Using the 7Cs Learning Design Framework for my own course

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 22.02.057Cs Course Design Storyboard from 7Cs Learning Design Toolkit

During my time working with Gilly Salmon, Grainne Conole, Ale Armellini, Pal Edirisingha, Gabi Witthaus, Ming Nie, Simon Kear, Paul Rudman, and others at University of Leicester, I was able to join in many sessions of learning design using the Carpe Diem and the 7Cs Learning Design (which is related to Carpe Diem but includes OULDI work from the Open University) frameworks. I saw both frameworks successfully used by academics from widely varying institutions to design different subjects and courses, from a course which successfully reduced pharmaceutical errors in a project led by Dr Rakesh Patel, to an online masters in forensic science and criminal justice, to a Moodle-based Emergency Medicine course by the East Midlands LETB. I have even led workshops on the 7Cs of Learning Design. But now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. As part of my masters study, I will use the 7Cs of Learning Design to design my own course — an short online course teaching Copyright Help for Instructors.

Copyright Help for Instructors will address the needs I have heard expressed by instructors who must put together digital learning materials (is there any other kind?) for distribution by an LMS or VLE. These learning materials may consist of self-authored text with images, or Powerpoint presentations later distributed via the VLE and also over social media, or the lecture itself recorded and distributed to students who may download it onto their own mobiles or tablets. In these different cases, what kind of license considerations must instructors undertake, in choosing an image from Flickr or Google Images? Can instructors reuse other material besides images, such as an excerpt from a lecture by a colleague at a different institution? What about videos on YouTube — can these be legally “pulled out” of YouTube and included in, say, an iBook distributed onto students’ iPads? Copyright Help for Instructors will offer guidance on copyright questions such as these, as well as advice on where to find good reusable learning material, and even how to license our own authored material and share it online if we wish.

A helpful step in designing a course is to begin with a persona, an imagined learner on the course. I have imagined and detailed a couple of learners for Copyright Help for Instructors, and I will share one here.

Persona for Copyright Help for Instructors Course
Name: Karl

Gender: Male

Age: 40

Lives in: Leicester

Works as a doctor in Leicester hospitals and teaches at University of Leicester.

Education and Experience: Karl studied Medicine at University of Sheffield and during his studies he spent time in South America, helping rural communities to improve their own health support practices. As a registrar he came to Leicester as a neurologist. He has steadily kept up research work, nevertheless taking time to travel and also care for his growing family.

Roles and Responsibilities: During his work at Leicester hospitals, Karl has done some important research in FMRI scanning and this opened the way for his position at University of Leicester Medical Education. He teaches year 2 students and authors their learning materials, and is getting to grips wtih creating ebooks for students to study on their iPads.

Technical Skills: Karl likes technology and just got an Apple Watch. He was one of the first people in his circle of friends to have bought a Kindle and he still buys and reads ebooks from Amazon on his iPad. He is reasonably IT-savvy and comfortable with both Windows and Mac computers, but realistically never has time to go to training or workshops.

Subject Skills Knowledge: Karl’s research on fMRI scans and the nervous system of patients with PTSD earned him a national award. He loves teaching neurology to 2nd year students but is concerned about the lack of detail the students sometimes demonstrate in their studies of his material.

Motivation Desires: Karl really wants to see young neurologists to grow into the field and even join in his research speciality. He especially wants to enthuse young doctors to join in overseas work in needy areas. He knows he must also encourage a certain number of talented people to become GPs.

Goals expectations: Karl would like to become Head of School at a Medical Education Department in the UK. His plan B is to become Head of School at a Medical Ed Department overseas, perhaps in Canada.

Obstacles to success: Karl is so busy and his research doesn’t always go to plan, requiring more time than he expected. His wife and two children also require his time and he loves to travel with them, but all of this takes away time from his teaching preparation. He would love to use good online material to supplement the material he himself writes, but it is not easy to find really suitable material, and when he does, he doesn’t have time to figure out the licensing issues. So he ends up not using anything from online sources.

Unique assets: Karl likes to do a complete job, whatever he undertakes. He is a bit of a perfectionist and is idealistic about responsibilites held by richer nations toward others. He is quick to pick up new IT skills. He dabbles in social media and follows some professional organisations on Twitter, their blogs, and their online journal publications. He regularly attends ASME and AMEE conferences.


Now that I have imagined Karl, I will have to consider him, as well my other persona Shani, and remember their needs as I design my course.

What do you think about my ideas for my course Copyright Help for Instructors? Do you think this would be a useful short course to go through online? Am I envisioning the right kinds of topics, and are there other topics and issues I should be addressing? Please comment and let me know!

Terese Bird, Educational Designer, School of Medicine, University of Leicester



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