SOLE Model shared at ALDinHE Workshop 2011

Simon Atkinson will present the DiAL-e Framework to colleagues at the ALDinHE conference in Belfast on Wednesday 20th April. The 90 minute workshop (session 6.3 1400-1530) is entitled  Engaging Learners with Digital Resources.

Participants will have an overview of the framework before getting the chance to use it in earnest and consider how it might support their colleagues in more effective use of digital content.

The workshop will be run using this website and resources at the Workshop Webpage and we’ll be tweeting at #dialeALD as we plan and review the workshop. We hope some of you will join Simon.

SOLE Model dissemination 2011 Conferences

The next version of the SOLE model, with embedded Intended Learning Outcomes and further pedagogical guidance, along with a populated example, will be ready for the 2011 conference season!

Version 2.0 will be released on Saturday 16 April just before the 8th ALDinHE Conference: Queen’s University Belfast “Engaging Students – Engaging Learning” 18-20 April 2011

I will be presenting a workshop on the DiAL-e Framework and posters for both the SOLE model and DiAL-e.

The SOLE Model poster will also be featured at the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) Annual Conference, “Changing Practice, Changing Times” at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham,  5-6 July 2011

Perhaps most exciting is the invitation to present the SOLE model at the 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on August 3-5 2011. Again I have been issued a workshop invitation, along with Kevin Burden, to present the DiAL-e Framework and alongside that work there will be an ‘Interactive Video Presentation‘ of the SOLE Model.

SOLE Model Illustrated


The following brief video presentation was prepared for a Course Team workshop at Massey University NZ in May 2010 to introduce the SOLE Model.

The SOLE model is intended to be developmental, diagnostic, evaluative and descriptive. It is borne out of a desire to make the learning design process transparent to students, to encourage staff to share ‘patterns’ of learning with each other and to provide a basis for self-evaluation and development of specific learning designs. The model is not concerned with the design of specific learning activities but rather the appropriate balance between the different modes of student engagement anticipated.

The model does not prevent an academic scheduling four hours contact time a week and delivering a didactic lecture, but it would illuminate clearly that that was the approach being undertaken. Likewise, the model in and of itself does not prevent staff from reproducing an identical pattern of learning every week through a paper or course, but again, the models’ associated toolkit would make that process clear.

The SOLE model is not prescriptive and it is possible for teams to change and modify any aspect of the toolkit to suit their needs. The intention however is to provide staff with a model of effective practice such that one might be concerned about the quality of the student learning experience if the model illustrated a consistently ‘unbalanced’ approach.


One would anticipate that the visualisation generated by the toolkit would reflect a pattern of learning that differ from paper to paper, and from week to week. One could anticipate for example that in the first week of an undergraduate paper there would be significantly more ‘teacher-centeredness’ than in the twelfth week of a postgraduate paper. The visualisation will differ; the patterns can be expected to reflect different levels of engagement.

Centrality of Biggs Constructive Alignment

It is no coincidence that the model places the intended learning outcomes (ILO) at the centre. In each constructively aligned paper the pattern will be different because the learning outcomes, the assessment designed to illicit evidence of attainment and the patterns of teaching required to support that process will each be different. The SOLE model is precisely that, a model not a template. The model can, and should be adapted by staff to suit their particular approach to learning. It should reflect the nature both of their discipline, students existing context and the specific teaching environment.

Embodied and Embedded Guidance (SOLE v1.2)

Version 1.2 of the SOLE ‘Toolkit’ has been uploaded today and a number of support videos (linked to from within the workbook) have been loaded onto channel.

The original intention of the SOLE Learning Design model and its associated toolkit was, and remains, to embed academic professional development support ‘inside’ a learning development ‘tool’ and to embody good practice.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds but I have to say I’m enjoying the attempt. The SOLE Model (Student-Owned Learning-Engagement Model) was first mooted at the end of 2009 and previewed at DEANZ in Wellington, NZ in April 2010. In July 2010 it was presented as a work in progress at the LAMS European Learning Design conference and a cloud floated on

The response has been interesting, such a simple tool (Excel!) but an easy one to use, and for some, well suited to their approach. For me, the issue has been about producing a tangible product that the student will see, and potentially manipulate. That the student can see, and engage with the learning design is, I think, significant.

Comments within the Worksheets provide advice and guidance

Version 1.2 of the SOLE ‘Toolkit’ has been uploaded today and a number of support videos (linked to from within the workbook) have been loaded onto channel. The inclusion of student feedback on time spent, the inclusion of Intended Learning Outcomes on each student view, and the development of significant guidance and advice on each element of the model make me feel Version 1.2 is ready! But, there is more work to be done on the advice and guidance in particular and I am considering how that may link in time to pages here on WordPress. I would like if possible to keep it very much ‘self-contained’ within the toolkit but user feedback may change that.


LAMS Learning Design Conference Presentation

New YouTube videos from the European LAMS Learning Design Conference 2010

Finally this weekend got around to putting the slides to the audio that was recorded at the European LAMS & Learning Design Conference 2010. I’ve uploaded the presentation to YouTube in two parts. Part 1 essentially introduces the Student-Owned Learning-Engagement (SOLE) model itself and Part 2 highlights the recent version of the toolkit in Excel.

Part 1: The Model

Part 2: The Toolkit

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