Making a start with #oldsmooc

Given this prompt –

Think about what you aim to achieve this week in the MOOC. Post an item to your learning journal, listing your objectives, and noting how you will know that you achieved them.

And this bit from Grainne Conole’s Designing for Learning in an Open World

A methodology for enabling teachers/designers to make more informed decisions in how they go about designing, which is pedagogically informed and makes effective use of appropriate resources and technologies. This includes the design of resources and individual learning activities right up to curriculum-level design. A key principle is to help make the design process more explicit and shareable. Learning design as an area of research and development includes both gathering empirical evidence to understand the design process, as well as the development of a range of resource, tools and activities.

And three @GeorgeRoberts Tweets –

  • Does the designer for learning – or of objects FOR learning – strive for control of the learners experience #oldsmooc
  • A “Design Scientist” advances theory as well as practice. #oldsmooc kind of like engineering?
  • What is a “scientist” in the sense used in ‘learning as a “design science”‘ by @yishaym in #oldsmooc launch? Broad, narrow, or commonsense?
I find myself with this goal / objective for the week – and time to mull it in more reading/writing while flying back to the US on Monday:

How will I describe, draw and discuss “design” with the group of students I will meet a first time on 23 January as we talk about learning, teaching, presentations in the context of the “Teaching in Higher Education” course principles, practices and projects?

20130110-225958.jpgSelf-disclosures to keep in mind:

  1. I don’t align with the “instructional design” practices nor do I fid the “sticky teaching” principles robust enough for multicultural approaches to learning and teaching. I find these “thin descriptions” of learning and teaching not adequate to designing with and because of the wonderfully rich array of students who are actually in my classes. Their words and worlds deserve “thick descriptions” of/in theory, practice, action.
  2. I do make use of alignment and backward design ideas as John Biggs and Catherine Tang or Karl Smith write about these. And I always keep in mind that at least one of the “ideal outcomes” is one I cannot know until students discover and shape their own goals for a course – as a class overall but also as groups and individuals within the course.
  3. I do design with taxonomies – from Bloom to Fink, with Brookfield as overall insight – in mind, but I tend to draw most on learning about learning and learners in my own personal life – the work of Septima Clark & Myles Horton (of Highlander Folkschool) and the classrooms created by Margaret Courts (a brilliant 1st grade teacher) and Carolyn Shrewsbury (a mentor and early writer about feminist pedagogy in the US), and all that I’ve taught. Mostly, I design from asking first what i know about learning (drawing from theory texts, learning and teaching scholarship, classroom observations and action research) for a particular context.
  4. I design as a photographer and writer as well as former factory worker and typesetter – design matters in each of these. Teaching then draws on what I have learned about from Gordon Parks or Dorthea Lange or Garr Reynolds or my parents (my dad as factory supervisor as I learned packing of industrial parts, my mom as typist shaping visuals from placement/arrangement of words on paper).


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