Rethink Learning Design

Rethink Learning Design

#rethinkld - Critical Learning Design and the Untextbook
Critical Learning Design
Thoughts on Critical Learning Design from the RethinkLD team   For me, critical learning design is about challenging our assumptions about instructional design processes, the teaching and learning environments that we build, and the artefacts that we’ve...
Untextbook
Image embedded from OpenCulture.com (click for source) In this project we are seeking to use a design-based research approach (Pool & Laubscher (2012); Mckenney & Reeves, 2012) to produce an untraditional textbook, herein called an...
Events
We are organizing a series of collaborative sessions in order to engage a broad range of educators and  ideas in preparation for an Untextbook Sprint. OER19 in Galway We have a 30 minute session where...

About the Rethink Learning Design Project

Open educational practices have provided us with new ways of constructing higher education, but at the same time have been mapped onto many of our existing artefacts and systems such as textbooks, learning design processes such as ADDIE, and course publishing models. The textbook has been a prominent focus in the discourses and practices of open educational practices. Textbooks “mediate the structure of knowledge on the one hand, and the performance of teaching and learning on the other….At the same time, however, textbooks contain a deep contradiction. They are today’s mediation of yesterday’s knowledge in the light of educational projections about tomorrow” (Hamilton, 2003). We suspect a similar contradiction applies to textbooks and open pedagogies. While open licensing enables certain pedagogical practices, what other aspects of the textbook need to be rethought in the context of open pedagogies and practices? In “Rethinking the textbook,” we propose the idea of the “untextbook” and will facilitate a set of group processes to explore it further.

This project has two goals. The first is to develop a reader in critical instructional design that is  conceptualized from the beginning with its use in open pedagogy (Cronin, 2017). How can we build open pedagogy into the design of the untextbook resource itself so that students can contribute more effectively? How can the untextbook challenge traditional structures, roles and hierarchies within learning environments? The second goal is to examine how the collaborative development of an untextbook can challenge traditional notions, processes and roles of the instructional designer. As instructional designers are asked to change practice in response to more critical approaches, how can a critical open learning design lens mediate the course development process across the university?

Through a series of workshops and online sessions, participants will be challenged to be creative about the idea of the “untextbook” as conceptualized with its use in open pedagogy (Cronin, 2017). The ideas generated in these sessions will provide input for the creation of an “untextbook” on critical instructional design and will be the basis for a collaborative examination of instructional design practices with the goal of a critical examination of practice. The benefits of the research include providing data for a research paper to be published in a relevant academic journal as a contribution to instructional design and textbook development practice; and furthermore the foundations will be laid for an open textbook/reader on critical instructional design as a contribution to the academic writing and publishing and instructional design fields.

Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning,18(5). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.3096

Hamilton, D. (2003). Instruction in the making: Peter Ramos and the beginnings of modern schooling. Accessed at http://www.onlineassessment.nu/onlineas_webb/contact_us/Umea/David/ramustext030404.pdf

 

 

Critical Learning Design

Thoughts on Critical Learning Design from the RethinkLD team

 

For me, critical learning design is about challenging our assumptions about instructional design processes, the teaching and learning environments that we build, and the artefacts that we’ve come to expect in a teaching and learning experience.  What are the sacred cows?  What aspects are timeless, and what aspects no longer make sense when we embrace openness?  How can we challenge these things in an inclusive and participatory way?

Tannis Morgan

 

I’ve always hoped that openness would provide more of an impetus for innovation in teaching and learning. Certainly in my practice, it has changed the way I design my pedagogical approaches, strategies, resources, and assessment methods. Open resources and technologies can be used to support and enable active learning experiences, by presenting and sharing learners’ work in real-time, allowing for formative feedback, peer-review, encouraging learner contributions, and ultimately, promoting community-engaged coursework. Yet, open textbooks, in very traditional forms, remain a dominant theme in open discourses. I joined this project to consider and contribute to exploring how critical instructional design might be used to rethink course resources and design methods, and further the maturation of instructional design in light of open educational practices.

Michael Paskevicius

Much instructional design today is embedded in thought structures and processes of an earlier era. Too often we remain bound up in a project management mindset and an instructional development process focused on highly predetermined learning activities and outcomes in a world that demands creativity and critical insight. In addition, many of the resources available to instructors and students in instructional design are based on traditional course structures and set faculty and learner roles. My hope is to be part of the development of a living resource for instructors, students and practitioners that both explores and models alternative approaches to instructional/learning design, in the form of an untextbook. The term “untextbook” is a placeholder for an open, creative, community-developed and -maintained resource that advances theory and practice in critical instructional/learning design.

Irwin De Vries

For me critical approaches to learning design means thinking about ways to open up our spaces or make them more permeable. I feel we are often constrained by technology, institutional policy or other traditional expectations about learning – be it responses to academic integrity or assessment. I am always trying to think about design that can open up barriers, perceived or real, so that we can invite learners in to take more ownership of their learning. This project takes one traditional element that often defines our learning spaces, the textbook, and asks us to rethink how it can be more open and sustainable. As a designer I wonder how rethinking one of our fundamental learning resources may open up new possibilities for practice.

Michelle Harrison

Untextbook

Image embedded from OpenCulture.com (click for source)

In this project we are seeking to use a design-based research approach (Pool & Laubscher (2012); Mckenney & Reeves, 2012) to produce an untraditional textbook, herein called an “untextbook”, on critical instructional design. The project will be conducted using multiple stages of analysis and exploration, design and construction, and evaluation and reflection involving instructional designers in the field. The final product is envisioned to be a community produced reader on critical instructional design which will serve as a resource for students and practitioners while challenging the form of the traditional textbook to help inform design practice.

 

 

Some questions to consider:

  • In light of the advancement of open educational resources, open educational practices, and modern internet technologies, how might the design of learning resources change in form and function?
  • How can the development of an untextbook challenge traditional structures, roles, and hierarchies within learning environments?
  • Could an untextbook prioritize other forms of expression such as visual thinking, comics, or other alternate forms and combinations of knowledge?
  • How can we build open pedagogy into the design of the untextbook resource itself so that students can contribute more effectively?
  • Why do we start on day one of a course with the textbook, should the course resource not be finalized on the final day?

 

Events

We are organizing a series of collaborative sessions in order to engage a broad range of educators and  ideas in preparation for an Untextbook Sprint.

OER19 in Galway

We have a 30 minute session where we will do a series of lightning rounds to get at at how open and critical instructional design intersect, and what an untextbook could be.  The session artefacts will be captured and blogged on this site.

 

Cascadia19 in Vancouver

We have a 3 hour time slot on Day 2 of Cascadia.

We are inviting learning designers to join us in an interactive, collaborative session that will get at the following questions:

  • How can we build open pedagogy into the design of the untextbook resource itself so that students can contribute more effectively?
  • How can the untextbook challenge traditional structures, roles and hierarchies within learning environments?
  • How then would we consider the purpose, structure and inclusion of content?
  • How would it be used in the mediation of knowledge, teaching and learning?
  • Would it stimulate a rethinking of learning resources and learning design?
  • Could an untextbook prioritize other forms of expression such as visual thinking, comics, or other alternate forms and combinations?  
  • Finally we need to consider how an untextbook could be developed and sustained over time. Could an untextbook be built and owned by community?
  • How could the community be formed and what would define membership?
  • How do we maintain currency and usability without it coalescing into yet another “finished” artefact?
  • How can we build multi-vocality into the untextbook?

 

Design constraint prompts for rethinking learning resources

  • You do not begin with a textbook when designing a course
  • You do not begin with an LMS full of course resources (copywritten or not)

 

Untextbook Sprint

We will be organizing an untextbook sprint later in the year. The sprint and the overall project adopts the following guiding principles and design constraints:

Guiding principles

 

  • Keep processes as open as possible
  • Avoid goat rodeo with structure
  • Trust the community
  • Create space for emergence and iteration
  • Thinking out loud is ok
  • Explore impact of both process and product, but more on celebrating process

 

Design constraints/Rules of the Game to force that thinking in new directions

  1. No LMS
  2. No textbook (although parts of it could be sourced from an open textbook or OERs, to create something new)

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