As promised this version of the SOLE Toolkit, 3.5, remain a free, unprotected and macro-free Excel workbook with rich functionality to serve the learning designer. Version 3.5 has two significant enhancements.
Rich visualization of the learning spaces and tools: that students are to engage with in their learning. This provides an alternative, fine-grain, view of the students modes of engagement in their learning. It permits the designer to plan not only for a balance of learning engagement but also a balance of environments and tools. This should allow designers to identify where ‘tool-boredom’ or ‘tool-weariness’ is possibly a danger to learner motivation and to ensure that a range of tools and environments allow students to develop based on their own learning preferences.
Faculty-time calculations in design and facilitating: based on the learning spaces and tools to be used there is now a function to allow programme designers and administrators, as well as designers themselves, to calculate the amount of time they are likely to need to design materials and facilitate learning around those materials.
This builds on newly designed functionality release in September 2014 in version 3 of the toolkit, namely;
- Predicated Workload – the amount of time the designer anticipates students will spend is on activities charted.
- Sequencing activities – the ability to suggest the order in which activities should be tackled. It remains an open approach and so the numbering system (letters, Roman, multiple instances of the same item) is open. It is considered important in the SOLE Model that students should take responsibility for the learning process as so the sequence should be suggestive or advised.
- Completion Record – a column has been added to allow students to record whether an activity has been completed alongside indicating the amount of time was actually spent on any given activity.
- Objectives Met Record – an area is included to allow students to indicate that they believe they have met the objectives for each individual topic/week.
At its core the toolkit serves to implement a model of learning based on the SOLE Model itself and it is worth reminding yourself how the model is designed to work.
Here are two short videos that detail the significant enhancement made in Version 3.5 of the Tookit.