I am using the 7Cs of Learning Design framework to design a short online course I am creating, which I hope will assist busy instructors with their task of choosing appropriate and “sufficiently open” images and other illustrative material for reuse in their own learning resource creation.
I did the Course Features card activity, and above is the photo of those features I chose yes I would like my course to be like that. I then got curious about all the kinds of course features I could choose from. In one of Grainne Conole’s powerpoint files, I found the listing of the different kinds of course features:
Principles: Theory based, practice based, cultural, aesthetics, professional, political, international, serendipitous, community based. From these, I would say the main principles for my course shall be practice based and professional. The main reason is that I want to help educators to create learning materials appropriate for their own disciplines and fields, which will include professional communities such as the National Health Service, the General Medical Council, the British Psychological Society, and others.
Guidance and support: Learning pathway, mentoring, peer support, scaffolded,step by step, study skills, library support, tutor director, help desk, remedial support. Of these, the main choices are scaffolded and step by step. I want to help instructors to know first the principles of copyright law and searching for good reusable OER (open educational resources); to examine and understand different CC (creative commons) licenses, to attribute correctly, and then to do this themselves without guidance — a step by step, scaffolded approach.
Pedagogical approaches: Enquiry based, dialogic, situated, vicarious, problem based, case based, collaborative, constructivist, authentic. Of these, I choose enquiry based authentic, and constructivist. I want students to individually identify learning materials they must create, and then construct, by finding the different possibilities and constraining factors, an authentic artefact of learning material which they will use in their own teaching — overall I see this as an equiry based approach.
Content and activities: Brainstorming, concept mapping, annotation, assimilative, modelling, jigsaw, pyramid, aggregating resources, learner generated content, information handling. Here I would choose aggregating resources and learner generated content, with some information handling. Students will be gathering content from various sources, judging the reusability of each, and will generate their own artefact of learning material.
Reflection and demonstration: Diagnostic, e-assessment, e-portfolio, formative, feed forward, summative, reflective, peer feedback, vicarious, presentation. I think the main thing I will do here is ask students to create a presentation which they will share online. The presentation can be of any format — an ebook, a Prezi item, anything.
Communication and collaboration: Structured debate, flash debate, group project, group aggregation, peer critique, group presentation, group project, pair debate, for and against debate, question and answer. This is the really tricky one. The only one I think will work for my course will be question and answer — the students will be able to email me with questions and I will answer, or we may do similar with Twitter or possibly comments in blog posts, in which they may ask other educators about creating sufficiently open learning materials. I don’t think I will be able to run this course with a group of students; this will be a self-directed course for individuals, online and available anytime. Therefore students probably won’t have guaranteed access to other students studying the course at the same time, but they will have a connection to me as instructor and hopefully will also have connection to other knowledgeable practitioners not necessarily formally connected with the course.
If you have any comments or thoughts on the process of identifying course features as part of course design, or about the choices I have described above, please do comment!
Terese Bird, Educational Designer, University of Leicester Medical School