Friday, March 25, 2011

Describing ICT-based learning designs

Chapter 5 in the Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age book looks at describing ICT-based learning designs, by Ron Oliver et al. The authors make the observation that there now appears to be a proliferation of reusable learning resources available but little in terms of guidance or workflows of effective pedagogical practice in using these learning object and it is this that teachers in fact are craving.

These workflows are more generally defined as learning designs. Learning designs have four key elements - learner engagement, acknowledgement of the learning context, learner challenge and provision of practice, as defined by Boud and Prosser.

The chapter attempts to establish a framework for defining learning designs. A learning design topology is defined consisting of four key kinds of learning designs - Rule-based, incident-based, strategy-based and role based. Each of the learning designs are described first generally in terms of a Domain Specific Modelling Language and then shown how this language can be used in an example use case.

I think the ideas here are good - it is very similar to what people like Davina HernĂ¡ndez-Leo have been doing  with the IMS LD specification - creating best practice templates for specific pedagogical contexts.

Coming from modelling background I am still trying to figure out how this would fit into a metamodel hierarchy. I suppose it would have been good if the authors based their Domain Specific Modeling Language on some well defined generic language (e.g. MOF or BNF).

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