site and presenting to our peers for feedback purposes. the fact that we are working together mean that we have to create wikis that we can all edit, organise ways of contacting each other, through What’s App, Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts or the forums and open folders that we can all write in. The group assigns roles like Team Leader, Project Manager, Media Manager and so forth, to ensure that the work all gets fairly distributed.

The study objectives for the fortnight are:

  • have an understanding of the Learning Design studio model
  • have an understanding of the block structure, practices and norms
  • have set-up the project and learning environments for the block
  • have an understanding of the importance of context in Learning Design
  • be able to articulate a Learning Design challenge, in the form of a desired change in a given context.

In Activity 2 we had to write out a vision or aspiration for the project as it moves forward and then compare with the rest of our team. This is based a lot on our own previous experiences. In Activity 3 we assigned the team roles as detailed above. In Activity 4 a member was responsible for setting up the website in Google Sites using a word document of instructions.

Activity 5 was creating “personas” or inventing fictional students or teachers that could be taking the course. We each uploaded our personas to the website and listed any prominent factors or concerns that may arise, in Activity 6. In Activity 7 we had to list the forces in map style (see below).

Activity 8 was an optional reflection and Activity 9, at the end of the second week, was the big one – the challenge! The Team Leader and fellow team members had to agree on and frame a challenge for the project to address, in digital storytelling format. The whole point of the project is to identify and address the challenge. When we come around to TMA03 we will be analysing and reflecting on the work we have completed in Block 3 and talk about how we devised the challenge and how we worked together as a team to combat any issues along the way.

Weeks 16-17: From case studies to storyboarding

The pace is flowing thick and fast as we reach the next two weeks of the block. We are beavering away in our groups and having plenty of meetings online to make sure we all know what we’re doing and keeping up to date.

As usual we shall look over the study objectives. After studying Weeks 16 and 17 you will be able to:

  • review documented case studies of similar innovations
  • identify suitable theoretical frameworks and derive design principles from them
  • analyse selected case studies, reformulate them as design narratives, and elicit design patterns from these
  • use the representational forms of design narratives, patterns and principles to inform your work and share design knowledge
  • use the representational form of a storyboard as a means of articulating design proposals
  • use design narratives, patterns and principles to propose a storyboard for a possible solution to a design challenge.

It’s all about patterns, frameworks and storyboard design for the next couple of weeks and Activity 10 pushes us straight into a case study or theoretical framework choice. We had to each search, identify, review and share either a suitanble case study or a theoretical framework each, thus together building a knowledge base for our group project. In Activity 11 we had to elicit design patterns and principles from the case study that would then serve in our own course design. 

Activity 12 was about cinceptualising our findings and reviewing our team mates’ patterns and principles, and commenting  on any unclear issues or inconsistencies before Identifying links between patterns and principles. Activity 13 was the big one. Each team member had to produce a storyboard for designing the course.

I’m not massively confident on doing this so may need some help from this video…

Thanks for reading, fellow Open University students. Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE if you get the chance and let us know any thoughts, feelings or suggestions you may have about our articles.

The Open University study guide is now available! Click on this image to find out more.