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Learning Design Workshops


8-SLDF Workshops for Individuals and Course Design Teams (2018-19)

  • City Central Venues (walking distance from public transport hub)
  • London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Belfast and by invitation (see in-house options)
  • Full-day workshops 10:00-16:30
  • Hosted events in a Cabaret format (normally in an adaptation of the World Café approach)
  • The focus of each workshop is one  or more dimensions of the 8-SLDF (see below) 
  • Cost per attendee £ 169.00 / 2 people £318  / 3 people £447 / 4 people £556  (single invoice)
  • Reserve place and receive an invoice. Confirmation of place on payment of the invoice.
  • Please be aware that there will be some preparatory work of up to an hour in collecting relevant documentation to bring to your workshop.
  • Cost includes:
    • morning coffee and afternoon tea and lunch
    • workshop workbook, guidance notes and ancillary materials
    • A1 or A2 learning design posters (rolled)

Who are the workshops for? Designed to support all academics, tutors and designers working in higher or professional learning contexts. Suitable for FE/HE contexts regardless of discipline or mode of delivery. Suitable for individuals or programme or module development teams. The full-day workshop aims to provide any new or revised course with tangible support, mapped onto QAA guidance and to the UKPSF for professional development and reflection. Each workshop is designed to allow participants to make use of one or more stages of the 8-Stage Learning Design Framework.

Please note that if you are interested in implementing the entire 8-SLDFto support you programme design there are Course Design Retreats over 2-days also available. Alternatively, you may decide to host a workshop at your institution.

Format: workshops are normally run in World Café cabaret style, with tables of between 3 and 6. You will be developing your own takeaways as the workshop proceeds but you will also benefit from sharing insights with colleagues as you work through activities. A workbook is provided, as well as additional materials so you can share your practice with colleagues back at your home institution

Facilitator: Simon Paul Atkinson is an extremely experienced workshop facilitator with 25 years of experience in higher and professional education. He has taught on three different institutional PGCertHE programmes, developed an institutional CPD programme aligned to HEA Fellowship and is a Principal Fellow himself. He publishes on learning design, e-learning and heritage education, and has held leadership roles in Academic Practice units both in the UK and NZ universities.

Workshop Outlines

Each workshop is designing to reflect one dimension of the 8-Stage Learning Design Framework

0: Overview of Rapid Development with the 8-SLDF

This workshop provides an insight into the scholarship and practice that lies behind the 8-Stage Learning Design Framework. Where it is different from others in the series is that here you will be working with others to develop a simulated programme and individual modules rather than working on your own projects. This ensures all facets of the framework can be shared effectively and time will be given to allow for reflection as to how your context is similar or differs from the simulated scenario. This is because by working with others from different contexts you have the advantage of building on interprofessional dialogues across disciplines. It also means you do not need to bring your course design team with you. Once you have a grasp on the 8-SLDF I'm sure you will either choose to attend a two-day design retreat with your entire team or house an in-house workshop.

1: Designing for Students

Courses, whether entire programmes or individual module, are designed to reflect our institutional specialisms and priorities but we sometimes risk forgetting that they will be taken by flesh-and-blood students! Profiling students' learning orientations is challenging. In this workshop, we will explore students' educational, circumstantial, dispositional and cultural orientations for learning. We will discuss practical interpretations of the scholarship about personal epistemologies in order to design courses that a best suited to the intended student.

2: Designing for Professional or Discipline Contexts

Tertiary providers are increasingly expected to deliver 'work-ready' graduates. This is a challenge when we must acknowledge that many graduates will begin a career, in a years time or in the three years, that does not exist today. Identifying the competency frameworks within our disciplines and those of our professional colleagues is a good place to start. We can then identify a range of graduate attributes that will underpin our programme outcomes and inform the development of real-world assessment.

3: Media Choices Informing Design

Students' expectations with respect to the digital formats, accessibility and flexibility of learning materials and communication channels have put enormous pressure on institutions. Most have relied on a single institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and continue to wrestle with the ubiquitous nature of Wifi and handheld devices. In this workshop, we will identify the media needs of your students, both in terms of what is currently provided and what your graduates might expect to meet in their future practice. Designing courses in a flexible manner using for appropriate media, and justifying those decisions to your students, secures greater engagement.

4: Developing Effective Learning Outcomes

After orientating ourselves to the notion of constructive alignment and level differentiation, we will use educational taxonomies for five domains of learning to draft intended learning outcomes. These will be appropriate to the aims of the module and programme and take account of their need to be assessable. They will also be drafted to reflect the needs of the disciplines or professions your graduates are intending to pursue.

5: Developing a Meaningful Assessment Strategy

Knowing what our intended learning outcomes (ILO) are, enables us to design meaningful assessment that provides opportunities to students to evidence their learning against those ILOs. In this workshop, we will identify which outcomes can be combined across different domains of learning in order to manage the assessment load, for both faculty and student, whilst ensuring all ILOs are assessed. We will draft marking rubrics for the appropriate level that represent all the guidance that individual assessors and students need to guide their practice.

6: Designing Engaging Learning Opportunities

The third element in a constructively aligned course design is the learning activities that allow students to prepare for the assessment of their learning outcomes. This workshop is not about the content that we share with our students, it is about how we do that. Some modules will require a good deal of knowledge to be acquired by novice learners and a set-text and discursive seminars may be the appropriate strategy. Could we use one-minute papers, 'Pecha Kucha', lightning talks, and other techniques to secure student engagement? Alternatively, we might be designing a more advanced module in which a discovery learning approach is more appropriate. Could we use enquiry based learning models here instead, asking our students to prepare to take a debate position, run a Moot or team-based discussion? The important thing in this workshop is that we are developing a strategy and practical approaches that build on our design, not seeking innovation for innovation's sake.

7: Exploring Opportunities for Feedback Throughout

The fourth element in a constructively aligned course design approach is feedback throughout. Closely reflective of both our assessment practice and our learning activities, feedback is best fully integrated into the learning rather than seen as a separate administrative response to submitted work. Designing feedback throughout opportunities in our courses will lead us to adopt variations in our learning activities and potentially to modify our assessment strategies too. There is no point in assessing students in a form that has not allowed them to rehearse for such assessment. Identifying how to feedback on preparatory activities acts as a litmus test for sound assessment. It also allows us to identify fresh approaches to learning activities.

8: In-course and Post Course Evaluation Strategies

It may seem strange to design our evaluation structures before we have even recruited students onto our programmes. We need first to understand the importance of both the evaluation for-learning and the evaluation of-learning. It is important to ensure that we have efficient and effective in-course evaluation techniques already in mind to make sure there is an opportunity to enhance the course as it is underway. We need to avoid making knee-jerk adjustments to a module that appears not to be working. In-course evaluation needs to be appropriately positioned within a course, with the correct amount of time and preparation allowed. We also need to decide in advance where we anticipate the enhancement opportunities are for our course and design post-course evaluation instruments to capture them. Most institutions' NSS and end-of-module evaluation processes do not generate actionable data. We can design-in some of our own.



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